WSBK: Aprilia camshaft system ruled legal

RSV4 Factory owners will soon have access to conversion kit

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Apr. 08, 2010
Aprilia will be allowed to use a gear-driven camshaft system on its World Superbike RSV4 race bikes, and because of homologation rules, the conversion kit will be made available for RSV4 Factory owners.

The gear-driven camshaft system replaces the chain-driven system found on stock motorcycles, and is said to improve power delivery.

The Aprilia Alitalia team used the system during the practice session before the Feb. 28 opening round in Australia’s Phillip Island circuit. After other teams lodged protests, Aprilia decided not to use the system until WSBK organizers ruled on whether it was legal. That hasn’t seemed to hurt the team however as Aprilia’s Max Biaggi sits second in the standings after winning both races in the March 28 Portimao, Portugal, round. His teammate Leon Camier sits eighth.

The WSBK Commission have now decided the rules only prohibit changing an engine’s valve control but not the type of gear control.

“We were certain our position was right, and we were in fact the first to announce the technical developments we were working on during the team presentation press conference,” says Gigi Dall'Igna, Aprilia technical and racing director. “We are the newcomers in this great championship and, while adhering to the regulations, we are obliged to explore every technical possibility to help us close the gap between us and our rivals, who have years of experience and success behind them.”

Max Biaggi will soon be able to use a gear-driven camshaft on his RSV4, and eventaully, RSV4 Factory owners can too.

While Aprilia would have been allowed to use the gear-driven camshaft in the previous two rounds and the April 11 round in Valencia, Spain, the system still needs development and is not likely to be used until the May 31 round at Miller Motorsports Park in Utah.

“We have worked intensively on the gear driven camshaft system and its development is still a work in progress, with the main focus on improving power delivery,” says Gigi Dall'Igna. “We could be ready to race in a couple of months, possibly for the US race at the Miller Motorsport Park.”

Aprilia has not announced when the conversion kit will be available or how much it will cost.