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.
Tue, 13 Nov 2012
The first images of the Aprilia Caponord 1200 broke last week but Piaggio has released new details and photographs of the adventure-tourer at the 2012 EICMA Show in Milan, Italy. Sharing its engine and frame with the Dorsoduro 1200, the Aprilia Caponord 1200 is the latest competitor in the adventure-touring segment, albeit with limited off-road aspirations. The closest competitor to the Caponord 1200 is probably the Ducati Multistrada 1200.
Fri, 09 Nov 2012
Piaggio surprised many at last year’s EICMA show with its Vespa Quarantasei concept, blending the company’s iconic styling with a futuristic new look. Judging by the feedback we’ve seen in our coverage of the Quarantasei – since renamed the Vespa 946 – scooter fans have been eagerly awaiting news of the final production version of the new Vespa. Nearly a year later, the final production version of the Vespa 946 has been revealed, just days ahead of the 2012 EICMA show.
Fri, 09 Nov 2012
Aprilia has a new entrant in the highly-competitive adventure-bike market with the new Caponord 1200. Revealed ahead of its official presentation at the 2012 EICMA show, the Caponord will go up against competitors such as the Ducati Multistrada, Triumph Tiger Explorer, KTM 1190 Adventure and the segment’s benchmark, the BMW R1200GS. The 2013 Aprilia Caponord 1200 shares its engine and frame with the Dorsoduro 1200.
Wed, 07 Nov 2012
Max Biaggi will retire as a champion, announcing his decision to step away from the sport after winning his second World Superbike Championship by just half a point. The man known as the Corsair and the Roman Emperor announced his retirement this morning at a press conference at the Vallelunga circuit near Rome, Italy. Biaggi ends his 21-year international racing career with six world championships, with four consecutive 250cc Grand Prix titles from 1994 to 1997 to go along with his 2010 and 2012 WSBK titles.
Thu, 01 Nov 2012
The Piaggio Group reported a 9.1% decrease in net sales over the first nine months of 2012 compared to the same period in 2011, thanks in large part to a strong decline in the European market for two-wheelers. According to Piaggio‘s third quarter 2012 report, the Italian manufacturer recorded 706.3 million euros (US$913.8 million) in motorcycle and scooter sales, compared to 777.2 million in sales over the same period of 2011. The Piaggio Group, which also includes the brands Aprilia, Moto Guzzi, Vespa and other brands, sold 321,300 motorcycles and scooters in the first nine months of 2012, a year-on-year decrease of 3.5% from 2011.
Wed, 31 Oct 2012
Former Apple head honcho Steve Jobs liked his bikes, so when he fancied a great big yacht, it's probably not too surprising he asked French design guru Philippe Starck to pen it. You may recall that Starck, who has designed everything from juicers to hotels, also drew up the Aprilia 6.5 Moto (pictured, right) back in the 90s - a motorcycle whose main achievement has been polarising opinion ever since. (You say minimalist icon, I say F650 wearing a blanket. An orange blanket.)
Anyway, when Jobs met Starck, minimal, yacht-shaped sparks evidently flew and the result - after six years of hard work at Dutch builders Feadship and Mr Jobs' passing into the Great Docking Port in the Sky - is this sleek, 80-metre superyacht named Venus. The interiors that are all flat teak decks and walls of glass, with a bridge sporting an array of iMacs.
Thu, 25 Oct 2012
Honda announced in a dry-as-you-like press release that a new bike was coming. Not another motorcycle-cum-medical aid like the DN-01 or Integra, this is going to be a proper bike. A bike in a similar vein to previous bikes in the RC series, the RC30, RC45 and RC51, aimed squarely at winning races. So what's it going to look like?
Wed, 10 Oct 2012
Spotted this Aprilia RSV4 showing off its fancy new paintjob. I'm guessing it's based on the Jeff Koons M3 GTS that raced at Le Mans in 2010, pictured right. I love the car, the paint makes it look like it's going at 150mph even when it's standing still.
Tue, 09 Oct 2012
You would think carrying a 30.5 point lead into the final round of the 2012 World Superbike Championship would be a safe enough margin to win the title. Aprilia‘s Max Biaggi made it interesting, inexplicably crashing out of the first race at the finale in Magny-C0urs before scoring a fifth place finish in Race Two to give him a 0.5 point margin over Kawasaki‘s Tom Sykes to win the title. The 358 to 357.5 point difference is the narrowest finish ever in WSBK.
Tue, 02 Oct 2012
Current World Superbike points leader Max Biaggi was on hand as Aprilia announced a number of updates to its RSV4 flagship sportbike at the 2012 Intermot show in Cologne, Germany. The Aprilia RSV4 Factory returns with its impressive APRC electronics package and 1000cc V4 engine, but adds anti-lock brakes, and a larger fuel tank. Aprilia also gave the RSV4 a performance boost, claiming 181.5 hp and 86.3 ft-lb.