All the Duels – The new queens of Superbike – Circuit test at La Ferte Gaucher

The new queens of Superbike

All the Duels - The new queens of Superbike - Circuit test at La Ferte Gaucher

Traditionally dominated by the Japanese, the Superbike segment saw its fundamentals shaken up by the rise of European production, mainly the Aprilia RSV4 R and the BMW S1000RR … Comparative test on the road and on the circuit !

Circuit test at La Ferte Gaucher

At the end of this intense road confrontation, difficult to decide between our two protagonists: of course, the BMW is more "frequent" on a daily basis and the balance of its cycle part makes a nice difference when the asphalt crumbles. But the energy and the sound of the Aprilia V4 are much more intoxicating !

Direction la Ferte Gaucher (77) where Trajectoire GP, the driving school of the Seine-et-Marne circuit (read), invited us to continue our duel !

Because just as considerate, smiling and educational as they are in the paddock, Francis Quinet (the boss of Trajectoire GP) and his instructors are above all experienced trackers who were eager to see the cream of hypersports compete. !

On this point, the German and the Italian did not disappoint: if the BMW logically continues to dictate its law at the slightest stretch, the Aprilia sticks to the seat backrest in the winding! Heavier to swing when changing the angle, the S1000RR is also slightly more reluctant when entering curves on the brakes, a frequent case in the technical part of the LFG circuit..

More agile than a gazelle on amphetamines, the RSV4 R dives with the rope with greed and precision, remains stuck on the trajectory like a chewing gum under the sole and comes out of the curves stronger than a cannonball, both its motor skills. amazing reassures when wringing the right handle !

However, all is not rosy on Noale’s machine: the Ride-by-wire of the restricted version causes many jerks of injection at low revs (the phenomenon is less noticeable by selecting the Road or Sport maps), the anti-dribble returns sensitive force feedback to the left hand and the shift –light, like the engaged gear indicator, are illegible.

In addition, the Italian’s gearbox – usually firm but precise – proved surprisingly surly on our test model during on-the-fly upshifts. Finally, more worrying, our machine has several times let a little oil escape from the clutch housing after a big wad: the fault of an O-ring not completely waterproof according to Aprilia France.

When the impossible becomes possible !

Solid as a rock, the BMW S1000RR has never admitted to any technical weaknesses: healthy and well born, the German allows you to go quickly, very quickly even, without requiring a baggage of world champion. Its fine and well-managed injection allows for clear go-arounds, while the sensitivity and power of its front brake (and ABS!) Make the difference at the end of the straight line..

And it flies so much that we quickly understand why its rivals suffer so much in championships where engine preparation is limited … Especially since through the "Options" box, it is possible to acquire the "plug" to be plugged under the saddle to unleash the beast and take advantage of its four injection maps, as well as the invaluable anti-wheeling and anti-skating DTC services (Dynamic Traction Control).

Thanks to this impressive sophistication, the S1000RR allows you to taste the pleasures of a power hitherto impossible to associate with a production motorcycle: in this, the German becomes the Coca Cola Zero of Hypersports !

And for those who see the development of electronic aids as an attack on their virility, go ask Valentino Rossi or Randy de Puniet if they would not have preferred that the piloting aids did not regulate the finish even more finely. the 240 hp of their MotoGP, when a violent high-side sounded the death knell of their 2010 season and their ankle…

Displayed at 15,990 euros without Race-ABS and anti-skating (1230 €) or shifter (360 €), the S1000RR is therefore the real revelation of this duel. Above all, it proves once and for all that the skills of BMW engineers are not reduced to the design of antediluvian flat-twins or administrative motorcycles. !

Faced with it, the RSV4 R does not deserve and will appeal to lovers of beautiful object full of character: its new V4 provides immediate sensations where the German inline four-cylinder requires to remain in the high graduations of the tachometer..

Finally, with its RSV4 R placed at 14,999 euros, Aprilia does not steal its future customers. The manufacturer will simply have to continue to reassure them about the sulphurous reputation of its after-sales service – although great efforts have been made recently in this area -, as well as the mechanical reliability concerns encountered on the first RSV4s..

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