Aprilia RSV550 prototype confirmed

Dailies -



When pushed for answers concerning the possibility of wedging Aprilia’s 550 V-twin into the legendary RS250 chassis, Aprilia’s Motorcycle Product Manager, Francesco Polimeni, smiled and said with a heavy accent, “Yes. It is a beautiful engine. In fact, we have a prototype at the factory.” Wow, so you put it in the RS250 chassis, right? “No. Actually, the RS125 chassis is, as you know, oversized and very robust. So we put the engine in that.” Get out.


The bad news is that the project is in stasis thanks to the economy tanking. That will likely change once the economy picks back up or Aprilia sees enough demand for the machine in the market to greenlight it, whichever comes first. The current engine, he acknowledged, would have to be retooled with considerably more robustness to deal with continued use as a daily driver. While still very much a track bike, he stressed the RSV550 would be manufactured along the same lines as the company’s dedicated street bikes for better reliability and and less maintenance.

Already huge fans of the RS chassis, we were more than a little excited by the prospect of seeing the platform reborn into what could be the most brilliant machine since Terblanche’s SuperMono. We’re also betting the diminutive prototype is devastating in the corners, able to out-handle it’s bulkier, heavier inline-4 rivals.
A clear nod to the golden era of Grand Prix road racing, before the rise of the 2-strokes, the ultra-light, near 500cc V-Twin 4-stroke probably won’t be cheap if when it gets made. But if the successes and characteristics of the RS125 and both the SXV and RXV are any indication of the RSV550′s capabilities, we’d definitely be willing to starve a little.
So you know, the image above unfortunately isn’t real. We just couldn’t help ourselves from playing and thought this might be something close.
  • Deltablues

    I hope this is close to what the production bike will look like. How Nice. This would make a nice companion for my Daytona 675.

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

    oh please, oh please, oh please!!!

    zoran over at twin works factory did up a nice 250 framed 550 conversion.


  • vic

    my hands started shaking for a second there,i thought it would be a 2 stroke,not that the sxv is a bore(it’s ferocious) but i always liked the 500cc 2 stroke era from motogp
    oh well..one can only hope

  • http://twitter.com/marshallhaas Marshall Haas

    If I understand correctly,this would use the same SXV 550 motor? I would camp out like a Halo kid for the launch of this thing!

  • Sean Jordan

    If this ever gets made and brought into the U.S….


    ’nuff said.

  • matt

    The interesting part of the equation will be what happens to the 550 engine once they are done “The current engine, he acknowledged, would have to be retooled with considerably more robustness to deal with continued use as a daily driver”… To me, that means it get’s the ol’ DOT treatment which will tone it down considerably. Heavier frame, internals, lights, emissions, ect… Maybe they can do it in such a way that it can easily be “undone” by the track guys.

  • Ken

    This is such a brilliant idea it can’t possibly succeed.

  • Sean

    Holy Crap!


    If they can find a way to keep weight under 300 pounds, I’ll be all over this like flies on shit.

  • Taco

    OMG! I know what I want Santa to bring me.

  • geonerd

    Even before the economy got hoslapped by the “invisible hand” Americans never got smaller displacement sportsbikes. Not street legal ones anyways. Have times changed? I hope so, but I kinda doubt it.

  • Matt

    Maybe if Aprilia make this, KTM will see their way clear to make the rumored RC4.

  • http://muthalovin.com the_doctor

    Yes, OMG DOOODS! Stupid economy had to stupid tank right when things were getting good. If only I was a prototype tester, that would really be something.

    So Grant, you doing a whole tour over in Italy or what?

  • V

    The Italians are really stepping it up lately.

  • http://www.vunblog.blogspot.com/ John van Houten

    I wish, I wish, I wish…

  • http://blog.cfetherston.com fetherston

    I’d be all over that.

  • pdub

    I know the economy says that credit is bad and we all need to save more but if they come out with this thing I’m going to have to make a big affirmative vote of confidence for Aprilia and buy one of these no matter what.

  • http://www.bako.fr Bako

    Good idea, but they need to work on the motor for a road use.
    We’re created a prototype, the Roadson BT550Superleggera, (with the help of Aprilia) with this motor and it was amazing!


  • http://www.speedymoto.com christian

    Holy F word! That thing better make it to production!

  • DucatiVeloce

    OMG! OMG! OMG! passes out

  • Odie

    Oh, happy day!!!! The RS250….er RS550 is BACK.

    If…er…WHEN it gets here, I am so getting one.

  • monkeyfumi

    Interesting, firstly because the chains are on different sides on respective bikes. I suppose it would not be much to raid the parts bin or knock up a new swingarm to suit.
    It would need brakes and suspension more along the lines of the 250, but aprilia has always been good in that department.

  • dexter

    amazing. rs125-frames are quite common and cheap – why wait ? buy an crate sxv engine and build the ultimate bad boy’s toy . if I can get my hands on these two parts , I could improvise the rest in a month . track day machine – I love it .

  • jim doll

    those interested in this type of bike might enjoy reading glen williams’ article in the november 2009 “bike rider magazine” concerning new zealand rider jason easton’s 550 aprilia tigcraft (http://www.brm.co.nz/Default.aspx) or in talking with dave pearce (info@tigcraft.com) about the design.

  • nicky

    Give us a 2 stroke 500 please.

  • http://furrytower.com Chris Junor

    It looks pretty darn sweet! I can’t wait!

  • bigted

    I don’t get it, there are so many bikes out there that approximate this, especially in its very ugly super bike styling. Like I said, I just don’t get it.

  • http://www.ig2t.com/Game_Shaiya.html shaiya gold

    Excellent read, I just passed this onto a colleague who was doing a little homework on that. And he in fact bought me lunch because I found it for him