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Above the RSVR Factory gets the uprated Ohlins suspension at the rear and up front with the new style radial mounted Brembo brakes, lighter wheels and carbon fibre tidbits to impress your buddies. Otherwise the Factory is just like the base R model. When riding the two on the race track, we couldn't tell them apart handling wise. and of course, the engines are the same.

page 2 continued
World Superbike girl Janelle Perzina evaluates the new
2004 Aprilia RSV1000R & Factory

The engines on both models are the same so there was no difference in speed or power between the two, although one Factory model I spent most of my time on did have a noticeable mid range flat spot around 5,000 rpm. Once up to racing speed on the track I was always had engine rpm above the flat spot and didn't have to worry about it, but it was curious that it was there on the one bike and not the others. I'm guessing the flat spot had to do with the one bike being a California specification EPA model, while the others had the normal 49 state or European ECU richer fuel injection maping. No big deal as the optional Aprilia Race Silencer Kit with computer injection remaping will fix the problem.

Aprilia rates the new Mille R engine at 136hp which most be measured somewhere near the piston wrist pin, because it certainly doen't feel that powerful. It feels a more like 120-125hp by the time the rubber meets the track. Power feels comparable to base model Ducati 999 with 123hp. We were later able to confirm this with a dyno test of the new RSVR, and for the same of comparision, with the outgoing '03 Mille R model as shown here.

The powerband is an exclusive to Aprilia. The engine feels very smooth like a Japanese in-line four, but with a broad mid range torque curve that pulls smoothly right up to readline. For a V-Twin it doesn't have the gut wrenching midrange torque and thumping power pulses like a Ducati. But rather, it is an excellent compriomise between the two.

Want even more power? No problem, Aprilia will also have a slip-on Race Silencer Kit for the RSV1000R with remapping for the computer which ups power output a claimed 10-12 hp in midrange and 4hp at peak. That should more than make up for the mid-range flat spot I encountered in only one of the Factory models I was riding.

In the suspension department the base model R handled flawlessly right out of the box, while the Ohlins suspended R model seemed to need some fine tuning if it was going to prove itself even better. By then it was past noon and the outside air temperature had risen to 110 degrees and I wasn’t in the mood to play stop and go in the pits to try and see if I could make it better. Besides, the bike was handling more than well enough at racing speeds that the only limiting factor on either model bike was myself. Besides, I had a good 2 hours of track time on the bikes and I had to make it back to Los Angelesfor a hot date tonight.

In conclusion, everything you are going to be reading about the new generation RSV1000R and Factory models will be true. This is an incredible new Superbike from Aprilia bordering on perfection. It handles, stops, all with a beautiful powerband in a beautiful sexy new body. It does nothing wrong, inspiring confidence in everything it does. It is a bike that returns Aprilia to the forefront of Superbike market. Which makes it extremely disappointing that Aprilia will not follow-up this incredible new bike with a return to World Superbike racing in 2004.

On the race track I can see the Aprilia dominating on the shorter tracks, while the 999 with its longer wheelbase and rock steady handling will dominate on high speed tracks. Which is a waste of a fantastic bike since Aprila has already stated it will not race World or AMA Superbike in 2004 , leaving Ducati to continue to dominate in World and the Japanese will continue to win in AMA Superbike.

Is the new Aprila RSVR a better motorcycle than the Ducati 999? No, its just different. It is a serious caliber highly competant superbike for every day streetbike use, at a much better price/value than the class leading 999. The Aprilia lacks the stronger personality and quirkiness that Ducati bikes have always had which enamours them to their owners -it's almost a touch too refined like a Yamaha R1, on the verge of being boring if it wan't such a great bike. The Aprilia beats the Japanese at their own game - it feels like a Japanese bike in many respects, but with better design quality, engine performance and handling.

And the Aprilia is an incredible bargain. The RSV1000R base model will be priced around $12,000, right in contention with the new range of Japanese2004 inline -four Superbikes. You’ll be able to buy the new RSV1000R at your Aprilia dealer beginning this September 2003, beating the upcoming new Japanese superbikes to market by a number of months. And the Aprilia has the advantage of a broad V-twin powerband compared to the rev happy in-line fours, particularly for street riding.

