Click photos to enlarge. They make great desktop wallpaper.
2012 Aprilia RSV4 R APRC Review
2012 Aprilia RSV4 R APRC
Created with the single-minded goal of being simply the best on the track and on the road, since its inception the Aprilia RSV4 has astonished the world with its looks, technology and performance. The first 65° V-4 engine ever in a sports production bike, a chassis worthy of a 250 GP, Ride By Wire, multimap engine management: all these are accomplished achievements for the Aprilia RSV4, that tops unique architecture and specs with Aprilia’s signature excellent rideability brought to the next level.
A project conceived not just to create a motorcycle that delivers the utmost in performance, but one that also allows the rider to make full use of every last iota of its competitive potential.
The excellent results obtained by all of the champions who have ridden in races is not by chance, nonetheless the true revolution which accompanies the new Aprilia RSV4 APRC is that you don’t have to be a champion to explore its potential and have fun, thanks to the exemplary dynamic balance obtained by APRC (Aprilia Performance Ride Control), the exclusive traction control system which can be adjusted to eight different levels and can self-calibrate based on the different types of tyres, the wheelie control feature, launch control and the electronic transmission.
Concrete aids in the vehicles rideability which restore greater confidence and control to the rider in extreme conditions, helping to identify the most effective lines to follow and making the ride less psychologically and physically demanding.
The introduction of such advanced technology to large volume production is the demonstration of the Aprilia’s enormous design capacity, developing all of the electronic management “in house” for Max Biaggi’s RSV4 Factory SBK as well as the dynamic controls platform applied to the new RSV4 APRC.
With this new version the Aprilia staff has made it possible to build a bike which is faster on the track but at the same time more “communicative” for the widest range of riding experience and capability, fine tuning what can be considered the patriarch of a new generation of supersport bikes.
State of art technology
This new technology is brought together in the APRC (Aprilia Performance Ride Control) package, basically the state of the art in dynamic performance control, a multi-patented system that makes Superbike winning technology available to professional racing riders and hobby riders alike. All this comes in an easy to use, intuitive package.
But the improvements to the Aprilia RSV4 APRC do not stop with electronic management. The 65° V4 engine offers improved lubrication and closer spaced gears for better acceleration. The new, lighter exhaust features an advanced butterfly valve management system to suit the Ride By Wire mapping for improved breathing and efficiency throughout the RPM range.
The new features introduced by the Aprilia RSV4 APRC in detail:
APRC Aprilia Performance Ride Control, the electronic management package including:
– ATC: Aprilia Traction Control automatically adjusts to different types of tyres, with 8 settings conveniently selectable while racing from a joystick on the left handlebar without turning down the throttle;
– AWC: Aprilia Wheelie Control with three settings;
– ALC: Aprilia Launch Control, for use on the track only, with 3 settings;
– AQS: Aprilia Quick Shift, for ultra-fast shifting without closing the throttle or using the clutch.
Dual display mode for instrument panel display: ROAD and RACE;
New exhaust is lighter and offers improved performance;
Optimised gear ratios for the utmost track performance;
Improved engine lubrication;
Lighter three double-spoke wheels.
2012 Aprilia RSV4 R APRC Model Highlights
FROM THE QUEEN OF SBK APRILIA DISTILS THE PERFECT BIKE FOR THE TRACK DAYS ENTHUSIAST GENTLEMAN RIDER.
THE ONLY SUPERSPORT BIKE WHICH ALLOWS THE RIDER TO SAFELY REFINE HIS RIDING ABILITY THANKS TO THE APRC DYNAMIC CONTROL PACKAGE.
AVAILABLE IN THE R VERSION AND IN THE EXCLUSIVE FACTORY OUTFITTING, RSV4 APRC APPLIES APRILIA PATENTED TECHNOLOGY TO CONSTANTLY MONITOR THE DYNAMIC CONDITIONS OF THE BIKE AND OPTIMISE PERFORMANCE.
APRC APRILIA PERFORMANCE RIDE CONTROL
Aprilia Performance Ride Control can count on an automotive inertial platform with two turn meters and two accelerometers which allow the ECU to reconstruct the dynamic conditions of the bike and intervene on the engine control accordingly. The rider can adjust any component of the APRC system independently at will.
ATC: the traction control system of the future
The ATC- Aprilia Traction Control undoubtedly is one of the greatest strengths of the APRC package. This is a fully innovative traction control system developed from an Aprilia patent, mainly focussed on helping the rider improve his lap times. Thanks to the inertial platform and the Ride By Wire pioneered by Aprilia, the ATC not only reduces torque when the rear wheel slips but lets the rider control tail sliding when exiting a bend, giving him a better feel for throttle control, depending on lean angle.
