Comparison test Aprilia RSV mille R, Ducati 998 R

Aprilia RSV mille R test comparison, Ducati 998 R

The Italian way

Passion, enthusiasm for sports and a wonderfully confident feeling for design seem to run in Italian designers’ blood. Because in the Italian way there are motorcycles that are everything, only one thing not: normal.

This fascinating, damned Omega of the Sachsenring drives like a scaled-down version of the Aque minerale in Imola. That still fits perfectly with the two divas from Aprilia and Ducati. However, my line doesn’t fit. You can still go down to the left, even the change of incline in the middle of the steep slope works perfectly. But then there is this double right, which you can drive so much faster than you think, in which the horizon is already frighteningly sloping in the picture and there is still so much to do. Pull again briefly, let it be carried out, brake, switch back and then let the horizon tilt completely for the narrowest, slowest corner of the whole route.
Brooombrooom – crap, low-speed. Forgot to switch back. Too late, that is no longer possible with the sloping position. So at least I’m resolutely accelerating. Right uphill, then the lean angle change into the longest left turn in the world. Huuups. The change in lean angle fizzles out in a rather bumbling wheelie. Ashamed, I let the front wheel flop back onto the road and get the Ducati on the right course.
Who would have thought that this 998 R engine would behave completely contrary to theory. It’s an ultra-short stroke, heaven again. It is said that thanks to thick bores and huge valve cross-sections, they tear, especially in the upper speed range. And then this racing engine for the road with 104 pistons and 58.8 millimeter stroke delivers so much torque at 4000 rpm that some touring engines turn pale with envy. Mechanically, it does not run as well as the Testastretta unit in the 996 R or 998 S, and the homologated version does not have any more power. Instead, the new large-piston V2 tears with the absolute greed for propulsion through the entire usable speed range. Luckily, when the Duc shoots up the steeply rising home straight from the last left-hand bend, you won’t lose your hearing. But sometimes seeing. Because it snaps into your field of vision with every careless pull on the handlebars. Only far beyond the 11000 mark? here does the theory fit in with practice again? ends the fireworks of revs of the ultra-short stroke, the performance has hardly decreased since its peak at 10,100 rpm. This always wide-awake readiness captivates you and makes you immerse yourself in driving. With me anyway. Only some time later can I explain to myself that the power of the 998 R can be used so well thanks to the almost racing-style gearbox with a long first gear and small jumps between the other levels. Or that spontaneous, by no means rough, load changes and the relatively short overall gear ratio also play an important role. If I didn’t write a test, I would have left it at that, being happy with no explanation.
The Aprilia RSV mille R, affectionately known as "the Miller", has to develop other talents in order to maintain its place next to the motor-driven superiority of the Ducati. In the legal version, it still presses a tight 121 hp on the clutch. Compared to the even stronger 137 PS of the also legal Ducati ?? yes, with throttle discs in front of the airbox? but she clearly has the worse cards. Especially since the overall ratio was much too long relative to the performance of the 60-degree V-Zwei and a torque drop had to be overcome at 8000 rpm. No, what makes the Miller stand out is its handling, not the engine. Even the normal RSV mille with the heavier cast wheels drives very quickly. Everything gets even better with the OZ forged wheels of the R version, which are incredibly light, almost as light as cast magnesium wheels. The fact that the Mille stays on the tight line when accelerating sharply in an inclined position is particularly impressive. The low gyroscopic forces of the blue anodized OZ jewels can be converted directly into carefree driving.
In the Omega mentioned at the beginning, everything is much easier for me than on the Duc. Even shifting down and engaging shortly before the tipping point of the horizon loses a good part of its horror. Thanks again to the PPC, the Pneumatic Power Clutch. This clutch has been known since 1998 and is still not praised enough. It uses the negative pressure in the intake tract that occurs when the accelerator is released to allow the discs to slip through easily and to reduce the engine’s braking torque. AT stamping of the rear wheel occurs practically only if the driver brakes hard in an uncontrolled manner. The PPC would have deserved a medal as a defuser of delayed downshifts in the braking zone, as a sedative in the case of burgeoning panic. Like the sweeping cladding with the bubble pane on top. It offers the crouched driver not only very good wind protection, but also a completely undistorted view ahead. That feels good at the end of a long home straight, when finding the right braking point with little stress. Especially when you follow a downhill right-hand bend that pulls so hard as if it wanted to knot itself.
