I’ve ridden an Aprilia RSV4 on a racetrack, and I can say it doesn’t really need to be much better. Whether it’s the RR or the up-spec RF with Ohlins suspension, Aprilia’s V-4 is as scary fast as it needs to be to satisfy just about any track rider, and it has a chassis to match. But it’s obviously not enough to quench the thirst for speed in Noale, because the people putting together RSV4s in the north of Italy are now offering a serious hop-up kit for the flagship superbike.
In short, you get a bunch of parts for the top end of the engine—new cylinder heads, and forged pistons—as well as a full Akrapovic race exhaust system and a flashed ECU. The end result is 215 claimed horsepower from the 65-degree V-4 and what I can only assume is a noise from the end of the pipe that would make Satan’s pit bull wee on the carpet. The other way to “add” horsepower, just like your trainer keeps saying, is to lose weight. This Factory Works kit also includes a lithium battery, machined-aluminum upper triple clamp, a different fuel cell, all-new bodywork, and a bunch of carbon bits that shed around 22 pounds off the stock RSV4. To be fair, a stock RSV4 isn’t crazy light, so losing 10 kilos was on the to-do list anyway. Mirror block-off plates help complete the race look and shave a little weight by kicking off the stalks, too.
Last, and most definitely not least, are your very own winglets—pulling from MotoGP knowledge learned by Aprilia’s RS-GP effort, the “aerodynamic appendages” are said to improve aero. But honestly, that not why you want them, is it? No. Same as the upper triple clamp and carbon pieces, this is all about looking the part. Like I said, a stock RSV4 is more motorcycle than most people are ready for anyway, and the reason this kit is cool is because it gives out more of what we don’t have the gall to use. No word on pricing, but it’s probably cheaper than the 160,000 euro price tag of a full-zoot RS-GP from the factory, which we say is a bargain.
For more coverage of 2018’s hottest dream bikes, concepts, and production-slated machines, check out the rest of our coverage of all the new motorcycles released at EICMA this year.