Aprilia ATC is quickly, easily activated from the instrument panel menu and offers 8 settings. When the ATC is enabled, the rider can change setting in an instant at any time using a joystick on the left handlebar to suit track, pavement or tyre conditions, without closing the throttle and keeping his hands on the handlebar, as in professional motorcycle racing. This way, the system can adjust to every single bend of any track so as to meet the specific requirements of any rider, including the most expert ones.
The other incredible achievement of Aprilia technology is the system’s “learning capacity”. Current traction control systems are designed and optimised for a single size and type of tyre. This limit frequently cancels the benefits of traction control. Aprilia Traction Control (ATC) has overcome this limit: a procedure activated by the rider enables the system to learn the tyre radius and final ratio adopted on the bike to obtain fine-tuned traction control.
AWC: stability at top acceleration
Exploiting the full power of modern superbikes down to the very last HP is every rider’s dream. Aprilia’s AWC (Aprilia Wheelie Control) has achieved extraordinary results. Thanks to the exclusive Aprilia patented Wheelie Detection System, the AWC is able to “tell” when a wheelie begins and ends and kicks in to smoothen wheel contact with the road. Wheelie control is continuous and “soft”, there are no abrupt cuts or violent power restarts, only perfect acceleration control. The AWC system is activated from the instrument panel and can be adjusted independently from other control systems choosing from three settings to better meet rider requirements.
ALC: the best Holeshot
The perfect start is yet another racer’s dream, because a good start frequently means you’re half way towards a victory. When the lights go out, handling the huge power of modern superbikes is no easy task. Unless the bike handles it itself to offer its best starting performance. The ALC (Aprilia Launch Control) system ensures an instant start as the lights go out, applying full power to the road to assist the rider in this critical moment of the race. All the rider needs to do is give full throttle and release the clutch as he normally would and shift gears. The ALC has three settings that can be selected from the instrument panel menu, then it must be “armed” at standstill, by squeezing both traction control buttons on the left handlebar joystick at the same time.
AQS: record-breaking shifting
When you’re after the utmost lap performance, you can’t afford to waste even one thousandth of a second in an apparently simple operation like shifting. RSV4 APRC boasts an electronic transmission system as standard equipment (Aprilia Quick Shift) which first reduces ignition advance for an infinitesimal time and then progressively restores it, allowing extremely quick gear shifting without closing the gas and without using the clutch. The system works hand in hand with the new closer spaced gearbox to limit RPM drop during shifting for faster lap times. To optimise AQS performance, Aprilia engineers have fine-tuned power cut timing based on shifting RPM.
Aprilia RSV4 simultaneously represents both the new and the future generation of supersport bikes: starting from the essential concept, its design abandons the overabundance of bodywork, reducing it to the bare necessities for efficient aerodynamics. The breathtaking beauty of the technical parts reveals a bike with a compact design that, until recently, was thought possible only for smaller engine sizes or Grand Prix prototypes. State of the art technology for the engine and chassis, coupled with extraordinary usability, make this the perfect companion for the rider who wants to reach and redefine his limits with unparalleled feeling and ease.
These aspects of the project not only give the bike such incredible performance but are also what make it so easy to put every last horsepower to good use. Nothing about this bike is commonplace, and this is even true about the technical solutions adopted – this is the world’s first full scale production motorcycle with a high performance narrow V4 engine, the most revolutionary and powerful engine ever built by Aprilia. Together with the fully integrated electronics, record breaking lightness and extreme compactness, this engine gives the bike its unique, unmistakable character.
The components are at maximum level even in the R version: the fully adjustable upside down front fork and Sachs rear shock, manufactured to Aprilia specifications, ensure superlative performance and offer the rider incredible feedback for absolute control in any situation. The Brembo brakes with radial monobloc callipers, ultralight alloy wheel rims featuring a new design and the steering damper ensure the utmost in safety in all riding conditions.
The incredible APRC system is undoubtedly the most significant new feature of this new RSV4 version. Nevertheless, the RSV4 APRC’s engine boasts a plentiful range of updates which are carry overs from racing experience and intended to improve its already proverbial technical and mechanical characteristics
Aprilia RSV4 is the only production super sport bike using a narrow 65° V four-cylinder engine with unique features. Extremely compact, as slim as a twin-cylinder to fit in an ultra-compact chassis, the 65° V4 engine was and still is the epitome of Italian engineering ingenuity.
The Aprilia 65° V4 engine specifications in short:
Engine capacity: 999.6 cc
Architecture: 65° V4
Crankcase: monobloc with integrated crankcase 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: Electronic injection with 2 injectors per cylinder and integrated independent Ride by Wire system for each bank. Three mappings selectable from handlebar.
