When Aprilia debuted its RSV4 at parent-company Piaggio’s Milan convention in early 2008, the superbike was designed to achieve one goal – win World Superbike championships.The RSV4, which featured Aprilia’s first production four-cylinder engine – a 65-degree 999.6 cc V-4 – achieved just that, taking the 2010 and 2012 World SBK Championships with Max Biaggi at the controls, and the 2014 title with the Frenchman Sylvain Guintoli.
And with immediate racing achievement arrives immediate motorcycle sales. Since 2009, the first year the RSV4 was offered, the superbike out of Noale, Italy, was a top seller for Aprilia. For 2014, it was offered as an RSV4 R aPRC and the racier RSV4 R aPRC Factory.But since 2009, updates were minimal. This changes for 2015 with the introduction of the RSV4 RR and the limited-edition RSV4 RF, the latter arriving with the Race Pack (upgraded suspension and wheels) as standard equipment and a dedicated graphic called “Superpole.”The 2015 RSV4 RR now exceeds 200 horsepower, which became the norm for other recently launched sport bikes such as the Yamaha YZF-R1 and Ducati 1299. The RSV4 RR also weighs less, has more advanced aPRC (Aprilia Performance Ride Control) electronics, and bolder styling.Speaking of the overall redesign, Aprilia says “The careful design led to the creation of the most compact full size sport bike on the market, where technical elements such as the impeccable aluminum double rail frame contribute to emphasizing its racing vocation.”After the engineers redesigned “almost all” of the engine’s internal and external elements, the new 999.6cc V-4 now produces 201 horsepower at 13,000 rpm – up 16 horsepower over the previous model – and 84.8 ft/lbs of torque at 10,500 rpm. The engine is also three pounds lighter than its predecessor.The redesign includes a host of new parts, including the air box, upper injectors, titanium valves, camshafts, engine cases, heads, the mixed chain- and gear-driven timing, and lubrication system. Aprilia also revamped the entire exhaust system, and added a more powerful ECU for precise engine management.The aPRC has always been a highlight of the RSV4 superbikes, and Aprilia has updated it for better performance.The aPRC that arrives as standard equipment on the 2015 RSV4 RR includes:
aTC: Aprilia Traction Control, adjustable on the fly (without having to release the throttle) to eight settings thanks to a practical joystick on the left side of the handlebar, with extremely fine-tuned operating logic
aWC: Aprilia Wheelie Control, adjustable to three settings, has been recalibrated for maximum performance at level 1 (the least restrictive setting)
aLC: Aprilia Launch Control, the assisted starting system for use on the track only with three settings
aQS: Aprilia Quick Shift electronic gearbox for ultra-fast shifting without closing the throttle or using the clutch.
In addition to aPRC, the RSV4 RR also arrives with the three-level Bosch “Race ABS” system , which can be disabled.The 2015 Aprilia RSV4 RR, which weighs 397 lbs. dry, retains the adjustable chassis found on the 2014 Factory version. The 2015 RSV4 RR is the only current superbike “that allows the rider to adjust the engine position in the frame, the headstock angle, the swingarm pivot and the rear end height, naturally in addition to the fully adjustable suspension.”To further optimize mass centralization, the RSV4 RR’s swingarm was lengthened 14 mm to guarantee better traction and to decrease the tendency for wheelies during acceleration. Aprilia also mounted the engine to the lowest possible position allowed by its adjustment range within the frame, and “the fully adjustable suspension has been fine tuned to guarantee maximum control in extreme riding.”The RSV4 RR arrives with Sachs suspension components – a 43mm fork with adjustable spring preload and hydraulic compression and rebound damping, and a rear mono shock with adjustable rebound and compression, spring preload and wheelbase length. The suspension is enhanced with a non-adjustable Sachs steering damper.For those opting for the Race Pack, which arrives stock on the limited-edition RSV4 RF, the bike is upgraded with an Ohlins Racing fork with TIN surface treatment, an Ohlins Racing monoshock, and an adjustable Ohlins steering damper.Stopping the 2015 Aprilia RSV4 RR are dual 320mm discs up front squeezed by four-piston, Brembo M430 monobloc calipers, and a 220mm single disc out back squeezed by a two-piston Brembo caliper.The RSV4 RR rolls on aluminum-alloy three-spoke wheels (3.5 x 17” front; 6 x 17” rear), and the RSV4 RF on fogged aluminum-alloy five-spoke wheels.From a styling perspective, the RSV4 RR has receives a major overhaul. The facelift includes a more protective top fairing, which was “created after a careful wind tunnel aerodynamics