Aprilia have finally unveiled the RSV4, a bike that has been rumoured to exist for some time, in a well timed exposé at the Intermot show that has stolen the thunder from Honda. And thunder is the operative word here, as the RSV4 sounds incredible. Honda were totally upstaged by this move by Aprilia, when they bored everyone to tears with yarns and rhetoric about thier own V4 future, and proceeded to unveil a concept V4 sans engine, or even a rolling chassis.
The Aprilia has been designed from scratch, the 999cc engine uses a fly-by-wire throttle with a 65° V configuration, which is different to the 60° used on the V-Twin engines. This allows a short and narrow engine, which in turn allows for a longer swingarm, within a short wheelbase. Claimed output is 155kw (180hp) @ 12500 rpm in race trim. Check out the suits revving this baby below...
The proposed model range is the RSV4 Factory (pictured above), as well as a lower spec base RSV4, and a naked Tuono style model to follow later in 2009. At present only the RSV4 Factory will be homologated in order to comply with the WSB rules. The Aprilia riders for the 2009 WSB season are Massimiliano (Max) Biaggi, and Shinya Nakano, with Max being the No.1 rider for the team.
Honda consider themselves the pioneers of the V4, but although they have produced some fine road going V4's, they have not won a championship in either WSB or MotoGP with a V4. Ducati have already beaten Honda to the MotoGP title with a V4 in 2007, maybe Aprilia can take the first V4 WSB championship in 2009?
As a matter of interest we could not help but research the oldest racing V4, and this is what we found... an AJS Supercharged liquid cooled V4 which was produced in 1939! A 495cc, 190kg Isle of Man TT contender producing 55bhp at 7200 rpm. Designed by a young upstart named Matt Wright.