Posts by tag: PPC

Aprilia October 11, 2019 posted by

V-Twins for EVERYONE: 2001 Aprilia RSV Mille R for Sale

Everything was coming up twins in the early 2000s. Ducati’s continued success on track and in showrooms inspired other manufacturers to throw their hats into the ring: Honda and Suzuki decided that, “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” and built v-twin superbikes to compete against the 998. Obviously that’s oversimplifying things a bit, since Honda was apparently fed up with bias towards the Bolognese v-twins in WSBK and wanted to make a point by beating Ducati at their own game, which isn’t exactly the same thing. For Aprilia though, it just made sense to use a v-twin for their first superbike, and they managed to knock it out of the park with the RSV Mille R.

The bike was well-reviewed, had some success in World Superbike, and made for a real Italian alternative to Ducati, with wildly different looks but the same kind of v-twin grunt matched with better reliability. With their brand-new bike, Aprilia opted to avoid the kinds of mechanical nightmares experienced by Bimota, outsourcing powertrain development to Rotax in Austria. The resulting twin’s unusual 60° configuration meant a more compact design that allowed a longer swingarm for increased traction in a shorter wheelbase than is usual for a v-twin. Ergonomics and handling were closer to the Japanese inline fours than Ducati’s famously uncomfortable machines, and the R model seen here features plenty of go-fast goodies, including lightweight carbon bits, Öhlins suspension, an Öhlins steering damper, and forged aluminum wheels. The vacuum actuated “Pneumatic Power Clutch” mimicked the function of a slipper clutch to keep the rear wheel from skipping across the pavement during downshifts.

The frame and swingarm of the RSV Mille are utterly gorgeous, although they do get overshadowed by the rest of the package. The flat-black paint looks brutally functional and follows Aprilia’s habit of making unusual stylistic choices, as with the silver foil lettering on the RS250 or the purple and red Reggiani graphics. Small wings on the fairing predate the aero trend seen in WSBK and MotoGP, although the mesh vents on the flanks never really caught on… The “Mickey Mouse” headlamp may be a questionable choice, but should provide good illumination for evening rides and a Mille won’t ever be mistaken for anything else.

I hate to harp on the looks when I post these, because I really do like them. They’re a bit like the old Alfa Romeo Milano: not pretty by any means, but very striking. They’re especially appealing in flat, stealth-fighter black with red and white graphics seen here. The huge silencer looks very 2001, but somehow less dorky than the ones you find on Japanese bikes of the period. Maybe it’s the twin outlets? I’m sure it works fine, unless you want more noise. Because who doesn’t want more noise from their Italian sportbike?

From the original eBay listing: 2001 Aprilia RSV Mille R for Sale

For sale a 2001 Aprilia RSV Mille R with very low mileage and in almost new condition. I purchased the bike from the original and it was in a garage in the past 8 years. I changed all the fluids and the fuel pump. The bike runs and drives like a new bike. The bike has two small dent/scratches on the fuel tank (see attached picture).

With just 1,197 miles, this thing is tragically unused: the looks may be an acquired taste, but there’s no denying these RSVs are great to ride and very reliable, especially considering their Latin origins. If you’re looking for Italian v-twin music on a limited budget and don’t have time for mechanical drama, grab this one and ride it!

-tad

V-Twins for EVERYONE: 2001 Aprilia RSV Mille R for Sale
Aprilia August 9, 2019 posted by

Original Hooligan: 2005 Aprilia Tuono Factory for Sale

“Necessity is the mother of invention” or so the saying goes. You’re out riding your brand-new GSX-R750 in the canyons, hit a patch of oil, and low-side into a ditch. You limp home and realize what new bodywork will cost, but no worries: you just rip it off, and fit a set of motocross bars to help you do sick wheelies! The irony of the modern supernaked is that the trend started with owners actually improving the power-to-weight ratio of their sportbikes, but when the factories got involved, they almost always detuned their bikes to make the performance more “road-oriented,” and fitted lower-spec brakes and suspension to keep costs down. The Japanese usually went even further, using last-generation engines and building new, heavier frames to house them. But not Aprilia: their Tuono Factory was just an RSV Mille with the fairings removed and a set of handlebars added. Just like dad used to make…

All the good stuff from the Mille is still there: the sculptural aluminum beam frame is more visible in this application, a big plus in my book. Lightweight wheels and quality suspension. The compact, powerful, and reliable 60° Rotax v-twin… the weird 90s Aprilia styling, here with added weirdness. Given the already questionable styling of the RSV Mille, the results were less than cohesive, a jumble of angles, odd shapes, futuristic details, and random mesh vents. Luckily, it somehow swings around past “ugly” on the dial and back towards “cool” as a result of all the quality kit on display. The first-generation Tuono is by no means a pretty bike, but it looks sinister and brutal, dangerous to the rider and to anyone nearby. Like a chainsaw with a rusty knife blade for a handle…

The 60° Tuono unit had balance shafts to offset the vibrations caused by the narrower angle between the cylinders. Like the Ducati superbikes of the era, it displaced 998cc, had four valves per cylinder, and liquid cooling. Unlike the Ducati, the twin featured a “Pneumatic Power Clutch” or PPC that took the place of a more conventional slipper clutch. On the overrun, engine vacuum is used to disengage the clutch and prevent the rear wheel from locking during downshifts. Fully-adjustable Öhlins suspension, including a steering damper not found on the Mille, Brembo radial calipers, and lightweight forged wheels rounded out the very trick package.

