2015 Aprilia RSV4 RR First Look

November 5, 2014
Adam Waheed
By Adam Waheed
Road Test Editor|Articles|Articles RSS|Blog|Blog Posts|Blog RSS

His insatiable thirst for life is only surpassed by his monthly fuel bill. Whether rocketing on land, flying through the air, or jumping the seas, our Road Test Editor does it all and has the scars to prove it.

Since it debuted six years ago, Aprilia’s RSV4 has captured three World Superbike Championship titles. So it’s no surprise that the Italian manufacturer focuses on enhancing the dynamic of the platform delivering another batch of updates in the 2015 RSV4 RR.

As always, the RSV4 is powered by a compact 65-degree liquid-cooled V-Four engine that displaces 999cc. Engineers focused on the engine’s top end with both cylinder heads benefiting from revised porting and new lighter valvetrain hardware for improved combustion efficiency. Specifically, each valve is now fabricated from titanium and spun by reshaped camshafts that are more than a pound lighter.

The engine inhales air through a revised airbox and redesigned secondary set of fuel injectors. The electronically adjustable intake funnels now function with a greater range (operating at a low funnel length at high rpm, and a longer length at lower rpm). The Pankl-sourced connecting rods have also been lightened by nearly a pound. Together these changes should equate to significantly faster-revving response throughout its 13,100 rpm rev range. The engine’s oil lubrication system also sees some tweaks for improved durability in racing and high lean-angle conditions. The exhaust system was redesigned and adds another oxygen sensor (one per cylinder bank) for accurate fuel-to-air ratio adjustment.

Aprilia claims that its V-Four is capable of producing 201 horsepower at 13,000 rpm as measured from the crankshaft. This should equate to roughly 165-170 horsepower at the business end of the rear tire. For reference, the last time we tested an RSV4 Factory, it produced just over 160 ponies, with the assistance of Aprilia’s accessorial EVO2 carbon race pipe from Akrapovic.

On the chassis side, a half-inch longer swingarm was fitted for increased tire grip off turns as well as to reduce the bike’s propensity to power wheelie in higher gears. The position of the engine in the frame was also moved to its lowest setting (the RSV4’s chassis allows engine position, headstock angle and swingarm pivot adjustment). Lastly, Aprilia press material claims that the suspension has been “fine-tuned”.

The RSV4 features some of the finest rider aids we’ve ever sampled on a production motorcycle (find out more in the 2012 Superbike Traction Control Comparison). For 2015, it gets fresh coding for enhanced integration and response. Like before the system includes on-the-fly, and eight-way adjustable wheel spin control. Wheelie and launch control are also standard as well as an electronic quickshifter. Complementing the electronics is a new three-way adjustable (plus ‘off’) Bosch 9MP Race Anti-lock Braking System. Aprilia also now markets a telemetry package that allows the rider or tuner to adjust and monitor the performance of the motorcycle via iOS and Android-enabled smartphones.

Although it appears the same, the front fairing is all-new and said to be more aerodynamically efficient. Accordingly the headlamps, rear view mirrors (with built-in LED turn signals) are new. At the rear of the motorcycle a LED tail light was installed. U.S. pricing has yet to be announced but the motorcycle is expected to arrive on showroom floors in May, 2015.

2015 Aprilia RSV4 RR Technical Specifications
Engine: 999cc liquid-cooled V-Four, DOHC, 16-valve
Bore x Stroke: 78.0 x 52.3mm
Compression Ratio: 13.6:1
Fuel Delivery: Fuel-injection
Clutch: Cable actuated wet multi-plate ramp-style slipper
Transmission: Six-speed
Final Drive: Chain, 16/42 gearing
Frame: Twin-spar aluminum
Front Suspension: 43mm inverted fork, three-way adjustable for spring preload, compression and rebound damping; 4.72 in. travel
Rear Suspension: Gas-charged shock absorber, three-way adjustable for spring preload, compression and rebound damping; 5.11 in. travel
Front Brakes: 320mm discs with Brembo M430 monobloc four-piston radial-mount calipers; radial-pump master cylinder, stainless-steel lines w/ Bosch 9MP ABS
Rear Brake: 220mm disc with Brembo twin-piston caliper w/ Bosch 9MP ABS
Curb Weight: TBD
Wheelbase: 55.9 in.
Length: 80.3 in.
Rake: 24.5 deg. Trail: 4.13 in.
Seat Height: 33.3 in.
Fuel Capacity: 4.88 gal.
Warranty: Two years, unlimited mileage