Aprilia initially thought at the RSV4 R superbike as to an affordable version of the RSV4 Factory and ended up calling it “the world’s most exclusive motorcycle.” While we cannot agree with the Italian motorcycle manufacturer on that matter as their Factory model is obviously the uncompromising and much more expensive motorcycle (which is precisely what makes it exclusive), we do like the fact that performance figures haven’t been reduced and they still managed to offer it for a $16K price tag.
The basic principle behind this new Italian motorcycle was to retain the original engine performance of the Factory version and yet replace all other components that made it expensive in an attempt to allow more people to enjoy the thrill of riding an Aprilia RSV4. So the engine remains the same ultra-compact, 999.6 cc 65-degree V4 cylinder capable of no more or less than 180 hp and 115 Nm.
The engine configuration itself makes the 2010 Aprilia RSV4 R "the only V4 available today powering a roadgoing hypersports bike," but behind the impressive performance figures is the latest generation Ride-by-Wire engine management working together with an electronic injection system with dual injectors per cylinder to allow the use of three selectable engine maps (Track, Sport and Road), a Magneti Marelli digital electronic ignition system integrated in engine control system, with one spark plug per cylinder and “stick-coil”-type coils, while the 4 into 2 into 1 exhaust layout allows for the use of a single lateral silencer and a single lambda probe. This, together with the engine control unit-controlled butterfly valve and integrated trivalent catalytic converter, helps this very powerful engine meet Euro 3 regulations.
It is more than obvious that there were no concessions made in the engine department and everybody did expect the new bike to still get the aluminum frame and swingarm, completely adjustable suspension as well as Brembo brakes with monobloc calipers and radial caliper mounts despite its budget orientation. Now the wheels aren’t forged, but cast aluminum, the suspension components are cheaper and the multitude of carbon fiber pieces found on the RSV4 Factory is replaced by aluminum and plastic ones on the RSV4 R.
The fact that Aprilia worked to deliver the same engine and chassis performance and lowered the price at a level that makes the RSV4 R truly competitive means that the bike now stands even better chances to sell when put against the 2010 BMW S1000RR (RSV’s fiercest opponent) or the Japanese square: Honda CBR1000RR , Yamaha R1 , Suzuki GSX-R1000 and Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R . Still, you must note that all these competing bikes are powered by inline-four cylinder engines of comparable performances, while the RSV4 R brings in a whole new type of engine for this segment. Those who want that will definitely go for the Italian bike.
Compared to the Factory model, the first thing you notice about this motorcycle is the fact that it doesn’t get that expensive look which screams “buy me if you can afford me.” Don’t look for carbon fiber and magnesium panels and casings because you’ll find plastic and aluminum instead, but the original Aprilia RSV design was kept. This means that you get the same compact body and ultra-short tail fairing, but not the attractive Black/Red color scheme. Instead, the RSV4 R comes in either simple Black or classy White, which is Aprilia’s final and successful attempt to set the bike apart from its much more expensive brother, but in the end, the family features are there to make it stand out wherever it is ridden.
"The engine is basically the same, without some of the Factory’s advanced electronics, but the chassis parts are slightly lower-spec. Despite this it’s still a beautifully-balanced technology-packed Italian missile." – MCN
“At any rpm the engine runs smoothly with virtually no vibration being transferred through the handlebars, proof that the internal counterbalance is perfectly calibrated. Overall the engine’s outright power feels somewhat comparable to the new Yamaha R1.” – motorcycle-usa
“While the motor pulls strong from the bottom, it does not have the grunt of a V-twin or even the CBR1000 for that matter. Hit the 7,500 RPM mark and the RSV4R truly comes to life in an impressive manner; this V4 has one serious punch in the mid-range.” – webbikeworld
“Power is now everywhere and the chassis feather-light, switching from side to side through the chicanes with ease, just as long as you don’t stray off the line. That’s because the RSV4 R is actually a racebike. Y’ know, a real racebike- aggressive, intimidating and incredibly fast.” – hellforleathermagazine
"The interesting thing about the RSV4 R is that despite the extra weight it still handles like a dream. The frame and swingarm can’t be adjusted in all the ways the Factory can, but you really need to spend a lot of time on a racetrack to utilize that adjustability." – motorcycle
“I’m very tempted to say that the 2010 Aprilia RSV4 R is the best handling motorcycle available out there. There are other motorcycles that handle just as solid and safe, but not quite with the same overall easiness of it all. The mass centralization is supreme, and all 180 horsepower is kept in check at all times through all the aluminum goodness.” – ultimatemotorcycling
The biggest goal that Aprilia pursued with this new approach towards the RSV concept was to be able to offer the bike for under $20K and the $15,999 MSRP says mission accomplished by far.
With the RSV4 Factory , Aprilia had, and still does, one hell of a bike in their hands, but the fact that it addresses to riders with exclusivity in mind didn’t quite turn out to be the easiest way towards profit and that’s what the 2010 RSV4 R comes to fix by addressing to a broader group of riders.
Engine and Transmission
- Type: Aprilia longitudinal 65° V-4 cylinder, 4-stroke, liquid cooling system, double overhead camshafts (DOHC), four valves per cylinder
- Bore x stroke: 78 x 52.3 mm
- Total engine capacity: 999.6 cc
- Compression ratio: 13:1
- Maximum power at crankshaft: 180 CV (132.4 kW) at 12,500 rpm
- Maximum torque at crankshaft: 115 Nm at 10,000 rpm
- Fuel system: Airbox with front dynamic air intakes. 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: T (Track), S (Sport), R (Road)
- Ignition: Magneti Marelli digital electronic ignition system integrated in engine control system, with one spark plug per cylinder and “stick-coil”-type coils
- Exhaust system: 4 into 2 into 1 layout, single lambda probe, lateral single silencer with engine control unit-controlled butterfly valve and integrated trivalent catalytic converter (Euro 3)
- Lubrication: Wet sump lubrication system with oil radiator and two oil pumps (lubrication and cooling)
- Clutch: Multi-disc oil-bath, with mechanical slipper system
Chassis and Dimensions
- Frame: Aluminium dual spar frame with cast and pressed elements. Sachs steering damper
- Front suspension: Upside-down Showa fork with Æ 43 mm stanchions. Aluminium radial calliper mounts. Completely adjustable spring preload and hydraulic compression and rebound damping. Wheel travel 120 mm
- Rear suspension: Double braced aluminium swingarm; mixed low thickness and sheet casting technology. Sachs piggy back monoshock with completely adjustable: spring preload, wheelbase, hydraulic compression and rebound damping. APS progressive linkage. Wheel travel 130 mm
- Front Brake: 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 Æ 34-mm opposite. Sintered pads. Radial pump and metal braided brake hose
- Rear Brake: 220-mm diameter disc; Brembo calliper with two Æ 32 mm isolated pistons. Sintered pads. Pump with integrated tank and metal braided hose
- Front Rim: Aluminium alloy with 6 split spokes - 3.5”X17”
- Rear Rim: Aluminium alloy with 5 split spokes - 6”X17”
- Front Tyre: Radial tubeless 120/70 ZR 17
- Rear Tyre: Radial tubeless 190/55 ZR 17 (alternative: 190/50 ZR 17)
- 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°
- Kerb weight (without battery and fluids): 184 kg
- Tank: 17 litres (4-litre reserve included)