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V4 CyclePath...
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Quote Chris Martin Speed Channel Motorcycle Racing Editor

Has Aprilia's limited and expensive RSV4 Factory street model, which
is unapologetically high tech and razor sharp in its focus, skirted
the spirit of the WSBK rules?

Having long dominated the Grand Prix undercard, Italian firm Aprilia
have found the upper echelons of two-wheeled motorsport a bit more
difficult to crack. They developed their RSV1000R Mille twin into an
occasional World Superbike race winner but never a title earner before
switching their focus to a disastrous foray into MotoGP with a Formula
1-inspired triple (the results of which were more Minardi than
McLaren).

However, not only are Aprilia back in World Superbike with the tidy
and powerful RSV4, but looking increasingly like they've finally
solved the equation. A conquering Max Biaggi has taken control of
points standings on the strength of four dominating double victories,
and as the series has now arrived at Brno -- a circuit mastered by the
Italian like no other -- a fifth double is viewed as not just a remote
possibility, but perhaps even a probability.

But coinciding with Aprilia's rapid ascension, what once was just a
disenchanted murmur has worked its way into an open cry of foul. Many
are asking if the remarkably compact and staggeringly quick (and we're
talking a consistent 15kph advantage over Carlos Checa's near works
Ducati on the front straight at Miller Motorsports Park) V4 wouldn't
be more at home in the MotoGP paddock rather than racing against its
Superbike rivals. Based on the limited and expensive RSV4 Factory
street model, which is unapologetically high tech and razor sharp in
its focus, has Aprilia skirted the spirit of the rules?

While some may look at the Aprilia and see a thinly-veiled Grand Prix
racer, from my perspective, the Aprilia not only belongs in World
Superbike, it is the quintessential World Superbike racer.


The RSV4 effectively blends the heart and soul of the sport's most
legendary machines into an overwhelmingly effective package that will
only continue to make strides as it develops.

Yes, the Aprilia hearkens back to the early days of the championship
that contested its first season in 1988. If you wanted any hope of
winning championships or even races on a regular basis back in those
days, one of two things was basically a requirement: 1) Italian
machinery or 2) a V-Four.

Ducati's V-Twins (along with, briefly, Bimota's Yamaha-powered inline
fours) squared off against Honda's V4s in a battle for Superbike
supremacy for more than a decade as the championship found its legs.

Even though the Superbike regulations were more or less written up
around Japanese inline fours -- machines that have owned the grid in
terms of sheer numbers pretty much throughout Superbike racing history
-- in the last millennium (1988 up until 1999 -- coincidentally, the
same season Aprilia first entered the series) Italian racebikes and
Honda V4s combined to score ten of the first eleven rider
championships with a race win percentage of over 73% (210 out of a
possible 286). Even more impressively, they combined the claim the
series' first 17 manufacturers titles.

While Aprilia's own World Superbike heritage is nowhere near as
decorated as Ducati's or Honda's, they learned their lessons from the
best, merging the concepts and history of both.

Even the limited run Factory model follows in their well-established
tradition. Fielding Superbike racers based on exclusive, high-dollar
street bikes has not only long been the modus operandi of Ducati, but
a strategy also employed by Honda with their RC30 and RC45 V4s… and
just about every other make in the series' formative years that saw
the grid teeming with special edition GSX-R750RRs and ZX-R750RRs and
OW01s and the like.

Yes, the Aprilia is a modern day throwback right down to its
controversial addition of gear-driven cams at Miller Motorsports Park,
reminiscent in many ways (and considerably less egregious it must be
said) of the midseason maneuver executed by Ducati back in 1998.

Struggling to match the outright speed of the 190-horsepower HRC
Castrol Honda RC45s (equal to the NSR500 GP bikes of the day), Ducati
turned up at Kyalami with an enlarged airbox and revised frame and
intake system for the 996cc V-Twin of Carl Fogarty. This upgrade,
which was controversially made legal by the release of a 916SPS
Fogarty Replica homologation special streetbike, enabled Fogarty to
reclaim his throne by a narrow 4.5-point margin over Honda's Aaron
Slight at the conclusion of the season.

