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2010 Aprilia RSV4 Factory Track Test (video)


by Pascal Bastien ,

On the track, the electronics in "T" mode prove subtle yet convincingly effective, say, when shooting out of corners, particularly if you apply the throttle too early or with too much zest. You’ll positively feel the engine soften a little to let the rear tire restore some grip on the tarmac and place the bike in the right path – the famous powerslides with the front wheel slightly up in the air. This act of faith allows you to control your power exits and maximize your top speed at the end of the straightaway – the more you practice and build confidence, the easier it gets.

The arrows point to the gaps in the intake tubes, as per high rev requirements to optimize power. The gap closes for low rev (<6000rpm) street operations, and is not installed on race bikes. (Photo: Aprilia)

The 6-speed cassette gearbox primarily meets the needs of professional racing teams who need to swap rations quickly. The well chosen gear ratios of the production bike will help you find the engine’s sweet spot at all times. Shifts proved quick and easy, as on the old RSV Factory, while the mechanical slipper clutch reduces engine braking torque to ensure stability under hard braking.

Dynamic efficiency
The one-of-a-kind Aprilia RSV4 Factory sparks a near-revolution among production sportbikes with an ultra-compact chassis derived from Max Biaggi’s leading SBK ride.

Many useful adjustments can be made, such as rake, rear ride height, engine position in the frame, swingarm pivot and length (i.e. wheelbase), not to mention the excellent Öhlins suspension system with adjustable high/low-speed compression in front, compression and rebound damping at the rear, and spring preload at both ends.

Such flexibility and adaptability – normally the exclusive purview to full-fledged racing machines like those in the SBK – allows non-professional riders to fine-tune the dynamics of the RSV4 Factory. One advice, though: you should take notes and try out only one change at a time, otherwise you’ll quickly lose track of what you’re doing.

Brembo supplies state-of-the-art monobloc radial calipers up front, which proved to be sharp and powerful after the initial warm-up, as the track-oriented pads can handle the most demanding braking chores. Completing the package are hard-compound race tires, ultra-lightweight forged aluminum wheels and brackets for a race jack on the swingarm. There is no guesswork here: the Factory is a competition bike through and through.

What looks right is right. The simple chassis - suspension pair provides the stiffness in the vertical plan as well as the lateral flexibility to absorb bumps when leaned way over.  (Photo: Aprilia)
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