The Factory produced a claimed 127hp, up a few from the less carbon-adorned and more basic Racing version. Which is a bit ironic, don’t you think? You might be under the impression that all v-twin sportbikes share a similar character, but large power-pulses aside, they can have vastly different feel. The Aprilia is supposed to rev harder but be a bit more “agricultural” than the Ducati, perhaps owing to the additional shafts spinning in the crank cases. Handling was excellent for both the Tuono and the Mille on which it was based, with a much more “Japanese” feel to the handling, compared to the slow-steering but hugely stable Ducatis.

From the original eBay listing: 2005 Aprilia Tuono Factory for Sale

This is a rare opportunity to buy a very nice Gen 1 Tuono Factory model. 

They don’t come up for sale very often so you will want to take advantage of this opportunity to snag a very clean example!

These were built with all the right parts straight from the factory, Ohlins front & rear, Brembo (radial front) brakes, lightweight OZ wheels, Titanium pipe, carbon fiber bodywork, great V twin torque 🙂

This example has been upgraded for comfort, performance & aesthetics with the following…

  • Sargent seat, 
  • Throttlemeister bar ends, 
  • Rizoma clutch & brake reservoirs, 
  • Pazzo adjustable levers, 
  • Zero Gravity & stock wind screens, 
  • Carbon rear cowl on bike with Pillion seat and pegs also included, 
  • Evo air box mod and Chip, 
  • Leo Vince SBK Titanium exhaust with removable silencer insert

I have owned this bike for a number of years and it spends most of its time indoors on a battery tender, but I do take it out for a ride now and then to keep it running right. Only flaw is a scratch on the top of the front fender, see pic.

It’s not absolutely perfect, but it’s obviously been cared for and enjoyed: note the horseshoe-shaped bit surrounding the fuel filler that is likely a tank-bag mount. It has a bit north of 20,000 miles on it, but the Rotax twin is famously unburstable when properly cared for. $6,500 asking price represents a premium over an equivalent RSV, but that’s par for the course these days.

-tad

Original Hooligan: 2005 Aprilia Tuono Factory for Sale
Aprilia March 16, 2019 posted by

Always Bet on Black: 2004 Aprilia RSV1000R Nera for Sale

Somehow, in spite of their achievements, performance, and reliability, Aprilias generally qualify as “bargain exotica” instead of blue-chip collectibles. But if you were looking to bet on a particular Aprilia that might qualify as collectible, other than the RS250, the RSV1000R Nera might be worth a look. The upstart Italians were dipping their toe into Ducati’s waters, and the Nera was intended to be the first bike in Aprilia’s “Dream Series” of ultra-premium motorcycles and a kind of “lifestyle experience,” but the whole thing flopped. The world wasn’t quite ready for a $39,500 Aprilia, even if only 200 were made, and each one was every bit as good as a Ducati of the period.

The most obvious thing that set the Nera apart was a complete set of carbon fiber bodywork, including the tank. The frame was painted gold, and forged magnesium wheels saved a couple pounds over the already light hoops on the Factory. A then-new Brembo radial master cylinder was matched to radial Brembo calipers, and the bike had blingy Öhlins at both ends. Some additional engine tweaks and a set of Akropovic cans helped liberate a few horses and some v-twin boom, but the big performance gains came from the reduced weight, down to a claimed 386lbs dry.

Like many high-dollar Ducatis, the performance increases certainly didn’t justify the price tag. The RSV1000R was already an excellent motorcycle, with Ducati sound, power, and handling, but uncharacteristic reliability from the Rotax-built 60° v-twin that included balance shafts and their PPC or “Pneumatic Power Clutch” is basically a slipper clutch that uses engine vacuum to allow a bit of clutch slip during downshifts and lighten the clutch effort in general.

The Nera maybe wasn’t worth Aprilia’s wild asking price, but it was intended to be a premium product so build quality is excellent, and the clearcoated carbon-fiber perfectly compliments the second-generation RSV’s’ stealth-fighter styling.

From the original eBay listing: 2004 Aprilia RSV1000R Nera for Sale

This is a RSV 1000 NERA model, only 20 sold in the United States. Carbon fiber fuel tank, fairing, seat, magnesium wheels, only 984 original miles. EXCELLENT CONDITION

There’s not much to report on the history: the bike only has 984 miles on it! The $14,500 Buy it Now is steep for an RSV1000R, but you can always think of it as a $25,000 discount, compared to the 2004 list price. That’s a screaming deal, especially adjusted for inflation! The RSV1000R is already a highly competent sportbike, and if you’re looking for a functional and collectible Aprilia, this might work for you.

-tad

Always Bet on Black: 2004 Aprilia RSV1000R Nera for Sale