Aprilia shows pre-production 450cc V-twin

Aprilia USA took 80 members of its dealer network to Milan last month for its annual business meeting and new product introduction. While there, retailers heard from factory boss Ivano Beggio, who spoke of the firm’s past and future in off-roading, took a countryside tour and witnessed a sneak peek at ‘04 product prior to the opening of EICMA, the Italian motorcycle and bicycle trade show.
Although Aprilia USA says the 450cc 77° V-twin 45.V2 engine displayed at EICMA won’t be seen in a production bike for probably another two years, the company does plan to go racing with the powerplant, fitting it in an Aprilia-made chassis for Europe’s supermoto championship.
“They’ve got a category that allows prototypical machines to come in, and so that’s the first place we’re going to compete with the motor,” Aprilia USA’s Robert Pandya told Powersports Business.
Aprilia says the 45.V2, formed of aluminum-silicon and bathed with magnesium and titanium parts, was set up for maximum power and a wide range of use. “It’s not fully developed in race trim, but it could be making 70 horsepower as a 450 twin. A real monster,” Pandya said. “It may not prove to be a lot of power in the dirt, but it will be handy in a supermoto race as far as how it delivers the power.
“It may seem unusual to people unfamiliar with Aprilia, but our first global championship was a dirt championship, and the company has won Paris-Dakar and trials championships. The heart of the company, Ivano Beggio, started out as a dirt bike rider, and so he’s pretty stoked that things seem to be coming back full circle for him.”
For 2004, Aprilia’s U.S. retailers can be expected to offer the returning CapoNord, now with optional ABS; Futura; Falco and Tuono; as well as a heavily retooled RSV that dropped the Mille: the RSV 1000R, which also comes as a RSV 1000 Factory and special edition RSV 1000R Nera.
Five years after its introduction, Aprilia’s superbike received the most changes for ’04. The RSV 1000R, said to supply over 138 hp at the crank, is built around a redesigned aluminum and silicon alloy frame said to be lighter and more rigid than its predecessor.
In fact, Aprilia says it made the entire 1000R lighter and more compact than the 2003 model. Fully adjustable, the front and rear suspension has been reviewed to match the new frame; the front of the bike is completely new, with direction indicators integrated in the mirrors and four paired headlights for greater lighting efficiency, and the powerplant has received an upgrade.
Aprilia’s 60° longitudinal V twin — now named the V60° Magnesium for its magnesium cylinder head and clutch covers — was mated with a new air intake to increase power by 3% at maximum engine speed. Also new are engine internals, lubrication, intake system, the design of the combustion chamber, and exhaust system.
For U.S. riders seeking to be a bit more exclusive, the RSV 1000R Factory uses many of the same components and materials as Aprilia’s Grand Prix championship machine. From the radial caliper brakes developed with Brembo to the Öhlins suspension and forged aluminum wheels. The first in what Aprilia says will be a series of Dream Bikes, the RSV 1000R Nera is a carbon-coated race-replica based on the RSV 1000R Factory. Only 200 will be made available worldwide, with purchasers open to a variety of extravagant extras.
New in 2003, the naked Tuono will get more colors for 2004 — fluo red, darkness black and mirror silver — although, according to Pandya, “two out of the three” hues have yet to be confirmed for the U.S.

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