2010 Aprilia RSV4 R: Initial Report

HFL, Positions, Reviews -

By

ApriliaRSV4R-post.jpgAt $15,999 the 2010 Aprilia RSV4 R is the cut price RSV4, substituting
the Factory’s Ohlins suspension and adjustable motor mounts for a sub
$20 grant price tag. But maybe that’s not the way to look at it. Maybe
the R is finally the red-blooded exotic superbike for those of us who
work for a living, but are tired of anodyne me-too superbikes from
Japan. Budget or bargain?

Click below for the feature.
Initial Report: 2010 Aprilia RSV4 R

  • Nick

    Gorgeous! Great pictures along with the write-up. I am looking forward to reading more about riding the bike. I hope you enjoyed your trip to Italy.

  • Chris

    Well, for $16k you could have the RSV4 or the new BMW superbike in the non-holy-mother-of-fuck-is-that-ugly colorway.

    • http://www.dainese.com DaineseDan

      Please, God, tell me you’re kidding. You honestly think this bike is ugly, but the BMW is not?!? Time for a new prescription!

  • M.P.

    I like this better than the “other” Italian bike.

  • vic

    it looks better in person,the build quality/attention to detail is way better than on the 1198,more similar to what mv agusta used to have.it’s not a cut-price version because it doesn’t skimp on the important bits but saves on the stuff that only really picky track day riders will ever use.who the hell can set up a frame/engine/suspensions combination or even know what feedback to give to the guy setting it up.and these will be very track specific conditions so they are of little or no use on the street or on your favourite twisty route down the mountains.if you want carbon fiber details you can always buy aftermarket parts

  • http://setthemfree.tumblr.com Sasha Pave

    Aprilia have certainly stepped it up this year, can’t wait to read the ride report.

  • Ray

    Y’know, Erik Buell started at H-D as one of the designers of the Nova V-4 project back in ’83 until they killed it when the first Interceptor appeared. Wonder if he’d consider working for Piaggio. I’d let him customize my Guzzi V11 Sport any day.

  • Mitch

    Look forward to continuing reviews of this bike, such a great look.

    I see the traditional style steering damper; was this unit effective? I know that’s a hard question to ask, since well adjusted units are nearly imperceptible if they’re working, but I’ve read reviews of more than one bike with similar units mention that they didn’t have enough damping even at the hardest settings.

  • http://www.txsbr.com Ben W.

    I love how this bike looks, particularly compared to the competing bikes. Gives a guy hope for the V4 Tuono. :D

  • http://www.damiengaudet.com damien

    something wicked this way comes…

    wow, riding a new aprilia at mugello? nice.

  • http://matthewabate.wordpress.com Matthew

    Sounds good. I’m glad that you guys presented this as a race bike and didn’t try to make it sound like a street worthy bike. Everything I’ve read indicates that it is extremely difficult to ride for the people who don’t do the track regularly, but great for those that do.

  • Roman

    My guess is Aprilia will sell every bike they bring to these shores. Such a lustworthy bike at a relatively affordable mark-up. Other reviews I read mention that the “track” setting is overkill and the “road” setting is just fine, even on the track. Just something to consider.

  • MTbeer

    Looks like rice.

  • http://muthalovin.com the_doctor

    Great Initial Report Grant! Taking photos AND riding? “It will make them feel like a meek nerd who gets sand kicked in their face.” When I read that, I left ‘Sand” out and laughed and laughed.

  • MTbeer

    Totally agree. Looks like too Yamaha. Take the name off and most would think it was made in Japan. And that pipe! oh man…

  • http://www.peterlombardi.com Peter Lombardi

    over priced? yes. sexy as hell? also yes. worth selling one’s body for? possibly… haha

    the rsv4-r is my klondike bar.
    -peter

  • M.P.

    Regarding both of your comments: Your name says it all.

    • The Troll!

      —comment removed – hfl— well whatever it stands for this bike is still going to sell like crap.

  • geonerd

    It’s not an ugly bike. But I could definitely see how some wouldn’t like it. It’s devoid of any clean lines. The three headlights, the comically small, pinched looking tail. It’s definitely debatable as to whether or not it’s overstyled.

