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Tested dream bikes

the world stands still

Every motorcyclist dreams of this: a ride with the divas of the sports motorcycle world. Exclusive, valuable, rare, bursting with strength. Aprilia RSV Mille SP, Ducati 996 SPS, MV Agusta F4 Serie Oro and Yamaha YZF-R7. Helmet on, station wagon on, and off you go!

Aprilia RSV mille SP, Ducati 996 SPS, MV-Agusta F4 Serie Oro and Yamaha YZF-R7. Masterpieces, sinfully expensive and so rare that we only come across them if we are lucky. Created with huge effort to use even the tiniest bit of performance. Myths on two wheels, sculptures in metal and plastic. Who wouldn’t want to sit up there and experience how every motorcycle unfolds its own magical identity?
The Aprilia, for example, only available 24 times in Germany, inspires respect for its viewer with its cool functionality. Highlights such as cheeky decorations, elaborate spring elements, the special features of the engine that peek out here and there and, above all, a martial double silencer underline the difference to the "normal" RSV mille. A little in-depth research also reveals a fine carbon fiber skin, a light aluminum tank, a specially coated windshield, a super stiff chassis full of adjustment options for the chassis geometry, a magnificent engine with a short-stroke crankshaft, CNC-milled and therefore exactly the same combustion chambers, super-light slipper pistons and and and.
That has its price – at least almost 60,000 marks – and it also has an effect. If the happy rider thinks he is still on the basic mille when he sits up, the awakening V-Twin puts an end to normal. With a bloodcurdling, powerfully dry bark, it starts turning, immediately runs smoothly, snarling up like lightning on command. Unique, the sound of this 60-degree V2, hard and yet supple, deep and yet aggressive, a bit like a drum roll, accompanied by a mechanical whirring.
And it has power from the very bottom, from the top, just everywhere, but with a few teeth in the performance curve. Mighty, mighty. The nice thing about it: so powerful the engine, so easy to use the SP. Your chassis smooths even the worst asphalt acne without being impressed. With the precision of a laser, the SP cuts the desired path, circles the line like a moon around its planet? Against such driving behavior, even good bar stock looks pale.
The Ducati 996 SPS – for 44 349 Marker the special offer among the royal steeds and sold around 160 times in 1999 – stands out from it already by its appearance. Aesthetics grow out of purism, the Mountain White among the design milestones. A narrow motorcycle with a slim silhouette that enables super-speed even without superpower, with a tight knee that suggests real contact between the leg joints. A racer, uniquely compact.
Although it is no longer the most powerful twin, the Desmo-V2, which has been spread by 90 degrees, draws from the full in comparison. What it gains over the base 996 comes from sharper camshafts, which result in greater valve lift and longer opening times. The twin also carries its forged pistons on lightweight titanium connecting rods, which contributes to an increase in speed of 1000 rpm. So equipped, the Duc pushes with vigor, turns aggressively, runs smoothly and cultivated, underlines its racing roots with gigantic revving. It is always an experience how her voice changes over the speed range from Doctor Jekyll to Mister Hyde, starting with the rough rumble, almost overruled by the rattling of the dry clutch, to the sawing trumpet at high speeds.
Famous for the ingenious chassis, a bit sluggish to handle, but still the reference for good road holding. Ground effect – the feeling as if the Ducati were not rolling, but instead floating unshakably over a powerful magnetic field while projecting the road surface into the driver’s butt in high resolution. Unique. Praise be to Tamburini, who created this Ducati.
And the MV-Agusta F4 series Oro comes from this pen. A long name that describes great things. 300 pieces worldwide, each costing 72,000 marks. Design? The Ducati of Mont Blanc, the MV of Everest. Something like that just hasn’t happened before. Lay under it or crawl in, viewed from very close or very far away, from the front, from behind, from every perspective: always beautiful views. There is nothing ugly, even the cables and lines follow aesthetic curves down to the smallest detail ?? be it individually numbered sealing plugs for the throttle valve synchronization or specially drawn hand pumps. The MV turns every other two-wheeler beauty into an extra. Ergonomics? You don’t get up here, big or small flows here ?? perfectly athletic crouched – into the captivating shapes.
