Everything You Need To Know About the 2018 Aprilia RSV4 RF LE

Troy Siahaan
by Troy Siahaan

Aprilia took advantage of the third round of MotoGP, making its sole appearance on North American soil to introduce a very exclusive machine. At the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, key members of Aprilia’s MotoGP staff, including Aprilia Racing team manager Romano Albesiano and team riders Aleix Espargaro and Scott Redding, took the covers off the latest evolution of the company’s flagship production sportbike, the RSV4.

This latest version, named the RSV4 RF LE, combines elements of old and new for the nearly decade old RSV4 platform. Ten years is definitely an eternity in motorcycle design, but as anyone who knows MO can tell you, the RSV4 is still one of our favorite sportbikes available today. Here, then, is Motorcycle.com’s quick take on the RSV4 RF LE.

Super exclusivity

As you might have guessed, the LE in the name stands for Limited Edition, and Aprilia isn’t kidding when it says this; the bike will only be sold in North America, and further still only 125 units will be made – 100 going to the U.S. while the rest head for Canada.


It was bound to happen sooner or later. Winglets are all the rage in MotoGP, and now the RSV4 RF LE becomes the first production sportbike to come so equipped. Derived from the winglets developed for the RS-GP MotoGP machine, the carbon fiber winglets on the LE are also removable, just like they are on the race bike. Whether or not they add any significant downforce was a question not fielded by the Aprilia reps at the time, but I’ll go ahead and make the obvious statement: Sure, in theory, the wings may have a beneficial impact in the right conditions; but let’s be honest, it’s all about appearances here.


Aprilia racing geeks and historians might be familiar with the livery on the LE, but for the rest of you, the grey, red, and green graphics on the LE are a tribute to Aprilia’s first world championship win. The year was 1987 and it was Aprilia’s first year in the 250cc category. At the twelfth round of the championship – the San Marino Grand Prix – Loris Reggiani was first across the finish line on an AF1 250 with graphics awfully similar to what you see here. Even the big “A” is a throwback to that first GP victory.

Number plate

Owners of limited edition collectibles like to show others they own something rare, and what better way to do that than with a number plate? The RSV4 RF LE’s number plate is laser etched on the top triple clamp, so the owner knows exactly which of the 125 models is in their collection.


A missed opportunity if ever there was one, Aprilia claims the performance of the LE hasn’t changed. Not that we’re complaining about the 1000cc V4’s awesome capabilities, or its excellent Öhlins suspension, powerful Brembo brakes, and impressive electronics, but if you’re going to build an ultra exclusive machine, shouldn’t it encompass more than winglets and a paint job?

2017 Aprilia RSV4 RR/RF Review – First Ride


Aprilia is seemingly aware the LE isn’t a massive departure from the standard RF version and has priced it accordingly at $24,499US (or $25,495 CAD) – only a grand more than the standard RF. So, if you’ve been hankering for a rare bike but don’t have six figures to afford the ultra-collectible hardware, this could be your ticket. Assuming you live in North America, of course.

Troy Siahaan
Troy Siahaan

Troy's been riding motorcycles and writing about them since 2006, getting his start at Rider Magazine. From there, he moved to Sport Rider Magazine before finally landing at Motorcycle.com in 2011. A lifelong gearhead who didn't fully immerse himself in motorcycles until his teenage years, Troy's interests have always been in technology, performance, and going fast. Naturally, racing was the perfect avenue to combine all three. Troy has been racing nearly as long as he's been riding and has competed at the AMA national level. He's also won multiple club races throughout the country, culminating in a Utah Sport Bike Association championship in 2011. He has been invited as a guest instructor for the Yamaha Champions Riding School, and when he's not out riding, he's either wrenching on bikes or watching MotoGP.

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Join the conversation
  • Mad4TheCrest Mad4TheCrest on Apr 24, 2018

    I actually think this is a cool idea. Take a great superbike and add a limited, unique piece that can be removed and stashed safely away for the day you want to sell it on or donate to a museum. In the interim you've got a fantastic V4, with or without the winglets attached.

    The only downside I can predict is the desire to see if those aero add-ons really work, which could lead to your bike being taken away and auctioned off to support your local LEO. (They probably won't appreciate the exclusivity of those winglets.)

    • TroySiahaan TroySiahaan on Apr 24, 2018

      Ha! Interesting perspective, ripe for the aftermarket to make knock-offs...

      And about the effectiveness of the wings – hopefully one day I'll get to ride this bike and find out for myself. :)

  • Patrick Callahan Patrick Callahan on Apr 24, 2018

    A beautiful piece to be sure, but it’s no RF GP. And at this price it’s right there with some of its competition (R1M, Ducati Panigale S, Kawasaki ZX10R SE). The question becomes; if it is this collectible, do you buy it and garage it? Or do you ride it ?