    But the thing is that overstyled is exactly what Aprilia is known for. (http://i213.photobucket.com/albums/cc70/streetrally/rsv1000_2.jpg) That and making Ducati thumping sportsbikes for a fraction of the cost.

    • http://www.suspectsunlimited.com Cru Jones

      +1 Aprilia IMO has always overstyled their bikes. Sometimes for the better (RSV4 in this case) some for the worst (Tuono – IMO). I think the mere fact that this is the only V4 sportbike that’s reasonably affordable (read Desmo) will make it sell very well.

  • DoctorNine's D9 Cat

    I have always liked the advantages of a V4 layout in cycle design. Totally gorgeous. With the new Honda VFR, this is turning out to be the year of the V4.

    I just wish they hadn’t named it RSV. That stands for Respiratory Syncytial Virus, and it’s a lung disease that kills tens of thousands of kids each year. Maybe they should use a NAME, instead of letters. Sometimes those letters mean something.

    The only cycle manufacturer who could appropriately use those letters is HD. After all, they are a diseased blight on the world of motorcycling. I guess HD is just going to keep sucking V2, and not let its engineers get on the bandwagon with the rest of the developed world. It’s a shame, when they really could do something with the idea as well.

    Grow up, Harley.

  • DoctorNine's D9 Cat

    Doesn’t matter if it sells here in North America, Mr.T, since Honda sales continued to GROW in South America and Asia this year and last. In fact, while HD is crying in its MTbeer, closing divisions and production facilities, Honda just finished building a NEW FACTORY to supply all that increased demand. In fact, last numbers I saw show HD to be losing market share to Honda, even in the States. I think HD might even have been surpassed in total units sold, making Honda number one…

    Now in a normal situation, one might expect HD management to look at their market failings, and alter their business model. Unfortunately, they seem to be following the GM game plan, shedding good product in subsidiary divisions, and just hunkering down for the duration. Which probably won’t work, since they have so much debt on the financial side.

    It’s like they think innovation is a dirty word. Shame really.

    • MTbeer

      As one who prefers Italian bikes, currently owns a Shiver and pulls for Biaggi in SBK, I don’t think the look of the race bike translated well to the street. The front end, tail section and pipe. Ducati gets it. I’m sure it’s a great bike, but I prefer the looks of the RSV1000 and the 1198.

      The VFR price? Brand new 2008 Honda CBR1000RR’s are selling for $7,500 here.

    • hidden

      Time to stop feeding the troll, guys.

  • http://sr500project.blogspot.com/ Anders

    Great photography!

    • sam

      great photography?? great bike yes, but the why did yall overuse the GLOW button in ps so much? looks ridiculous. just some friendly constructive criticism

  • MTbeer

    So sorry to have an opinion that doesn’t agree with you DoctorN…oops, I mean Hidden Replied.

    • DoctorNine's D9 Cat

      “..So sorry to have an opinion that doesn’t agree with you..”

      MTBeer, Hidden, Troll… whatever. Call yourself what you like. The fact is that the bike is dead sexy, and there is no denying it. And it will likely sell well, as the economy is turning around.

      As long as they cost less than your average full dress HD, Aprilia will have a hit on their hands. And my choice of which V4 to play with this year will be really tough to make…

  • DoctorNine's D9 Cat

    Hey, YOU are the one calling himself the ‘Troll’.
    I’m a better troll than you are.
    I win.

  • DoctorNine
  • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Grant Ray

    The lens is vintage Leica, hence the glow. No photoshop. I shot the faired bike more as a graphic object instead of a typical shoot as there are already so many images of the RSV4 R and and nearly identical Factory covered in depth by HFL. If you need another Canon/Nikon/Fuji image of the bike, feel free to do a search. We have more than probably anyone else.

    Doctor Nine, Troll, etc., please take your personal bickerings elsewhere. Otherwise I’ll just ban you. Opinions about aesthetics, price and whatnot are fine. No more thread hijacking either, that goes for all of you. Troll, your brute honesty is actually kinda funny sometimes, which is why I’ve let you stay. That can change.

