2012 Aprilia RSV4
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
New exhaust is lighter and offers improved performance;
Optimised gear ratios for the utmost track performance;
Improved engine lubrication;
Lighter three double-spoke wheels.
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
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
The Aprilia 65° V4 engine specifications
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
Fuel system: Electronic injection with 2 injectors
per cylinder and integrated independent Ride by Wire
system for each bank. Three mappings selectable from
Compression ratio: 13:1
Transmission: six speed cassette with direct control
Clutch: multi-disc in oil bath with mechanical slipper
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
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
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
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 Factory outfitting, in keeping with tradition,
enriches an already winning package with exclusive
details which bring the RSV4 even closer to the racing
world. In order to boost chassis performance and make
it match the rider's tastes, or features of the track,
Aprilia RSV4 Factory ensures a combination of adjustments
that are pretty much infinite. The multi-adjustable
suspensions, taken for granted on a motorcycle of
this level, are combined with three chassis adjustments:
headstock position and rake (through interchangeable
bushings), rear end height, swingarm pin height and
the engine position in the frame.
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
The components of the Factory APRC version are even
more exclusive: the upside down Öhlins Racing
fork has 43 mm diameter stanchions and titanium nitride
treatment to optimise flow. Wheel travel is 120 mm.
Just as in the racing units, the fork allows micrometrical
hydraulic adjustments in extension, rebound and spring
The Öhlins 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
The RSV4 Factory APRC, on the other hand, comes in
the renewed exclusive “Black Flame” livery,
marked by the stark contrast of red and black, the
Aprilia sport colours, with a racing touch of exposed
In keeping with the tradition of the Aprilia Factory
versions, the new RSV4 APRC features the gold colouring
for its ultralight rims.