We can’t say that we blame Aprilia since the RSV4 is, according to the Book of MO, one of the greatest sportbikes – perhaps ever. Need proof? In the last year, the Aprilia RSV4 RR won both the street and the track portions of our superbike shootout on its way to the overall win. Then it notched a MOBO (and not its first, mind you) as Best Sportbike Of 2017. So, like we said, we can’t blame Aprilia for sitting on its laurels a tad when it came to updating the RSV4 for 2018.
The big news is little, teeny, tiny updates. Take, for example, the bold, new graphic design for the RF. Now, that’s news. Then there’s the update to the fourth generation of the Aprilia Performance Ride Control (APRC) in which the inertial platform was moved to a better location for more accurate readings. Further advancement of the APRC allowed for the removal of “superfluous throttle body electronic management components” for a weight savings of 590 grams! While we’re considering electronics, the Aprilia multimedia platform, V4-MP, was updated to reduce the battery load on your connected smartphone. Teeny, tiny, yes.
Two components that were listed as changed in the press materials do sound like they may have some effect on performance. The first would be the addition of new 5mm thick 330mm steel discs ready to be embraced by our beloved Brembo M50 calipers. The other update is hidden way down in the spec sheet. Here Aprilia notes that a new progressive linkage which allows 130mm of rear wheel travel made the manifest for 2018.
With changes this minute, you’ve got to think that Aprilia is pretty comfortable with how its flagship sporty-bike is performing on the world stage. However, change is in the wind. If you listen carefully, you’ll hear the thundering hooves of the 2018 Ducati Panigale V4 which looks to have its eye on upsetting the superbike world order. With that thought in mind, we’re willing to bet that the RSV4 will have more than a token makeover for 2019.