First Look: 2004 Edwards-rep Aprilia RSV Mille R

Attention Italophiles who do not worship at the altar of the Duc

First Look: 2004 Edwards-rep Aprilia RSV Mille R

Attention Italophiles who do not worship at the altar of the Duc-if you're in search of an exclusive Italian thoroughbred in a color other than red, you might do well to look into the 2004 Colin Edwards-replica RSV Mille R from Aprilia. Forget for a moment the top-line components and flash graphics, the most desirable part of the Edwards-replica package doesn't even appear on the spec sheet-it's an exclusive track day with "The Texas Tornado" hisself, venue TBA. That's right, place your order before July 31 for one of the fifty Edwards bikes coming to America (total worldwide production will be limited to a nice, round, 461 bikes) and you'll be invited to take to the track with the 2002 WSBK champion/current MotoGP contender riding right-flank. Loads cooler than some signed and numbered key fob, right? Indeed.

Power: Unfortunately, this limited-edition machine is a race replica in graphics only: the mechanicals are based on the RSV Mille R V-twin sportbike, not Edwards's three-cylinder "Cube" MotoGP racer. The 60-degree V-twin remains intact, including the PPC slipper-clutch system to reduce rear wheel hop on decel, and also the double-balancing countershaft that quells vibes. Special bits exclusive to the Edwards rep include an SBK Superbike exhaust system designed jointly by Akrapovic and Aprilia Racing and a new-for-the-U.S. market 57mm throttle body kit and carbon-fiber racing airbox. Together these performance upgrades boost output to commanding 147 hp, up from the stock R's 130 hp rating. And it should go without saying that the Edwards-rep's valves are controlled with steel springs, not the Cube's pneumatic gadgets.

Chassis: The suspension components on the Edwards R come courtesy of Ohlins-who else?-with a fully adjustable, 43mm upside-down fork up front and a fully adjustable monoshock in the rear. Ohlins also contributes the steering damper, while the wheels are forged aluminum pieces from longtime Aprilia partner OZ. Brakes are from Brembo, mounted radially just like on Edwards's MotoGP machine.

Style: Plastic has no place on a high-roller replica-accordingly, body pieces on this bike are all carbon fiber. And of course, what would a racer replica be without the race-inspired graphics, lifted here from Edwards's Aprilia/Alice (pronounced Ah-li'-che, you thick-tongued American) -sponsored MotoGP machine. The gaping hole the air duct makes in the middle of the Alice emblem on the fairing looks a bit odd to our eyes, but form always follows function at Aprilia-not a problem on the racetrack, especially when you're chasing the current superbike champ down the back straight.

They Say: "This superior superbike is not only the most exclusive Aprilia motorcycle in the U.S. marketplace, but also the highest value in its class." (From the Aprilia press release.)

We Say: Who cares about the bike-we're talking about on-track action with Edwards himself! Just imagine you, the Texas Tornado, and a few miles of perfectly groomed racing surface for you to mack his moves on. What's the price for this sort of play? The 2004 Colin Edwards replica RSV Mille R checks out at $19,399, just $2,100 over the suggested retail price of a "standard" Mille R. WSBK racing resume not included. -Aaron P. Frank