CHASSIS: Aprilia's entire racing know-how
A unique engine like Aprilia V4 could be nothing but combined with an extraordinary chassis that stresses the uniqueness of this motorcycle. Years of races and victories at the top level melts into a racing chassis implemented by Aprilia's research and development department, with construction solutions and adjustments that only racing prototypes can boast. RSV4 Factory reaps the rewards of Aprilia's entire racing experience.
Perfect mass centralisation was a must when the RSV4 Factory frame was being developed. Everything was designed in order to achieve the best possible result, starting from the tank position (crucial for riding) with most of the fuel under the saddle in order to optimise motorcycle balance and eliminate any riding differences between full and empty tank. There is no doubt: Aprilia RSV4 Factory is a true track-ready motorcycle, and a front/rear weight distribution of 52/48 confirms this.
In line with Aprilia race division traditions, the RSV4 structure uses castings and aluminium pressings that are welded to create a far more rigid frame than that of the RSV 1000 twin, which was already a benchmark. In particular, torsional and flexural rigidities were optimised in order to offer perfect feeling and control as well as the ability to handle high power outputs such as those of the Superbike version.
Notwithstanding the higher performance, the RSV4 Factory frame weighs almost the same as the RSV, at only 10.1 kg, a lightness matched only by racing frames. The special construction technology also allows both the frame and the swingarm to show the natural and shining colour of the aluminium, which makes the appearance of the RSV4 Factory very similar to that of a racing prototype.
Designed using the knowledge acquired during GP racing, the spectacular swingarm of the RSV4 Factory, like its frame, is made by combining castings (the internal part and the swingarm pin/wheel connection areas) with aluminium bent sheet elements (the external part) to form a very rigid but super light box section capable of minimising the moving masses, exalting the reactivity and sensibility of the motorcycle to the suspension adjustments. The asymmetric conformation, with an arch section on the right side and a reinforcing arch on the left, made it possible to implement an exhaust system with optimised internal volumes without penalising the rigidity of the swingarm. Here too, FEM modelling was used in the design process to optimise cross sections and thicknesses. The swingarm of the RSV4 Factory weighs only 5,100 grams, close to the absolute standard threshold for this technical element.
The desire to offer the first four V cylinder "race ready" superbike in the world led Aprilia to find unique solutions that will hardly be found on competitors' bikes even in the years to come. In order to boost chassis performance and make it match the rider's style and wishes, 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 adjustments of the headstock position and rake (through interchangeable bushings), the rear end height, the swingarm pin height and - introducing a new capability exclusive to this bike - the engine position in the frame. Aprilia RSV4 Factory is the most highly adjustable production motorcycle in the world, just like a real race bike.
The Öhlins Racing upside-down fork has 43-mm stanchions and is titanium nitride coated to minimise friction. The wheel travel is 120 mm. Like in race motorcycles, the fork allows precision adjustment for hydraulic compression and rebound damping and spring preload. The Öhlins Racing rear shock absorber is equipped with a “Piggy Back” nitrogen canister and can be adjusted for spring preload, compression and rebound damping and length, thus allowing the height of the rear end of the bike to be changed to adjust the set-up to the different riding styles and tracks. The wheel travel is 130 mm. The motorcycle is also equipped with an Öhlins Racing adjustable steering damper.
The front system is without a shadow of a doubt the best system available on the market. Brembo monobloc radial callipers are the state-of-the-art in racing braking systems thanks to their power, high modulability and fatigue resistance. The dual 320-mm diameter stainless steel floating discs are completely new and were developed by Aprilia specifically for this motorcycle. A rotor with reduced height and asymmetric perforation were used, allowing the braking power to be improved and the front wheel to be lightened by approximately 500 grams. The floating retainer is fastened to the flange with 6 pins only in order to minimise inertia and weight. The brake pump is the radial type to improve lever feel and response accuracy. The rear braking system is Brembo “Serie Oro” with 220-mm diameter stainless steel disc and two-piston caliper, with racing-type pump and integrated tank.
A real Superbike is special not only as far as performance is concerned but also for the care it is built with. With regard to the RSV4 Factory, the details say it all: no other "race ready" motorcycle has ever been built with such care. The attention paid to its construction not only satisfies the desire for beauty (a motorbike built like RSV4 Factory is in any case gorgeous), but most of all aims at achieving the goal: to win. This is why every detail was thought out to increase performance and functionality, reducing the weight and considerably increasing the product's quality and finish.
The following components are worth pointing out:
- 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. It is a real onboard computer, fitted with a dot matrix display inserted in a minimal, extremely modern and compact design that provides all the information relating to the use of the motorcycle, including: shift light, engaged gear indication, indication of the engine map being used and chronometer with time storing memory. Its functionality was improved to reach a level that is even better than that of the best products available on the market, all use modes are controlled from the left hand switchgear unit so the hands can always remain on the handlebar.
- the front headlamp uses three elements that call to mind of the first RSV 1000 twin, proving to be perfectly integrated, even from the structural point of view, with the top fairing and creating a very distinctive front. The parabolic mirror was designed with modern calculation systems that led to an excellent result: maximum visibility at night with reduced weight and size.
- The electrical system was designed in order to achieve maximum functionality, rationality and minimum weight: the result is an extremely clean and compact layout that makes maintenance operations easier and is preset for use on the racetrack as the parts dedicated to the headlamps can be easily removed. Even the turn indicators - with the front indicators incorporated in the rear view mirrors and the rear indicators in the license plate holder – can be removed quickly for use on the track, the real hunting ground of Aprilia RSV4 Factory.
A complete range of accessories is available for Aprilia RSV4 fans:
- Akrapovic racing exhaust system
- Öhlins TTX36 rear shock absorber
- adjustable footpegs
- racing half-handlebars
- fairing protection pads
- high top fairing
- fairing caps for rear mirrors
- rear stand pins
- license plate retainer cover
- motorcycle cover
- dedicated stand
- carbon heelrests
- tank cover with backpack
- tail fairing bag
- carbon exhaust system protection
- carbon fairing pullers.
Then there is a series of options - many of which designed and manufactured specifically for racetrack use. Complementing these options are a dedicated suit and helmet.