Sean Alexander, Director of Powersports Editorial
Finding Nirvana

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After lending a hand to MO for various new bike intros in Italy and the South of France, and enduring the successful execution of MO’s largest and longest-ever motorcycle Adventure-Touring Comparison, from the saddle, my #1 highlight of 2015 was incredibly easy to select, but it wasn’t any of those aforementioned treats. It was a set of about six laps on a special motorcycle at Laguna Seca.

These damned things just keep getting better. It’s a total cliche to claim “best ever” each year as planet earth’s talented motorcycle industry invests billions into furthering the art of motorcycle and relegating every other manufacturer to also-ran status. HEY WORLD: OURS IS BIGGER! Surprises are no longer surprising as new mechanical stars dazzle the collected journalists with their dynamic brilliance.

And yet, I was genuinely surprised by the dynamic mastery displayed by Aprilia’s new RF during MO’s 2015 Superbike Shootout at Laguna Seca. In the space of about six laps it gave me the best track experience I’ve ever had on a stock production motorcycle!

No stock production motorcycle has ever been as instantly comfortable for me to ride quickly than Aprilia’s 2016 RSV4 1000 RF, a fact discovered in Turn 11 at the beginning of the first hot lap on the amazing beast.

No stock production motorcycle has ever been as instantly comfortable for me to ride quickly than Aprilia’s 2016 RSV4 1000 RF, a fact discovered in Turn 11 at the beginning of the first hot lap on the amazing beast.

The MO crew began each session rolling around in a group for the cameras, but group shots are done at a moderate pace to keep everyone tightly bunched. During my rotation on the Aprilia, I decided to wick it up entering Turn 5, and it felt so good that I didn’t back off to re-group. Instead what followed was turn after turn of ever-increasing pace. The faster I allowed it to go, the happier the Aprilia seemed. Entering the front straight (six turns later) it was ON! The bike was off the leash and whispering heroic things in my ear, my Chi glowed brighter and leathers grew tighter…

Things began to scrape, the tires began to squirm and then slide, the front in particular responded beautifully, telling the glowing rider to trust it and press on. Press on we did, lap times dropped, other people started going backward quicker than usual, and the Aprilia just kept whispering in my ear while bellowing a most glorious magnum opus from its honking intake and clearly supralegal exhaust. Nothing spooky happened, at all.

Twelve years and seventy pounds! after my last club-racing championship, a fat, stiff and rusty old guy like me was ready to embezzle funds from the family checking account and buy that damned Aprilia right then and there and head for the closest sanctioned race I could find. It was just that good. Then Siahaan crashed the fucking thing.

If I had to pick a runner-up, it would a brief liaison with MV Agusta’s new Turismo Veloce in the south of France. Like an exotic Versys 650 on steroids and blessed with a howling triple-cylinder tenor engine note, this sexy Italian opera singer was comfortable, easy to ride, a quick hooligan, and able to relax when appropriate.

If I had to pick a runner-up, it would a brief liaison with MV Agusta’s new Turismo Veloce in the south of France. Like an exotic Versys 650 on steroids and blessed with a howling triple-cylinder tenor engine note, this sexy Italian opera singer was comfortable, easy to ride, a quick hooligan, and able to relax when appropriate.