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Matte Max – 2001 Aprilia RSV Mille

Aprilia brought the RSV Mille to the superbike segment in 1998, and while sales numbers weren’t high, it was their flagship, the dream bike of 50/125/250cc Aprilia riders the world over.  They pursued WSBK with the SP variant, and updated the fairing and narrowed the tank for 2001.  With 128 ponies on tap, and nice appointments like Öhlins dampers and factory slipper-clutch, it’s quite nice in stock form.  Blackout oughties graphics and Mickey ( thanks Tad ! ) are just a bonus.

20160625 2001 aprilia rsv mille right

2001 Aprilia RSV Mille for sale on eBay

20160625 2001 aprilia rsv mille left front

20160625 2001 aprilia rsv mille front

Based on the Rotax 60-degree V-twin with revised fuel injection mapping for 2001, the Mille accompanies its horsepower claim with 76 ft.-lbs. torque.  Mostly hidden like the engine, the perimeter frame is also seriously beefy, fabricated of stampings and castings with similarly gorgeous swingarm.  Chassis is completed by 43mm Öhlins forks and their monoshock.  Brakes are Brembo Gold, dual 320mm fronts with 4-piston calipers, and 220mm rear.

20160625 2001 aprilia rsv mille right front

20160625 2001 aprilia rsv mille left tank  20160625 2001 aprilia rsv mille centeer tank

Pretty good pictures but not much commentary in the eBay auction:

This bike is in very good condition.  It has one chip on the paint that is shown in the pictures.  Serviced with all new injectors.  Very Low Mileage.

20160625 2001 aprilia rsv mille dash

20160625 2001 aprilia rsv mille left front wheel

After all this RSV has barely break-in miles.  The factory 2-into-1 exhaust has been updated to a 2-1-2 system, with the no-great loss of the passenger pegs.  The ding on the seat fairing would be an easy fix for any paint shop.  Probably have to be thinking new rubber if you were really going to ride it somewhere, but the powertrain maintenance has been done.

20160625 2001 aprilia rsv mille right rear

20160625 2001 aprilia rsv mille left seat  20160625 2001 aprilia rsv mille right seat fairing

Aprilia’s brochure for the 2001 has a long list of upgrades – the bodywork had many improvements, the vacuum-actuated slipper clutch operation was made progressive, along with minor changes to the intake internals and frame geometry.  In many cases improvements made to the R-model were brought over to the base RSV.  The black/white/red graphics are sporty but the flat finish tones it down a bit.  A good year for the RSV Mille, an almost unused example, and there’s a lot of interest in the auction with 3-1/2 days to go…


20160625 2001 aprilia rsv mille right


  • Plastic gas tanks warp (from U.S. ethanol fuel) and spill gasoline on top of engine. Not an easy fix, with recurrent leaking problems. Zero support from Aprilia.

  • Whoa nelly!!!
    I had no idea about these tanks being problem. Thanks for the heads up. That would be a nighmare after a purchse. That sounds like something that could be vary hard to fix and also with the fuel in this country, something hard to avoid!

  • TSC,
    The tank problem you refer to started with the V4 bikes and Aprilia warrantied most of those. The early RSVs and Tuonos (and Falcos) had no tank issues that I am aware of and I’ve had several over the years. Still have an ’03 Tuono and the original tank looks perfect. No warps, no leaks, no issues. These early twins are incredibly capable bikes, especially given the price. While they do not have the latest electronics, they love to be ridden in anger 🙂 Engines are bullet proof as is most everything else. They do have a couple of electrical gremlins that are well documented and an easy fix (look on any Aprilia forum for the mod). Maintenance is easy and done at long intervals. Ducatis may be prettier, but Aprilias are better motorcycles. (I’ve owned enough of both to have an opinion.) You have to like the look, but you’d be hard pressed to find a more capable non-electric do-dad motorcycle.

    Chuck S.

    • Well . . ., let’s see. Plastic tanks (the ones that leak) were on 2001-2003 RSV Mille’s (2000 and earlier had metal tanks). How do I know? My 2001 RSV Mille with plastic tank has been repaired (by a now defunct Aprilia dealer, I paid $350.00, plus more for cost of parts) and is still leaking, with only 1700 miles on the bike. The bike currently makes a fabulously beautiful paper weight, in my garage, as I’m disinclined to find myself going down the road as “The Human Fire Ball.” As far as Aprilia/warranty work, Aprilia graciously declined to do anything (despite a clear design defect), but did originally quote $2100.00 for a new tank, sans the other parts needed parts to install it (e.g. gasket, insulation, etc.),

  • Todd,
    Sorry to hear about your aggravation, but after two Mille’s and three Tuono’s (I still have my ’03), all with plastic tanks, and in Phoenix with super warm temps and “special” high ethanol content gas, I’ve never had an issue nor do I know of anyone who has. Also been on the AF1 Forum for a number of years (since ’04), while I’ve heard of the problem mentioned once or twice, I haven’t heard it as an endemic problem with these bikes. As for Aprilia warranty, coverage has a lot to do with the dealer and how hard they’re willing to work for you. A defunct dealer speaks loudly as far as the support you’ve gotten. Hope yours get’s fixed.

    Chuck S.

    • Not sure why you’re defending the tank manufacturer here – but you got your facts wrong – it was a problem with the plastic tanks on Aprilia’s 2001-2003 RSV Mille Bikes – even reported to NHTSA. I do products liability litigation – no manufacturer should continue making a gas tank out of a material that will knowingly deform, thereby leaking flammable fuel onto an already hot, running engine. It creates a foreseeable risk. It’ll play great to a jury – for the injured guy. Not so well for the tank manufacturer. Metal tanks are the answer, if they want them lighter, then make them out of aluminum. And plastic tanks should be replaced – under warranty or otherwise.

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