Is Aprilia's RSV4 the surprise sportbike of the decade? We'll know in a few months...
Sometimes you have to lose to win, and the big Gixxer's mighty motor now has a 1.7mm-shorter stroke along with shortened downdraft intake manifolds-both reductions are said to increase high rpm power.
For the all-important midrange, bore has been increased by 1.1mm while cam profiles have been altered as well. Overall, these changes have decreased the motor's physical size while improving power output.
Some more good news for purists-gone is the problematic hydraulic clutch. A cable set up returns and will hopefully clear up some of last year's sloppiness in the left bar.
MSRP is $12,199 at www.suzukicycles.com.
With the silly season behind us we can now see next year's bikes in all their official glory-not frivolous and doctored "what if" shots from your favorite forum or web-a-zeenie.
Suzuki's new GSX-R1000 has had a major redesign, though not as dramatic as the highly anticipated Aprilia RSV4. Kawasaki's ZX-6R also takes on a new look, albeit a carbon copy of its bigger brother-the ZX-10R.
Suzuki has moved to a Big Piston Fork (BPF) design to give better feedback and reduce weight. Rebound and compression adjusters are tucked in the caps, while preload is at the bottom of the fork.
Monobloc calipers replace the old two-piecers, and the master cylinder has been reduced in size. Is this enough to give the big Gixxer a much needed boost in braking power?
The 2007-08 ZX-6R was a beast on the track, but on the streets we looked for more usable power. Kawi has answered the call and claim to have increased low and mid range power while shedding over 20 pounds.
Like the new GSX-R1000, the 2009 ZX-6R will utilize the Showa BPF design. This is combined with a revised steering geometry aiming to make the 6R feel lighter and turn even quicker. As standard, an Ohlins steering damper comes along for the ride.
MSRP is $9799 at www.kawasaki.com.
Showa's BPF arrangement looks to be the new hotness for 2009-let's hope the innovative design works as claimed.
Does Aprilia have the sleeper sensation of 2009? From the specs sheet it would appear that way. Gone is the tall and lazy Mille, and in its place is the V4 powered RSV4. It'll be strange to hear the new engine tone from an Aprilia.
Big news is that Aprilia is taking this bike racing in the 2009 WSB Championship, but even better is that the bike will be available to the public.
The 65-degree, 999cc, V-four motor offers a claimed 180 hp at the crank and uses ride-by-wire technology. The wheelbase is relatively short and the V-four layout allows the bike to also remain quite narrow-both ideal for going uber quick on the track.
As we'd expect from a focused racer, the components are of the highest spec: Ohlins forks, shock and steering damper, Brembo monobloc brake calipers and Marchesini aluminum wheels.
For more info and a cool video on this amazing ride head to www.aprilia.com.