2011 Aprilia RSV4: 186bhp, traction control

Dailies -



A source connected to Aprilia has exclusively revealed to Hell For Leather that the 2011 Aprilia RSV4 will be gaining 8bhp over the 2010 model and a switchable traction control system. That power boost comes courtesy of a slightly increased compression ratio and new timing chains. Other additions include traction control; a new, less ugly exhaust can and revised gearing.

Notably absent from the list of upgrades are anti-lock brakes. The current king of formulaic superbike shootouts everywhere is the BMW S1000RR, which employs ABS and a fancy traction control system in order to keep elderly journalists and inexperienced liter bike buyers out of the gravel. Realizing that enabling a wider range of riders to exploit the ability of near-200bhp liter bikes is the new frontier of performance, other bike makers are scrambling to catch up with the squinty BMW.

No firm details on Aprilia Traction Control are yet available, but the Aprilia Dorsoduro 1200 — incidentally coming to the states now despite Aprilia USA’s previous assertion that it wouldn’t be — will also use the system. Traction control looks to be the big fad for 2011, there’s at least two other superbikes debuting this fall that will use either radically new traction control systems or move its adoption to lower price points.

Aside from the traction control pickup on the rear wheel, the ’11 RSV4 will be identical on the outside to the ’10 with the exception of a new, smaller exhaust canister. The source of much criticism for its ginormous proportions and general ugliness, the current exhaust was necessary to meet stringent European noise and emissions regulations. No word on how they’ve managed to meet those same restrictions with a smaller canister, but logic would suggest a larger collector hidden inside the belly pan.

According to the source, gearing will also be modified, with the first three gears becoming taller, while the top three are shorter. This is sort of a common sense move, allowing the incredibly powerful V4 to remain controllable at lower speeds, while addressing the criticism that it was over geared for real track work, at least in the higher gears. The rear sprocket will also increase in size from 40 to 42 teeth, effectively shortening the overall gear ratio, which seems to suggest that the now taller lower gears will be close to those on the ’10 model, while the top three will be even shorter than the above modifications suggest.

There’s no word on any changes to the price for either the 2011 Aprilia RSV4 Factory or the 2011 Aprilia RSV4 R.

We’ve reviewed both the Aprilia RSV4 R and the Aprilia RSV4 Factory; we also hung a bunch of them from a ceiling, as per that above picture.

  • Slim Pickens

    Exclusive, eh? That’s funny, considering I read this on another site 2 hours ago.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Something might start here, but that doesn’t mean people won’t copy it. Hopefully you can tell the difference between original and a poor imitation.

      • Slim Pickens

        A&F, who listed their source as this forum:

        • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

          For some context: some Aprilia dealers were getting briefed on ’11 models last week, which is where our info and that on Aprilia Forum comes from. Hopefully it didn’t sounds like I was crowing about “Exclusive! Exclusive! Exclusive!” as that’s one of my pet peeves, but it was necessary to give you guys some idea of where the information came from.

          A number of websites straight up copy, reproduce with alterations, or just rip off our content. The site you reference is among the worst at doing that. I believe that readers can tell the difference between professionally produced original content like that offered by Hell For Leather and a bad facsimile, hopefully you can too. And hey, they say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

  • Patrick from Astoria

    Glad I wasn’t the only one put off by the old exhaust; assets aside, the RSV4 didn’t even count as a dream bike until I saw the WSBK Akrapovic setup and knew all could be right with the world. Problem solved either way.

    Aprilia’s only a half-step behind; given that their standard during development was probably not the S1000RR but the 1198S, the addition of traction control but not ABS makes some sense. Maybe next year.

  • pdub

    More horsepower and more forgiving bottom three gears. That’s funny as a guy I know who has one of these is thinking of selling it. Says he never gets out of third gear as he’s more of a back country canyon carver than freeway burner. Proves the adage of the difference between lusting after and living with someone.
    The whole gearing thing makes me think they’re addressing the divide between street usable and track usable. I’m betting the race mules will have that gearbox in the pile with the OEM plastics and lights.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Yeah, the RSV4 is a pretty focused track bike, we don’t enjoy riding it on the road at all.

      I can barely get my legs onto the pegs without getting someone to lift them on there for me and my thighs start to spasm after about 30 minutes of continuous riding.

      Tell your friend to check out the KTM RC8, it’s still an exotic liter bike, but all the ergonomics are adjustable and it should be a little more stable and exploitable on the road.