Aprilia has a long and storied history of building speed on two wheels, and this is one company whose bikes just keep getting faster. The Italian manufacturer’s first products were bicycles, which it started manufacturing after WW II. During the late 1960s, the founder’s son expanded into the motorcycle market, first producing 50cc mopeds, then motocross bikes. By the dawn of the 1980s, Aprilia was a highly renowned motocross builder.
In the three decades that followed, Aprilia built on its early successes, capturing many more trophies in multiple types of motorcycle racing competitions. Their excellent reputation in the racing world increased their popularity, and they were able to expand their offerings to include not just motocross bikes, but also supermoto, scooters, and sportbikes, as well. In 2004, Aprilia became a subsidiary of Piaggio, whose purchase of the company put them in the top four motorcycle manufacturers worldwide. Aprilia is currently the most successful motorcycle racing brand in history, and is known not only for its racing pedigree, but also for finding success using unconventional engine choices.
And speaking of unconventional engine choices, Aprilia’s enduro bikes, the RXV 4.5 and 5.5, both utilize the company’s iconoclastic 77-degree mounted V-Twin engine. First utilized in 2006 in the RXV 4.5, Aprilia proved that the V-Twin could be a fierce competitor in the enduro market, where lightweight, powerful, single-cylinder engines had been the powerplant of choice for years.
Contrary to all of the skeptics’ expectations, the Aprilia RXV 4.5 was an immediate success, and showed itself to be more than capable of keeping up with, and in many cases, besting the competition. It was so successful, in fact, that it was followed in 2007 by the similar, but more powerful, Aprilia RXV 5.5 model.
The 2010 Aprilia RXV 450 possesses loads of usable power, and plenty of torque. Its 60 horsepower V-Twin is a race-ready brute of an engine, something that would have been unheard of, not too long ago. And, if you think the 450 is extreme, try out the Aprilia RXV 550. The 550 is a raging monster of an enduro bike, and produces so much raw power, that all but the most jaded enduro riders should approach it with extreme caution.
Neither the Aprilia 450 or 550 are ideal machines for laid-back trail riders. These are competition machines, race-bred and ready to deploy their explosive power on any track unlucky enough to host them. They offer the perfect balance between handling and speed, carving through corners like a razor, and mercilessly blistering the straightaways.
Any of the bikes in the 2010 Aprilia RXV series would be an ideal choice for experienced riders who have the chops to tame them. They wear their racing pedigree proudly, and are no-compromise thrill machines that should not be taken lightly. First-timers and inexperienced trail riders may want to look elsewhere, as these bikes could be dangerous in a bad way, in the hands of amateurs. But of course, that makes you want to test your mettle all the more, doesn’t it?