Aprilia RSV4 Factory

aprilia-rsv4-sFull details on the new Aprilia RSV4R Factory.


Aprilia RSV4 Factory

The Aprilia RSV4 Factory is now available in Australia. Motoaus.com had the pleasure of attending the recent launch of the RSV4 Factory, and can report the bike looks every bit as good in the flesh – perhaps even better – than in the photos. While we didn’t get a chance to ride the beast, we did hear it run. As expected, the V4 produces one of the finest motorcycle soundtracks available. Aprilia also supplied us with the full details on the bike, which are presented below.

We hope to ride this fantastic machine and bring you a full road review some time in the future. At present, the bike is rare enough, and in demand enough, to preclude the possibility of test rides. Just reading the technical specifications should set the motorcycle enthusiast salivating:



In line with the Aprilia tradition, the RSV4 Factory is a racing machine that follows a completely different approach in its design and construction. Its narrow V engine, the use of state-of-the-art electronics, plus its light weight and extremely compact design are only a few of the features that make it unique.

Aprilia RSV4 Factory is designed and built with the same philosophy adopted by the Aprilia race division. This is why RSV4 Factory is the most “complete” Superbike racing replica, ready for those who want to venture onto the track with a class leading motorcycle.

The engine of the RSV4 Factory is the most advanced and powerful Aprilia has ever built. It is a super compact 999.6 cc 65° V-four cylinder engine designed for maximum power (180 CV). This is achieved by careful engineering combined with the finest materials and the most advanced electronic control solutions. The use of Ride-by-Wire multimap technology encourages new frontiers for engine management – with virtually infinite possibilities for further development.  A sophisticated electronic injection system is also fitted, including two injectors and adjustable height intake ducts.

The RSV4 Factory’s chassis is designed for the racetrack. The adjustable geometry chassis is typical of racing motorcycles, and allows parameters such as the position and inclination of the headstock, the height of the swingarm pivot point and even that of the engine to be changed. The construction technology is also motorsports-derived. The chassis and swingarm are made of aluminium with variable section castings and pressings.


Other chassis components are the most advanced in motorcycling, including Öhlins racing front forks, rear monoshock and steering damper, Brembo monobloc callipers and forged aluminium rims. The Aprilia RSV4 Factory is the new benchmark in the street legal superbike sector. The unique characteristics of the bike include:

• Compact, advanced design
• New – and unique – 65° V-four cylinder engine
• Multi-adjustable perimeter aluminium alloy frame
• Adjustable engine position within frame
• Asymmetric aluminium swingarm
• Öhlins Racing full adjustable fork and rear monoshock.

In line with Aprilia traditions, the design of RSV4 Factory does not focus merely on looks, but also serves technology and performance. Every detail has been conceived not just to be unique and beautiful, but above all to be efficient.

The optimised dynamic intake system feeding the V4 engine defines the aggressive yet striking design of the front of the motorcycle. Extra-large air intakes not only develop considerable overpressure in the airbox (approx. 35 millibars of boost @ 280 km/h), but also completely separate the head lamps from the bottom of the fairing. This results in an completely unique style, never seen before on a sports motorcycle. The look of the RSV4 Factory is absolutely original, hi-tech and  aggressive.

The triple headlamp cites the original Aprilia superbike – the RSV which set new standards for sports twins in 1998. Smaller, lower and narrower than any four-cylinder bike before, the RSV4 Factory’s extremely compact size is its strength, together with an almost obsessive pursuit of perfect ergonomics (crucial for perfect riding control), which has always distinguished Aprilia’s road and World Championship dominating motorcycles. In-depth research minimised surface area without compromising the bike’s classleading aerodynamics.

The ultra-compact tail fairing is one of the most distinctive features of this motorcycle. The LED tail light merges perfectly into the tail, offering excellent luminosity.

RSV4 Engine

The pursuit of maximum engine performance in a supersport motorcycle must be accompanied by an engine perfectly positioned in the frame. Mass centralisation, swingarm length and optimum weight distribution achieve the most competitive bike, together with the pursuit of maximum power and useable power delivery.

Aprilia engineers have known for years that a narrow V engine layout is the ideal technical solution for obtaining a class-beating chassis architecture which emphasises the performance of the engine. It is no coincidence that the RSV 1000 twin, launched in 1998, is still universally acknowledged as the sports motorcycle with the best chassis ever produced. Even the multiple race and World-championship- winning RSA 250 GP motorcycles produced by Aprilia’s race division, utilise a V engine.

