MSRP $13,999 (MY 2012)
From World SBK to a Sunday track day
Created with the single-minded goal of being simply the best on the track and on the road, since its inception the Aprilia RSV4 has astonished the world with its looks, technology and performance. The first 65° V-4 engine ever in a sports production bike, a chassis worthy of a 250 GP, Ride By Wire, multimap engine management: all these are accomplished achievements for the Aprilia RSV4, that tops unique architecture and specs with Aprilia's signature excellent rideability brought to the next level.
A project conceived not just to create a motorcycle that delivers the utmost in performance, but one that also allows the rider to make full use of every last iota of its competitive potential.
The excellent results obtained by all of the champions who have ridden it in races are not by chance. Nonetheless, the true revolution of the new Aprilia RSV4 R APRC is that, to explore its potential and have fun, you don't have to be a world champion thanks to the exemplary balance obtained with the APRC (Aprilia Performance Ride Control) system, the exclusive traction control which can be adjusted at eight levels and is capable of self-calibrating based on the different type of tyres, wheelie control, starting assistance and the electronic gearbox.
Concrete assistance for the bike's rideability which gives the rider more confidence and control in conditions at the limit, helping to identify the most efficient trajectories and making the ride less taxing from the psycho-physical point of view.
The introduction of such advanced technology in mass production is the demonstration of Aprilia's enormous design capacity which has developed all of the RSV4 Factory SBK electronics "in house" which were ridden to the world championship by Max Biaggi and from which the dynamic controls platform applied to the new RSV4 R APRC were derived.
With this new version the Aprilia staff has made it possible to build a bike which is faster on the track but at the same time more "communicative" for the widest range of riding experience and capability, fine tuning what can be considered the patriarch of a new generation of supersport bikes.
State of art technology
This new technology is brought together in the APRC (Aprilia Performance Ride Control) package, basically the state of the art in dynamic performance control, a multi-patented system that makes Superbike winning technology available to professional racing riders and hobby riders alike. All this comes in an easy to use, intuitive package.
Aprilia RSV4 R APRC's improvements are not limited to the electronic management system. The 65° V4 engine offers improved lubrication and closer spaced gears for better acceleration. The new, lighter exhaust features an advanced butterfly valve management system to suit the Ride By Wire mapping for improved breathing and efficiency throughout the RPM range.
The Aprilia RSV4 R APRC also receives new and lighter wheels with three double-spokes
All of the innovations on the R APRC
The new features introduced in the Aprilia RSV4 R APRC in detail:
APRC Aprilia Performance Ride Control, the electronic management package including:
- ATC: Aprilia Traction Control automatically adjusts to different types of tyres, with 8 settings conveniently selectable while racing from a joystick on the left handlebar without turning down the throttle;
- AWC: Aprilia Wheelie Control with three settings;
- ALC: Aprilia Launch Control, for use on the track only, with 3 settings;
- AQS: Aprilia Quick Shift, for ultra-fast shifting without closing the throttle or using the clutch.
Dual display mode for instrument panel display: ROAD and RACE;
New exhaust is lighter and offers improved performance;
Optimised gear ratios for the utmost track performance;
Improved engine lubrication;
Lighter three double-spoke wheels.
APRC APRILIA PERFORMANCE RIDE CONTROL
In the wake of the success achieved by the RSV4 Factory SE, the Aprilia Performance Ride Control system now comes to the R version. The package uses an automotive inertial sensor platform with two gyrometers and two accelerometers allowing the ECU to recognise the dynamic conditions of the bike and adapt the engine management parameters accordingly. The rider can adjust any component of the APRC system independently at will.
ATC: the traction control system of the future
The ATC- Aprilia Traction Control undoubtedly is one of the greatest strengths of the APRC package. This is a fully innovative traction control system developed from an Aprilia patent, mainly focussed on helping the rider improve his lap times. Thanks to the inertial platform and the Ride By Wire pioneered by Aprilia, the ATC not only reduces torque when the rear wheel slips but lets the rider control tail sliding when exiting a bend, giving him a better feel for throttle control, depending on lean angle.
Aprilia ATC is quickly, easily activated from the instrument panel menu and offers 8 settings. When the ATC is enabled, the rider can change setting in an instant at any time using a joystick on the left handlebar to suit track, pavement or tyre conditions, without closing the throttle and keeping his hands on the handlebar, as in professional motorcycle racing. This way, the system can adjust to every single bend of any track so as to meet the specific requirements of any rider, including the most expert ones.
The other incredible achievement of Aprilia technology is the system's "learning capacity". Current traction control systems are designed and optimised for a single size and type of tyre. This limit frequently cancels the benefits of traction control. Aprilia Traction Control (ATC) has overcome this limit: a procedure activated by the rider enables the system to learn the tyre radius and final ratio adopted on the bike to obtain fine-tuned traction control.