Start: Very little choke, immediately spontaneous concentricity, then digital throttle response. The in-line four-cylinder with valves arranged radially to the center of the combustion chamber does not develop its power super lavishly, but cultivated, draws its power curve with a harmonious swing, but without record peaks. Very pleasant, and with a completely unfamiliar sound. Do you still know the Manta from the village square, the one with the holes in the air filter box? Let the thing spin 13,000 rpm in your mind’s ear, gild the sound, and you hear ?? in approximately ?? to MV Agusta. Roaring, impulsive up to 7000 / min, storming with megaphone soprano up to 13000 / min.
Drive? Different, just different. In view of the usual chassis, there is actually no explanation as to how the MV suspension elements, especially the shock absorber, so elegantly remove the sharpness of any asphalt dents, while always providing crystal-clear information about the contact with the road. Not to forget that the Agusta simulates the Ducati’s ground effect, but acts much more nimbly than this. A vehicle for kings, and unfortunately sold out? but the "cheap version" is coming soon.
The Yamaha YZF-R7 is less aimed at blue-blooded customers than at saber-wielding customers. Pure aggressiveness looks out of her, crouching on her bikes like a boxer, fully trained, not a gram of fat. Where the MV is selling gold and elegance, the R7 proclaims its mission in matt black: to win, not to shine. That’s what it’s built for. And how! Torsion-proof and bending-resistant, at the same time super light and also masterfully processed. For example the swing arm, artfully welded from light, thin sheet aluminum to form a huge box structure. Or the technology of this wonderful bridge with additional injection valves that spray their jet of fuel directly into the polished intake funnel. Plus inner values ​​such as feather-light titanium connecting rods and valves or CNC-milled combustion chambers. Perfect.
Disinterested, the R7 doesn’t care about everyday suitability. Sit? Racing! Almost in push-ups, lots of space for gymnastics, the footrests super high and far back. City traffic? Pah! Strolling around is a torture, nothing really works below 6000 rpm, the gas column moans in a sad minor from the air filter. But then, somewhere, the serious map begins. Command: hold on. A moment ago the gases started to wail, rushing into the suction throat with insatiable, resounding greed, accompanied by the predatory scream of the R7, which cheered like lightning with unbridled power up to the highest revs, giving away no noticeable amount of energy for vibrations.
And what a chassis to go with it! PRECISION! Even the smallest steering impulse is followed by a change of direction without the slightest delay. So clear, so razor-sharp, so instantaneous, almost ruthless, because with this form of 100 percent execution of orders, the commander should always know exactly what he wants. Once he has internalized this, the R7 offers unlimited chassis qualities: perfect suspension elements, ingenious brakes, enormous ground clearance, unshakable driving stability? at an equally superb price of almost 55,000 marks in the tested version. So far, 35 enthusiasts have transferred this sum, which also makes the R7 one of the extremely rare sights on the road.
But it is just as little built for this as the three other dream companions. Special motorcycles for specialists. With components as expensive as half a motorcycle, good for a tenth of a second of a lap time. Each individual with everyday weaknesses, but enormous potential for a type of driving, much too fast for any country road.
W.What’s left after a day with these four? There remain incomparable impressions of enormous intensity. Driving experiences remain, unique and breathtaking. The certainty remains that a little more can vastly broaden the perspective. That dreams take shape, but can still remain dreams.

