By Troy Siahaan
In just a few days I’ll be the lucky bas—- who gets to unwind the new Aprilia RSV4 1100 Factory around the legendary Mugello circuit as part of the bike’s international press launch. Stay tuned next week for my thoughts on it. However, in anticipation for that event, I thought I’d look back to see what makes the RSV4 such a darling in the eyes of the moto press. So rewind your minds back ten or so years to 2008/2009 and think about the literbike landscape back then. With the benefit of hindsight, we can say with confidence the space looked pretty bland, with the Big Four Japanese, Ducati, and KTM‘s RC8 the only real players (sorry MV Agusta fanboys). The field then got a jolt in 2009 with the announcement of both the BMW S1000RR and Aprilia RSV4 – both models promising to shake up the status quo. If you’ve read any motorcycle magazine since then, you undoubtedly know each bike lives up to the claim. Personally, the Aprilia is one of my favorite liter-class bikes out there. Here are seven ways the RSV4 shook up the game.
7. That V4 Engine
A decade ago if you wanted four cylinders in a literbike engine, they’d all be aligned in a row. If you wanted cylinders opposing each other in a V shape (or L shape for the Ducati purists), you were restricted to two cylinders. With its first 100% in-house engine design, Aprilia’s RSV4 combined the best of both worlds, stuffing four cylinders, 65 degrees apart in a V, with two pistons per bank between the frame spars. The result was an engine we didn’t know we needed until we rode it. During Phase 1 of …read more