Roland Sands SXV 4.5 RoadRacer Concept: Aprilia considers production

Dailies -


RSD-Aprilia-1.jpgRemember the Roland Sands SuperSingle? It seems that Aprilia has taken an interest in the project, commissioning Roland to build a one off prototype based on the SXV 4.5 supermoto. Piaggio — Aprilia’s parent company — presented this concept at its 2008 dealer meeting earlier this month to see if they thought there’d be enough customer interest to justify a production run. The interesting thing about the RoadRacer is that it only changes very few of the major components, meaning production would require very little R&D and making it more likely that we could see a version of this bike available at dealers in the near future.
>RSD-Aprilia-6.jpgIn order to convert the supermoto into the RoadRacer, the following changes were made:
- RSD SuperSingle fairing, fuel tank and tailpiece with custom brackets
- Rearset relocator brackets
- Revalved and shortened forks by RaceTech
- Slick tires on stock rims
- Custom exhaust
- Clip-ons

RSD-Aprilia-3.jpgIt’d be easy to point out the details on this bike that clash with each
other. The frame looks a little odd paired with the fairing and fuel
tank. The spoked wheels don’t match the modern diamond-shape swingarm.
But the rough and ready nature of this bike is the point. You could
build this bike in your garage right now, or you could wait for Aprilia
to do it for you. They don’t need to invest millions of dollars in new
model development; you don’t need to wait 10 years to see the fruit of
that project.

RSD-Aprilia-4.jpgDemand for a sportsbike using Aprilia’s 450 or 550cc v-twin has been
high ever since the engine was unveiled. The closest we’ve come so far
is a handful of projects — the Tucscon BT550 Superleggera for instance
– that have either shoehorned the engine into an RS250 chassis or had a
bespoke steel trellis made. This RSD RoadRacer is our best chance yet
to get a 450cc v-twin powered sportsbike that we can buy.

RSD-Aprilia-5.jpgThe RSD team will be at the Streets of Willow Spring next week getting
the suspension dialed in for riding evaluations. We’ll bring you more
info and images as they become available. 

RSD (images via Aprilia Forum)

  • lennard schuurmans

    MOTORRAD-Redakteur Werner “Mini” Koch
    made a much nicer version of this bike last year…
    you can read the story here
    and the update of the bike here
    both stories are in german…

    looks like aprilia used this idea for the roadracer

    pity they asked roland “bling bling” sands to do this project if i may say so but it still is a great idea

  • Curtis

    Sick, looks like early ’70′s road racers. Love the wire wheels, lighter and for low power waayyyy better than mags. I really want this class to become a reality!

  • shedman

    450cc twins – now this is what should be replacing 250cc GP bikes, not 600cc. Would certainly differentiate it from WSS 600s….

  • Curtis


  • Dan

    I like the look, but what would it cost to purchase? Considering the SXV 4.5 MSRP is $8800, what would this cost? Does a $10k+ 450 really sound that appealing?

    Oh I how I wish the $5500 RS125 was street legal!


  • Wes

    Dan: I think price would depend on how many they build and who they have build them. If it’s limited numbers, expect a $12-15,000 price tag.

  • Dan

    And that’s my point, that sounds even worse! If I want to get something special for that price, I’d look elsewhere and certainly for more than 450cc’s

    Maybe I’m in the minority though. It is a good looking bike, I just don’t think that good.

    Nice post though, thanks for the update.


  • Ben

    What the hell?? Because Roland Sands puts his name on it Aprilia is willing to look at putting it into production? Zoran over at put this motor in the proper RS250 chassis over a year ago. Just because you slap 17′s and race bodywork on a dirt bike does not a road racer make!

  • lenny

    surch aprilia rsx on the web and see where aprilia and roland sands found their inspiration from. beautiful bike build by MOTORRAD-Redactor werner koch.
    they build their own bike for 10.000 euro last year.

  • dimitri

    Just because you slap 17′s and race bodywork on a dirt bike does not make a road racer! this is so true.

    Tilting the chassis affects the weight distribution and fucks up the position of the pivot points. What i’ve read is that RS grinds down the welds on the chassis to give it a bit more flex. This method sounds a bit like handicraft engineering.

