The future is only getting better for European sportbike enthusiasts. With the current onslaught of exotic looking V4 sportbikes like Ducati’s V4 and soon-to-be-released V4-R, the boys from Noale, Italy already enter the V4 era 10 years ago when Aprilia debut the all-new RSV4, Aprilia’s new liter-class superbike in Milan, Italy, on February 22nd, 2008.
The machine’s heart was designed to be a compact, 65-degree V-Four (Aprilia’s first production four-cylinder engine), designed completely in-house by Aprilia’s R&D department. The Italian company claims that the new engine that time was designed specifically for superbike competition, a racing segment that Aprilia has yet to have captured a major world championship at that time, but captured the title 3 times since 2010 with Max Biaggi won it twice and his second title was 2012 and Sylvain Guintoli in 2014 by the narrowest margin 1 point.
The bike utilize advanced electronics and engine management technologies including a ride-by-wire system that will allow the engine to put out over 200-horsepower in race trim. The liberal use of high-end materials and electronic technologies will allow them to maximize both ride-ability and overall power output.
So this is a little history of Aprilia RSV4 Factory, we ride one 2009 RSV4 Factory we call “Ravage” why we call her Ravage is she is insanely fast!
I didn’t even scratch the surface of what it’s capable of on the road in terms of power and handling so I decided to get my ass with Ravage (2009 RSV4 Factory) on a Fast2Eight Christmas Day Trackday at the Sepang International Circuit (SIC). At a glance a stock RSV4 Factory comes with a 998cc, 180 hp but Ravage is a tuned 195 hp monster, that drinks RM22/10litre of Ron 95 in 100km, a super thirsty Italian hot babe. I sit at the height of 810mm so Im pretty tippy toe on Ravage.
What I love so much about RSV4 is that Aprilia built the RSV4 as a race bike first, then only a road bike second in mind. I won’t even scratch the surface of what Ravage is capable of on the road in terms of power and handling with the added 15hp that come with the race ECU and WorldSBK spec Akrapovič carbon full system. I even got a pair of Pirelli slicks but I didn’t have time to swap the Super Corsa’s so I stuck to it, still SC1 has a lot of grip and can make me do what I know best on the track with the Akrapovič sound like the Devil clearing its throat. The size-wise, of the RSV4, it’s between a 400 and 600cc sportsbike, so it’s pretty cramped and compact even for a small rider like me and it’s thirst for fuel at low-speed and high speed is almost the same so better ride it hard and fast. That aside, the RSV4 is an incredible sports bike even Ravage is a 10 year old superbike.
Actually this was my first ride on Sepang Circuit with Ravage and the weather was super-hot as the track temperature was a scorching 50 degrees -/+. Earlier attempt to get Ravage on the Sepang Circuit in November after MotoGP was unsuccessful as the morning of the trackday Ravage suffered a cam chain stay snapped and was lucky she didn’t snap on the track otherwise I can’t imagine what will happen.
I took it easy for the first session in Group B as I got use to the riding position and tighter racing lines that Ravage is capable of, with the chassis feels solid and racy as the engine roaring. Other riders took turn overtaking me in the straights, but as approach the turns, I was right behind the bike that overtook me in the straights as the Ohlins front forks and rear shock make me feel right at home giving a throttle in mid corner, the Domino fast throttle reacted to my throttle command with rear sliding after 5 lap as the tyre pressure gains, started with 28psi on the rear and 30 at the front and it quickly got to +5 psi after the 1st session. I get a lot of feel through the stiff Ohlins and the chassis hard cornering and I know my grip limit too and I know what to do with my throttle control, braking with race-spec Brembo Monobloc provided mass of stopping power and feel on the Diablo Super Corsa SP1 tyres even while sliding and I just installed new front brake pads as the older pads had only 20% left.
The Ravage’s 65° V4 motor produces a berserk 195hp@13,500rpm has a single block crankcase with integrated cylinder liners, titanium inlet valves which was done valve clearance at GB Workshop @ 26,000 mileage (please note valve clearance is a must around 25k on Aprilia). Ravage comes with a six-speed cassette gearbox which is removable for racing maintenances and a slipper clutch comes as standard.
For a 10 year old bike I can say it’s more reliable than its other European counterpart, and build quality and reliability is up there with the best, and the only issue we had is poor fuelling at low revs but just looking at the sexy metal, the race developed V4 engine, top-grade chassis parts and fancy electronics you get, the RSV4 Factory is a ridiculously brilliant motorcycle, packed with gadgets and trickery like ride-by-wire system, which first appeared on MotoGP ten years ago with a three-way engine map (track, sport and road) which offers different levels of power delivery from soft to extreme. With the electronically controlled variable-length inlet trumpets, an exhaust power-valve and a race Magnetti Marelli ECU to control all the electronic systems the only thing lacking is quickshifter which was uninstalled as couldn’t get the right setting on the Bazzaz eFi. Was advise by a fellow RSV4 rider that I should go find an original APRC quickshifter and I could bring down my lap times even further, well I just need to get used to getting my right hand to give the throttle 100% but it’s too insanely fast so I conservatively kept it at 60-70% throughout the Fast2Eight trackday and still have fun. Trackdays are for fun no trophy for lapping the fastest time or crashing hurts the pocket and pride. So always ride safe no matter on track or on the road.