Aprilia is a dream come true. The dream of
an enthusiast, Ivano Beggio, who made up his
mind to create a motorcycle company which would
become famous throughout the world. And to become
famous in the motorcycling world, racing and
winning at maximum level is indispensable. Madness
at a time when, one after the other, the great
Italian and English companies were starting
to disappear with the formidable Japanese in
How often over the years, even after Aprilia
had started to make a name for itself, they
accused the Noale company of being "over
ambitious". A rider who transferred from
Aprilia to Honda at the end of the 1980s said
in an interview: "At Noale, we were all
a bit dazzled. We even thought we could beat
The distinctive characteristic of Aprilia is
the genius, the passion, the creativity and
the faith common to Ivano Beggio and his closest
collaborators, from the first motorcycles made
by hand at the end of the 1960s, one-offs assembled
with the heart, to enter the third millennium
with a range going right up to 1000 cc and acquisition
of a piece of international motorcycling history,
In 1985, thanks to an agreement with Rotax,
the first Aprilia four-stroke, the ETX 350,
was launched, followed by the 600. True to the
company's spirit, participation was also stepped
up in the African raids such as the Pharaoh
and the Dakar.
In 1985, the adventure of the World Speed Championships
began with Loris Reggiani.
At the same time, the commitment to motocross
and trials was still strong. With the TX 311,
Diego Bosis came second in the World Championship,
winning in the United States.
On August 30, 1987, Loris Reggiani won the
first 250 cc Grand Prix with the AF1. In the
meantime, the road "derivation" model,
reaching 30 hp thanks to the RAVE (Regulation
Aprilia Valve Exhaust), was an enormous hit
among young people - not to mention the later
"Sintesi". Aprilia was making an ever
greater name for itself on the international
motorcycling scene, thanks to its characteristic
innovation, image and flexibility.
It was not long before launch of the Pegaso
600, one of the mainstays of Aprilia production,
and the Amico, the colourful, easy to ride scooter
which confirmed Aprilia's gift for anticipating
market trends and needs.
In 1992, Aprilia won its first world championship
title - or rather, its first three. The Finnish
rider Tommi Avhala won the rider's title and
contributed to the constructor's title. A few
months later, Alessandro Gramigni won the World
In 1993, the new Scarabeo 50 was launched,
becoming an unequalled success, followed in
1995 by the Moto - designed by Philippe Starck
- with its absolutely unique styling. It is
no accident that it is displayed at the New
York Museum of Modern Art.
The same year also saw the birth of the exceptional
RS250, one of the most successful sports motorcycles
of all times. In 1996, the Leonardo - the maxi-scooter
characterised by an ultra-efficient four-stroke
four-valve engine - was launched.
In 1998 it was the turn of Sonic, the brightly
coloured micro-scooter aimed at a young public
and in 1999 of the RSVMille. This signalled
Aprilia's entry into the maxi-motorcycle world,
astonishing everyone with its extraordinary
ridability and immediately becoming a standard
setter in its class.
In the meantime, the company had already won
a further thirteen world championship titles.
Aprilia began production at the end of the
1960s with the Amico and the Daniela, the first
small diameter wheel mini-scooters. These were
soon joined by the Colibrì, the first
Aprilia hinting at that sporting spirit which
would soon become so familiar - tapering, with
a distinctive exhaust, forcing the rider to
adopt a position as uncomfortable as it was
sporty and aerodynamic. Despite the success
of these early products, the most famous Aprilia
in this initial period was the Scarabeo which
made Ivano Beggio's first passion abundantly
clear - motocross.
It was on the dirt tracks that the structure
today so well-known and admired throughout the
world as "Racing Aprilia" made its
debut. It's true that in place of the multi-coloured
TIRs, there was a Fiat 238, but the attention
paid to graphics and a highly original image
was patently obvious. Ivan Alborghetti was the
Valentino Rossi of those years, in 1977 winning
Aprilia the Italian 125 and 250 titles. Victories
which led to a boom in replica bikes. After
the Italian Championship, Aprilia went on to
compete in the World Motocross Championships
with Corado Maddii in the 125s. Few will remember
that wearing the team colours in the 250s was
the Japanese rider Torao Suzuki.
In the meantime, the Aprilia Development Department
threw itself into another field very popular
at the time, trials. This proved highly satisfying.
From the racing experience came a number of
highly attractive road bikes, in particular
the liquid-cooled 125 ST with single arm suspension.
The more sporty STX immediately found a place
in the competitive 125 road bikes market.
The 50 cc market also smiled on Aprilia and
the company introduced motorcycles distinguished
by an attention to detail and dimensioning extremely
rare in the competition as can be seen in the
AF1 or the ET.