Aprilia RSV4: an expression of winning

Dailies -


The Aprilia RSV4 is not a 182.5bhp paintbrush and the road is not its canvas. It doesn’t create paintings, it wins races. Nine so far this season, fully half the races so far. That puts Aprilia first in the World SBK manufacturers championship while the S1000RR is second to last with less than half the points. Maybe BMW should put down that palette and pick up a V4.

Aprilia USA commissioned Hell For Leather and Tangent Vector to produce this video. It’s the last of three, you can see the first two below.

  • http://oilygauntlet.blogspot.com Hank

    As amusing and fun as these videos are, I’m starting to have a bit of sympathy for the CW guys. I mean, I can only imagine how jealous they must be that you’re not only having a heck of a good time on that RSV4, but getting paid to do so.

  • Johndo

    BMW 2nd to last…thats surprising considering all the reviews that motorcycle journalists wrote following the launch of the bike. It was supposed to kill all competition…I guess it’s easier said then done.

    That being said, BMW is still an awesome bike, and based on sales, it’s still a success.

    • Peter

      In all fairness, the S1000RR is killing the competition…in SuperStock.

  • Noone1569

    Interesting, good pruduction.

    I’m still torn though, my fav motorcycle publication being contracted to produce ads for a motorcycle manufacturer . . . Eh . . whatever, you guys still rock lol

  • http://coloradoeuro.com Brad

    It is worth looking to world superstock for what a bike really means to you, as a local racer, street rider, track day-weekend warrior etc. The bikes are MUCH closer to production. In WSBK this year, given the up and down of the competitions results, and variance in finishes for teammates (if the Aprilia is so good where is Camier???) we prob would have seen Biaggi win the championship if he were riding a Kawasaki. The Aprilia is a good machine, but WSBK wins are SO much more to do with rider and team than the capability of a bike. The BMW is a better production machine, end of story.

    • Drew

      As it stands, Camier is only 11 points behind Corser, the top (and much more experienced) rider for BMW, who is, oh, about 200 points behind Biaggi.

  • carlos

    I’m guessing this a play on a BMW original ad. I can’t seem to find that on the interwebs. You guys have a link or something? Thanks.

    • carlos

      oops, sorry. Spoke to soon. I see your link. I was thinking they made one for the S1000RR…

  • PatrickVA

    I don’t get this one. What does a BMW convertible have to do with Aprilia winning races? And any bike can spin it’s rear tire in loose gravel. Even my old 40 hp BMW F650 (the one that was also an Aprilia Pegaso).

    • Johndo

      The point is simply to make fun of the competition and their ads (the bmw painting with the car), not to show that the bike is so powerful that is can spin its rear tire in gravel.

  • fazer6

    At least the Z4 is better looking.

  • kidchampion

    These are all good ads for the BMW S1000RR, as well as the Aprilia. They’re like the Apple/Microsoft ads – they assume a supremacy and the challenge to it by the contender.

  • Corey

    I wonder if motorcycle-buying prospects within Aprilia and BMW’s demographic are swayed by what a modified race bike does on the track vs the de-tuned production versions? I suppose there are a few, eh? The BMW car commercial that this bike vid pokes is very cool. Funny to see the Aprilia bike look like a bumbling meathead that can’t create art vs German engineering that can replicate modern art with power and control. Either way, I dig both brands; both have great form and function. (I will say the first of this Aprilia series has relevance.)

  • 2ndderivative

    You say you’re without bias, and it might even be true…and I know this isn’t exactly a “review” site. But being paid by a particular manufacturer to produce advertising for them does, by definition, put you “in their pocket”, at least for some time. This is similar to what I see in smaller motorcycle magazines in Canada – a favourable description of a bike immediately followed by a full page advertisement for the manufacturer. Can you trust such a review to be appropariately critical? No. Can you trust HFL’s coverage of Aprilia? Not for a little while…

    • Grant Ray

      That’s a nifty sleight of hand comment, there. You be sure to let us know when you get a little grey in that black and white world of yours.

