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APRILIA RSV4 FACTORY: 2009 MOTOGP SUPERBIKE WILL COME TO STREET – FAST AND EASY HANDLE – REVIEW AND TECH SPECS

By • Apr 19th, 2009 • Category: ! Daily Info & Reviews, Vehicles
APRILIA RSV4 FACTORY: 2009 MOTOGP SUPERBIKE WILL COME TO STREET - FAST AND EASY HANDLE - REVIEW AND TECH SPECS

Aprilia’s RSV4 Factory could well be 2009’s best production sportsbike. It certainly surpasses Yamaha‘s new road-going YZF-R1 and Ducati’s 1198 where looks are concerned.  This new benchmark in the street legal superbike sector. A race machine in GP to the downlane of street will be outstanding. A dream for each every superbike fan to have their own factory. The unique characteristics of the bike are listed as follows:
 
Compact, innovative design
New – and unique – 65° V4 cylinder engine
Multi-adjustable perimetral aluminium alloy frame
Adjustable engine position relative within frame
Asymmetric aluminium swingarm
Öhlins Racing full adjustable fork and rear monoshock.
 
 The new RSV4 is not only the company’s first four-cylinder machine, it also boasts the first engine designed entirely in-house at Aprilia, on top of which the bike is pitched into the most fiercely competitive and unforgiving territory of all, the superbike class.

That means it’s up against Honda’s benchmark Fireblade, the technically exciting Yamaha R1, the insanely fast Kawasaki ZX-10R Ninja, the perennially brilliant Suzuki GSX-R1000 and, of course, Ducati’s stunning 1198 S.
There’s no lack of ambition: 25 million euros have been poured into the development of the RSV4 with the aim of creating the No 1 superbike. There were no preconceptions or traditions hampering the design team either, so when their computer-simulated track-performance calculations showed that a four-cylinder bike would be quicker than a twin or a triple, that’s what they made, settling on a narrow-angle, 65 degree V-four as the most compact and effective. The target figures were 177bhp and 85lb ft of torque, numbers achieved using a fly-by-wire throttle system, variable-length intake ducts and two fuel injectors per cylinder.
APRILIA RSV4 FACTORY: 2009 MOTOGP SUPERBIKE WILL COME TO STREET - FAST AND EASY HANDLE - REVIEW AND TECH SPECS
The chassis engineers demanded as short an engine as possible to fit the longest possible swingarm within a very short wheelbase (the best option for agility and rear-wheel traction), while the focus throughout was on minimising weight, rtesulting in a dry weight of 395lb.
The first version of the RSV4 to become available is the Factory, the high-spec option with Öhlins suspension, Brembo Monobloc brakes and forged aluminium wheels. A lower-cost standard version will be available in September, although the final  RSV4 specification and RSV4 price haven’t been decided yet.
The whole machine is neatly styled by Miguel Galluzzi, head of design at Aprilia and known for the Ducati Monster and Cagiva Raptor. The look is unmistakably Aprilia with a triple headlamp arrangement that has the outer lights floating above the air intakes. But what really matters is how the bike rides, sounds and feels.
Despite the RSV4’s compact dimensions it accepts riders as tall as my 6ft 3in without having to fold limbs unnaturally, although you do feel perched on top. Fire it up and the motor responds rapidly with a deep, almost V-twin-like note, surprisingly loud and snarlingly angry. It sends tingles up your spine before you’ve even pulled in the clutch lever.