The 2004 RSV1000R should have Ducati extremely worried, both on the track and in the showroom, because at $12,000 with its 136 hp engine the RSVR offers more value and equal performance to the base Ducati 999 with its 123hp at $17,000. The Mille R is not quite equal in engine performance to the $23,000 136hp Ohlins suspended Ducati 999S, but its is a more affordable track bike and an easier to live with on a day to day basis as a street bike. The Aprilia RSV1000R Factory model with its Ohlins suspension is priced around $18,000. So both Aprilia models cost about $5,000 less than comparable Ducati models. The boys from Bolonga have a fight on their hands.

Back to Aprilia RSV1000R Test Page 1

Aprilia RSV1000R Nera and Racing Specials Page 3
Back to Aprilia RSV1000R Introduction Page 1
Back to Aprilia Index

click to see much more ...

Aprilia RSV Mille R FACTORY

Price Estimated: $18,000
Engine type:
V60 Magnesium: four-stroke longitudinal 60° V-twin; liquid cooling with three-way pressurized circuit; double overhead camshaft operated by a mixed gear/chain system; four valves per cylinder; patent AVDC (Anti Vibration Double Countershaft
95 RON unleaded petrol
Bore and stroke:
97 x 67.5 mm
Displacement :
997.62 cc
Compression ratio:
11.8 : 1
Maximum power at crank :
138.72 hp (102 kW) at 9500 rpm
Maximum torque at crank :
10.9 kgm (107 Nm) at 7,500 rpm
Fuel system:
Integrated electronic engine management system. Indirect multipoint electronic injection. Throttle body diameter: 57 mm.
10,3 litre airbox, with Air Runner air scoop.
Digital electronic ignition, with one spark plug per cylinder and integrated injection
Double silencer with three-way catalytic converter and lambda sensor (Euro 2)
12V - 500 W
Dry sump with separate oil tank.
Double trochoidal pump with oil cooling radiator.
Steel oil tank

Gearbox :
six speed with ratios:
1st 34/15 (2.27)
2nd 31/19 (1.63)
3rd 26/20 (1.3)
4th 24/22 (1.091)
5th 24/25 (0.96)
6th 23/26 (0.88)
Multiple disc wet clutch with patented PPC power-assisted hydraulic control
Braided metal clutch line
Radial pump with 15 mm piston.
Primary drive:
Straight cut gears with ratio: 60/31 (1.935)
Final drive:
40/16 (2.5)

Box section sloping twin-spar aluminium alloy frame
Two-chamber adjustable Öhlins Racing steering damper with one-piece mounting.

Front suspension:
Öhlins titanium nitride coated 43 mm diameter upside-down fork; 120 mm wheel travel.
External hydraulic adjustment system for rebound, compression and preload.
Lowered legs for radial calliper mounting

Rear suspension:
Double banana aluminium alloy swing arm and APS progressive system linkage.
Öhlins Racing hydraulic shock absorber with piggy-back cylinder and adjustable rebound, compression and preload. 133 mm wheel travel.

Front: Brembo double Ø 320 mm floating stainless steel disc. Radial calliper with four 34 mm diameter pistons and 4 sintered pads. Braided metal brake line.
Rear: Brembo 220 mm diameter stainless steel disc. Two-piston (32 mm diameter) calliper and sintered pads. Braided metal brake line.
Forged aluminium alloy
Front: 3.50 X 17"
Rear: 6.00 X 17"
Tubeless radial;
front: 120/70 ZR 17
rear: 180/55 ZR 17 (alternative: 190/50 ZR 17)

Overall length: 2035 mm
Overall width: 730 mm (at handlebars)
Overall height: 1145 mm (at windscreen)
Saddle height: 810 mm
Handlebar height 830 mm (at bar ends)
Wheelbase 1418 mm
Trail 101.7 mm
Steering angle 24.80°
Dry weight : 185 Kg
Tank: 18 litre capacity (including 4 litre reserve)

Colours available:
Lead Grey/Magnet Grey, Aprilia Black/Diablo Black and Fluo Red/Lead Grey