In the race for superbike superiority, there are no rules — engine displacement, manufacturing materials, aerodynamics, and suspension are all fair game. Following the reveal of Ducati’s 2019 Panigale motorcycle, the Italian outfit at Aprilia has decided to challenge the king of two-wheeled mayhem for the right to the throne.
Aprilia’s RSV4 isn’t a newly introduced platform — in fact, the 1,000cc original was already in contention for the superbike crown. However, to meet Ducati on the blacktop, the team at Aprilia decided to refresh the cycle with a 1,100cc engine that exerts a monstrous 217-horsepower. The bike’s 65-degree V4 architecture and 190 mph top speed might seem like overkill — even more so due to its newly-bored engine and 90 ft-lbs of torque — but in order to beat Ducati’s 214-horsepower demon, it was a necessary risk. A street-legal titanium Akrapovic exhaust, adjustable steering head angle, engine mounts, swingarm pivots, and a fully modified Ohlins suspension will allow riders to tailor the bike to their needs — and what’s an ultra-fast superbike without a fresh set of Brembo brakes for stopping power? As for electronics, the RSV4 sports an 8-way joystick-controlled traction control, numerous engine maps, and three-mode cornering ABS alongside a slew of other preventative measures that will keep the bike’s rubber on the road. The RSV4 1100 will be available for just under $25,000 in the coming year.