Beautiful, exotic and the host of a V4 engine that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Moto GP grid; there are lots of things to love about Aprilia’s hugely popular superbike RSV4 RF, including a sophisticated variety of tech with everything from launch control to multiple ABS settings. It’s easy to get very excited about this stunning motorcycle.
Aprilia’s RSV4 RF combines great looks, amazing handling and, above all else, the most usable and tractable engine of all the supersport machines I’ve tested. From the point of unleashing the clutch and winding back the throttle, the V4 engine seemed desperate to burst into life, albeit smoothly and controlled. Increased throttle just added to the sensation all the way up to its fancy-sounding limiter – a masterpiece in its own right.
There were no peaks or troughs in the V4’s delivery, which made it an easy beast to ride thanks to the huge arsenal of torque that backed up the model’s creamy power delivery. The sheer nature of the V4 motor encouraged mechanical grip from the rear wheel, so slides were less prone on the Aprilia, made even less probable thanks to the clever electronics package that came as standard on RSV4 RF and allowed for multiple different levels of interaction. The same can be said for the three-tier ABS, and there are also three levels of power modes to switch between, plus wheelie and launch control features… just because you might want to make a quick getaway at the traffic lights.
|Amazingly smooth and torquey motor|
The Aprilia RSV4 RF proved to be as contemporary as motorcycles get, although the tech did take a bit of time to navigate on the bike’s tiny dot-matrix screen, which looked as if it was borrowed from a 1990s mobile phone. It was the weakest link on a motorcycle that was otherwise utterly stunning in every way, and sounded equally as impressive. The vivid colours of the bike work well with its chunky aluminium frame and swingarm, while the stylish wheels and big monobloc calipers also worked great for me. Even the bike’s sharp headlights did a good job of making this bike look and feel that bit special, being unmistakeable for anything other than the racing pedigree Aprilia it is.
This bike was equipped as standard with hi-spec Öhlins suspension that typically would have made the RSV4 RF an exceptionally good handler. Unfortunately, this test bike had a problem with its rear shock, but the front-end feel was exemplary, where grip was never remotely questionable, despite lean angles so extreme that the sidestand and fairings were being scraped along the floor. It felt firm and a ile like a race bike which was great on the track, but might not make it the number one choice of motorcycle on bumpy back lanes. Still, keeping to the smooth stuff would be a price worth paying to own one of these.
|Nothing compares to the intoxicating exhaust of the Aprilia RSV4 RF|
Aprilia RSV4 RF Specifications and Price
Engine : 4-Stroke, 65° V-4 cylinder, DOHC 16-Valve, Liquid-Cooled
Bore x Stroke : 78 x 52.3 mm
Capacity : 999.6 cc
Compression Ratio : 13.6:1
Induction : Fuel Injection
Transmission : 6-Speed with Aprilia Quick Shift, Chain-Drive
Power : 201 BHP @ 13.000 RPM (claimed)
Torque : 115 N.m @ 10.500 RPM (claimed)
Dimensions (LxWxH) : 2.040 x 735 x 1.091 mm
Wheelbase : 1.420 mm
Seat Height : From 845 mm
Ground Clearance : 130 mm
Fuel Tank Capacity : 18.5 Litres
Weight : 180 kg (dry, claimed)
Frame : Alumunium Dual-beam Frame
Front Suspension : Öhlins Upside-down Fork, Fully Adjustable
Rear Suspension : Öhlins Racing Monoshock with Piggy-back, Fully Adjustable
Front Brakes : 2 x 320mm Floating Discs, with Brembo M430 Monobloc 4-Piston Radial Caliper, Bosch ABS
Rear Brakes : 220mm Discs, with Brembo 2-Piston Caliper, Bosch ABS
Front Tyre : 120/70 – ZR17
Rear Tyre : 200/55 ZR 17
Price : From £18,136