Aprilia is an Italian motorcycle company, one of the marques owned by Piaggio.
Aprilia was founded after the Second World War by Cavaliere Alberto Beggio, as a bicycle production factory at Noale, Italy in the province of Venice. Alberto’s son, Ivano Beggio, took over the helm of the company in 1968 and constructed a 50 cc "motorcycle" with a dozen or so collaborators. The first production Aprilia mopeds were named Colibrì, Daniela and Packi. Aprilia later produced a motocross bike in 1970 called the Scarabeo. Produced until the end of the 1970s, the Scarabeo came in 50 and 125 cc versions.
In the 1980s Aprilia added enduro, trials and road bikes of between 50 and 600 cc. In 1981 Aprilia introduced the TL320 trials machine. In 1983 Aprilia launched to St 125 road bike. In 1984 Aprilia launched an improved model called STX, and an enduro, called the ET 50.
In 1985, Aprilia started outsourcing engines for some models to the Austrian company Rotax. In 1985 Aprilia launched a 125 STX and 350 STX. In 1986 Aprilia launched the AF1; a small sports model, and the Tuareg; a large tanked bike for African rallies like the Dakar Rally.
Aprilia has 124 times won 125 and 250 cc class Grand Prix, 15 Road Racing World Championship titles, and 16 European speed titles. Many world champions started on Aprilia such as Biaggi, Capirossi, Gramigni, Locatelli, Sakata and Rossi.
Also in the 1990s, Aprilia entered the scooter market starting in 1990 with Italy’s first all-plastic scooter, the Amico. In 1992, Aprilia introduced the Amico LK and the two stroke Pegaso 125, both with catalytic converters. In 1993 Aprilia launched a large diameter wheel scooter reusing the name Scarabeo with a four-stroke, four-valve engine. Later Aprilia launched more scooters such as the Leonardo, the SR and the Gulliver.
In 1995, Aprilia commissioned Philippe Starck to design the Motò which was shown in New York’s Modern Art Museum. Also in 1995 Aprilia launched the two stroke RS 125 and RS 250 sports bikes. In 1998 Aprilia launched what is its current flagship model the RSV Mille, a 1000cc V-Twin Superbike, and the Falco, a 1000cc V-Twin sport tourer with emphasis on sport. Both bikes used a variation of a Rotax 1000cc engine.
During 2000, Aprilia acquired Moto-Guzzi and Laverda, both historic heritage Italian marques. In 2000 Aprilia launched the 50 cc DiTech (Direct Injection Technology) two stroke engine for scooters which provides high mileage and low emissions, and also the RST Futura, a sport tourer, and the ETV 1000 Caponord; an adventure touring motorcycle. Both of these latter two motorcycles used a variation of the Rotax 1000 cc V-Twin.
Most recently, in 2003, Aprilia launched the RSV Mille Tuono which was essentially an RSV Mille with motorcross-style high handlebars and only a small headlight fairing. Most of the major motorcycle magazines picked it for the best bike of the year. In 2004 Aprilia was acquired by Piaggio & C. SpA, to form the world’s fourth largest motorcycle group with 1.5 billion Euro in sales, an annual production capacity of over 600,000 vehicles, and a presence in 50 countries.
Despite being a relatively small company by global motorcycling standards, Aprilia is very active in motorcycle sports. It contests many Road Racing formulae, including the FIM 125 cc World Championship, the FIM 250 cc World Championship, and the now-defunct FIM 500 cc World Championship.
Thu, 25 Sep 2014
Piaggio announced it will present a new more off-road-capable version of the Aprilia Caponord at next week’s Intermot show in Cologne, Germany. The new 2015 Aprilia Caponord 1200 Rally swaps out the current model’s 17-inch aluminum alloy rims for 19-inch wire-spoke wheels, and added aluminum saddlebags, auxiliary lighting, crash bars and engine guard for better off-roading ability. The Caponord Rally also comes with the Aprilia Dynamic Damping semi-active suspension system as well as ride-by-wire throttle, three selectable engine maps, traction control, cruise control and switchable ABS.