Even a savvy professional racing driver like my co-tester Markus Barth learns to appreciate the Miller’s handling, clutch and fairing when he sets out to drive both motorcycles against the clock that afternoon. On tires of the same type, of course, albeit not on thoroughbred racing tires. But the Metzeler Sportec M-1s also do an excellent job, and they are immediately ready to grip in the relatively cool temperatures of the Saxon spring. On long, bold black rubber tracks, Markus lets the Miller drift into the appropriate corners, using the entire first half of the curve to decelerate without taking the risk of the front wheel being over-braked in an inclined position. This enables him to achieve almost unimaginably late braking points and a lap time of 1.38.1 minutes. “The clutch is great,” he says, “I only have to pull the lever very lightly when pushing down. Above all, the device cuts the right line with razor sharpness. Just the engine … "he adds, before driving the Ducati out of the pit lane.
The stopwatch makes it clear what he means. He drives 1.35.9 in the first flying lap with the 998 R, a tenth of a second faster in the second and again 1.35.9 in the third and fourth. Just like that, with astonishing regularity. “Funny, I didn’t feel that fast. Down in the Omega it hums so comfortably, is a bit sluggish, hmm. Of course, it goes like a grenade in every uphill section, and the corridors fit perfectly … ”Again he left the rest of the speech unsaid and tried again with the Aprilia. With full compression damping at the hindquarters, the same result and finally a clear explanation. “The Duc not only goes much better, it also glides more smoothly over all these bumps. On the red one, for example, you hardly notice the change of the surface on the fast links downhill. The Aprilia really starts to stir. Your chassis is significantly softer. "
Right. But this statement at least needs some explanation. The two Italian beauties spring uniformly with noble Ohlins elements. However, they are coordinated completely differently. Curiously, the Aprilia even has harder springs at the front and rear than the Ducati. Due to the gentle compression damping at the front and a lower overall spring rate thanks to a different translation of the lever deflection, however, their spring elements react subjectively and objectively more strongly to the same bumps than the Ducati parts. This is confirmed in a world that is much more profane than the exclusive Sachsenring GP track: on normal country roads and with production tires. There, however, the softly sprung hindquarters of the Aprilia suddenly seem comfortable, the tight ones of the Ducati almost a little stubborn. There are no complaints here or there about the forks. Their mechanically sensitive response ensures a surprising suspension comfort experience. Nevertheless, when the excellent Brembo brake calipers bite into their discs, they force themselves energetically against the masses pushing forward. What a successful combination of everyday and race track suitability.
Otherwise, it’s such a thing about comfort. Especially on the Ducati. What was still considered the only true way of sitting on a sports motorcycle on the Saxon Ring, seems quite exhausting in normal motorcycle life. This should not be glossed over. On the other hand, the seating position on the 748, 916 and 996 has been described so often that it should be known which gripping qualities it demands from the driver. The same thing remains true of the 998 R: Anyone who drives it has to be ready to commit. But that’s the same with other extreme athletes. Those who do not want to put as much effort will find a pleasant alternative in the Mille. And by no means an unattractive one. This topic continues from seating comfort to wind protection, handling and, last but not least, to the price. The 998 R is just a fascination, an extremely exclusive small-series motorcycle, its superbike base engine in a special sand-cast housing, its noble equipment and its image is astronomical 27,200 euros. On the other hand, the mille R is still not becoming an inflationary pleasure, but can simply be considered an extremely fair, almost sensitive offer for 16,999 euros. Of course, the generous two seconds she lost to the Ducati at the Sachsenring are a world. However, entry into this world cannot be bought automatically with a 998 R. Ultimately, this only leads to excellent driving skills.
For all those who really want to know, one last piece of information: The D.ucati 998 R is extremely economical with fuel. On the test lap it only consumed 4.8 liters per 100 kilometers, the Aprilia 6.0 liters.

