Sporty – Test RSV4 2015: Aprilia’s racing beast – In dynamics: factory of sensations!

2015 RSV4 test: Aprilia’s racehorse

Sporty - RSV4 2015 test: Aprilia's racing beast - In dynamics: factory of sensations!

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 !

In dynamics: factory of sensations !

A few first laps at reduced speed, just to discover the Misano route without ending up in the infirmary, allow us to gauge the first differences compared to the previous RSV4. The position is generally the same, but the semi-handlebars are slightly raised for the benefit of a certain form of comfort.

With a narrowness worthy of a Superport between the thighs, the Aprilia is as high (867 mm) as it is uncomfortable at the level of the seat and its footrests inflict a significant flexion. Nothing surprising on this type of motorcycles, even if some nevertheless offer a less radical ergonomic compromise (in particular the CBR1000RR, GSX-R1000 and S1000RR).

The protection actually appears better, even if this progression is only appreciated in the speed-seeking position: the bust pressed against the tank, the nose in the bubble and the elbows bent to get a good 260 km / h at the end. straight line in fifth gear. The cow, he walks hard the V4 !

Good news: this 999.6cc 4-cylinder V has retained its ability to grab your guts intact! MNC feared that its consequent increase in power would go through a smoothing of its character and less demonstrative mid-revs. It is not … on the contrary, even !

Capable of resuming at 2000 rpm without a hiccup – but without particular enthusiasm – this block with a guttural sound is expressed with vigor between 4000 and 6000 rpm. The MotoGP-style rattle that escapes from the exhaust is a real auditory feast! Impossible not to succumb to his captivating vocals, before being amazed by his revs as lively as they are dazzling !

Because when the pace increases, the RSV4 changes face: after showing off its "trunk", the V4 stretches out to reveal all its punch. And what a punch! Already virile until then, the acceleration becomes bestial and the benchmarks taken on previous versions are completely erased !

Much more explosive between 8000 and 12000 rpm, the new RSV4 2015 makes us forget its relative lack of "gniak" vis-a-vis the more (on) powerful references. The V4 now takes endless turns, swallowing each graduation of the tachometer with incredible voracity almost to the point of the breaker! The surge of power is of such intensity that several accelerations are necessary to take the measure….

Fortunately, the Italian has an excellent connection between its electronic accelerator and its 200 mm rear tire (the 190 format is also approved). This characteristic is essential to manage its mechanical flights as precisely as possible: with such a barrel of powder, the slightest jerk on the angle and the throbbing explodes. !

On the other hand, the rough selection is more open to criticism: on our test bike, the passage between the second and the third via the shifter sometimes required to do it twice, by making the throttle slightly then by insisting firmly from the end. boot to properly lock the gear. Not the most effective for slipping a stopwatch…

Moreover, if the front end of the RSV4 is still as precise as a scalpel entering curves and it has not lost any of its extraordinary agility, its stability is not as exemplary. Lively, even nervous despite the steering damper, its management requires frank investments and precise gestures to dictate its law.

Each big acceleration causes a very important transfer of masses to the rear, which almost always triggers a wheeling initiation. Fortunately, the asphalt has just been redone … Not enough pre-loaded or braked in the original hydraulics, the Olhins mono-shock is obviously damaged by the surge of power.

The solution is to contract your thighs as much as possible around the tank to avoid applying any pressure to the handlebars when relaunching, while moving your bust forward. Coordination and fluidity are essential under penalty of triggering or amplifying a movement !

In large, ultra-fast curves, this perfectible stability results in a slight "floating" of the front axle, a phenomenon never really worrying but not the most reassuring when diving at more than 230 km / h in a large straight line located in the second part of the circuit … On this point, it appeared to us to be much more rigorous…

Same thing when braking, where it is essential to move to the rear to stem the tendency to move, despite the electronic management of the lifting of the rear wheel which works with the ABS.

The Brembo braking system is exceptional in terms of precision, consistency and endurance. And what power: a finger is enough to stop the 180 kg dry of the bike, with the impression that the front axle is literally anchored in the asphalt !

Verdict: Italian thoroughbred !

“Profession” and composure are necessary to fully benefit from this new RSV4. Intoxicating but demanding, it has gained in performance what it has lost in ease and serenity of piloting. Some will see it as an inevitable counterpart to its racing bike performance, others will perhaps be put off by this aspect, especially in a "road-circuit" driving perspective..

Fortunately, its advanced electronics partially erase the effects of its nervousness, due in large part according to MNC to perfectible rear shock settings. Its adjustable traction control while riding is a marvel of smoothness and transparency, as its anti-wheeling activated in practically every exit of curve !

The most impressive remains the progressiveness with which the ECU reduces the arrival of power in case of drift on the angle, before opening more and more the throttles while the bike is recovering. The intervention is so fine that one would swear to have made the best use of the phenomenal motor skills that the RSV4 has !

But no: the light which flashes continuously on the instrument panel indicates that at this precise moment, a small – big? – an electronic boost allows you not to be taken on board by the 201 stallions! A unique and exhilarating sensation !

Electronics enthusiasts will also appreciate the multiple functionalities of the "V4-MP" platform, which offers via the installation of an optional module "at around 250 euros"display a multitude of parameters (angle, speed, lap times by partial, etc.) on the screen of a smartphone connected to the motorcycle (all details in our Technical point page 3) !

Due to lack of time during this initial contact, MNC could not however appreciate the extent of the possibilities of this system informed by the phone’s GPS and the many sensors of the motorcycle, especially since the readability of the interface n was not exceptional while driving. Much less in any case than the ultra-complete dashboard of this incredible RSV4 !

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