Mon, 15 Sep 2014
Just hours after it announced it would return to MotoGP one year ahead of schedule, Aprilia announced it has signed current MotoGP Gresini Honda rider Alvaro Bautista to a two-year contract. Bautista won the 125 World Championship for Aprilia back in 2006 and started out on the Italian company’s 125s. Now in his fifth year in MotoGP, the 29-year-old Spaniard has three third-place finishes and one pole to show for his efforts.
Fri, 12 Sep 2014
Aprilia has announced today that it will be re-entering the MotoGP World Championship starting in 2015, one year ahead of schedule. Aprilia has struck a four-year long partnership with Gresini Racing, which currently fields Alvaro Bautista and Scott Redding aboard Honda machinery. With rumors of Gresini’s Go&Fun sponsorship evaporating next year, the deal with Aprilia breathes new life into the team, which can now remain in MotoGP.
The press release is vague as to the machinery Aprilia will use next year, but it’s widely believed the 2015 bike will be a massaged version of the RSV4-based ART machine currently being campaigned by Danilo Petrucci.
Wed, 10 Sep 2014
Pirelli’s relationship with the World Superbike Championship started in 2004 and will carry on through 2018, as the Italian company will continue to supply tires for every class of the championship. What follows is the official Pirelli press release. Pirelli has been confirmed as the Official Tire Supplier for all classes of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship having won the tender organized by Dorna, promoter and organizer of the World Championship, in agreement with the FIM, the International Motorcycling Federation.
Tue, 09 Sep 2014
Legendary English marque, Matchless, is attempting to emulate another famous brand, Indian, by forming a comeback. After being purchased by the Malenotti family in 2012, the brand is now going through a revival. If you’re at all in tune with the fashion world, then the Matchless name might be familiar, as many A-list celebrities wear the Matchless-labeled clothing managed by Michele Malenotti.
Mon, 14 Jul 2014
Marco Melandri rebounded from last week’s disappointing Portimao round to win Race One at Laguna Seca while Tom Sykes extended his championship lead with a win in a red-flagged Race Two. Melandri got taken out of the second Portimao race after his Aprilia teammate Sylvain Guintoli slid into his RSV4. Melandri looked eager to make up for that DNF, leading every lap of Race One on his way to his third win of the season.
Mon, 07 Jul 2014
Kawasaki‘s Tom Sykes extended his championship lead while a Race Two collision between Aprilia teammates Sylvain Guintoli and Marco Melandri provided drama in the World Superbike Championship round at Portugal’s Portimao track. Sykes qualified on the pole in a sun-draped Superpole session but the clouds rolled in on race day, forcing teams to plan for mixed weather. An overcast sky presided over a dry Race One, leading to a mix of tire choices but all of the racers switched to wet tires for Race Two that saw the scheduled 20-lap length reduced to 18 laps.
Fri, 04 Jul 2014
Aprilia is giving its race fans the chance to show their support by putting their faces and words of inspiration on the livery of its RSV4 Factory World Superbike racer. Simply visit Aprilia Racing’s official website, BeARacer.com, select either Marco Melandri or Sylvain Guintoli and leave a comment on what you think it means to “Be A Racer”. Ahead of each round, Melandri and Guintoli will select their favorite submissions and have the fan’s picture and comment printed onto the fairing of their RSV4 Factory WSBK racebike.
Mon, 23 Jun 2014
Kawasaki‘s Tom Sykes won both races at Misano to stretch his championship lead to 39 points as we pass the halfway mark of the 2014 World Superbike Championship. The reigning champion scored his third double-win round of the season while his teammate Loris Baz added a pair of second-place finishes. David Salom on the Kawasaki’s factory EVO entry was also the top rider in the new sub-class for both races to top off a strong weekend for the Team Green.
Mon, 09 Jun 2014
The first ever World Superbike round in Malaysia offered a plenty of drama including both factory Kawasaki riders crashing out on the first lap, a red flagged second race and an overall impressive outing by Aprilia. Under pressure for his lack of results so far this season, Marco Melandri impressed, earning the double for his first career wins on the RSV4 Factory. Aprilia riders led every lap in both races at Sepang, including the red-flagged initial start for Race 2, with Sylvain Guintoli joining his teammate on the podium with a pair of second-place finishes.