2007/08 Aprilia RXV4.5/5.5 launch-The lion has been tamed (only a little…)
When Paul Walker from Aprilia called me to see if I was interested in a rendezvous with the brutal V-twin RXV’s I had to say yes. I rode the bikes at the world launch in Sicily earlier in 2006. Already at the end of 2006 the 2007/08 models are ready with improvements. I rode the new models around a castle in the English countryside.
Words: Tor Sagen/Photography: Ian Jubb/MCN, Tor Sagen & Milagro (06 shots)
It was bitterly cold and windy one early morning in November. When I arrived at Eastnor Castle in the West Midlands, England I was already cold from the ride down. I was at the castle to ride the new and improved RXV 450 and 550. The V-twin enduro bikes have been through one season of racing and development since the launch in Italy in January 2006. The main changes are: softer power curve achieved through a new ECU, a new seat with more rounded edges that also gives a slightly lower seat height, new road legal exhaust offered as factory accessory, new front design and new decals.
Aprilia had designed two-three routes for us to sample the new RXV’s on. Eastnor Castle is used as a Land Rover proving ground and 4x4 instruction centre. Today the castle had surrendered to the roaring V-twins from the Noale factory. The journalists were the modern day knights and what a weapon the new RXV is! Not a single obstacle was big enough to topple the RXV’s enduro abilities. The terrain varied from super slippery grass and mud, technically challenging steep ups and downs on trails carved by the spring floods, tight and slippery trails in the woods to high speed gravel sections. -Basically the perfect challenge for any Enduro bike.
Istarted out on the 450 with the new Akropovic exhaust. It doesn’t look as pretty as the original RXV exhaust, but it makes a big difference when using the throttle. It is road legal and makes less noise than a single at full speed. Off I went on the high speed gravel section first. The power band on the small 450cc V-twin puzzles me a bit still. It is still very much racing and there is a big dip in the curve before all hell comes loose. But with the Akropovic single muffler the throttle response is massively improved. Aprilias enduro race teams asked for this and it has made their job much easier. This is only excerpts of the full article.
Photos by: Tor Sagen & Ian Jubb/MCN
From the launch at the Land Rover proving grounds in UK... Eastnor Castle in Herefordshire.