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
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