G2X DATA ACQUISITION
Over the course of our track day at Buttonwillow Raceway, we monitored Bradley’s progress on each of the three bikes using our Racepak G2X data acquisition system. As usual at Buttonwillow, we used the west loop of the track only, an 8-turn, 1.6-mile section that incorporates a variety of corners and even some elevation changes. The data graph displays speed for each bike’s fastest lap vs. distance, while the track map includes sector times and displays the relative positions of the three bikes at various points around the track.
Aprilia: 4.94 sec.
Ducati: 5.09 sec.
MV Agusta: 4.84 sec.
Turns 2 & 3
Aprilia: 13.61 sec.
Ducati: 13.81 sec.
MV Agusta: 13.72 sec.
Aprilia: 7.05 sec.
Ducati: 7.06 sec.
MV Agusta: 7.03 sec.
Aprilia: 6.43 sec.
Ducati: 6.31 6.31 sec.
MV Agusta: 6.37 sec.
Aprilia: 9.75 sec.
Ducati: 9.81 sec.
MV Agusta: 9.75 sec.
Turn 7 (chicane)
Aprilia: 7.62 sec.
Ducati: 7.58 sec.
MV Agusta: 7.73 sec.
Max. speed on 7-8 straight
Aprilia: 131.2 mph
Ducati: 134.7 mph
MV Agusta: 133.8 mph
Aprilia: 5.28 sec.
Ducati: 5.19 sec.
MV Agusta: 5.23 sec.
Lap times are slightly slower than the last time we ran literbikes at Buttonwillow in our 2011 comparison test (July ‘11), a reflection of significantly higher temperatures and the continued degradation of the surface. While the MV Agusta carded the quickest lap time, it is just .055 seconds quicker than the Aprilia; in fact, note that the Aprilia leads the MV almost the entire virtual lap as shown by their icons, and it’s only in the last corner that the MV pulls an advantage. The Ducati trails the Aprila and MV by just a quarter second. The slim spread in lap times is indicative of the almost equal racetrack performance of the three bikes expressed by Bradley at the end of the day.
In general, the Aprilia and MV make time in the fast sweepers of the track, where their power and surefooted handling help them post consistently quicker segment times than the Ducati. In contrast, the Panigale makes time anywhere that quick transitions are essential — coming down the hill out of turn 4 and the turn 7 chicane — due to its light weight. The Ducati turns that prowess through the chicane into the highest speed recorded on the straight, faster even than the significantly more powerful F4RR. The Ducati is more than a half second behind the other two bikes midway through the lap, but makes up almost half that deficit through the chicane and on the straight. The heavy MV Agusta loses out to both the Ducati and Aprilia in the chicane, but its steamy motor allows it to make up at least some of the ground on the following straight.
In terms of longitudinal and lateral acceleration performance, no one bike shows any significant advantage over the course of the lap. The Ducati does post the highest deceleration number of the trio — .97 g into turn 6 — but in other corners the Aprilia is stronger on the brakes; the MV consistently shows slightly less braking power than the other two bikes. In our literbike comparison test earlier this year, the RSV4 R model had impressive trail braking, shown as high combinations of braking and lateral acceleration. But while the Factory did record the highest peak value here, it does not show any consistent advantage as the R model did previously. Likewise, one bike doesn’t stand above the others in terms of acceleration exiting the corner.
The MV and Aprilia are almost identically matched in cornering and braking performance, but anytime the track opens up and speeds get near triple digits, the MV shows noticeably more acceleration, in spite of its heavier weight and lack of a quickshifter. This is just enough of an advantage for the F4RR to edge the RSV4 in lap time. The Ducati’s nimble handling and light weight definitely work in its favor in some corners, but at Buttonwillow there are not enough slower transitions to offset its lack of power and front-end confidence in the faster corners; with such a small spread in performance, however, the results could very well have been different at another racetrack.
|Specs|| || || |
| ||2012 Aprilia RSV4 Factory||2012 Ducati 1199 Panigale S||2012 MV Agusta F4RR Corsacorta|
|MSRP||$22,999 ||$22,995 ($23,995 as tested with ABS)||$24,998 |
|Engine|| || || |
|Type||Liquid-cooled, 65-degree DOHC V-four||Liquid-cooled, DOHC 90-degree V-twin||Liquid-cooled, transverse DOHC inline four|
|Bore x stroke||78.0 x 52.3mm||112 x 60.8mm||79.0 x 50.9mm|
|Induction||Weber Marelli EFI, 48mm throttle bodies, dual injectors/cyl.||Mitsubishi EFI, elliptical throttle bodies with 67.5mm equivalent dia., dual injectors/cyl.||Mikuni EFI, 49mm throttle bodies, dual injectors/cyl.|
|Chassis|| || || |
|Front suspension||43mm Öhlins inverted cartridge fork, 4.7 in. travel||43mm Öhlins inverted cartridge fork, 4.7 in. travel||43mm Öhlins inverted cartridge fork, 4.7 in. travel|
|Rear suspension||Single Öhlins shock absorber, 5.1 in. travel||Single Öhlins shock absorber, 5.1 in. travel||Single Öhlins shock absorber, 4.7 in. travel|
|Front tire||120/70ZR-17 Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP C||120/70ZR-17 Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP||120/70ZR-17 Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP|
|Rear tire||200/55ZR-17 Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP||200/55ZR-17 Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP||190/55ZR-17 Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP|
|Rake/trail||24.5 deg./4.1 in. (105mm)||24.5 deg./3.9 in. (100mm)||23.5 deg./3.9 in. (100mm)|
|Wheelbase||55.9 in. (1420mm)||56.6 in. (1437mm)||56.3 in. (1430mm)|
|Seat height||33.3 in. (845mm)||32.5 in. (825mm)||32.7 in. (830mm)|
|Weight||458 lb. (207kg) wet; 431 lb. (196kg) dry||428 lb. (194kg) wet; 401 lb. (182kg) dry||469 lb. (213kg) wet; 442 lb. (201kg) dry|
|Fuel consumption||28 – 33 mpg, 30 mpg avg.||29 – 34 mpg, 32 mpg avg.||27 – 33 mpg, 29 mpg avg.|
|FINAL RATINGS|| || || |
| ||Aprilia||Ducati||MV Agusta|
|Engine power delivery||9.5||9||9.5|
|Chassis and handling||9||8.5||9|
|Fun to Ride||9.5||8.5||9|