AWC: stability at top acceleration
Exploiting the full power of modern superbikes down to the very last HP is every rider's dream. Aprilia's AWC (Aprilia Wheelie Control) has achieved extraordinary results. Thanks to the exclusive Aprilia patented Wheelie Detection System, the AWC is able to “tell” when a wheelie begins and ends and kicks in to smoothen wheel contact with the road. Smooth, soft wheelie management avoids harsh power cuts or pick-up, providing perfect acceleration control. The AWC system is activated from the instrument panel and can be adjusted independently from other control systems choosing from three settings to better meet rider requirements.
ALC: the best holeshot
The perfect start is yet another racer's dream, because a good start frequently means you're half way towards a victory. When the lights go out, handling the huge power of modern superbikes is no easy task. Unless the bike handles it itself to offer its best starting performance. The ALC (Aprilia Launch Control) system ensures an instant start as the lights go out, applying full power to the road to assist the rider in this critical moment of the race. All the rider needs to do is give full throttle and release the clutch as he normally would and shift gears. The ALC has three settings that can be selected from the instrument panel menu, then it must be “armed” at standstill, by squeezing both traction control buttons on the left handlebar joystick at the same time.
AQS: record-breaking shifting
When you're after the utmost lap performance, you can't afford to waste even one thousandth of a second in an apparently simple operation like shifting. RSV4 R APRC comes with the Aprilia Quick Shift as standard. Basically, the quick shift shortens spark advance for an instant and then gradually restores it, making for super-fast shifting with no need to close the throttle or use the clutch. The system works hand in hand with the new closer spaced gearbox to limit RPM drop during shifting for faster lap times. To optimise AQS performance, Aprilia engineers have fine-tuned power cut timing based on shifting RPM.
Aprilia RSV4 R represents the beginning of a new generation of hypersports motorcycles: with its essential concept and pure design, it eschews an overfaired look in favour of body elements pared down to the bare minimum necessary for aerodynamic efficiency. The breathtaking beauty of the mechanicals reveals a bike that achieves levels of compactness which, until now, had only been possible in much smaller engined machines and GP prototypes. State of the art technology for the engine and chassis, coupled with extraordinary usability, make this the perfect companion for the rider who wants to reach and redefine his limits with unparalleled feeling and ease.
These aspects of the project not only give the bike such incredible performance but are also what make it so easy to put every last horsepower to good use. Nothing about this bike is commonplace, and this is even true about the technical solutions adopted - this is the world's first full scale production motorcycle with a high performance narrow V4 engine, the most revolutionary and powerful engine ever built by Aprilia. Together with the fully integrated electronics, record breaking lightness and extreme compactness, this engine gives the bike its unique, unmistakable character.
World class components: the fully adjustable upside down front fork and Sachs rear shock, manufactured to Aprilia specifications, ensure superlative performance and offer the rider incredible feedback for absolute control in any situation. The Brembo brakes with radial monobloc callipers, ultralight alloy wheel rims featuring a new design and the steering damper ensure the utmost in safety in all riding conditions.
With these attributes, it is clear that the RSV4 R APRC is the new benchmark for the full scale production superbike segment. The unique characteristics of the bike are listed as follows:
RSV4 R APRC highlights:
• APRC fitted as standard
• Advanced exhaust butterfly valve management
• Fully adjustable Sachs upside down front fork
• Fully adjustable Sachs shock absorber
• Sachs steering damper
• Lighter new wheels cast in lightweight alloy with three double-spokes
While the incredible APRC system is without a doubt the most important new feature introduced with this latest version of the RSV4, there has also been a raft of significant updates made to the engine of the RSV4 R APRC, drawn from experience in competition to improve its already legendary technical and mechanical characteristics.
Aprilia RSV4 is the only production super sport bike using a narrow 65° V four-cylinder engine with unique features. Extremely compact, as slim as a twin-cylinder to fit in an ultra-compact chassis, the 65° V4 engine was and still is the epitome of Italian engineering ingenuity.
The Aprilia 65° V4 engine specifications in short:
Engine capacity: 999.6 cc
Architecture: 65° V4
Crankcase: monobloc with integrated crankcase liners
Timing system: 4 valves per cylinder (Titanium and Nymonic) operated directly by a camshaft driven by a mixed chain/gear system, lateral timing chain, central gear train
Fuel system: Electronic injection with 2 injectors per cylinder and integrated independent Ride by Wire system for each bank. Three mappings selectable from handlebar.
Compression ratio: 13:1
Transmission: 6-speed direct-control cassette type gearbox
Clutch: Multiplate wet clutch with mechanical slipper system
Electronic management: Magneti Marelli control unit managing ignition, injection and Ride by Wire system.
APRC system for dynamic control
The narrow V architecture translates into an engine that is incredibly compact in length, offering advantages in terms of mass centralisation and an extremely high performance chassis (short wheelbase, long swingarm).
The innovative timing system (with the chain camshaft driving only the intake camshaft, which in turn drives the exhaust camshaft via a gear) has made extremely compact heads (just 250 mm at the rear of the engine) especially in the area beneath the frame spars, which are thus much narrower than would otherwise be possible.