      • Tomas Murdych

        I do not remember you guys ever mentioning a failure of RSV 4 engines during the initial testing (that you took part in and which needed to be cancelled) or that Aprilia has been replacing engines in their bikes shipped to the US. If that happened to a different manufacturer, you’d be all over it. And yes, I do own an Aprilia (albeit a Mille).

        • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

          Oh knock it off, this whole discussion is ridiculous, if you want HFL to keep going, then we have to earn money. Is there any sign of bias in the editorial? No. End of discussion.

          We don’t report on recalls because they’re super fucking boring.

        • Grant Ray

          “If that happened to a different manufacturer, you’d be all over it.”

          Like the Ducati spreading tank issue that’s plaguing the Classic series right now and possibly the Monster series as well? Or the S1000RR failures we keep getting hints about that are quietly and professionally taken care of?

          HFL is free for you, but that doesn’t make us a government service you’re entitled to get self righteous with.

  • Random

    Heck, do you even read the reviews here? Take a look at RSV4 Factory VS. Thunderbolt:


    In short: great brakes, compact bike, and it’s hard and scary as hell to ride a 180hp bike. How’s that biased???? Besides the great graphics and personal writing it’s so converging to other evaluations of the bike.

    This was discussed in the other video posts already, but how the production of a commercial video (being announced as that) could be biased reviewing? They are saying it’s advertising, folks. Get on with it.

  • PJ

    It is good that you note on the front the conflict of interest and that way people can make up their own mind. You have been very hard on BMW and Honda recently. I hope that the critical eye would apply to aprilia as well if warranted.

    I remember the whole BMW ads = Nazis thing, can we expect Aprilia ads = Fascists?

    Aside from this keep up the good work on Electric Bikes and all the other great content you guys put on here.

  • sofjr

    You guys do a great job at HFL!

    I ride the bike I do because I like the bike I ride. Everyone reading this site has a bias. EVERYONE! There’s something called “the scientific method” that aims to eliminate all bias, but even after all that rigor, bias can still come through.

    The guys at HFL do a pretty good job at minimizing their bias. We read it, we enjoy it, but in the end we always make our own decisions based on your own bias, whether it’s financial, aesthetic, peer pressure, or a “gut feel”.

    One thought, maybe Grant and Wes can post a bio that clearly states the type of bikes they prefer to ride and the type of riding they do? At lease then everyone would get a better feel for their innate bias, and the struggle to resist it.

  • rohorn
  • Alfonzo

    Go get your dollar bills HFL. Screw the haters!

  • George

    In the spirit of complaining about free stuff how about spending some of that lira on getting a mobile version of your site going?

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Or spend your Lira on something running Android or get an iPhone and we won’t need to.

  • Chris Y.

    Guys, seriously. HFL used full disclosure (I think there’s a new law on it), so I don’t know what the hell else you want. Go read another blog or something.

  • John

    It doesn’t matter how fast an Aprilia is, they’re god forsaken uncomfortable compared to any BMW.

  • http://www.brammofan.com Brammofan

    Had to do a remix. Enjoy: http://bit.ly/aNbUTG

  • http://twitter.com/beastincarnate Beast Incarnate

    I’ve enjoyed the ads, though this one is a bit more of a stretch than the others. Like others have said, you’ve been pretty transparent about it. More importantly, It’s fantastic that the critics get the opportunity to step up, and that you have.

    Out of curiosity, was part of your commission to target BMW with all of these things, or just promote the Ape as you saw fit?

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      The concepts for all three came from Tangent Vector, but yeah, Aprilia loved the idea of mocking BMW and other brands’ marketing in general.

  • http://pinkyracer.com pinkyracer

    a little late, but hey. What’s funny is that the BMW ad was inspired by an actual work of art by an actual artist. The original piece was created using motorcycles. and fucking ROCKED! I will forever have a gaping hole in my soul because I was not there, inhaling the sweet smell of tire dust….