Compression ratio: 13:1
Transmission: six speed cassette with direct control
Clutch: multi-disc in oil bath with mechanical slipper system
Electronic management: Magneti Marelli control unit managing ignition, injection and Ride by Wire system.
APRC system for dynamic control
The narrow V architecture translates into an engine that is incredibly compact in length, offering advantages in terms of mass centralisation and an extremely high performance chassis (short wheelbase, long swingarm).
The innovative timing system (with the chain camshaft driving only the intake camshaft, which in turn drives the exhaust camshaft via a gear) has made extremely compact heads (just 250 mm at the rear of the engine) especially in the area beneath the frame spars, which are thus much narrower than would otherwise be possible.
A countershaft dampens vibrations even more than in a 90° V engine.
The monobloc crankcase with integrated aluminium cylinder liners ensures maximum rigidity and consistent performance.
The electronic management system is another example of the 65° V4 engine’s technological supremacy. Full Ride-by-Wire technology eliminates any direct connection between the throttle grip and the throttle valves, which are entirely controlled by a latest generation Marelli control unit that also controls the ignition and the 8 injectors (the 4 secondary fan pattern injectors come into play at high loads).
Each bank has a dedicated servo unit actuating its own two throttle bodies only. This means that the aperture of the throttle valves and, as a consequence, the quantity of fuel injected, can be controlled independently. This solution, applied here for the first time ever in a production bike, opens up practically infinite possibilities for power delivery control and works hand in hand with the APRC system.
The transmission has also been designed to the meet most advanced criteria to offer the maximum performance possible. To underscore the racing soul of the 65° V4 engine, it is mated to a cassette gearbox with a wet sump lubrication system (with oil in the crankcase). The wet clutch features a mechanical slipper system for optimised engine braking torque control and stability under hard braking.
The 65° V4 was one of the most advanced engines in the world at the time of its debut. The new RSV4 APRC has several refinements which are derived from experience gained with the official World Superbike motorcycle which perfect it even more. The new exhaust and engine mappings make for optimal power delivery. Lubrication has been improved at critical points, the countershaft runs in ball bearings rather than plain bushings and the head cooling circuit has been reviewed for optimal operating temperatures and long-term reliability.
Combustion chambers and cylinder-piston fits have also been revised for optimal engine performance. The three lowest gears are spaced closer for extra speed out of bends. The advanced exhaust butterfly valve management system improved delivery in the low rpm band and reduces emissions while preserving the engine’s thrilling sound.
The perfect centring of the weight is just one of the RSV4 frame’s strong points. To achieve this result, every single aspect has been optimised down to the tiniest detail. As on a racing machine, the fuel tank is positioned so that the majority of the fuel sits under the saddle optimising bike balance and cancelling out handling differences between full and empty tank conditions.
In keeping with Aprilia’s by now consolidated tradition, the RSV4’s aluminium frame takes advantage of the resistance and flexibility of cast and moulded elements, a structure which sets new records in balance and dynamic efficiency. The result is maximum torsional stiffness and flexional stiffness optimised for total bike control. This makes Aprilia RSV4 not only a bike with deadly performance, but also makes its strong point the ease with which anyone can take full advantage of this performance. The swingarm also uses the same constructional technology as the frame and offers the same perfect balance between flexional and torsional stiffness to contribute to the extraordinary handling capabilities of the RSV4 R.
The particular construction of frame and swingarm allows both to be able to flaunt the natural and bright colour of the aluminium, another detail which is increasingly less evident on modern factory bikes and which gives the RSV4 a purely racing look.
The chassis framework of the R version is completed by a top notch suspension package, the Sachs upside down fork has 43 mm diameter stanchions and offers the possibility of adjusting the spring and hydraulic compression and rebound preload. The Sachs rear shock was developed from experience learned directly on the track. It features a Piggy Back nitrogen canister (separate and mounted on the body of the unit) and adjustable spring preload, compression and rebound damping and length, allowing the height of the rear end of the bike to be altered to modify the set-up to suit different riding styles and tracks.
Completing the package is a steering damper, also by Sachs, which ensures impeccable high speed stability and millimetre precision in setting the bike up for turns.
The Ã–hlins Racing rear shock absorber was developed from experience learned directly on the track. It features a piggy back nitrogen canister (separate and mounted on the body of the unit) and adjustable spring preload, compression and rebound damping and length, allowing the height of the rear end of the bike to be altered to modify the set-up to suit different riding styles and tracks.
Wheel travel is 130 mm.
A real Superbike is special not only as far as performance is concerned but also for the care it is built with. The details on the RSV4 R speak volumes of a bike built with an obsessive attention to every single aspect, both technical and otherwise.