A countershaft dampens vibrations even more than in a 90° V engine.
The monobloc crankcase with integrated aluminium cylinder liners ensures maximum rigidity and consistent performance.
The electronic management system is another example of the 65° V4 engine's technological supremacy. Full Ride-by-Wire technology eliminates any direct connection between the throttle grip and the throttle valves, which are entirely controlled by a latest generation Marelli control unit that also controls the ignition and the 8 injectors (the 4 secondary fan pattern injectors come into play at high loads).
Each bank has a dedicated servo unit actuating its own two throttle bodies only. This means that the aperture of the throttle valves and, as a consequence, the quantity of fuel injected, can be controlled independently. This solution, applied here for the first time ever in a production bike, opens up practically infinite possibilities for power delivery control and works hand in hand with the APRC system.
The transmission has also been designed to the meet most advanced criteria to offer the maximum performance possible. To underscore the racing soul of the 65° V4 engine, it is mated to a cassette gearbox with a wet sump lubrication system (with oil in the crankcase). The wet clutch features a mechanical slipper system for optimised engine braking torque control and stability under hard braking.
The 65° V4 was one of the most advanced engines in the world at the time of its debut. The new RSV4 R APRC underwent a number of refinements and further improvements based on the world superbike racing experience with the factory bike. The new exhaust and engine mappings make for optimal power delivery. Lubrication has been improved at critical points, the countershaft runs in ball bearings rather than plain bushings and the head cooling circuit has been reviewed for optimal operating temperatures and long-term reliability.
Combustion chambers and cylinder-piston fits have also been revised for optimal engine performance. The three lowest gears are spaced closer for extra speed out of bends. The advanced exhaust butterfly valve management system improved delivery in the low rpm band and reduces emissions while preserving the engine's thrilling sound.
Aprilia bikes have always been world famous for the superiority of these chassis. RSV4 R raises the bar even higher with a totally state of the art chassis architecture which, drawing from the expertise accumulated by Aprilia in years of racing and victories, tames the explosive power of the V4 engine to offer the rider absolute control over the bike.
Quite simply, the RSV4 R is the best package available today for the rider demanding the utmost in performance in a bike that is as exciting as a track day machine as it is fun to ride on the open road.
Perfect mass centralisation is just one of the great strengths of the RSV4 R frame. This has been achieved by optimising every tiny detail. As on a racing machine, the fuel tank is positioned so that the majority of the fuel sits under the saddle optimising bike balance and cancelling out handling differences between full and empty tank conditions.
In keeping with consolidated Aprilia traditions, the aluminium frame of the RSV4 R exploits the strength and flexibility of cast and pressed elements, which are welded together in a structure setting new benchmarks in terms of balance and dynamic efficiency. The result is maximum torsional stiffness and flexional stiffness optimised for total bike control. This means that the Aprilia RSV4 R is not just a bike with devastating performance, but one whose greatest strength is precisely the incredible ease with which any rider can access its full potential. The swingarm also uses the same constructional technology as the frame and offers the same perfect balance between flexional and torsional stiffness to contribute to the extraordinary handling capabilities of the RSV4 R.
The unique construction technology of the frame and swingarm allows them both to proudly flaunt the naturally gleaming colour of aluminium, yet another feature that is increasingly rarer in production bikes that contributes to pure racing look of the RSV4 R.
Completing the chassis is a superlative suspension layout - the upside down Sachs fork has 43 mm diameter stanchions and features adjustable spring preload and hydraulic compression and rebound damping.
The Sachs rear shock was developed from experience learned directly on the track. This sock absorber boasts a piggy back nitrogen canister (separate and mounted on the body of the unit) and adjustable spring preload, compression and rebound damping and length, allowing the height of the rear end of the bike to be altered to modify the set-up to suit different riding styles and tracks.
Completing the package is a steering damper, also by Sachs, which ensures impeccable high speed stability and millimetre precision in setting the bike up for turns.
A real Superbike is special not only as far as performance is concerned but also for the care it is built with. The details on the RSV4 R speak volumes of a bike built with an obsessive attention to every single aspect, both technical and otherwise.
The following are just some of the most significant class leading components used:
- 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. This is a fully fledged on-board computer, with a dot matrix display set against a minimalist, ultramodern and compact design. Its functions have been improved and are all accessible from three easy to use buttons.
- Headlight: the triple headlamp layout is not just a reference to the legendary original RSV Mille, but designed to offer total night time visibility.
- Electrical system: designed from the outset to offer maximum functionality and rationality with minimum weight. The result is an extremely clean and compact layout that makes for easier maintenance and is ready for track use, as all components relative to the lights and turn indicators are easily removable.
The RSV4R can dress in two different liveries: The aggressive and vibrant "competition black" with metallic brilliance which is similar to the Factory version, or in the bright "Glam White" tone, the current trendy colour in the supersport sector.