The dream engine we’ve been drooling about over at Gizmag has finally come of age: Aprilia yesterday pulled the covers off the 1000cc, 65 degree V-4 engined superbike it plans to race in the 2009 WSBK series. And yes, because of WSBK’s homologation rules, we’ll definitely see the new RSV4 on the road.
Recognizing that the key to a successful V engine is to keep it as compact as possible, Aprilia have found an innovative way to drive the dual overhead cams; the inner (inlet) cams are driven by a conventional chain, and the outer ones are actually driven by the inner ones, through a series of gears.
The superbike engine is already making a claimed 207 horsepower at the crank, and Aprilia says there’s plenty of development potential. That’s a particularly scary number for opposition teams, given that the RSV-R roadbike is already the fastest stock bike around a track in Master Bike testing, so Aprilia have clearly got their handling together. The RSV4’s peak power is reached at 13,500rpm - but the tacho goes all the way up to 16,000. Hmm. The throttle is completely computer controlled, using a similar fly-by-wire system to the recent R1 and R6 Yamahas.
Styling-wise it looks very racy, carbon-clad from tip to toe but the lines aren’t as evocative as the RSV-R or the Tuono. It’s reasonable to expect that the roadbike will look a million dollars though, given Aprilia’s recent record.
Disgraced former MotoGP star Alex Hofmann is understood to be the development test rider for the RSV4 through 2008, and he is expected to ride it in the 2009 World Superbike championship as well. Let’s hope he can find the motivation to ride it.leave a response, or trackback from your own site.