study” and “provides better protection from the wind for riders of any height.” The RSV4 RR also gets a new triple headlight, LED parking lights, and revised mirrors with built-in LED turn signals.The 2015 Aprilia RSV4 RR is available in two matte color combos – Bucine gray and black Ascari. The RSV4 RR also arrives with many accessories as standard equipment that were only available on the RSV4 R Factory, such as magnesium external housings, oil sump and head covers.The Race Pack – available as an option – includes lightweight forged aluminum wheel rims and more sophisticated Öhlins suspension (shock absorbers, fork and steering damper).As for the RSV4 RF, only 500 will be available, and it arrives standard with the Race Pack and “Superpole” Graphics.The RSV4 RR will not be available in the United States until the 2016 model year.2015 Aprilia RSV4 RR Specs (Race Pack Specs in brackets):
Aprilia longitudinal 65° V4 cylinder, 4-stroke, liquid cooled engine with dual overhead cam (DOHC) and four valves per cylinder
Bore and stroke
78 x 52.3 mm
Total engine capacity
Maximum power at crankshaft
201 HP (148 kW) at 13,000 rpm
Maximum torque at crankshaft
115 Nm at 10.500 rpm
Airbox with front dynamic air intakes. Variable-height intake ducts controlled by engine control unit; 4 Marelli 48 mm throttle bodies with 8 injectors and latest-generation Ride-by-Wire technology.Choice of three different engine maps selectable by the rider with bike in motion: T (Track), S (Sport), R (Race)
Magneti Marelli digital electronic ignition system integrated in engine control system, with one spark plug per cylinder and “stick-coil”-type coils
4 into 2 into 1 layout, two oxygen sensors, lateral single silencer with ECU-controlled bypass valve and integrated trivalent catalytic converter
Flywheel mounted 450 W alternator with rare earth magnets
Wet sump lubrication system with oil radiator and two oil pumps (lubrication and cooling)
6-speed cassette type gearbox1st: 39/15 (2.600)2nd: 33/16 (2.063)3rd: 34/20 (1.700)4th: 31/21 (1.476)5th: 31/23 (1.348)6th: 34/27 (1.259)Gear lever with Aprilia Quick Shift electronic system (aQS)
Multi-disc oil-bath, with mechanical slipper system
Sachs Fork with 43 mmÆ stanchions; [Öhlins Racing Fork with TIN surface treatment]. Low profile forged aluminum radial calliper mounting bracket. Adjustable spring preload and hydraulic compression and rebound damping. Wheel travel: 120 mm
Double braced aluminum swingarm; mixed low thickness and sheet casting technology.Sachs monoshock adjustable in: hydraulic in rebound and compression, spring preload, wheelbase length [Öhlins Racing monoshock with piggy-back, fully adjustable in: spring preload, wheelbase length, hydraulic in compression and rebound]. APS progressive linkages. Wheel travel 130 mm
Front: Dual 320-mm diameter floating stainless steel disc with lightweight stainless steel rotor and aluminum flange with 6 pins. Brembo M430 monobloc radial callipers with 4 Æ 30 mm opposing pistons. Sintered pads. Radial pump and metal braided brake hose
Rear: 220 mm diameter disc; Brembo caliper with two Æ 32 mm separate pistons. Sintered pads. Pump with integrated tank and metal braided hoseBosch 9MP ABS, adjustable to 3 maps equipped with RLM (Rear wheel Lift-up Mitigation) – can be disabled.
Hello everyone and welcome once again to Ultimate Motorcycling’s weekly Podcast—Motos and Friends.
My name is Arthur Coldwells.
This week’s Podcast is brought to you by Yamaha motorcycles. Discover how the YZF-R7 provides the perfect balance of rider comfort and true supersport performance by checking it out at YamahaMotorsports.com, or see it for yourself at your local dealer.
This week’s episode features Senior Editor Nic de Sena’s impressions of the beautiful new Harley-Davidson Low Rider ST that is loosely based around the original FXRT Sport Glide from the 1980s. Hailing from The Golden State, these cult-status performance machines became known as West Coast style, with sportier suspension, increased horsepower, and niceties including creature comforts such as a tidy fairing and sporty luggage.
In past episodes you might have heard us mention my best friend, Daniel Schoenewald, and in the second segment I chat with him about some of the really special machines in his 170 or so—and growing—motorcycle collection. He’s always said to me that he doesn’t consider himself the owner, merely the curator of the motorcycles for the next generation.
Yet Daniel is not just a collector, but I can attest a really skilled rider. His bikes are not trailer queens, they’re ridden, and they’re ridden pretty hard. Actually, we have had many, many memorable rides on pretty much all of the machines in the collection at one time or another.
From all of us here at Ultimate Motorcycling, we hope you enjoy this episode!