    • DoctorNine's D9 Cat

      “..Troll, your brute honesty is actually kinda funny sometimes, which is why I’ve let you stay…”

      ‘Funny’ how one of ‘Troll’s’ post just disappeared after I responded to it. As far as I know, the only people who can pull a post, are the editors here on HFL. The fact that ‘Troll’ also is constantly insulting you and Wes, Grant, suggests that it is actually one of you, or both, who are writing these cute little homophobic posts.

      So go ahead and ban me if you think that will solve your problems. It’s pretty sad when a site has to resort to trolling its own commentators in order to make it look like there is real activity.

      • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Grant Ray

        I don’t know what comment you’re talking about. I’m in Italy, and haven’t been online as usual. I just pulled a comment from another internet site trying to redirect readers and self-promote, but that was it.

        Troll, I’ve had enough. I know you’re using multiple IP addresses. I’ll just ban them all if you continue.

  • kloudykat

    Ignore them Grant. Good article & I like the pictures. Hope you enjoyed the trip. I still would rather have an RS250 though…

  • Mad Man

    Beautiful bike, but…
    do you know that 5 bikes on 30 for test broke tjheir engines after first day of tests? all other journalists had to go home…
    if you understand italian read:

    http://www.motociclismo.it/edisport/moto/MotoCiclismoR2.nsf/gd/Niente-test-della-RSV4-R-al-Mugello–annullata-per-rottura-motori-

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Grant Ray

      Yep. All true. Snapped con-rods in the exact same spot on all 5. Not the first time all-new ground-up racebikes got flogged on a track during a launch and broke as a result. Likely wont be the last either.

      There’s question as to whether the engines were pre-production or not, as they are, to common knowledge, the exact same engines as the RSV4 Factory. I think they were small-batch, preproduction engines, as the bikes were developed separately from the RSV4 Factory with US regulations in mind. I can’t confirm that, though.

      My bike didn’t break. It was awesome as long as I wasn’t a chicken. That’s pretty much all I can say. If Aprilia releases anything about the five broken examples, I’ll be sure to update.

  • http://www.brokenconrods.com Reality Check

    Ok, the bike riding report is good, but, by your high standards man, I am dissapointed at your overall report! Were you there? At the launch? Because I WAS. And you’re not writing ONE THING about the BIGGEST FIASCO of motorcycle presentations this world has seen! You didn’t see the five motorcycles that blew their engines? You had to be told by a reader, in order to… agree to it? You didn’t hear about Aprilia cutting the presentation short, without a single “we’re sorry to have put your lives at risk”? I mean… wtf? This presentation was the worst case scenario come true, and the Italian way to deal with it… laughable! They said “there’s a slight problem with the con-rods, but no worries, the production bike will be fine, bye now, go.” Wow! Someone must divert all the above that have commented to other sites, to find the truth.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Grant Ray

      If you were there, then I’m sure you noticed that nobody freaked out. Nobody. None of the guys from MCN, or Bike, or any of the other riders flipped. We were all uniformly, “Eh, that sucks, it happens, carry on.” The problem was found, announced, a decision was made and riders went on doing video and tracking shoots for the rest of the day. Chippy even rode tandem at speed to get point-of-view shots.

    • DoctorNine

      I tend to agree with Grant that blowing some engines IS par for the course. Not a biggie. But I would like to see some photos of the rods. THAT would be cool.

      Destructive testing rocks.

  • http://www.brokenconrods.com Reality Check

    How many presentations have you been to, man? This happens? No, let me tell you. IT DOESN’T! I’ve been doing presentations for TEN years. Scooters, quads, motorcycles. Track, tarmac, dirt. THIS DOESN’T HAPPEN! Five blow-ups in 2 hours JUST DON’T HAPPEN. It was LUCK that no one was hurt. Man. You live in the States, don’t you? Imagine your back wheel locking up in Mugello. Imagine not having LUCK on your side. Imagine having an accident. That wouldn’t have been nice, would it? Yet, you say this is pure… fiction. It couldn’t happen to you, could it?

    You’re saying… “riders went on doing video and tracking shots for the rest of the day”… Does HALF AN HOUR classify as “the rest of the day”??? Are you happy with your report? Why haven’t you told people about the rods? Your reputation is at stake here. Notice how ALL the rest of the online publications told their readers about the engines. Why didn’t you?

