Aprilia V4

The new Aprilia V4 Tuono and RSV are here, with 200hp in the superbike and a stonking 1100cc engine in the naked bike!

The 1st of June is not my favourite date by any means, heralding as it does the onset of winter, but this year it was at least made considerably more betterer by the unleashing of the 2015 range of Aprilia V4s at the Sydney press launch.

In both RSV4 and Tuono V4 guise they are mouthwatering machines to look at and have been considerably revised over previous models. The Tuono comes in two forms, the RR and the Factory, while the RSV has three variants in the RR, the RR Racepack and the Factory.

For starters the swingarm on both bikes is now longer to improve traction and weight distribution. The seat is 15mm lower, despite thicker and more comfy padding, and the handlebars narrower.

Aerodynamics have been improved, particularly on the Tuono which now has revised bodywork up front to steer more of the wind around you. There’s also new paint schemes across the board, my favourite being the bold graphics of the Superpole version.

The bigger, 1077cc engine in the Tuono is tuned for less power and more torque than the 1000cc RSV, whose massively impressive 201hp (there’s mud in yer eye, Yamaha R1) is achieved in large part by a 2000rpm higher rev limit than the 175hp Tuono, although with a whopping 121Nm of torque the nakedbike is likely to cause an upsurge in dislocated shoulder injuries.

What both bikes have in common is bucket loads of electronic tech which has kept the acronym department at Aprilia well busy.

For a start the bike is of course ride-by-wire controlled by the Aprilia Performance Ride Control Package or APRC and has the de rigueur three engine maps: re-named Track, Sport and Race which are changeable on-the-fly. There’s not even a mention of a Road map so take that as an indication of the manly men these bikes are aimed at. There is adjustable ABS at both ends allied to rear-wheel-lift-up-mitigation; there’s eight-step traction control (ATC) and launch control (ALC) as well as three-step wheelie control (AWC) and a quick-shifter: yes you guessed it, AQS. There’s also two choices for the dashboard display being Road, which primarily displays your speed, or Race which highlights lap-times, engine map and gear position. If all that’s not enough you can even hook the bike up to your smartphone to allow you to adjust the bike’s setting as well as record telemetry and even get real-time hints on how to improve your lap times. As the manual deftly puts it:

Active electronic setup: This is as close as you can get to the “corner-by-corner” electronic management used in racing. Using the GPS feature of your smartphone, the system recognises the position of the bike at any given time on the track and automatically changes the electronic adjustments (traction control and anti-wheelie) based on rider selected settings, corner by corner. This allows you to increase safety and effectiveness on the track, adjusting the control parameters at every point on the circuit and without distractions.

Adaptive race assistant: This feature provides tips in real time to safely achieve your best lap on the track with your RSV4. The application compares in real time the rider’s best lap with his/her current performance and assists by immediately indicating the need to brake or the possibility of opening up the throttle, to gradually achieve better lap times.

Phew. Give it a year and these things will be sentient.

Not only that but if you opt for the limited-edition RSV4 RF, of which only 25 are destined for our shores, you can adjust the rake, position of the headstock, height of the rear-end, swingarm pin and the position of the engine in the frame. And you thought setting up suspension was complicated enough.

These bikes are truly stunning in every respect and I honestly found some drool on one of the bike’s mirrors as I was taking a last look, which I felt obliged to polish off for perhaps longer than absolutely necessary. The promised trackday can’t come soon enough.

RSV4 RR $25K Ride Away
RSV4 RR Race Pack $31K Ride Away
RSV4 RF Limited Edition $31K Plus On Road Costs

Tuono 1100 $23K Ride Away
Tuono 1100 Factory $25K Ride Away


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