Conclusion Ducati 996 SPS

What a good opportunity for the words: Thousand grazie, Signor Tamburini. In six years of history, the 996 has created an almost mystical aura around it. Especially in the high-end SPS version, the Duc continues to fascinate. Driving behavior, power delivery and, last but not least, the styling make her one of the queens of modern motorcycle construction.

Technical data Yamaha YZF-R7 –

Engine: in-line four-cylinder, 749 cm³, bore x stroke 72 x 46 mm, five valves per cylinder, intake manifold injection Ø 46 mm, 102 kW (139 PS), chassis: aluminum bridge frame, adjustable steering head angle and pivot point, upside-down fork Ø 46 mm, adjustable spring base, rebound and compression damping, aluminum swing arm with upper cables, central spring strut with lever system, adjustable length, spring base, rebound and compression damping, double disc brake at the front, four-piston calipers, cast aluminum wheels 3:50 x 17; 6.00 x 17, tires 120/70 ZR 17; 180/55 ZR 17, wheelbase 1400 mm, steering head angle 66.2 – 68.2 °, caster 100 – 90 mm, other: aluminum tank, titanium connecting rod, titanium valves, price approx. 55,000 marks

Technical data MV Agusta F4 series Oro –

Engine: in-line four-cylinder, 749 cm³, bore x stroke 73.8 x 43.8 mm, radially arranged valves, intake manifold injection Ø 46 mm, 93 kW (126 hp), chassis: steel space frame, upside-down fork, Ø 49 mm, adjustable spring base, rebound and compression damping, cast magnesium single-sided swing arm, central spring strut with lever system, adjustable rear height, spring based, rebound and compression damping, front double disc brake, six-piston calipers, cast magnesium wheels 3.50 x 17; 6.00 x 17, tires 120/65 ZR 17; 190/50 ZR 17, wheelbase 1412 mm, steering head angle 66.5 °, caster 104 mm, miscellaneous: carbon fiber cladding parts, multifunctional cockpit, price 72,000 marks

Conclusion Aprilia RSV mille SP

So specialized for racing, so packed with tuning options, and yet so easy to drive, the SP. Almost suitable for everyday use. Good for those who can use the talents of this powerful engine, this enormous frame. The optical relationship to the standard mille only bothers the doubters. Technology gourmets, on the other hand, get their money’s worth.

Technical data Aprilia RSV Mille SP –

Motor: 60-degree V-twin cylinder, 996 cm³, boron x stroke: 100 x 63.4 mm, intake manifold injection Ø 51 mm, 107 kW (145 PS) Chassis: aluminum bridge frame, adjustable steering head angle, engine position and pivot point, upside down fork, Ø 43 mm, adjustable spring base, rebound and compression damping, central spring strut with lever system, adjustable length, spring base, rebound and compression damping, double disc brake at the front, four-piston calipers, cast aluminum wheels 3.50 x 17; 6.00 x 17, tires 120/65 ZR 17; 180/55 ZR 17, wheelbase 1405 mm, steering head angle 64.5 – 66.5 °, caster 107 – 87 mm, other: aluminum tank, titanium exhaust system, carbon fiber trim parts, multifunctional cockpit, price 59,000 marks

Conclusion Yamaha YZF-R7

No Compromise: No motorcycle embodies this strict motto as consistently as the R7. Beyond all suitability for everyday use, it does not tolerate anything other than absolute speed. Nimble like a cheetah, unerring like a cobra, fast like a falcon, strong and snappy like a lion. Woe to those gross motor skills who underestimate them. Probably the trainer who knows how to curb them.

Conclusion MV Agusta F4 series Oro

And again: Mille mille grazie, Signor Tamburini! The MV Agusta F4 not only revives the cult around the permanent world champion brand, but it also takes motorcycle design into the coming millennium with a sensational design language. Add to that these fantastic qualities, one of the true fortunes in motorcycle history! The F4, a dream of a dream.

Technical data Ducati 996 SPS –

Motor: 90-degree V-two-cylinder, 996 cm³, bore x stroke 98 x 66 mm, intake manifold injection, Ø 50 mm, 90.5 kW (123 PS), chassis: steel space frame, load-bearing motor, adjustable steering head angle, upside-down down fork, Ø 43 mm, adjustable spring base, rebound and compression damping, aluminum single-sided swing arm, central spring strut with lever system, adjustable rear height, spring base, rebound and compression damping, double disc brake at the front, oven-piston calipers, cast aluminum wheels 3.50 x 17; 5.50 x 17, tires 120/70 ZR 17; 190/50 ZR 17, wheelbase 1410 mm, steering head angle 64.7 – 66.7 °, caster 97 – 91 mm, other: titanium connecting rod, optional carbon silencer, price 44,349 marks

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