Perhaps the biggest surprise to grace the 2018 EICMA show floor last November was Aprilia’s RS 660 concept. In a market where middleweight sportbikes seem to be on the wane, Aprilia bucked the trend with the concept and its 660cc parallel-Twin engine derived from the 1100cc RSV4 and Tuono V-4.
In this internet age, we understand everyone’s attention spans are very short. So we get (even if we’re a little saddened) if you didn’t get to read all the way through my First Ride review of the 2019 Aprilia RSV4 1100 Factory. It’s a couple thousand words long, and though I thought it made for a good read, inevitably some of you didn’t get all the way through it. Thankfully YouTube exists, and while at the glorious Mugello Circuit in Italy, I recorded my thoughts and impressions of the RSV4 for the video you can view below. It’s complete with a short overview of the bike and some action footage, including a blast down the 1.1km Mugello straight where the 1100’s speedo flashed 307 kph at one point! Later, my GoPro GPS revealed my top speed to be only 180 mph, but it was still a rush all the same.
Indian Motorcycle has been on a bit of a trademarking spree of late, registering a number of potential new model names since December. The latest trademark, filed last week with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the European Union Intellectual Property Office, is for the name “Indian Challenger.”
Blah, blah, blah, we say it all the time – the Aprilia RSV4 is one of our favorite bikes ever. But seriously, it really is special. So how, then, does one improve upon a fan favorite? Give it more power, of course. That’s exactly what we have with the new 2019 Aprilia RSV4 1100 Factory. On the surface, you wouldn’t necessarily be wrong in saying Aprilia telegraphed this move long ago – four years ago in 2015, actually – with the Tuono 1100, even though doing so would make the RSV4 illegal for basically every racing class out there.
In just a few days I’ll be the lucky bas—- who gets to unwind the new Aprilia RSV4 1100 Factory around the legendary Mugello circuit as part of the bike’s international press launch. Stay tuned next week for my thoughts on it. However, in anticipation for that event, I thought I’d look back to see what makes the RSV4 such a darling in the eyes of the moto press. So rewind your minds back ten or so years to 2008/2009 and think about the literbike landscape back then. With the benefit of hindsight, we can say with confidence the space looked pretty bland, with the Big Four Japanese, Ducati, and KTM’s RC8 the only real players (sorry MV Agusta fanboys). The field then got a jolt in 2009 with the announcement of both the BMW S1000RR and Aprilia RSV4 – both models promising to shake up the status quo. If you’ve read any motorcycle magazine since then, you undoubtedly know each bike lives up to the claim. Personally, the Aprilia is one of my favorite liter-class bikes out there. Here are seven ways the RSV4 shook up the game.
Lightning Motorcycles is seemingly taking a page out of the Tesla playbook, and today declared it has officially opened reservations for its newest model, the recently announced Lightning Strike. Lightning says it has made this move based on an “unexpectedly high” number of customer requests after news of the Strike went public (of course, we’d like to say Motorcycle.com had a small part in that). Similar to the Tesla model of offering fully refundable reservations for the Model 3, Lightning is following suit and offering U.S. customers a chance to place reservations for the Strike – which will be available in two versions. The reservation structure will look like this:
The 2019 Yamaha R3 feels incredibly nimble as I flick it back and forth effortlessly between corners along a mountain road. As we snake our way up into the dense fog surrounding Palomar mountain in San Diego County, dodging gravel and mud that was spread across the roadway from the week’s downpour, I’m thankful for the precise handling the R3 offered. It easily changes direction, almost too easily I think to myself as I close into a tight right-hander just before the apex.
Here at MO, comparos and shootouts are what we do. We strive to give our readers the most informative bike-to-bike comparisons. Whether it be two class-leading models brought toe-to-toe to duke it out, or bringing in every bike in a particular category, we’re here to bring you the knock-down, drag-out deathmatches MO-style.
Kymco has carved out a niche producing scooters and small-displacement motorcycles like the K-Pipe 125, but the Taiwanese manufacturer now wants to reshape how we think about electric motorcycles. Debuting at EICMA, the Kymco SuperNEX concept looks to address some of issues consumers have about electric two-wheelers.
Has it really been 10 years since the BMW S1000RR first debuted? The S1000RR has been one of our favorite literbikes for a decade now, but for the 2019 model year, it’s getting a complete makeover, with a new look and a brand new engine with variable valve timing claiming 205 hp.
We knew it was coming, but now that the cover has been taken off the 2019 Ducati Panigale V4 R, all we can say is wow! Take the WSBK-legal displacement 998 cc Desmosedici Stradale R engine, attach frame sections to both ends to mount top-shelf Öhlins suspension, and wrap the whole package in a Ducati Corse aerodynamics package, and you’ve got a superbike that is ready to take on the world.
For the past decade we’ve all been witness to the steady decline of the 600 supersport category. It’s amazing to think about, especially considering that, before the economic recession, the four Japanese players in this very same class were pumping out brand new contenders every other year! Since then, however, 600s have become more than stagnant – the class has been teetering on life support. Suzuki and Honda have soldiered on with the same GSX-R600 and CBR600RR for years – the latter even halting sales in Europe due to increasing emissions standards and declining sales. Meanwhile, Yamaha introduced an “update” to its venerable YZF-R6 which amounted to new bodywork, electronics, and a series of relatively minor improvements. Compound that with rising costs rivaling prices for liter-class machines and many questioned the reason to buy a 600.
Prior to the company’s presentation at AIMExpo, Yamaha released details of a revised 2019 Yamaha R3. A welcome upgrade for the smallest R in the lineup, as the model hasn’t undergone any major revisions since its inception in 2015. Though we weren’t surprised to learn Yamaha had stuck with its 321cc Twin, rather than going nose-to-nose in the displacement wars with its green rival. Thanks to our staff super sleuth, we were expecting the R3 to undergo some significant changes for the new model year.