The boys from Noale, Italy, are back at it once again, this time updating the World Championship-winning RSV4 Factory with a host of new goodies for 2011, introducing a new top-of-the-line model dubbed the Aprilia RSV4 Factory APRC SE.
So what does APRC stand for? Aprilia Performance Ride Control. And what does it do? It's a self-adjusting electronics system that utilizes wheel speed sensors and a host of other parameters to provide the rider with wheelie control, launch control and variable traction control that is able to adapt to different types of tires – basically, it’s the TC system off of Max Biaggi’s world-beating World Superbike, just adapted for street use.
This advanced electronics system features eight different traction control settings and is called ATC (Aprilia Traction Control). The sophisticated system runs in conjunction with the ride-by-wire throttle that the RSV4 Factory already has as standard to not only be able to reduce torque when the rear wheel spins but also let the rider control the exact amount of rear tire slippage on corner exit. The system can also be adjusted on the fly via a toggle on the left handlebar and does so instantaneously, giving the rider the ability to use multiple different settings during a single lap if so desired.
The RSV4 has three different APW (Aprilia Wheelie Control) and APL (Aprilia Launch Control) modes as well, while the new Special Edition machine also gets a quick-shifter as standard to allow for full-throttle up-shifts with a simple dab of the left foot. A first for a production sportbike of any kind, the launch control system allows the rider to essentially pin the throttle and let out the clutch with haste while the engine management controls the rest with the aim of getting the best possible launch. The system is “armed” when the rider squeezes both traction control buttons on the left handlebar when at a complete stop and it features three different settings that, like the rest of the bike's systems, can be adjusted independently each other. This technology has only been seen on top-level racebikes for the past few years, so to have it available on a street-legal production machine this quickly is quite remarkable.
Because Aprilia realizes that this machine is designed for the track as much as it is the street, the instrument cluster features two totally different settings, Road and Race, allowing the rider to toggle between two optimal setups, one for each environment, with a simple push of a button. In terms of changes to the machine’s actual hardware, the RSV4 SE keeps the same 65-degree V-Four powerplant as the previous Factory model, though it now features a new exhaust that is claimed to be lighter and produce slightly more power. Internal gear ratios are also “optimized for track use,” likely meaning they are closer together and feature a taller first gear, though exact details have not yet been released.
A new 200/55-17 rear tire has been specially designed for the RSV4 APRC by fellow Italians Pirelli, featuring a dual-compound design aimed to give riders a capable tire for both aggressive street and track use. Rounding out the changes is a slightly updated paint scheme, featuring the traditional Aprilia black/red but with an added green and white accent to the lower. This special "Tricolour" livery as they call it is symbolic of the Italian flag and pays tribute to Max Biaggi and his recent world championship aboard the machine.
Pricing and availability have yet to be announced, though we expect it to be a few thousand more than the current RSV4 Factory, which retails for $26,599. Check back for updates as we will post additional details as soon as they become available.