2010 Aprilia RSV4R first ride

The nearest most of us were ever likely to get to living the MotoGP dream (the RSV4 Factory) cost fifteen grand last month. Now there’s a more affordable alternative

Posted: 2 June 2010
by Rob Hoyles

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Click to read: Aprilia RSV4-R owners reviews, Aprilia RSV4-R specs and see the Aprilia RSV4-R image gallery.

Did anyone really think Aprilia could pull off a four-stroke masterstroke and build a world-beating V-four powered superbike? I know I didn’t.

More than twenty years ago Honda knew the V-four was an untapped power source. The RC30 and RC45 were where it was at: these exclusive, expensive – and ultimately esoteric motorcycles – were objects of desire for rich businessmen and elite racers. In MotoGP, the format in various guises is still hugely popular. And there’s a bloody good reason. It works.

Combining the finer elements of high-revving in-line fours and torquey twins, we were massively impressed by the RSV4 Factory when it was launched. All our misgivings about such a small manufacturer actually managing to get it right with a limited budget for a hugely complex R&D project were swiftly blown away. So were our befuddled minds for a good five minutes after stepping off that Italian work of art dripping with exotic labels. It showed little concern for real world budgets – pure racer on the road, to coin a well-used phrase.

Even at a penny short of fifteen grand, it represented reasonable value when you tallied up the sum of its parts. And now, Aprilia has managed to get that same V-four desirability priced more than tantalisingly close to the latest in-line fours from the land of the rising sun.

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