Aprilia RSV mille R test comparison, Ducati 998 R

Tea Italian way

Technical data: APRILIA RSV mille R

APRILIA RSV mille R engineWater-cooled two-cylinder, four-stroke, 60-degree V engine, transverse crankshaft, two balance shafts, two overhead camshafts each driven by gears and a chain, four valves per cylinder, bucket tappets, dry sump lubrication, electronic intake manifold injection, Ø 51 mm, engine management , Double ignition, uncontrolled catalytic converter, electric starter. Bore x stroke 97 x 67.5 mm, displacement 998 cm³, rated output 92 kW (125 PS) at 9300 rpm, max. Torque 101 Nm (10.3 kpm) at 7300 rpm Pollutant values ​​(homologation) CO 1.43 g / km, HC 0.24 g / km, NOx 0.05 g / km Power transmission Hydraulically operated multi-disc oil bath clutch, six-speed gearbox, O-ring Chassis Bridge frame made of aluminum profiles, screwed rear frame, upside-down fork, slide tube diameter 43 mm, adjustable spring base, rebound and compression damping, two-arm swing arm made of aluminum profiles, central spring strut with lever system, adjustable spring base, rebound and compression damping, double disc brakes at the front, four-piston calipers Brake discs, Ø 320 mm, rear disc brake, Ø 220 mm, two-piston caliper. Tires 120/70 ZR 17, 190/50 ZR 17 Tires tested, road, racetrack Pirelli Dragon Supercorsa, Metzeler Sportec M-1 Chassis data Steering head angle 65 degrees, caster 99 mm, wheelbase 1415 mm, spring travel f / r 120/135 mm. Dimensions and weights Seat height * 830 mm, weight with a full tank * 210 kg, payload * 106 kg, tank capacity / reserve 18 liters. Two-year guarantee with no mileage limitColors: matt black, yellowPrice including VAT and additional costs 16,999 euros * Motorcycle measurements

Technical data: DUCATI 998 R

DUCATI 998 R engine Water-cooled two-cylinder four-stroke 90 degree V engine, transverse crankshaft, two overhead, toothed belt-driven camshafts, four valves per cylinder, desmodromic, wet sump lubrication, electronic intake manifold injection, Ø 54 mm, engine management, no exhaust gas cleaning, electric starter .Bore x stroke 104 x 58.8 mm, displacement 999 cm³, rated output 102 kW (139 PS) at 10,000 rpm, max. Torque 105 Nm (10.7 kpm) at 8000 rpm Pollutant values ​​(approval) CO 7.93 g / km, HC 1.20 g / km, NOx 0.16 g / km Power transmission Hydraulically operated multi-plate dry clutch, six-speed gearbox, O-ring Chain, chassis, tubular steel frame, load-bearing motor, upside-down fork, sliding tube diameter 43 mm, adjustable spring base, rebound and compression damping, single-sided swing arm made of cast aluminum, central spring strut with lever system, adjustable spring base, rebound and compression damping, front double disc brake , floating four-piston calipers Brake discs, Ø 320 mm, rear disc brake, Ø 220 mm, two-piston caliper. Tires 120/70 ZR 17; 190/50 ZR 17 tires tested, road, race track Michelin Pilot Sport, Metzeler Sportec M-1 Chassis data Steering head angle 65.5-66.5 degrees, caster 91-97 mm, wheelbase 1410 mm, spring travel f / h 127/130 mm . Dimensions and Weights Seat height * 810 mm, weight with a full tank * 205 kg, payload * 180 kg, tank capacity / reserve 17/4 liters. Two-year guarantee with unlimited kilometers

1st place – Aprilia RSV mille R

The Aprilia RSV mille R wins the all-round rating because it has retained a bit of common sense despite all its sportiness and classy equipment. Reason stands for more comfort and a cost framework for purchase and maintenance that a normal earner can at least imagine. On the racetrack, however, the Mille R receives a bit of smack. The two seconds behind the Ducati indicate one thing above all: a performance cure would be good for her.

2nd place – Ducati 998 R

In this comparison, the Ducati 998 R deserves glamor and glory. Because it not only shines with a beautiful appearance and exclusivity, but can also repeatedly underpin its fame with deeds. Your performance on the racetrack remains unsurpassed, almost unattainable. Everything else is not so important to her; it also competes in everyday life, but lets the Aprilia take precedence here. Those who accept this from the outset can experience an almost indescribable driving experience with it.

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