The following are just some of the most significant class leading components used:
– Instrument panel: the mixed type (digital-analogue), it 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. This is a fully fledged on-board computer, with a dot matrix display set against a minimalist, ultramodern and compact design. Its functions have been improved and are all accessible from three easy to use buttons.
– Headlight: the triple headlamp layout is not just a reference to the legendary original RSV Mille, but designed to offer total night time visibility.
– Electrical system: designed from the outset to offer maximum functionality and rationality with minimum weight. The result is an extremely clean and compact layout that makes for easier maintenance and is ready for track use, as all components relative to the lights and turn indicators are easily removable.
The RSV4 R APRC wears one of three different liveries: The aggressive and vibrant “Nero Competition” with its metallic gloss which is similar to the Factory version, the bright “Bianco Glam” or the new “Sunlit Yellow” with its surprisingly modern impact.
In keeping with the tradition of the Aprilia Factory versions, the new RSV4 APRC features the gold colouring for its ultralight rims.
2012 Aprilia RSV4 R APRC – International Specifications/Technical Details
MSRP Price: TBA
Aprilia longitudinal 65° V-4 cylinder, 4-stroke, liquid cooling system, double overhead camshafts (DOHC), four valves per cylinder
Fuel Unleaded petrol
Bore and stroke 78 x 52.3 mm
Total engine capacity 999.6 cc
Compression ratio 13:1
Maximum power at crankshaft 180 HP (132.4 kW) at 12,250 rpm
Maximum torque at crankshaft 115 Nm at 10,000 rpm
Fuel system Airbox with front dynamic air intakes. Variable length intake ducts controlled via ECU.
4 Weber-Marelli 48-mm throttle bodies with 8 injectors and latest generation Ride-by-Wire engine management.
Choice of three different engine maps selectable by the rider with bike in motion: T (Track), S (Sport), R (Road)
Ignition Magneti Marelli digital electronic ignition system integrated in engine control system, with one spark plug per cylinder and “stick-coil”-type coils
Exhaust system 4 into 2 into 1 layout, single oxygen sensor, lateral single silencer with engine control unit-controlled butterfly valve and integrated trivalent catalytic converter (Euro 3)
Alternator Flywheel mounted 420W alternator with rare earth magnets
Lubrication Wet sump lubrication system with oil radiator and two oil pumps (lubrication and cooling)
Transmission 6-speed cassette type gearbox
1st: 38/16 (2.375)
2nd: 35/18 (1.944)
3rd: 28/17 (1.647)
4th: 32/22 (1,455)
5th: 34/26 (1,308)
6th: 33/27 (1,222)
Gear lever with Aprilia Quick Shift electronic system (AQS)
Clutch Multiplate wet clutch with mechanical slipper system
Primary drive Straight cut gears and integrated flexible coupling, drive ratio: 73/44 (1,659)
Secondary drive Chain: Drive ratio: 42/16 (2.625)
Chassis Twin-spar aluminium frame, with castings and pressings.
Sachs steering damper
Front suspension Showa upside-down fork, 43 mm stanchions. Aluminium radial caliper mountings. Completely adjustable spring preload, hydraulic compression and rebound damping. Wheel travel 120 mm
Rear suspension Double braced aluminium swingarm; mixed low thickness and sheet casting technology.
Sachs mono-shock absorber with completely adjustable piggy-back in: spring preload, wheelbase, hydraulic compression and rebound damping. APS progressive linkage. Wheel travel 130mm
Brakes Front: Dual 320-mm diameter floating stainless steel disc with lightweight stainless steel rotor and aluminium flange with 6 pins. Brembo monobloc radial callipers with 4 34-mm opposite. Sintered pads. Radial pump and metal braided brake hose
Rear: 220-mm diameter disc; Brembo floating calliper with two 32mm isolated pistons. Pump with integrated tank and metal braided hose
Wheel rims Front: Aluminium alloy rims, 6 split spokes 3.5″X17″
Rear: Aluminium alloy rims, 5 split spokes 6″X17″
Tyres Radial tubeless.
Front: 120/70 ZR 17
Rear: 190/55 ZR 17 (alternative 190/50 ZR 17)
Dimensions Max. length: 2040 mm
Max. width: 735 mm (at the handlebar)
Max. height: 1120 mm
Min. height from the ground: 130 mm
Saddle height: 845 mm
Centre to centre distance: 1420 mm
Trail: 105 mm
Kerb weight 179 kg *
Tank 17 litres (4-litre reserve)
*Dry weight, without battery and fluids.
2012 Aprilia RSV4 R APRC – US Specifications/Technical Details
USA MSRP Price: $TBA USD
See international specifications listed above.
2012 Aprilia RSV4 R APRC – Canada Specifications/Technical Details
Canadian MSRP Price: $TBA CDN
See international specifications listed above.