  • Matt Marino

    Great looking bike, fantastic concept. Opens the door to many posibilities from club racing to a replacement for the 250GP class. Wish I were 20 years younger, I would be getting excited and have to start saving beer money.

  • Gary Inman

    Why the anti-Roland Sands sentiment? He’s proved he knows what he’s on about, he’s proved people will buy what he designs and produces. It makes sense for a company like Aprilia to trust him to help bring a niche product to the market (a product that will do nothing more than raise their profile). Why choose a comparative no-one (however skilled they are)? They have the people in house that could do this in their lunchtime. Roland brings skill and, importantly, a certain kind of style to the project.
    So what if he likes shiny wheels. MotoGP bikes has pretty wheels too.

  • Gary Inman

    And he was AMA 250cc road race champion.

  • dougan

    I would love to have one of these… just for fun.

    But, the sad reality is that this class will never develop into anything more than a club series. (not in the near future).

    The Japanese manufacturers aren’t behind these bikes, and the blunt truth is that Aprilia would decimate this class… as anyone who has ridden the SXV 450/550 knows that these engines are far better for RR than SM.

    Piaggio, despite being one of the largest motorcycle manufacturers in the world, has very little swing in the racing hierarchy.

  • http://goodspeed500 dimitri

    Hi Gary,

    Good to find you here. There is no anti roland sands sentiment from me. I like what he does especially from an esthetic point of view. I do doubt his methods turning an off road motorcycle into a road racer. Many professional and champiomship winning chassis builders i’ve been in contact with will tell you it’s a no go. Pivot points, weight distribution etc all go wrong. You’ll never win le Mans with an SUV. Or do you…

  • Ben

    I didn’t mean to come out completely against Roland, though I see how it could seem that way. His customs, his work at PM, and his graphics stuff is fun. While he certainly can ride, as proven by winning the 250gp class in the AMA, it doesn’t mean that he knows how to build a road race motorcycle.

    My major issue is that he is not the only person trying to build a road racer around the 4 stroke dirt bike engines, and yet he seems to garner a ton of press for an unproven, yet admitedly nicely finished product, while others such as Tig-craft, who have a complete, developed, and race proven product, are overlooked time and time again.

  • Wes

    Ben: It’s not that people overlook Tigcraft, it’s that they aren’t interested in being interviewed or in having their bikes featured in magazines.

    By using such a huge amount of original parts, Roland may not arrive at the ideal solution, but it is one that’s cost effective and easy to produce.

  • dimitri

    The biggest problem I see with the true engineers and chassis builders it that they can make a bike work but do not know, or find it of lesser importance to make a bike look good.

    And that is where RS comes in. He knows how to do that. It seems looks are of bigger importance than handling for the general public. When it looks good it they assume it will work properly.

    In the world of the blind the one-eyed is king

  • dimitri
  • isaac

    The bike reminds me of the old RS250 GP repli-racers. However, I still don’t think a dirt bike a street bike. It would be really awesome if they’d import the RS125 here to the states. Even better than that would be to make an RS250 and then bring that one over. The RS goes for around 5 – 5.5K. I think an RS250 would be around 6.5 or even 7K.

  • isaac
  • Wes

    The RS125 is on sale in the US as a track-only bike: Aprilia Mana 850 and RS 125 go on sale in USA

    The RS250 is no longer made. Grant used to have one and constantly mourns its loss.

  • Sasha Pave

    Gorgeous! Roland has a way with bodywork. The spoke wheels give it a nice old f2 yamaha late-70′s TZ look.

  • azcalmoto

    What’s the deal with stepping back? Looks like Aprilia is losing it’s cutting edge innovative high tech look. Maybe for those who were grown ups in 70′s the nostalgic part is a kicker. I am personally getting a bit tired of all these emotions about something that had happen long before my time. Why to dwell over the past? I think current RSV looks way better than that. Aprilia is known to be a “digital bike”, why to step dpwn to analog again?

  • Eddie

    I’d rather have a 600 for $8’000.