The Mille R is dead. It's replacement, the Mille Factory, has moved Bert to proclaim the machine to be the best Italian V-twin sportsbike on the market
Click to read: Aprilla RSV-R Mille Factory owners reviews, Aprilla RSV-R Mille Factory specs and to see the Aprilla RSV-R Mille Factory image gallery.
Hug the kerb through the long downhill fourth-gear left and you'll come on to the heat haze that is Mugello's main straight.
As you pick the bike upright, stick your head beneath the Mille Factory's fairing. It ain't as easy as on the previous one, thanks to that narrower front end, but with all of Mugello's tortuous twists and turns to come once more you're just happy for the breather, even if all you're breathing is a blast of hot air kicked up in your face as you're sucked into that sculptured tank. Shift light comes on at 10,500 revs. Use the cut in ignition that the rev-limiter provides to snick the next gear while still pinning the throttle.
Flash past the pitwall, hug the pitlane exit and see if you're brave enough to keep it flat-stick over the rise. You won't be, at first, but after a couple of laps as you crest the rise you'll be clicking into top and heading towards the 300, 200 and 100 metre boards beyond which sits the inviting, greedy gravel trap. In a lap of the Gods, Ducati's MotoGP man Loris Capirossi was hitting 204mph down the straight before whacking on the anchors about 150 metres before the first turn. Sod that. I hazard a glance at the speedo and spot 160mph before I decide to chuck out the anchor just as the 200 board approaches.
WHOOOSHH...Those Brembo brake pixies hidden in those calipers work overtime as my arse attempts an overtake on my elbows. You have to be careful with these radial beauties, they'll spit you off into the ad hoardings if you use anything more than two fingers. Off the brakes, into the uphill right and you head back into Mugello's many sunkissed curves...
Memories are made of this. It's hard not to be rose-tinted when you're riding an Italian twin at a track like Mugello, but as I write this the memories are minty-fresh and, rose-tinted visors aside, the new Aprilia RSV1000R Factory is the best Italian V-twin sportsbike you can buy. I'll quantify that now and argue with you later...
Now, I loved the old Mille R. It was a big lad's Italian sportsbike dream. It is now dead, replaced by the Factory, while the old standard model (the RSV1000 Mille) is now replaced by the RSV1000R. Confused? Possibly. The new standard model comes with the same engine and frame as the Factory, although the frame is in an aluminium finish compared to the black of the Factory. The standard R has cheaper Showa forks and a Sachs shock, compared to the Öhlins the Factory gets, and heavier cast alloy wheels compared to the Factory's lightweight forged OZ ones. On the standard model, the Factory's superb Brembo radial brakes are ditched for standard Brembos, although they are the same as on the old Mille and 999S. You pays your money, as they say, and takes your choice, but at £8499, it's about the same as you could get a Suzuki GSX-R1000 for, even if the Suzuki is an insurance group lower (16 compared to 17).
Click to read the final page of Aprilla RSV-R Mille Factory review.
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