Following in this same line of thought, Superbike title favorite Max
Biaggi is the ideal pilot for this retro-ish next-gen machine, himself
something of a modern day take on SBK's original heroes. European GP
refugees like 1981 500GP champion Marco Lucchinelli, one-time
(boycotted) 500GP race winner Pierfrancsco Chili, and Frenchman
Raymond Roche (who finished third in the 1984 500GP World Championship
but never won a race during his decade long career in the class)
helped to define a grid that was dismissively looked down upon as a
collection of old-timers, castaways, never-weres, and never-will-bes
by the elitist Grand Prix paddock.

While that attitude has softened over the years as the championship
has grown up, it's never really gone away. And who better to represent
the ragtag group of Superbike stars than Biaggi, a four-time 250GP
world champion and 500GP and MotoGP series runner-up who only came to
Superbike racing after being blacklisted and chased away his old GP
stomping grounds?

The spiritual successor (and some might say ultimate expression) of
the GP rejects of the eighties and early nineties, Biaggi also mixes
in traits reminiscent of Superbike greats Carl Fogarty and (yet
another Grand Prix refugee) John Kocinski. Massively talented riders
perfectly content to play the bad guy, all three men were 'blessed'
with personalities that seem to annoy just about everyone outside
their extremely loyal fan bases.

While Biaggi and his mount may recall the series' past, they are also
on the verge of breaking new ground together. The aforementioned Roche
still stands as the only non-native English speaker to win a World
Superbike crown, sneaking in between the reigns of Fred Merkel and
Doug Polen to grab the title in 1990.

That's right, the Italian-owned, based, and loved series may have its
homegrown champion at last, something rival Ducati has long attempted
to deliver without success. And not only that, but via an Italian
superteam with Biaggi piloting the Italian Aprilia in Alitalia colors.

Veni, vidi, vici.
 

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I think that Aprilia deserves the success. They went ahead and built an unashamedly race oriented machine...and yeah, may have skirted the rules in an area or two, but should reap the rewards of that commitment.
The BIGGEST issue I have is that there seems to be a much wider chasm between their surprisingly weak (relatively speaking to the others) showroom floor street model V4 and their WSBK machine. The Aprilia, together with the Yamaha, have by afr the least power and torque of the current street sport bikes, and the slowest lap times in the comparisons, and yet one of their W/SBK machine is now extremely competitive and in the capable hands of Biaggi, looking to likely win the championship.

Compare it to the BMW...which is a killer fast street bike (the fastest, most powerful, quickest lap-time bike of all time), but it can't yet compare to the Aprilia in W/SBK racing. It's a surprising imbalance when comparing the Biaggi Aprilia performance against the Aprilias you and I can buy for the street. It would be much nicer, if the street machine was also a knock-your-socks-off performance machine, but its near the back of the pack, and that's the disappointing bit for me.
 

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V4 CyclePath...
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Discussion Starter #3
I
The BIGGEST issue I have is that there seems to be a much wider chasm between their surprisingly weak (relatively speaking to the others) showroom floor street model V4 and their WSBK machine. The Aprilia, together with the Yamaha, have by afr the least power and torque of the current street sport bikes, and the slowest lap times in the comparisons, and yet one of their W/SBK machine is now extremely competitive and in the capable hands of Biaggi, looking to likely win the championship.
Aprilia just filled in the chasm Barry... send it to me and I'll make it street legal for you...



The 2010 World Superbike Championship has proved that the Aprilia RSV4
has the potential to win the title, especially in the hands of a very
capable Max Biaggi. Aprilia has developed a very special edition to
commemorate Biaggi's multiple victories this season (four so far,
after his two wins at Monza). The bike was created with the intention
of giving privateer racers a platform that would allow them to be
competitive in the Superstock 1000 class that accompanies WSBK around
the globe. A few minor additions should make the bike ready to go
head-to-head with BMW's S1000RR that has been dominating Superstock
with Italian Ayrton Badovini going undefeated in the first four races
of the season.