After evaluating all possible solutions, a narrow V engine was chosen for the new Superbike. Aprilia decided on a 65° V-4 cylinder engine, which was the only solution to ensure unparalleled performance, in keeping with the outstanding chassis architecture that has defined all Aprilia racing motorcycles for the past twenty years. Besides the exclusive configuration that makes the 65° V4 unique around the world, the technical advantages of the Aprilia four-cylinder engine can be summarised as follows:

• Perfectly integrated into the frame, with optimal mass centralisation and minimal inertia for benchmark agility.
• Absolute slimness, its overall width is comparable to that of a twin cylinder motorcycle, with huge benefits in terms of ergonomics and aerodynamics.
• The compactness of the engine makes a very over square cylinder layout possible, using large bores and subsequently larger valves, helping the engine breathe more freely and achieve higher engine speeds (14,000 usable rpm).

The engine was entirely developed by Aprilia’s Research and Development Division, aiming at producing record performance and rideability, while complying with the strictest reliability and quality standards. Aprilia’s V4 design exploited the most powerful calculation programmes currently available on the market, resulting in a highly optimised engine layout.

By slightly opening the angle of the V (with respect to a 60° V engine), the designers could make use of the larger space to optimise the inlet ducts and maximise engine efficiency. The RSV4 engine has class-leading fluid dynamics attributes matched by no other narrow V engine.

The unique timing system makes extremely compact heads possible (measuring only 250 mm high at the rear), especially in the area beneath the frame spars, which are much narrower than would otherwise be possible. The lateral timing chain drives the intake camshaft only and follows an optimised path for improved timing precision and chain durability. A gear pair at the centre of the cylinder bank transmits drive to the exhaust camshaft. This solution made it possible to obtain an extremely compact head in the exhaust area.

The V4 is even more compact than the V60 Magnesium twin mounted on the RSV 1000 R. A countershaft dampens vibrations even more than in a 90° V engine. The crankcase is a monobloc configuration with integrated cylinder liners for maximum rigidity and consistent performance.


RSV4 Factory Engine Electronics and Fuelling

Electronics of the Future Aprilia’s RSV4 Factory engine features full Ride-by-Wire technology. There is no direct connection between throttle grip and the throttle valves, which are completely controlled by a latest generation Marelli control unit. Each bank has a dedicated servo unit actuating the two relevant throttle bodies. This means that the two banks (and subsequently the quantity of fuel injected) can be managed independently. While this solution has been tried and tested by Aprilia, it has never been applied before on such a powerful engine, thus opening up practically infinite possibilities for power delivery control.

This technology immediately benefits the rider who, thanks to the triple mapping that can be controlled directly from the handlebar, can change the engine delivery mode, and thus the motorcycle’s temperament, at any time. The fuel supply uses two injectors per cylinder. One injector is placed downstream of the throttle valve and a “shower” injector is placed in the airbox, working only at high loads and revs. The technological excellence of the V4 engine is complemented by electronically controlled variable length intake ducts.

At low revs and loads, the long duct favours torque and smooth power delivery. When top performance is required, the upper part of the intake duct raises, thus shortening the duct and leaving the engine free to express its full power potential. A butterfly valve in the exhaust further optimises power delivery. The transmission was also designed according to the most advanced criteria. To underscore the racing soul of the V4 engine, a cassette gearbox is used, with a multiplate wet clutch disc equipped with a mechanical slipper system to optimise engine braking torque and ensure stability under hard braking.

Lastly, in order to minimise weight, Aprilia’s new engine makes large use of ultra light materials – all valve covers and external housings are made from magnesium.

The V4 Engine

Engine capacity: 999.6 cc
Architecture: 65° V4
Power: 180 HP (132.4 kW) at 12,500 rpm
Crankcase: monobloc with integrated cylinder liners
Timing system: 4 valves per cylinder (Titanium and Nymonic) operated directly by a camshaft driven by a mixed chain/ gear system (lateral timing chain, central gear train)
Fuel system: Magneti Marelli electronic injection with 2 injectors per cylinder and integrated independent Ride-by- Wire system for each bank. Three mappings selectable from handlebar.
Electronically controlled variable length intake ducts
Antivibration countershaft
Maximum rpm: 14,100 rpm
Compression ratio: 13:1
Transmission: 6-speed direct-control cassette gearbox
Clutch: multiplate wet clutch with mechanical slipper system
Exhaust system: 4 into 2 into 1 headers with oxygen sensor and single silencer with integrated catalytic converter and butterfly valve.

RSV4 Factory Chassis


Perfect mass centralisation was a must when the RSV4 Factory frame was being developed. Everything was designed in order to achieve the best possible result, starting from the tank position (crucial for riding) with most of the fuel under the saddle in order to optimise motorcycle balance and eliminate any riding differences between full and empty tank.

There is no doubt that the Aprilia RSV4 Factory is a true track-ready motorcycle, and a front/rear weight distribution of 52/48 confirms this. In line with Aprilia race division traditions, the RSV4 structure uses castings and aluminium pressings that are welded to create a far more rigid frame than that of the RSV 1000 twin, which was already a benchmark. In particular, torsional and flexural rigidities were optimised in order to offer perfect feeling and control as well as the ability to handle the high power outputs of the Superbike version.

