Aprilia SXV 550 (2007 - present) review

The bigger version of the 450, more power, bigger balls. Nutters need only apply
£ 6895
Average: 3 (1 vote)
The SXV is a racer barely masquerading as a road bike, and comes with the accompanying inadequacies
Mental engine and a brilliant stunt bike.
Needs constant attention, this is a supermoto race bike with lights.

If you know who Christian Iddon or Van Den Bosch is, this bike will need no introduction. Aprilia’s SXV550 is the Ducati 1098R of the supermoto world. When it entered the supermoto scene in 2006, rather than follow the traditional route of a big single cylinder machine Aprilia built a unique (in moto) terms 549cc V-twin. A controversial move, but one that has rewarded the Italian company a whole host of supermoto trophies. This bike is little more than Den Bosch’s race tool on the road, complete with an engine’s service life that is calculated in hours, not miles, and a petrol tank that is designed for 15 lap races, which is barely enough to make the next petrol station. Make no mistake, the SXV is a racer barely masquerading as a road bike, and comes with the accompanying inadequacies.

Which is what you would expect the SXV550 does as well, but this is a supermoto that has been designed from a blank canvas, and it isn’t what you would expect. Single cylinder direct power may be all very well and good on dirtbikes, but supermoto racers require drivability as well. So, faced with a new bike Aprilia’s engineers came up with a new engine, an ultra compact V-twin that is remarkably smooth to ride.

Looking at the SXV550 you imagine it will bite your head off, smother your daughter with semen then leave her sobbing in the corner. But although its 2008 sticker-scheme is anything but pretty, underneath the bike oozes class and sophistication. Everything about this bike is designed to make it easier for the chosen rider to win his race. From the two-stage fuel mapping (hard for the dry, a reduced power less aggressive soft mode for the wet) to the beautiful power delivery of the engine it’s designed to be a user friendly as a supermoto can be.

Which, to be fair, isn’t anything like a road bike, but for a supermoto the Aprilia is very easy. It’s also the easiest to play the fool on.

And the Aprilia is proper-fast compared to these other two. Wind them open at the same time and the SXV just blazes into the distance. While the Husky roughly demands you stunt, the Aprilia gently suggests it, then allows its quality components to flatter your ability. How about a big stoppie? No problem, my huge 48mm forks are beautifully damped, my FTE calipers have vast amounts of power and feel and my lightweight chassis is perfectly balanced. No components fight each other, or the rider for that matter, on the SXV, they all work together in harmony.

Well, except for the seat, which we were rapidly discovering seem to be the mark of a true supermoto. The harder the better in this world.

Let us begin with the lunatic and its plus points. Firstly, it looks amazing – a trials/supermoto hybrid. Incredibly skinny with a fat 180-section rear tyre and possibly one of the sexiest titanium exhaust system to grace any bike. Secondly, it sounds amazing. The tiniest V-twin ever made is manhandled into the smallest space imaginable and again, the exhaust emits an evocative, race-bred bark. Thirdly, the performance is sensational. It’s smooth and fast though it’s 5 gears have ratios that mean you run out of puff quite quickly. The 180-rear tyre doesn’t slow turning down too much and the brakes are absolutely phenomenal.

What else? Ah yes, it holds less than 8 litres of fuel and is very thirsty, has the world’s most ridiculously uncomfortable seat and will need a service by the time you’ve pushed it home. So, if you have a titanium ring piece, a 500-yard daily commute and a personal mechanic, this is the kiddy.

Read more: http://www.visordown.com/road-tests/pack-instinct-sm510r-vs-690smc-vs-sxv550/5927.html#ixzz0zPPVgE1j

Price: £6,600 Engine: 549cc, lc, 4t, twin Power: 70bhp @ 10,000rpm Torque: - Front suspension: 48mm USD fully adj. Rear suspension: Monoshock, fully adj. Front brake: 320mm discs, four-piston Rear brake: 240mm disc, one-piston Dry weight: 138kg (claimed) Seat height: 918mm Fuel capacity: 7.8L Top speed: 95mph Colours: Red/Black or VdB Replica

Read more: http://www.visordown.com/road-tests/pack-instinct-sm510r-vs-690smc-vs-sxv550/5927.html#ixzz0zPQbCRTt

Mental engine and a brilliant stunt bike.
Needs constant attention, this is a supermoto race bike with lights.