Category: Auto Tips

Aprilia RSV4 Factory: Unique In Every Nut


Video: Aprilia RSV4 Factory: Unique In Every Nut

Video: Aprilia RSV4 Factory: Unique In Every Nut
Video: 2019 Aprilia RSV4 1100 Factory | LighTech Rearsets Installed! 2023, April
Aprilia RSV4 Factory: Unique In Every Nut
Aprilia RSV4 Factory: Unique In Every Nut

This year's WSBK crown is challenged by motorcycles of three radically different concepts. The reigning champion is Ducati with its L-shaped twin and desmodrome valve actuator. Yamaha R1 - the development of the idea of a "universal Japanese motorcycle", in-line "four". And designed from scratch the Aprilia RSV4 with a V4 circuit engine. And, as the results of the first races showed, all three schemes work perfectly!

Aprilia provided an opportunity for journalists to try out the now “civilian” version of their sport bike, equipped with a 180-horsepower engine. Unfortunately, on the day of testing it poured out of the bucket - and after all the track "Misano" and when it is dry does not have a good "hook", and even in wet weather, since there is a bad drainage system, it becomes simply dangerous. But I was not taken aback: I looked at the weather forecast, made sure that the next day the meteorologists promised "clearly", and scribbled an extra day from company bosses. So now I can give a full account of the behavior of this motorcycle in the rain and on dry surfaces.

The first impression was still published: how small he is! Compared to other "liters" - as a model in three quarters of full size. Then you notice the “tasty” stylistic details - the “wings” behind the driver’s saddle (the saddle and the steps for the passenger are just an option), the folds around the triple headlamp.

“The front and back are the most important things in his styling,” commented Miguel Galluzzi, the project’s chief designer, “because the driver covers the rest. And we tried to give these parts a distinct personality.”

Yes, the appearance turned out to be bright. The sound is even brighter! The sound of the engine is not at all like a V-twin, like the Yamaha R1 at low revs - it's a juicy, formidable scream, which at high revolutions turns into a victorious roar! Yeah, the sound of the new Aprilia is not to be confused with any other motorcycle. “We paid a lot of attention to the voice acting,” Galluzzi admits with a laugh, “we tried 150 variants of the exhaust systems before we settled on this one. It provides an outstanding sound, and the engine does not “choke”, and fits into Euro-3 standards.”

Despite its compactness, the motorcycle is surprisingly comfortable for a driver of large stature. I guess how it happened: Galluzzi himself is 193 cm tall, and test driver Alex Hoffman is not a small one. Landing is not as extreme as on other sportbikes, when the driver's hands are loaded beyond measure; on the contrary, you even have “room for maneuver” - to move back and forth, which is not superfluous for such a dynamic device.

Forward - to load the front wheel when at 10, 000 rpm there is such a "pickup" that the front becomes lighter and the steering wheel begins to tremble. Back - to take cover behind the windshield on high-speed lines. And how obedient the bike, what a maneuverability! Until now, only on the KTM RC8R could I just as easily shift the device in S-shaped corners. But the Austrian sports bike does not have such "tops"!

About the Aprilia RSV4 engine, you can say: it has incorporated the best from in-line “fours” and V-twins. But at first you do not expect from him brutal dynamics on the “top” - he is so soft and friendly on the “bottom”. The motor pulls confidently already from 3000 rpm, and from 6500 rpm, when the power valve in the exhaust system opens, it pleases with a juicy, but linear increase in power - up to the maximum of 14, 200 rpm …

By the way, the speed limiter does not work at all as sharply as on other sportbikes: at 14, 200 rpm the motor simply stops gaining speed. There is no other choice - stick in the next gear. Gear ratios are well selected, but the moment of switching is not too “clean”. This would be a power shifter, like on a BMW HP2 Sport!

The excellent work of the speed limiter is the merit of the throttle control system "over the wire." It also provides a choice of three modes of motor operation. Access to switching occurs when you press the starter button while the engine is running, but with covered gas. Then you press the button, choosing a mode - after a second pause, a switch occurs.