Not withstanding the higher performance, the RSV4 Factory frame weighs almost the same as the RSV, at only 10.1 kg, a lightness matched only by racing frames. The special construction technology also allows both the frame and the swingarm to show the natural colour of the aluminium, which makes the appearance of the RSV4 Factory very similar to that of a racing prototype.


Designed using the knowledge acquired during GP racing, the outstanding swingarm of the RSV4 Factory, like its frame, is made by combining castings (the internal part and the swingarm pin/wheel connection areas) with aluminium bent sheet elements (the external part) to form a very rigid but super light box section, capable of minimising the moving masses and emphasising the motorcycle’s reactivity to suspension adjustments.

The asymmetric conformation, with an arch section on the right side and a reinforcing arch on the left, made it possible to implement an exhaust system with optimised internal volumes without penalising the rigidity of the swingarm. Here too, FEM modelling was used in the design process to optimise cross sections and thicknesses.The swingarm of the RSV4 Factory weighs only 5,100 grams.

In order to boost chassis performance and make it match the rider’s style and wishes, or features of the track, Aprilia RSV4 Factory ensures a combination of adjustments that are virtually infinite.

The multi-adjustable suspension, taken for granted on a motorcycle of this level, are combined with adjustments of the headstock position and rake (through interchangeable bushings), the rear ride height, the swing-arm pivot height and – introducing a new capability exclusive to this bike – the engine position in the frame. The Aprilia RSV4 Factory is the most highly adjustable production motorcycle in the world, just like a real race bike.

RSV4 Factory Suspension

rsv4-brakesThe Öhlins Racing upside-down fork has 43-mm stanchions and is titanium nitride coated to minimise friction. The wheel travel is 120 mm. Just as used in race motorcycles, the fork allows precision adjustment for hydraulic compression and rebound damping and spring preload. The Öhlins Racing rear shock absorber is equipped with a “Piggy Back” nitrogen canister and can be adjusted for spring preload, compression and rebound damping, and length, thus allowing the height of the rear end of the bike to be set-up to suit different riding styles and tracks.

The wheel travel is 130 mm. The motorcycle is also equipped with an Öhlins Racing adjustable steering damper. Brakes The front system is without a shadow of a doubt the best system available on the market. Brembo monobloc radial callipers are the state-of-the-art in racing braking systems – thanks to their power, high modulability and fatigue resistance. The dual 320-mm diameter stainless steel floating discs are completely new and were developed by Aprilia specifically for this motorcycle.

A rotor with reduced height and asymmetric perforation were used, allowing the braking power to be improved and the front wheel to be lightened by approximately 500 grams. The floating retainer is fastened to the flange with 6 pins only in order to minimise inertia and weight. The brake master cylinder is the radial type to improve lever feel and response accuracy. The rear braking system is Brembo “Serie Oro” with 220-mm diameter stainless steel disc and two-piston caliper, with racing-type master cylinder and integrated reservoir.

The search for greater lightness led to implementation of new forged aluminium rims. The original design further decreases the weight (approximately 1 kg less than the RSV 1000 twin) which, together with the new brake discs, minimises unsprung mass and rotating mass inertia, benefiting motorcycle responsiveness.

Instrument panel: the mixed type (digital-analogue) receives all the information from the CAN line and becomes an integral and crucial part of the self-diagnosis system as it is fitted with memory. It is a real onboard computer, fitted with a dot matrix display inserted in a minimal, extremely modern and compact design that provides all the information relating to the use of the motorcycle, including: shift light, engaged gear indication, indication of the engine map being used and chronometer with time storing memory.


Its functionality was improved to reach a level that is even better than that of the best products available on the market, all use modes are controlled from the left hand switchgear unit so the hands can always remain on the handlebar. – the front headlamp uses three elements that call to mind of the first RSV 1000 twin, proving to be perfectly integrated, even from the structural point of view, with the top fairing and creating a very distinctive front.

The parabolic mirror was designed with modern calculation systems that led to an excellent result: maximum visibility at night with reduced weight and size. – The electrical system was designed in order to achieve maximum functionality, rationality and minimum weight: the result is an extremely clean and compact layout that makes maintenance operations easier and is preset for use on the racetrack as the parts dedicated to the headlamps can be easily removed. The front indicators are incorporated in the rear view mirrors, and the rear indicators are in the license plate holder – meaning they can be removed quickly for use on the track, the real hunting ground of the Aprilia RSV4 Factory.

RSV4 Factory Accessories


A complete range of accessories is available for the Aprilia RSV4:

– Akrapovic racing exhaust system (pictured above)
– Öhlins TTX36 rear shock absorber
– adjustable footpegs
– racing half-handlebars
– fairing protection pads
– high top fairing
– fairing caps for rear mirrors
– rear stand pins
– license plate retainer cover
– motorcycle cover
– dedicated stand
– carbon heelrests
– tank cover with backpack
– tail fairing bag
– carbon exhaust system protection
– carbon fairing pullers.


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