First Look 2010 Aprilia RSV4R - White Lightning

Aprilia's base-model RSV4 breaks cover-and it's not detuned!

By Aaron Frank, Photography by Aprilia

Last year Aprilia debuted the RSV4 Factory, the high-zoot homologation version of its all-new, V4-powered World Superbike racer-complete with big bucks Öhlins suspension, forged-aluminum wheels and carbon-fiber bodywork. Now, the Noale-based manufacturer has released the standard version of that same bike, with lower-spec parts that should make it more accessible to recession-weary buyers. Aprilia didn't cut too many corners, however. The stuff that matters, including the race-winning frame and swingarm, sophisticated Ride-by-Wire integrated electronic throttle-management system and the compact, 180-horsepower V4 engine, remains intact.

The 999cc, 65-degree V4 engine is identical to that of the Factory version, with dual fuel injectors, 13:1 compression and three-way selectable engine mapping, with power profiles optimized for street, sport and track use. The frameset is constructed from a combination of cast and pressed pieces to maximize rigidity and reduce weight, while the suspension is fully adjustable, with a 43mm Showa inverted fork and Sachs piggyback shock. Other cost-saving measures include cast-aluminum wheels and conventional plastic bodywork.

The ultra-compact, Jose Gonzales-designed fairing and tiny, pointed tail are unchanged, with a distinctive, three-way headlight array and tandem ram-air openings defining the nose. Max Biaggi has already proven the RSV4 on the racetrack, with a World Superbike win at Brno and multiple podium finishes. We're looking forward to assessing the base model's road-going aptitude once it makes its way stateside, hopefully as soon as the end of this year.

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