Both on the wet and dry tracks I drove mainly in the “S” (Sport) mode, in it in the first three gears the torque was reduced by 25%. The R mode (Road) is intended for a wet track, in it power is reduced by 25% in all gears. It may be good in the city in the rain, but on the racetrack it “cuts” the dynamics too much - you ride like on a 750 cc motorcycle. There is also a “T” mode, or Track.

In the rain, I just tried to turn it on - and then almost "got out" of the track - the reactions of the engine from the very "bottom" became so sharp. On a “dry” day I tried to switch to this mode - the reactions remained intimidating. Company test pilot Alex Hoffman confirmed: “I told them that the“T”mode is too harsh - I don't like it either. Faster pass the track in mode "S".

Modes - modes, but the traction control, as on the Ducati 1098, Aprilia RSV4 not yet. But its development is already ongoing in collaboration with Magneti Marelli, and the RS modification equipped with it will be presented in September. By that time, a batch of a thousand Aprilia RSV4 Factory motorcycles planned for this year will be released.

Vibration is almost not felt - thanks to the balancer shaft and weights at the ends of the steering wheel. The compact design of the power unit provides a large lateral clearance, a balanced chassis allows you to deeply lay the motorcycle in turns. Many adjustments - up to the position of the power unit in the frame - provide the ability to customize the machine in accordance with road conditions. So, on a dry track, I shortened the base by as much as 40 mm - to better pass a bunch of turns.

Brembo brakes do their job one hundred percent - but you don’t expect anything else from this brand. But the fact that I found good engine braking (and there is a “slipping” clutch here) was a surprise. Moreover, even switching to two gears “down” with the throttle closed does not cause rear wheel chatter.

So how do you characterize the new Aprilia superbike in a few words? Perhaps this is so: this is a smart sport bike, and it was created by clever women who are not afraid to introduce unusual technical solutions.

Three months ago, testing the new Yamaha R1, I predicted that soon all Japanese manufacturers would rush to make in-line "fours" with an uneven alternation of flashes in the cylinders. And now I have tested Aprilia RSV4 with a motor no worse, but this motorcycle is much more compact, and the principle of centralization of masses is implemented to the limit. Honda is already preparing a sport bike with a V4 engine. And who's stopping Suzuki engineers from taking their motorcycle for the MotoGP GSV-R model and making a replacement for the GSX-R1000 with a V-shaped “four”?.. So Aprilia RSV4 is tomorrow's motorcycle. But today.



Model Aprilia RSV4 Factory

Model Year 2009

Dry weight, kg 179

Length x Width x Height, mm 2050x715x1165

Base, mm 1424

Saddle height, mm 845

Departure, mm 105

Steering angle, deg. 24.5

Gas tank volume, l 17


Type 2-cylinder, V-shaped, 4-stroke

Timing DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder

Displacement cm³ 998.9

Cylinder diameter x piston stroke, mm 78x52.3

Compression ratio 12.8

Max. horsepower at rpm 180/12 500

Max. torque, N.m at rpm 115/10 000

Fuel injection system

Liquid cooling system

Electric starter start system


Multi-plate clutch, in oil bath, with slipping back

Gearbox 6-speed, cassette type

Main gear chain


Diagonal frame, al. alloy

Front fork telescopic, inverted type, fully adjustable

Diameter of pipes, mm 43

Wheel travel, mm 120

Rear suspension swingarm, with fully

adjustable monoshock

and progressive characterization

Wheel travel 130 mm

Front brake 2 discs ∅ 320 mm, 4-piston monoblock brackets

Rear brake disc ∅ 220 mm, 2-piston bracket

Front tire 120 / 70ZR17

Rear tire 190 / 55ZR17


Like Lombardi, Galluzzi realized himself in a new way. Although behind this designer such epoch-making cars as the Ducati Monster and ST2, the Cagiva Raptor and the off-road Husqvarna, still the Aprilia RSV4 is his first sport bike.

