Sportive – 2015 RSV4 test: Aprilia’s racing beast – The arms race version 2.0

2015 RSV4 test: Aprilia’s racehorse

Sportive - 2015 RSV4 test: Aprilia's racing beast - The arms race version 2.0

In 2015, the category of Hypersport motorcycles reached a milestone: the sharpest ones spit out 200 hp and have as much electronic assistance as a real racing motorcycle! Aprilia RSV4 fits brilliantly into this exciting trend… Test !

The arms race version 2.0

During its sound, the Aprilia RSV4 immediately stood out thanks to its sharp cycle part and its V4 packed with punch and character. In, Aprilia grafted him an electronics worthy of a MotoGP (adjustable anti-skating while rolling, anti-wheeling, shifter, start assistant, etc.) to stay in the race, among others in the face of the perfected …

Four years later, the coat of arms of Noale shifts to the next level: the current "standard" is set at 200 hp? So be it: the new RSV4 develops 201 at 13,000 rpm, or 17 more horsepower than the previous one! Questioned by MNC, the Italian engineers guarantee that the engine will deliver to the bench "between 198 and 204 hp". A priori, no race for intoxication…

By the way, this 65 ° V4 loses "1.5 kg"- mainly on moving parts – and its maximum speed goes from 13,500 to 14,000 rpm (see all the details in our Technical report on page 3). With its experience in competition – especially in, won by – Aprilia, however, knows that it is not enough to play muscles to be successful….

In view of the performance achieved, the race for power is no longer an end in itself: the important thing is to manage to exploit it! What’s the point of offering 200 hp if only half of them are enough to put the chassis to death and panic the audience? Because like all modern sports motorcycles, without the help of electronics, there is no point in hoping to tame such a cavalry !

The parameters of the assistance pack Aprilia Performance Ride Control (APRC) have therefore been reworked, fine-tuning the operation of traction control, anti-wheeling and ABS but also adding engine brake control and recalibrating the driving modes – now called Sport, Race and Track (all details in our Technical point on page 3).

The magnificent aluminum chassis is also evolving to handle the excess watts without sacrificing the agility appreciated by the RSV4. The superb polished swingarm, for example, is lengthened by 14 mm (but the wheel axle is set back only 4 mm compared to 2014), the caster increases and the engine is lowered by 5 mm. Details – discussed, let us remember, on page 3! -, but which are important on such a motorcycle !

Static: discreet redesign…

Discovered on the Misano circuit (Italy), the new 2015 RSV4 is perfectly in its element on such a prestigious track. Sleek, short and tilted forward, the Italian Superbike gives off an astonishing impression of compactness, coupled with an immediately palpable sporty "stamp".

In detail, its plastic evolves only in small touches: the triple optics adopt more tapered shapes and LED position lights, a technology also introduced for the turn signals integrated in the mirrors. Visibly a little more enveloping, the bubble would benefit from extensive aerodynamic tests to improve protection.

The extremely thin rear end hasn’t changed one iota, nor the shapes of the 18.5-liter tank. Only the silencer evolves and adopts an output in the form of a stretched oval, better in tune with the general finesse. In short, the line of the RSV4 is practically identical to the previous model … and who will complain, given its dazzling sex appeal ?!

However, as successful as its stroke of a pencil, its overuse in the Aprilia range ends up serving the sports car: we now find its triple optics on the, the, the scooter and the new Tuono V4 1100 (full test to be followed on MNC). .. To believe that the designers of Noale are lacking inspiration! In these conditions, a complete overhaul rather than a simple facelift would have been welcome, especially for such a deeply revamped vintage….

The finish still calls for no criticism, as does the quality of the peripherals used: one-piece Brembo calipers with radial fixing connected to a master cylinder also radial via braided hoses, nicely perforated footrest plate (but not adjustable), shock absorber fully adjustable steering, 43mm inverted fork and shock absorber with separate cylinder. No detail is overlooked !

In its standard version – renamed "RR" in 2015 – the RSV4 is fitted with Sachs suspensions and cast aluminum rims. For 2299 euros more (a total of 19 499 €), it equips itself with a "Race Pack" including even more advanced Ohlins suspensions and lighter forged rims.

For fans of limited series, Aprilia also sells 500 numbered copies of "RSV4 RF", a version equipped with the "Race Pack" and covered with a tricolor "Superpole" livery modeled on that of the WSBK. Enough to dive into the race, while admiring its "Aprilia" silkscreen applied in part to the frame. It’s beautiful, but it’s starting to sting: € 20,999 !

It is this luxurious "RF" version that MNC had the pleasure of testing on the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, following the tragic disappearance of the Italian driver, who also won the GP250 in 2008 on a Gilera – a clone of ‘Aprilia.

The height of happiness: following a recent resurfacing, the Italian track is as smooth as a baby’s skin, the weather is sunny and warm (around 25 ° C) and electric blankets keep the original Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP looking ideal temperature! Yabon !!!

"Our" motorcycle comes out of the boxes preceded by the muffled rocky rumble of its V4: after the news and, it’s the RSV4’s turn to hit the track with MNC … For our readers who are passionate about Hypersports, this 2015 is looking very good !

That’s it, are you ready? So on track…

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