All the Duels – The new queens of Superbike – Road test: vertigo of the senses or of the perfs?

The new queens of Superbike

All the Duels - The new queens of Superbike - Road test: vertigo of the senses or of the perfs?

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

Test drive: dizziness of the senses or perfs ?

But the RSV4 R laughs like its first casting rod (read) at these basely material considerations: on its handlebars, the "Italian style" traditionally associated with transalpine production is actually close to its climax.

And this business of seduction begins from the moment you put your seat on its saddle as welcoming as a fakir board: hugging the beast as closely as possible thanks to the thin and short tank, the rider is propelled directly onto the grid. start of a round of SBK when the V4 at 65 ° wakes up to an intimidating rumble…

As soon as the first is engaged, a valve opens in the voluminous exhaust – smart, Italians! – to let out a cavernous sound with a syncopated rhythm whose intensity would almost eclipse the take-off of an Airbus !

From then on, the 999.6 cc compressed to 13: 1 monopolizes all the attention … including that of the constabulary and your neighbors! But when you discover it, these "small" problems vanish faster than a teenager at a Justin Bieber concert: voluntary from low revs, the Aprilia gives the feeling of leaving behind everything that rolls 6 000 to 9000 rpm, as the rage displayed by its V4 is then particularly demonstrative.

Noise and fury…

And yet, like a Rolex "made in Thailand" or a silicone chest, the Aprilia may cause a sensation and especially create the illusion, it is shamelessly dislocated by the BMW regardless of the engine speed or gear engaged !

Despite its sound discretion and less expressive acceleration below 4,000 rpm, the German fined the Italian without giving the impression of forcing … up to 7,000 rpm. At this precise speed, everything accelerates on the S1000RR and the RSV4 R is as if left in place: with its hyper-square dimensions (80 * 49.7 mm), the Teuton block is an insatiable devourer of revolutions-minutes and this beautiful appetite requires a little experience !

Especially since on our test model, BMW France had installed the "ki-va-bien" options: shifter (360 €) and Race-ABS (920 €). Thanks to the first, the reports go up on the fly without cutting the throttle, which further accentuates the effects of this devilish thrust! And to stop these daunting accelerations, the formidable attack of the double discs pinched by radial calipers is managed by the efficient ABS.

Surprisingly, this extraordinary bite coupled with childish management is not found on the RSV4 R, yet equipped with discs of the same diameter and radial calipers from Brembo: the power is there on the Aprilia but it requires more effort on the lever, which affects the feeling at the start of the race.

Dropped under the accelerator and put down under braking, the Italian can fortunately count on its secret boot: the incredible liveliness of its front axle, which allows instinctive piloting and staggering cornering speeds! Rigorous and intuitive, the RSV4 R slows down in a flash when the road winds up … provided the surface is as smooth as baby’s skin !

Because when the physiognomy of the road network is more the skin of Brigitte Bardot, the BMW takes the advantage: on the bumpy, the Aprilia gains in nervousness what it loses in precision. She asks to be held in respect using the legs and to avoid any tension on her handlebars.

More accommodating, the S1000RR dominates its subject perfectly thanks to effective suspensions whatever the pace, because clearly more progressive at the beginning of the race. And as it is also sensitive to the extremely simple adjustments that can be made with the ignition key and that a table in the trunk indicates the main adjustments, few future owners will find fault with its potential. dynamic !

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