CLIVE APRILIA RSV4 RF
THIS MONTH I HAVE MOSTLY BEEN… “Going banzai!”
It was eight years ago that I first saw an RSV4 and it made me go all warm inside. What a weapon; I had to have one. I’m a sucker for race bikes and there was something about the Aprilia that just blew me away. It was tiny, sounded straight out of MotoGP and had a look like nothing else on the market. But it also cost a small fortune, which has meant I’ve been saving ever since to make that dream of ownership a reality. I’ve lost track of how many piggybanks I had to raid to get there, but last September I scraped enough cash together to head into my local dealer and buy this beauty.
It’s still early days in our relationship but I’m already loving that decision. I never really got chance to ride it much over winter, because I didn’t want the bad weather and road salt to muller it, but I’ve been making the most of every decent day we’ve had this season to learn a bit more about the bike and get a feel for what’s on offer. It’s not disappointed me in the slightest, with the biggest smile producer being its motor. I had to run the bike in before I could give it a good thrash, but I’ll never forget the first time I opened up the throttle in vengeance; I nearly pissed myself I was laughing that hard.
The motor’s a rocket and it makes its oomph all the way through the revs. That’s awesome on the roads, because it means you’re not messing around looking for gears all the time. I like the gearbox too, and the electronics make gear changes a doddle. This bike’s got quite a lot of tech, such as the fancy paddle system traction control, but I’ve still got to get my head around most of it. There’s a whole bloody book on its gizmos, which I’ll have to get round to reading.
I want to make the most of what the bike has to offer, from its tech to its handling. On the road the way this bike dances is unreal. It’s so flickable and always feels planted, but the race-spec Öhlins can rattle your fillings out on the bumpier of roads. That’s all part and parcel of owning a racing pedigree motorcycle though, isn’t it? I didn’t want an armchair; I wanted a weapon. And that’s exactly what I’ve got.
There’s so much I want to do with the RSV4, including taking it on plenty of trackdays, but I’m also keen to change a few of the standard fitment parts. This bike looks a treat, but I reckon a bit more carbon fibre wouldn’t go amiss. A race system is also a must, and I want to get some crash protection on it asap. I’ve just spent a small fortune buying the bike, but I reckon I could spend the same again in making it into exactly what I want. We’ll soon see. Where did I put that credit card?
Clive’s a happy little chappy! Up at the business end... Every inch of the Aprilia screams racer. Sleek and relentless power is the RSV4’s biggest hook.
A race system’s a must...