The engine is deliciously smooth, with just enough vibration to let you know it’s busy. It feels great, like a rev-happy V-twin with a Jurassic soundtrack. The engine map switch offers either track, road, or wet-weather responses, the latter cutting power by 25 per cent. The gentle option, even in our wet conditions, wasn’t necessary as throttle control is good enough in the normal setting. The track option is very aggressive, so much so that even Aprilia superbike rider Shinya Nakano thought it was too much.
This would be an astonishingly accomplished motorcycle as a development of a long line of superbikes, but as a blank-sheet first attempt it is going to cause serious upset. Judging any bike in conditions such as these is difficult but the RSV4 felt so good in so many ways,
APRILIA RSV4 FACTORY: 2009 MOTOGP SUPERBIKE WILL COME TO STREET - FAST AND EASY HANDLE - REVIEW AND TECH SPECS
The production machine looks tiny, more like a Honda CBR600RR than a 180bhp ballistic missile. It also gets the three power mode buttons – the first unleashes the full 180bhp, the second softens the delivery for road riding, and the third cuts power to 25% for poor conditions. And then there’s that all-new 999.6cc, 65º V4 engine.
Press the starter button and the RSV4 growls into action. It sounds unmistakably V-twin Aprilia, but with a howling, sexy MotoGP V-four overtone.
But not the RSV4. It’s completely different. The engineers focused on mass centralisation and the resulting extreme agility reminds of the best handling 600cc supersport out there – Honda’s CBR600RR.
It changes direction on thought alone, can’t believe this bike packs a litre engine, it’s a true world-class racebike. It goes where you want and holds a tight line, with perfect, strong brakes that are progressive enough not to lock the front in the downpour (as long as you’re careful), and a slipper clutch that lets you bang down the gears without unsettling the rear.
The search for greater lightness led to implementation of new forged aluminium rims. The original design further decreases the weight (approximately 1 kg less than the RSV 1000 twin) which, together with the new brake discs, minimises unsprung mass and rotating mass inertia, benefiting motorcycle responsiveness.
APRILIA RSV4 FACTORY: 2009 MOTOGP SUPERBIKE WILL COME TO STREET - FAST AND EASY HANDLE - REVIEW AND TECH SPECS
The following components are worth pointing out:
– Instrument panel: the mixed type (digital-analogue), it receives all the information from the CAN line and becomes an integral and crucial part of the self-diagnosis system as it is fitted with memory. It is a real onboard computer, fitted with a dot matrix display inserted in a minimal, extremely modern and compact design that provides all the information relating to the use of the motorcycle, including: shift light, engaged gear indication, indication of the engine map being used and chronometer with time storing memory. Its functionality was improved to reach a level that is even better than that of the best products available on the market, all use modes are controlled from the left hand switchgear unit so the hands can always remain on the handlebar.
 