Powered by a highly refined version of the 65-degree V-Four, the
Biaggi version pumps out a claimed 200 hp at 12,500 rpm (20 more than
the RSV4 "Factory" model), with torque bumped up from 85 to 92 ft.-lb.
at 10,000 revs. The extra power and torque come from the adoption of a
high-performance Akrapovic 4-into-2-into-1 exhaust system, a bigger
airbox, more-aggressive cam timing and an Aprilia Racing-developed APX
ECU running on related Ares software.

The Biaggi Replica shares all the main rolling-gear components with
the factory racer, including Öhlins suspension front and rear,
Marchesini forged alloy wheels, Brembo Monobloc radial-mount calipers
with 320mm front rotors and a carbon-fiber fairing in either a raw
finish or the Aprilia factory racing colors. The bike weighs a claimed
385 pounds dry and leaves room for further improvements and
refinements, depending on the wants of the owner and the bike's
intended use (sweet track day bike!). Current pricing is set for the
equivalent of $63,400
 

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Step up or shut up Japan, INDEED

I agree with the above story, the japanese were the starters of the BIG MONEY BIKES to make a race bike...Ducati followed suit for al those years and i am suprised the 1098/1198R has not had some revisions since its inception except for a new aluminum gas tank and some graphics.

Aprilia as a company is out there to win races and sell some bikes for sure.
Not sure how much they make on each bike, but they are on my short list of bikes i would drop money on...would finish up my dream garage for sure.
 

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I don't really see the problem with it. Ducati developed the 1098R for the same reason.

Just forces the other manufactures to step it up. You could even make the argument that its easier for the big 4 to push tech if they wanted to because they can spread the cost of it over 10x the amount of sales that Aprilia and Ducati have. And can likely use some of the tech developed in other platforms (jet ski's, side by sides etc), thus further reducing their actual development cost.
 

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Panigaliscious
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Just haters. It must really chap the establishment that Aprilia can step in and win so quickly.
 

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You all know the only reason BLS posted this was the mention of the RC45. He even highlighted it :rolleyes:
 

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Easy now, no picking on Fester, be it founded or not, it'll upset some of the weak-kneed types around here....
 

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I think that Aprilia deserves the success. They went ahead and built an unashamedly race oriented machine...and yeah, may have skirted the rules in an area or two, but should reap the rewards of that commitment.
The BIGGEST issue I have is that there seems to be a much wider chasm between their surprisingly weak (relatively speaking to the others) showroom floor street model V4 and their WSBK machine. The Aprilia, together with the Yamaha, have by afr the least power and torque of the current street sport bikes, and the slowest lap times in the comparisons, and yet one of their W/SBK machine is now extremely competitive and in the capable hands of Biaggi, looking to likely win the championship.

Compare it to the BMW...which is a killer fast street bike (the fastest, most powerful, quickest lap-time bike of all time), but it can't yet compare to the Aprilia in W/SBK racing. It's a surprising imbalance when comparing the Biaggi Aprilia performance against the Aprilias you and I can buy for the street. It would be much nicer, if the street machine was also a knock-your-socks-off performance machine, but its near the back of the pack, and that's the disappointing bit for me.
The reason for the disparity between street and track RSV4's is ... reliability . For the Aprilia to make BMW-like HP , it would need weekly rebuilds !:woot:
 

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The reason for the disparity between street and track RSV4's is ... reliability . For the Aprilia to make BMW-like HP , it would need weekly rebuilds !:woot:
would work well in a touring bike though, like all V4s.......
 

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Heehee , well , Honda chose it for their new ST after all . Jokes aside , it is truly amazing that the S1000 can produce such numbers , and I would assume is good for 100K+ reliability . I just don't think Aprilia has the engineering acumen to pull off the same .
 

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Heehee , well , Honda chose it for their new ST after all . Jokes aside , it is truly amazing that the S1000 can produce such numbers , and I would assume is good for 100K+ reliability . I just don't think Aprilia has the engineering acumen to pull off the same .
Good point. If they did, they wouldn`t have chosen a touring bike configuration for a WSB contender..... unless they`re stuck in 1994 also??????
 
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