Apart from the fact that it's 165bhp down on the RSV4, the RS4 is every inch a replica.
The 2011 Aprilia RS4 is a 125cc 15bhp replica of the current
world super bike supremo, the Aprilia RSV4. Aprilia have a long and successful
history when it comes to small capacity road sport bikes. Who could forget the
smoking RS125, or the stunning RS250. It would be fair to assume that the RS4
is going to be a half decent bike and you’d also be right in thinking that bar
the budget mirrors, it really is every inch a baby Biaggi bike.
We rode the bike round the Vairano test track, just south of
Milan. At 1.7 miles long it was the perfect place to get to grips with a bike
that turns better than it pulls. I’m not about to say I had my socks blown off
by the power of the RS4, but I can say that it’s an impressive package once
you’ve wound it up to near the 75mph maximum speed.
The four piston radial caliper is one of the stand out
features on the bike. Initially it felt like I was pulling on the door handle
of a rusting ‘80s Fiat. Hollow and lifeless lever feel could have you shying
away from trusting the performance. Stick with them though and you’ll find the
brakes are not only up to the job, but they come to life once you load them up.
The front end in general is a trustworthy place. 41mm USD
forks have zero adjustment, though on this test it did seem that they’d been
dropped through the yokes a tad, (about 4mm further than standard, cheeky Italian buggers). As the day
progressed, so did my confidence until at times the bike would run wide on the
exit of a corner with what felt like the weight of the bike channeling through
my toe and knee slider. If I were writing this about my long-term Kawasaki
ZX-10R or a sports 600 then I’d feel like a man, as it is, it just felt like I
was doing nasty things to the poor little 125. It was really good fun though.
BETTER THAN THE YAMAHA YZF125R MISTER?
There will be a full test in the August 2011 issue of SuperBike
magazine, but I think it’s fair to say that the Aprilia RS4 should appeal to
anyone that was thinking of buying the current class leader, the Yamaha YZF125R
Priced £3,999 the Aprilia RS4 125 will go on sale in July, check out www.Aprilia.com for more information