Good gravy, the horsepower wars we’ve seen take root in the automotive world have spread to the motorcycle realm. Not only have motorcycles become lighter, more agile, and generally easier to blitz around a racetrack, but they’ve been infused with the sort of weapons-grade ballistics we’ve been seeing in things with two more wheels. Case in point: Aprilia’s nuclear, 217-horsepower RSV4 1100 superbike.
Let’s talk about that engine. The RSV4 1100 is powered by a 1,100cc V-4 engine. Capable of revving to a spine-tingling 13,200 rpm redline, the RSV4 was built around the principle of designing and engineering “to be the absolute best and fastest uncompromising superbike, the one that comes the closest to Aprilia racing bikes in terms of performance and effectiveness.” From the brand’s statement ahead of the motorcycle’s debut at EICMA 2018, it sure as hell seems like Aprilia has pulled it off.
Though no performance metrics have been released, from all the new parts and modifications Aprilia has done to the RSV4 1100’s engine — including street-legal Akrapovic exhaust, greater flow oil pump, optimized intake valve timing, longer fifth and sixth gears, new electronic gasoline injection system, a Magnetti Marelli ECU, and the RSV4 1100’s 90 lb-ft of torque — this superbike is sure to cause the hair on the back of your neck to stand straight up even when just cresting your leg over its perfectly shaped haunches.
As far as handling goes, the RSV4 1100’s frame remains unchanged. Aprilia states that because of the original’s torsional rigidity, nothing of the forged and molded aluminum had to be modified for the 1,100cc engine’s additional horsepower and torque. That said, the suspension and weight distribution for the RSV4 1100 have been altered to provide increased performance and improved handling. Furthermore, to help stop the motorcycle hellion from V-Max, Aprilia gave the RSV4 1100 new Brembo units with cooling aero ducts to help decrease braking temperatures under track and track-like situations.
Now, you’re probably wondering how much this MotoGP-ready motorcycle is going to cost you — and so are we. Aprilia hasn’t released pricing on the RSV4 1100 just yet, but we’re not holding our breath for something reasonable. This is one of the most powerful motorcycles ever built. A machine built around a singular purpose. Money was no object. And if you want such a machine, you’re going to have the same sort of mindset. At least that’s what we think.