Two exotic Italian beauties, the Aprilia RSV1000R and Ducati 1098S get into a Euro catfight out on the street and track in this MotorcycleUSA showdown.
Since the inception of the Superbike World Championship, Twin-cylinder motorcycles have claimed 16 of 20 series titles, including fourteen by Ducati alone. Many a mortal man has been transformed into a legend thanks in part to the rider-friendly nature inherent with sporting Twins. Fogarty, Roche, Bayliss and Toseland all won championships on either the 916 or 999 platforms and starting in 2008 the new 1098 will fly the tri-color in competition for the boys of Bologna.
After watching its cross country rival enjoy a great deal of success with these machines, Aprilia decided to follow suit and entered the fray with a sporting Twin of its own in 1998 – and a rivalry was born. Unfortunately, despite the best effort of riders like Troy Corser, Regis Laconi and Noriyuki Haga, racing success didn’t come easy for the company from Noale. Aprilia has enjoyed a successful run on the sales floor and in the eyes of journalists around the world, but those accomplishments didn’t correlate to similar success on the track. After accumulating eight wins, 26 podiums and finishing third in SBK twice between 1999 and 2003, the plug was pulled on the Superbike racing program in order to focus on the company’s more-successful 250 MotoGP effort. Fortunately for carving connoisseurs, the Mille lives on as one of the longest-running V-Twin sportbikes in production today.
The 2007 Aprilia RSV1000R (Left) and 2007 Ducati 1098S are both dark & sinister looking. But we want to know which is the bad-ass because we simply cannot stand not knowing.
During the 2007 season, neither of the these machines participated in SBK, with Aprilia having pulled out of the series and Ducati’s all-new 1098 not conforming with the current rules so the 999 represented Bologna one final time. That doesn’t mean the two most current offerings from Italy’s premier sportbike manufacturers don’t deserve to have their day in the limelight. Relax and enjoy MotorcycleUSA.com’s Battle of the Twins between the venerable Aprilia RSV1000R Mille and the new Ducati 1098S. Over the course of two days at Buttonwillow Raceway courtesy of Pacific Track Time, we blew through four sets of medium compound Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa tires, two clutches, a bit of elbow grease and few notepads in an effort to find out just how these bikes stack up on the track, street and the drag strip.