    I am sorry about the aggressive tone, but you have one of THE BEST motorcycle news sites on the web. You owe it to yourself to better evaluate this specific situation. Of course, that’s only my personal opinion.

    • http://Http://hellforleathermagazine.com Grant Ray

      I’m waiting on the official response. Otherwise it’s just speculation and heresay. And we were there for the rest of the afternoon. Not half an hour.

  • http://www.brokenconrods2.com Reality Check

    Ok. I don’t want to be mean. But… how many presentations have you been to, man? This happens? No, let me tell you. IT DOESN’T! I’ve been doing presentations for TEN years. Scooters, quads, motorcycles. Track, tarmac, dirt. THIS DOESN’T HAPPEN! Five blow-ups in 2 hours JUST DON’T HAPPEN. It was LUCK that no one was hurt. Man. You live in the States, don’t you? Imagine your back wheel locking up in Mugello. Imagine not having LUCK on your side. Imagine having an accident. That wouldn’t have been nice, would it? Yet, you say this is pure… fiction. It couldn’t happen to you, could it?

    You’re saying… “riders went on doing video and tracking shots for the rest of the day”… Does HALF AN HOUR classify as “the rest of the day”??? Are you happy with your report? Why haven’t you told people about the rods? Your reputation is at stake here. Notice how ALL the rest of the online publications told their readers about the engines. Why didn’t you?

    Also… you’re saying… “waiting for the official report.” THAT WAS THE OFFICIAL REPORT. I asked for an official report in Italy, and I asked for one in my country. The answer? THERE WON’T BE ONE, God knows why.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Yeah, that’s really unnecessarily harsh.

      As I understand it, Aprilia had an issue with conrods in five pre-production bikes being used by other journalists at the same track Grant was on. This issue didn’t occur on any bikes that Grant was riding. According to Aprilia, the issue was traced back to a bad batch of con rods used only in these pre-produciton bikes.

      The RSV4 Factory has been on sale in Europe for around a year and, as far as I can tell, hasn’t had a single engine problem. Its engine is identical to the one used in the RSV4 R. This, combined with my previous experience with multiple Aprilia models and anecdotal evidence from owners and dealers indicates that this one-off issue isn’t going to affect the reliability or quality of production bikes and, as such, doesn’t merit coverage.

      Both Grant and I have significant experience with pre-production vehicles and, from that experience, we can tell you that stuff produced in small batches, before final production tolerances are possible, often has issues like this.

      Is this embarrassing and costly for Aprilia? Yes, they flew many journalists out to Italy to test the RSV4 R and weren’t able to provide the number of bikes they intended. Is it indicative of a flaw or a lack of quality in production machines? Absolutely not.

  • http://www.brokenconrods2.com Reality Check

    Please remove the above double comment… or all of them 2. The double comment was caused by lag, and me thinking that I didn’t post it. Also, apologies on the tone again. I came up REALLY aggressive, and you don’t deserve it. And to TROLL: Grant Ray a loser? Please, stop throwing personal insults on ppl. On my eyes, and though I never met the creator of Hell for Leather, he’s one of the best motorcycle reporters on the web. Love his site, love his humor, love his approach! Grant sorry again for my tone, I just thought on the specific subject, there should have been at least one small undernote on the rods, that’s all. Feel free to edit or remove all my comments. At the end of the day, we can agree to disagreee. No need for a fight.

    • http://Http://hellforleathermagazine.com Grant Ray

      No worries. As I’m on a mini-vacation in Firenze and Wes is slammed with his day-job, I apologize for HFL being a bit slow.

      • http://www.heng.jp Sen Heng

        Since you’re in Italy, will you be attending EICMA or the MDA designer’s night?

  • Dan Lantowski

    Grant and Wes – you guys just do a simply outstanding job with the writing and photos time and again. This one’s as top-notch as ever. You lucky bastards.

  • http://pitstopz.com/yoko-matsugane-profile/ Eleanor Mallalieu

    Ohh nice post however really??

  • http://www.levhouse.com Valeria Keet

    I like the blog, but could not find how to subscribe to receive the updates by email. Can you please let me know?