- When I joined Aprilia about three years ago, work on the engine was in full swing, and yet only the first drafts of the motorcycle itself were made. The task for me was clearly formulated: the device should become the most compact and narrowest in its category, and we were offered to take the model … racing Aprilia 250GP as a model. "Liter" in the chassis of the racing "quarter" - what?

The first layout project was done in six weeks. He won the competition, in which another three projects “from the outside” took part. At first, we decided to make a frame of magnesium alloy - to compensate for the large mass of the power unit. It was a complex structure assembled on bolts - it’s extremely difficult to weld magnesium in mass production.

But then they figured it out: it gives a gain of only 4 kg - and abandoned this venture. The second option is an aluminum frame with extruded diagonal elements. But it turned out both heavy and ugly. The third, current option was born - from cast and stamped parts made of aluminum alloy.

The most difficult layout was given: how to fit all systems into such a compact chassis? In less than a day, one of the designers did not say: where will we insert the control unit? or traction control elements? or some servo motor?.. But you still need to place the driver somewhere! Small and not very small amendments to the design were introduced up to the very end of the work. Say, last November, at the request of our test pilot Alex Hoffman, we changed the profile of the recesses on the gas tank.

Everyone can draw a beautiful picture. And you try to translate it into metal! Yes, in mass production, but bring it to the market at the right time! And at the same time, keep everything that evokes the emotions that captured you after the appearance of the first sketches in the appearance of the device! This can be considered an achievement! I think our team succeeded. Hope our buyers share our inspiration. If you formulate the idea of RSV4 in a few words, it will sound like this: "style in the service of technology." The new motorcycle is an innovative design that also looks great. And rides!


It's hard to believe, but for the 67-year-old Lombardi, the Aprilia RSV4 powertrain is its first motorcycle design. Meanwhile, he is one of the most famous Italian engines. It was widely recognized back in the 80s when the Lancia Delta Integrale with its engine designed won four world rally championships. Then Claudio worked as the technical director of the Ferrari F1 team, and in 1994 led the development of Ferrari road engines.

“When we started work on this project in September 2005, we initially chose a cylinder angle of 60 degrees,” said Lombardi. But with this angle they could not make the intake pipes straight, therefore they increased the camber to 65 degrees. The vibrations arising from such a scheme effectively suppresses the balancer shaft. So we made a narrow and not too high power unit.

The motor is extremely short-stroke - 78x52.3 mm. If it were my will, I would have made it even shorter! The fact is that when work began, then there was a restriction for 4-cylinder superbikes of the ratio of the cylinder diameter to the stroke of the piston, set by FIM: not more than 1.5. This is in order to give some chances and appear "liter" "twins." But after the transition to 1200 cc “twins” this restriction was removed - but for us it is too late. But the smaller the piston stroke, the easier it is to spin the engine in revolutions - I learned this science well at Ferrari.

Forged pistons sit on steel rods (titanium - on a WSBK racing motorcycle). The integral crankshaft rotates in rolling bearings. To make the cylinder heads as narrow as possible (namely, they determine the width of the frame), I had to choose a complex scheme for driving the upper camshafts: there is a gear from the crankshaft, from it to the intake camshafts, and then again the gears of the exhaust camshafts. So it was possible to get heads with a width of only 250 mm - narrower than the Aprilia RSV V-twin!

Valves (titanium inlet and steel outlet) are installed at an angle of 22 degrees. At Ferrari, we experimented with different valve angles - from 16 to 28 degrees, but it was this parameter that gave the best results. And the biggest, I think, my achievement is that such a powerful and compact engine is very efficient in thermal terms. Therefore, it was possible to use a rather compact radiator, which also helped to reduce the width of the motorcycle.

Two nozzles are installed on each cylinder: one behind the throttle, the second at the top of the intake tract. The lower one is the main one, because the closer the nozzle is to the inlet valves, the more responsive the engine is to the rotation of the gas handle. The upper one comes into effect only when the throttle is open by more than 65% and the engine needs additional fuel supply.

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