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Aprilia RSV4 RF - best superbikes

Aprilia launched the RSV 4 in 2009 with two aims: to achieve racing success and to challenge the might of Ducati as the bike of choice for riders looking for a sexy Italian machine equally at home on track and road.

Aprilia launched the RSV 4 in 2009 with two aims: to achieve racing success and to challenge the might of Ducati as the bike of choice for riders looking for a sexy Italian machine equally at home on track and road.

It got the first, winning three Superbike World Championship and earning a host of rave reviews.

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However, none of that has translated into sales figures which have chipped away at the critical mass of either its big red rival, a rejuvenated Japanese Big Four or BMW.

Why? Lack of marketing and a patchy dealer network compared with the relative giants of the industry, that’s why.

All of which is a shame, since the Aprilia RSV4 has so much going for it, particularly the F, for Factory, top of the range model.

It’s a small bike with a big heart, namely a gloriously lusty 999cc V4 pumping out 201bhp on a bike weighing only 190kg, with a lowered engine dropping the centre of gravity and a longer swingarm improving stability, making for cornering which is as precise as a surgeon’s scalpel.

Brembo brakes, a given on most superbikes, give brutal stopping power, and although it has ABS, it lacks the cornering version and semi-active suspension of rivals such as the Ducati 1299 Panigale and BMW S1000RR.

So although Aprilia has recently dipped its toe in MotoGP as another attempt to boost sales, I’d be surprised if this bijou beauty remains anything other than a hugely competent track tool whose most outstanding characteristic is its surprising rarity.

Best superbikes

  1. Ducati 1299 Panigale S
  2. BMW S1000RR
  3. Honda Fireblade
  4. Kawasaki ZX-10R Ninja
  5. Yamaha YZF-R1
  6. Aprilia RSV4 RF
  7. MV Agusta F4
  8. Suzuki GSX-R1000
  9. KTM 1290 Superduke R
  10. Kawasaki Ninja H2
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