– the front headlamp uses three elements that call to mind of the first RSV 1000 twin, proving to be perfectly integrated, even from the structural point of view, with the top fairing and creating a very distinctive front. The parabolic mirror was designed with modern calculation systems that led to an excellent result: maximum visibility at night with reduced weight and size.
 
– The electrical system was designed in order to achieve maximum functionality, rationality and minimum weight: the result is an extremely clean and compact layout that makes maintenance operations easier and is preset for use on the racetrack as the parts dedicated to the headlamps can be easily removed. Even the turn indicators – with the front indicators incorporated in the rear view mirrors and the rear indicators in the license plate holder – can be removed quickly for use on the track, the real hunting ground of Aprilia RSV4 Factory.
RSV4 Factory Technical specs
Engine: Aprilia longitudinal 65° V-4 cylinder, 4-stroke, liquid cooling system, double overhead camshafts (DOHC), four valves per cylinder
Fuel: Unleaded gasoline
Bore x Stroke: 78 x 52.3 mm
Total displacement: 999.6 cc
Compression ratio: 13:1
Maximum power at the crank: 180 CV (132,4 kW) a 12.500 rpm
POWER/TORQUE: 177bhp@12,500rpm/85lb ft@10,000rpm
Maximum torque at the crank: 115 Nm a 10.000 rpm
TOP SPEED: 175mph
Fuel system: Airbox with front dynamic air intakes. Variable length intake ducts controlled via ECU. 4 Weber-Marelli 48-mm throttle bodies with 8 injectors and latest generation Ride-by-Wire engine management. Choice of three different engine maps selectable by the rider with bike in motion Track Sport Road
Ignition: Magneti Marelli digital electronic ignition system integrated in engine control system, with one spark plug per cylinder and “stick-coil”-type coils
Starting: Electric
Exhaust: system 4 into 2 into 1 layout, single oxygen sensor, lateral single silencer with engine control unit-controlled butterfly valve and integrated trivalent catalytic converter (Euro 3)
Generator: Flywheel mounted 420W alternator with rare earth magnets
Lubrification: Wet sump lubrication system with oil radiator and two oil pumps (lubrication and cooling)
Gear box: 6-speed cassette type gearbox 1st: 39/15 (2.6) 2nd: 33/16 (2,063) 3rd: 34/20 (1.7) 4th: 32/22 (1,455) 5th: 34/26 (1,308) 6th: 33/27 (1,222)
Clutch: Multi-disc oil-bath, with mechanical slipper system
Primary drive: Straight cut gears and integrated flexible coupling, drive ratio: 73/44 (1,659)
Final drive: Chain: Drive ratio: 40/16 (2,5)
Frame: Twin-spar adjustable aluminium frame, with castings and pressings. Envisaged adjustments: • headstock position and rake • engine height • swingarm pin height Öhlins adjustable steering dumper
Front suspension: Öhlins Racing upside-down fork, 43-mm stanchions (with Tin surface treatment). Low profile forged aluminium radial caliper mountings. Completely adjustable spring preload and hydraulic compression and rebound damping. Wheel travel: 120 mm
Rear suspension: Twin sided aluminium swingarm; mixed low thickness and sheet casting technology. Öhlins Racing monoshock with piggyback with completely adjustable: spring preload, wheelbase and hydraulic compression and rebound damping. APS progressive linkages. Wheel travel: 130 mm
Brakes: Front: Dual 320-mm diameter floating stainless steel disc with lightweight stainless steel rotor and aluminium flange with 6 pins. Brembo monobloc radial callipers with 4 34-mm opposite. Sintered pads. Radial pump and metal braided brake hose. Rear: 220-mm diameter disc; Brembo floating caliper with two 32-mm isolated pistons. Sintered pads. Pump with integrated tank and metal braided hose.
Wheels: Aprilia forged aluminium alloy rims, completely machined, 5 split spokes. Front:3.5”X17” Rear: 6”X17”
Tyres: Radial tubeless. Front: 120/70 ZR 17 Rear: 190/55 ZR 17 (alternative: 190/50 ZR 17)
Dimensions: (default settings) Max. length: 2040 mm Max. width: 735 mm (at the handlebar) Max. height: 1120 mm Min. height from the ground: 130 mm Saddle height: 845 mm Centre to centre distance: 1420 mm Trail: 105 mm Steering angle: 24.5°
Dry weight: 179 kg *
Fuel tank capacity: 17 litres (4-litre reserve included)
Other: *Dry weight, without battery and fluids.
PRICE/AVAILABILITY: £14,999.
ALTERNATIVES:
Ducati 1198S, £16,495.
Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade, £9,521.
Kawasaki ZX-10R Ninja, £8,913.
Suzuki GSX-R1000, £9,800.
Yamaha YZF-R1, £9,999.
VERDICT: Character of a twin-cylinder bike with the performance of a four. Potential class leader.
APRILIA RSV4 FACTORY: 2009 MOTOGP SUPERBIKE WILL COME TO STREET - FAST AND EASY HANDLE - REVIEW AND TECH SPECS
ACCESSORIES
 
A complete range of accessories is available for Aprilia RSV4 fans:
 
– Akrapovic racing exhaust system
– Öhlins TTX36 rear shock absorber
– adjustable footpegs
– racing half-handlebars
– fairing protection pads
– high top fairing
– fairing caps for rear mirrors
– rear stand pins
– license plate retainer cover
– motorcycle cover
– dedicated stand
– carbon heelrests
– tank cover with backpack
– tail fairing bag
– carbon exhaust system protection
– carbon fairing pullers.
 
Then there is a series of options – many of which designed and manufactured specifically for racetrack use. Complementing these options are a dedicated suit and helmet.

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