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RideFast Jan 2020

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Aprilia RSV4 RR For the

Aprilia RSV4 RR For the people – perhaps quite rightly – calling me a nancy, we move on to the RSV4 RR; the lower spec version of the two but perhaps the more attractive model to a massive chunk of the world. The 1000cc 65º V-four motor pushes 201hp putting it in much the same ballpark as the current Japanese litre crowd, and is equipped with the lower-spec Sachs suspension. This sees it some steps down on the Factory model, however, it is also a good chunk more affordable at R290,000. The question remains as to whether it’s worth paying the extra R80,000 for the Factory, especially as the rest of the motorcycle is exactly the same. Let’s find out. Leaving pitlane, the normal procedure for riding a new superbike is get yourself comfortable in the seat, get yourself in the bracing position and look for a clear section to open the throttle. When all the boxes are ticked, you open the throttle and all hell brakes loose. The bike bucks and weaves under acceleration, your bones pull out of their joints, blood is forced out of your brain and marinades your now mashed internal organs. This didn’t happen with the RR. Is that a good thing? The V-four motor growled its sonorous groan, the speed increased as you would expect from a 201hp motorcycle, and yet no internal organs with harmed, bone structure The RSV4 RR chasing down the Tuono RR. Aprilia Tuono RR I’m getting old. There are people in their 60s that still ravage the roads and tracks aboard their sport bikes that would wholeheartedly disagree and point out that I’m merely a bit on a nancy, but I’m in my 30s with my 40s growing ever larger on the horizon. As little as five years ago and before, I coveted the advanced, highperformance superbike above all, and yet on this day I preferred the Tuono above the other Aprilias. The RSV4s are no doubt better track and performance tools capable of easily achieving better lap times than their naked brethren, and yet I would rather ride the Tuono. Much of this is because I am no longer interested in breaking lap records; I’ve won championships, won races and done all that lap record thing before and now I’m interested only in having fun while I ride. You, reading this, genuinely don’t give toss about my meagre racing career, but it sets the scene. Successful people who have already achieved many of their life goals, and are no longer trying to achieve new goals like silly lap times, will sympathise. They want to have fun, and not win battles. The Tuono fits this profile perfectly. The upright seating position induces less aches and pains, the higher bars mean easier tipping into bends, and the lack of wind protection and aerodynamics compared to the superbikes may stunt performance but creates a better sense of theatre for the ride. The 1100cc 65º V-four motor shares genetics with the RSV4 Factory, however power has been dampened to 175hp, a figure extremely competent in the current naked sector but a good chunk down on the superbikes. While not able to break speed records, it does make up for this by the feeling of speed that is massively compounded by the lack of fairing, so while you’re not doing the speed of the superbikes, it certainly feels it. The Tuono steers so well, has a motor that doesn’t overwhelm the rider while still offering the feeling that you organs are compacting, it has an electronics package that still earns its accolades as some of the best available to human beings and it doesn’t leave the rider as a sweaty clump of various cramps. The other benefit, though not tested during our track session, is that it will make a better road bike. It looks threatening, it sounds fantastic and it sells for a reasonable R235,000. The only criticism is that the Sachs suspension is a touch soft and can be out of its depth on Kyalami’s bigger bumps, but this is a compromise with the road handling and certainly not a deal breaker. The Tuono is, from a personal point of view, the best bike Aprilia makes. And it can be better, which is why Aprilia also makes the Tuono Factory. It, sadly, wasn’t available to ride on the day, but is equipped with Ohlins electronic suspension that would most likely undo the problems of the RR’s Sachs suspension. It comes at a somewhat heartier price of R267,600. “The Tuono steers so well, has a motor that doesn’t overwhelm the rider while still offering the feeling that you organs are compacting, it has an electronics package that still earns its accolades as some of the best available to human beings and it doesn’t leave the rider as a sweaty clump of various cramps.” THE NUMBERS ENGINE: 1077cc Aprilia longitudinal 65° V-4 cylinder, 4-stroke, liquid cooling system, double overhead camshafts (DOHC), four valves per cylinder POWER: 175 HP @ 11,000 rpm TORQUE: 121 Nm @ 9,000 rpm FUEL TANK CAPACITY: 18L KERB WEIGHT: 209kg SEAT HEIGHT: 825mm WHEELBASE: 1450mm This is James Flitcroft on the RSV4 RR - he is a former Red Bull Rookies Cup rider from the UK and also raced for Aprilia in New Zealand. He was not only blown away by the new Aprilia RSV4 but also the Kyalami circuit. “The V-four motor growled its sonorous groan, the speed increased as you would expect from a 201hp motorcycle, and yet no internal organs with harmed, bone structure remained intact and the brain still had enough function for remember to pull the brake for the corner.” It didn’t take Donovan long to get comfortable and fast on the RSV4 RR, and that’s the beauty of this bike, it’s just easy to enjoy. 46 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JANUARY 2020 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JANUARY 2020 47