The design of the new Aprilia RXV 4.5/5.5 model year 2008 owes much to the concept of constant evolution in the name of competition. Experience gained in the Enduro World Championship, which saw Aprilia Racing at the top of the field, plus valuable hints and suggestions from four times world champion Stefan Merriman, the team’s top rider, have enabled Aprilia’s engineers and designer to transfer advances from racing to production. Impressive team work has led to a number of major improvements over the 2007 bike, making the 2008 RXV even more “race ready”, and better equipped to satisfy the demands of professionals and amateurs alike.
Aesthetically, the 2008 RXV looks meaner than ever thanks to new graphics, a two-tone black and red seat, brand new, lightweight racing headlight, and a distinctly aggressive nose. Even the tail light is new. In conjunction with general refinements, these important new details have also led to a significant reduction in dry weight, down by 4 kg to only 113 kg.
A great deal of work has also been done to ensure the sort of ergonomics needed for effective competition use. The new fuel tank blends in better with the overall design of the bike, enabling the rider to shift his weight around more easily. The new handlebars have eliminated the cross-bar and feature more practical and race-oriented controls. The latest RXV makes it even easier for man and machine to blend into one, without any annoying interference from structural parts. The suspension (featuring a 45 mm upside down fork at the front and a monoshock at the rear) also incorporates new settings suggested by the team official riders, for improved stability on fast sections and better damping over rough ground.
A perimeter frame envelops the revolutionary, powerful, yet reliable four stroke 77° V twin engine (with liquid cooling, single overhead cam with rocker operated exhaust valves, chain cam drive, 4 titanium valves, and electronic fuel injection). Though now homologated to Euro 3 standard, blistering performance is guaranteed from both engine sizes, 449 cc (RXV 4.5) and 549 cc ( RXV 5.5).
The main improvements to the engine on the 2008 bike concern the electronic management system. This now lets you switch between two different mappings by pressing an easy-to-reach button on the handlebars. This extremely useful feature allows you to select "full power" for use under conditions of good grip or a "soft" setting for more controllable power over challenging surfaces. This exceptional riding aid has been appreciated by expert riders (the system was first tried out in the world championship), and enthusiasts in general. With it, one click is all you need to have the right power to match changing conditions.
Despite their truly impressive performance, both versions of the engine now boast extended service intervals, among the longest in the category.
The choke is new too, and has been moved from the handlebars to the filter box, which contains a new sponge filter derived from the official racing machines. The 2008 model year RXV also offers a choice of two types of exhaust silencer. The RXV 2008 is fitted as standard with classical and seductive under-seat tail pipes. Exceptionally, however, brand new stainless steel side mounted silencers that can be fitted on racing circuits are also delivered along with the bike. These have been specially developed in conjunction with Arrow to deliver smoother power right across the useful engine speed range.
Completing the list of innovations are brand new, ultra-compact, ultra-light digital instruments designed to give you all the information you need, and restyled direction indicators.
Engine: 77° V twin four stroke. Liquid cooled. Single overhead cam with rocker operated exhaust valves, chain cam drive, 4 valve heads, titanium valves.
Fuel: Lead-free petrol.
Bore x stroke: 80 x 55 mm
Total displacement: 549 cc
Compression ratio: 12:1
Fuel system: Integrated engine management system controlling ignition and fuel injection.
Throttle body: 40 mm
Starting: Electric starting.
Alternator: 340 W.
Lubrication: Dry sump with external oil tank. Separate gearbox lubrication.
Gearbox: 5 speed.
Enduro gear ratios: 1st 12/31; 2nd 13/25; 3rd 15/23; 4th 19/24; 5th 21/22
Clutch: Multi-plate in oil bath, cable operated.
Primary drive: Spur gears.
Transmission ratio: 22/56.
Final drive: Chain.
Transmission ratio: 15/48.
Frame: Steel perimeter frame with alloy vertical members.
Front suspension: Ø 45 mm upside down fork, double adjustment.
Rear suspension: Box section aluminium swingarm with cast body. Hydraulic monoshock with compression and rebound adjustment.
- Front: Ø 270 mm stainless steel disc with floating caliper.
- Rear: Ø 240 mm stainless steel disc with floating caliper.
Wheels: Light alloy.
- Front: 1.60 x 21”
- Rear: 2.15 x 18”
- Front: 90/90 x 21”
- Rear: 140/80 x 18”
Overall length: 2,222 mm;
Overall width: 800 mm;
Ground clearance: 396 mm;
Seat height: 996 mm;
Wheelbase: 1,495 mm
Dry weight: 250 lbs.
Fuel tank: Capacity 7.8 litres