This is the Aprilia RSV4 that could have been. Could have been if the original third-party prototype had continued through to production unaltered that is. When Aprilia first gave the RSV4 project the go ahead in 2005, they turned to Robbiano Design to turn their ideas into something physical. Robbiano conceived a two-part magnesium/aluminum frame with a matching swingarm and horrendously awful styling. That last thing’s been lost — the RSV4 embodies sex on wheels – but a lot of this original design has been retained.
Robbiano’s design used aluminum for the front section of the spars and
the headstock, integrating the air intakes into the frame, bonding that
material to magnesium for the rear half. A similar process was used to
create the swingarm. That’s been dropped on the production bike, but the
heavy mix of magnesium into typically aluminum components has been
retained; the Factory uses that material for its engine covers.
A clear carry over are the huge triangle engine hangers, which remain
one of the most definitive visual elements of the production bike.
Also present is the visual genesis of the RSV4′s whacky triple
headlight, here taking the form of a heinous dual headlight/ugly intake
There’s some other carry overs in some general shapes on the tank, seat
and fairings, but the RSV4 came a long way from this design, adapting an
RC212V-style super short tail, finned fuel tank cover, a minimal
fairing and, of course, the triple headlights. Thank god it did.