Class of 2010: European Sportbikes - Foreign Exchange

While Japan throttles back, Europe delivers its most serious sportbikes yet

By Aaron Frank, Photography by Joe Neric, Adam Campbell
Aprilia RSV4 Factory | Price: $20,999
Tech Spec
Engine type: l-c 65-deg. V-4 Front suspension: 43mm Öhlins inverted fork with adjustable spring preload, high/low-speed compression and rebound damping Seat height: 33.3 in.
Valve train: DOHC, 16v Rear suspension: Öhlins shock with adjustable spring preload, high/low-speed compression and rebound damping Wheelbase: 55.9 in.
Displacement: 999.6cc Front brake: Dual Brembo Monobloc four-piston radial calipers, 320mm discs Fuel capacity: 4.5 gal.
Bore x stroke: 78.0 x 52.3mm Rear brake: Single two-piston caliper, 300mm disc Weight (tank full/empty): 459/432 lbs.
Compression: 13.0:1 Front tire: 120/70ZR-17 Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP Colors: Black/red
Fuel system: Weber-Marelli EFI Rear tire: 190/55ZR-17 Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP Availability: Now
Clutch: Wet, multi-plate slipper Rake/trail: 24.5º/4.1 in. Warranty: 24 mo., unlimited mi.
Transmission: 6-speed Contact: www.apriliausa.com
Measured horsepower:155.4 bhp @ 12,250 rpm
Measured torque: 74.0 lb.-ft. @ 10,000 rpm
Corrected 1/4-mile: 10.01 sec @ 143.22 mph
Top-gear roll-on: 3.10 sec.
Fuel mileage (high/low/avg.): 31/23/27 mpg
Frame: Aluminum twin-spar

Dyno
Aprilia's own V4 is soft off idle, but the midrange is brutally robust. Those bumps and dips between 6000 and 8000 rpm are transparent from the saddle, but that lull at 10,750 rpm makes the bike feel breathless on top.

Ergos
With the tallest seat in the group by nearly an inch and the highest footpegs, the RSV4's stinkbug stance makes it great on the track and miserable on the street. That V4 also throws off a lot of heat, so keep the air flowing or suffer the consequences.

BMW S1000RR | Price: $17,480
Tech Spec
Engine type: l-c inline-four Front suspension: 46mm Sachs inverted fork with adjustable spring preload, high/low-speed compression and rebound damping Seat height: 32.3 in.
Valve train: DOHC, 16v Rear suspension: Sachs shock with adjustable spring preload, high/low-speed compression and rebound damping Wheelbase: 56.4 in.
Displacement: 999cc Front brake: Dual Brembo Monobloc four-piston radial calipers, 320mm discs, optional ABS Fuel capacity: 4.5 gal.
Bore x stroke: 80.0 x 49.7mm Rear brake: Brembo single-piston caliper, 220mm disc, optional ABS Weight (tank full/empty): 461/434 lbs.
Compression: 13.0:1 Front tire: 120/70ZR-17 Bridgestone BT-016 Colors: Acid Green Metallic, Mineral Silver Metallic, Thunder Grey Metallic, Motorsport red/white/blue
Fuel system: EFI Rear tire: 190/55ZR-17 Bridgestone BT-016 Availability: Now
Clutch: Wet, multi-plate slipper Rake/trail: 23.9º/3.8 in. Warranty: 36 mo., 36,000 mi.
Transmission: 6-speed Contact: www.bmwmotorcycles.com
Measured horsepower: 174.2 bhp @ 12,250 rpm
Measured torque: 78.2 lb.-ft. @ 10,750 rpm
Corrected 1/4-mile: 9.57 sec. @ 156.05 mph
Top-gear roll-on: 2.56 sec.
Fuel mileage (high/low/avg.): 38/23/32 mpg
Frame: Aluminum twin-spar

Dyno
Bavaria's most powerful motorcycle to date churns out an astonishing 174.2 rear-wheel horsepower. Torque is essentially flat while horsepower builds continuously, though it appears to be electronically curtailed above 12,500 rpm.

Ergos
There are certain standards BMW insists on upholding, and one of them is comfort. Next to the KTM RC8R, the S1000RR offers the most accommodating accommodations, with a reasonable reach to the bars, decent legroom and a smooth-revving engine.

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