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, 20 Feb 2014
Aprilia waited until just a few days before the start of the 2014 World Superbike Championship to reveal the livery on its RSV4 Superbike. Most of the other factory teams revealed their liveries weeks ago, but now that we’ve seen the “silver fireball” look the RSV4, we can say the wait was worth it. The new silver look replaces the predominantly red and black look used the past few seasons.
Tue, 18 Feb 2014
World Superbike testing at Phillip Island came to a close today, and when the dust settled, reigning champion Tom Sykes stamped his authority, setting the fastest time of the test at 1:30.239, just five thousandths shy of the outright lap record held by Carlos Checa. The time was set during the morning session of testing, though nobody was able to best Sykes for the remainder of the day. Eugene Laverty, who was fastest on day one, showed his pace was no fluke as he stayed near the top of the time sheets, ultimately finishing second behind Sykes, with a best time of 1:30.513.
Mon, 17 Feb 2014
Eugene Laverty, aboard his Voltcom Crescent Suzuki GSX-R1000, led the field today as the first day of World Superbike testing got underway at the Phillip Island circuit in Australia, site of the first race of the 2014 season. Under sunny skies and perfect weather conditions, Laverty adapted quickly to his new ride after spending last season aboard the Aprilia RSV4 Factory. The Suzuki offered incredible feedback and allowed him to push right out of the gates, ultimately setting a fastest lap time of 1:30.513.
Thu, 06 Feb 2014
Preparations for the 2014 MotoGP Championship are well underway, with the first pre-season test at Malaysia’s Sepang circuit complete. As the first test of the year, we shouldn’t take too much stock into the results, but they do provide a basis for later comparison. Reigning World Champion Marc Marquez was the fastest rider on all three days of the Sepang test.
Tue, 04 Feb 2014
The Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC) reported a modest 1.4% growth in U.S. motorcycle and scooter sales in 2013, with consumers purchasing 465,783 vehicles. The sales data represents numbers from the MIC’s member brands which include BMW, Can-Am, Ducati, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Kawasaki, KTM, the Piaggio Group (which includes Aprilia, Moto Guzzi and Vespa), Victory, Suzuki, Triumph and Yamaha.
Fri, 31 Jan 2014
Aprilia has today released its 2014 model range, with the $20,499 RSV4 Factory APRC ABS headlining the Italian marque’s impressive lineup. You can see the full list of 2014 models below, but first we’ll begin with two interesting omissions from the list: The Dorsoduro 1200 and Caponord. According to Aprilia, the Dorso 1200 won’t be coming stateside in 2014, while the Caponord will arrive later this year badged as a 2015 model.
Thu, 30 Jan 2014
The International Motorcycling Federation (FIM) released a provisional entry list for the 2014 World Superbike Championship. The provisional list includes 27 riders riding motorcycles from nine different manufacturers. Of these riders, 12 are riding in the new EVO sub-category which limits engine upgrades and electronics to Superstock class rules.
Mon, 20 Jan 2014
This zero-mile Aprilia RS250 Cup belongs to a former colleague of mine and he might be willing to sell it. Originally intended for the USA where they ran an RS250 Cup series, this bike was purchased from New Orleans and then shipped to the UK, where it's now in storage just outside of London. Due to the fact it's never turned a wheel in anger, it's something of a one-off.
Wed, 15 Jan 2014
During the Save and Ride sales event, from now until February 28, participating Aprilia, Moto Guzzi, Piaggio, and Vespa dealerships are offering savings of up to $1500 on select new, unused, untitled, 2013 and previous model years. See the list below for eligible models. Aprilia Save & Ride Models Shiver 750: savings of $1500 off MSRP of $9,499 RSV4 R APRC ABS: savings of $1000 off MSRP of $14,999 Tuono V4 R: savings of $1000 off MSRP of $13,999
Moto Guzzi Save & Ride Models Norge GT 8V: savings of $1300 off MSRP of $16,290 V7 Special: savings of $1200 off MSRP of $9,190 Stelvio NTX ABS: savings of $1000 off MSRP of $15,990
Piaggio and Vespa Save & Ride Models Piaggio BV 350: savings of $700 off MSRP of $5,699 Vespa LX 150: savings of $500 off MSRP of $4,599 Vespa S 150: savings of $500 off MSRP of $4,499 Vespa LX 50: savings of $300 off MSRP of $3,399 Vespa S 50: savings of $300 off MSRP of $3,299 Piaggio Typhoon 125: savings of $300 off MSRP of $2,699 Piaggio Typhoon 50: savings of $300 off MSRP of $1,899
In addition, all four brands are offering special financing rates of 0.9% for 36 months or 3.9% for 60 months to qualified buyers.
Tue, 17 Dec 2013
A few months ago, expat (and ex racer) John Beddall made contact to ask if I fancied doing some track day instruction out in Bahrain. After thinking about it for two seconds, flights were booked and a plan was put in place to look after around forty riders for a day at the Bahrain International Circuit (BIC). Young Taylor Mac was also recruited to look after any tasty riders that I couldn’t deal with
The Brits out there love their bikes, however, quite a few locals also turned up plus a few others from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar. Most were on high end Superbikes, like S1000s, Panigales and RSV4s but there was also a healthy number R6s and new 675Rs.
Although this fabulous Hermann Tilke designed circuit is around ten years old incredibly it has never hosted a bike race. The highlight of the year there is F1 but being owned by the Bahrainian Royal family, there is no desperate need for the circuit to operate as a profitable business. The track reminded me of Qatar but much more interesting as some great undulations have been built into its desert location. We shared the track with Supercars on the day (20mins on/20mins off) and as you might imagine it was betty swollocks for seven hours in the 30 plus temperatures. As usual there was a few offs with poor old RS1000 Aprilia mounted Andy breaking his femur early in the day. Two other buddies appeared to swap bikes mid air in another incident but fortunately escaped unhurt.In the evening everyone stayed for an al fresco dinner in the paddock with the craic going on for hours as the Fosters kept flowing.
All in all it was a brilliant trip and it has left me thinking there could be cost effective ways of getting Brits out there for track days next winter. I'll keep you posted.Cape Town next to make my racing comeback at the Killarney 8 hour on a CBR150 Honda. Hopefully I can manage the beast, I'll post a full report next week.