According to a report submitted by Aprilia to the NHTSA, a process used by a parts supplier to straighten the rods to meet specifications introduced stresses which affected their strength and reliability. The faulty connecting rods may lead to engine failure, as occurred in RSV4R’s press launch event in October.
The documents confirm Aprilia, and parent company Piaggio, first discovered the problem at the press event when five pre-production RSV4R test units suffered engine failure. On Jan. 18, the manufacturer identified the portion of vehicles produced with the faulty conrods and began preparing for the recall.
Internationally, the faulty connecting rods were used in a limited number of production units, but the VIN range of affected vehicles includes all U.S.-spec 2010 RSV4R and RSV4 Factory units.
RSV4 owners are asked not to ride their motorcycles until a full engine swap is completed. Aprilia USA is making arrangements through its roadside assistance program to provide towing service to deliver owners motorcycles to servicing dealers.
To speed the process and reduce the chance of technician error, dealerships will receive complete “assembly line configuration” engines with wiring harnesses, throttle bodies, airboxes and ECU pre-installed. Aprilia estimates nine hours of labor, including road testing, are required.
Aprilia has given first priority to vehicles already sold and delivered to customers. Once those engine swaps are complete, service will begin on vehicles that were sold but have yet to be delivered, and finally to unsold dealer stock. The recall affects 355 U.S. models.
January 2010 recall notices
2010 Aprilia RSV4R Engine Failure Delays Press Launch [video]
2010 Aprilia RSV4 Factory Review
2010 Literbike Shootout: Aprilia RSV4 Factory vs. Ducati 1198S vs. KTM RC8R