RSV4 Factory suspension and...
RSV4 Factory suspension and brakes are used, with the stock radiators sufficient to shed the extra heat from the increased power.
The bottom line is that I have to admit the RSV-RR was a more enjoyable, easier ride for me at Mugello. Think of the difference between a Ducati RS09 and F09, and you have a comparative tradeoff, although there's a closer step up between the customer desmo V-twin and the works bike than there is at present between the two Aprilias, which have more of a performance gulf separating them, especially on such a fast track as Mugello, where power tells. On a tighter circuit like Valencia I don't think the difference would be so great. The RR engine has the same vast spread of torque as the factory bike. Dall'Igna says the torque numbers are nearly identical on both bikes, peaking at 10,500 rpm before the issue of revs becomes a factor. And while acceleration wasn't quite as explosive as the works racer, it was still very impressive, just easier to master. But the engine still peaks at only 13,500 rpm, with the ride-by-wire throttle's giant hand reaching out to restrain revs going any higher than 13,800 rpm. It simply isn't as fast—but at least I didn't get any sixth-gear power-wheelies this time around!
The 17-inch Superstock tires didn't have as much grip as the slicks on the factory superbike, but that's where the Aprilia's brilliant traction control system came into play, harnessing those 190 horses and the V4 engine's same mega-torque quite seamlessly. You can hear it working more on the RR with those tires than on the superbike, but the result is the same: better control, great drive, and no slides, so you feel more and more confident with each passing lap. Every bike should have this, especially with this sort of power and torque at the rear wheel.
Aprilia's turnkey superbike is an affordable way for privateer teams to reap the benefits of the R&D program that is unquestionably the coming force in World Superbike racing. "Our method of working with our customer teams is well established in 125/250GP racing," says Dall'Igna. "We offer them continuous upgrades throughout the season, especially electronic ones, based on our factory team's own development, and in Superbike we'll be happy to work with them to learn lessons from their own experiences which we can pass on to other Aprilia teams in different countries. We have an established record of looking after our customers, because we have the structure to do so and the desire to see them do well. If they end up beating our own factory bikes, as has happened many times in 125/250GP, then so be it—it's the best form of sales promotion, and at least an Aprilia is still winning! But we want to work with teams in national-level racing to help promote the Aprilia marque. We understand the critical importance of racing in promoting sales of our street models, and this is why success in superbike racing at every level has become Aprilia's key objective in competition in future—hence the reason we've developed the RSV-RR."