Sportbike Racing Forum banner
1 - 20 of 26 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,237 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all!! I have some questions about Aprilia bikes and don't have any dealers around me to answer them so I was hoping you could help. Little background- I currently own an 03 Suzuki TL1000R which I absolutely love. Unfortunatly, 03 was the last year they were made and I find the new SV1000 to be an eye sore. I average 7000 to 8500 miles a year on my street bike. I am looking to get a bike the end of this summer or begining of next and have seen a couple of Aprilias at track days and have fallen in love with them. But, I don't know anyone who ownes one so can't try it out. First Question--for street riding, often 2-up through the mountains, doing 250-400miles in one day; is the RSV or the Tuono better suited? Just from reading what I can do I understand that the RSV and the Tuono have the same V-twin 1000cc engine? Is the Touno a milder version (less top end, more mid range power)? Here is the most important questions...How are they maintenance wise? Do they tend to brake down a lot? Are they hard to work on and get parts for? How many miles can you expect before major maintenance (adjusting valves, new coils, clutches, timing chains etc)? And do you feel the Aprilias are worth the price? I appreciate any info you can all give. I feel better getting it from you then some Dealer or sales add just trying to get my money.
 

·
eClogs
Joined
·
8,998 Posts
I'm on my first Aprilia now, a Tuono. I came from a Ducati 748s and changed because of the seating position... I love the 'sit-up' position of the Tuono. 1000km days are pretty common, single and two-up, and never gave me or my girlfriend any trouble.
The engine in the tuono hasn't been de-tuned from the RSV so all power is available. This poses the single 'fault' with the Tuono. Speeds over 180km/h for a long time makes you feel like a living parachute... Several guys I ride with who have Tuono's as well have either mounted flip-up or DB screens or raised the complete front fairing but all have also commented that they would never trade the Tuono for a full faired bike because of this...
Tuono on track... That'll bring a smile to your face every time...
This bike handles great on track because of the wide bars (not so fun on long straights), you can really push and pull the bike through turns. Brakes are great, power everywhere....
Performance wise the bike reacts instantly to upgrades like chips, airbox mods and slip-ons...
Maintenance. Easy to do yourself if your handy, maintenance intervals are wide apart, I'll have to check the schedule though... :blush:
Here in Holland the parts are pretty easy to come by I don't know how that'll be in the US...

Any more questions? Ask... :waytogo:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,036 Posts
Yeah, I have the same questions for the most part. I am hoping to be buying a new bike soon and saw that a 2000-2003 RSV Mille's would be in my price range (suprisingly / if I could find a bargain). The only problem is that there isnt a dealer anywhere near me and I was worried about parts and maintenance. I can do most of the stuff myself. But valve adjustments may be to large of a job for me, and stuff like that. How is the parts situation in the U.S.? Plus what about available aftermarket parts? Is there alot like the Japanese bikes? Or slim pickens. And does the motor require short maintenance intervals, or can it be ridden daily with no problem. I was sorta' going to try and get a V-twin. So how does this bike rank with the V-twins? The Duc's are out of my price range, and I would get an I4 before I got a TL1000R. So its kind of between the RC51 and the Aprilia. But I wanna here you guys opinions on all of them.
Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,544 Posts
[ QUOTE ]
First Question--for street riding, often 2-up through the mountains, doing 250-400miles in one day; is the RSV or the Tuono better suited?

[/ QUOTE ]


Tuono, for sure. RSV's seating position is pure repli-rep. Tuono is literally the 03-spec RSV, naked, with superbike bars instead of clip-ons. [drool]


[ QUOTE ]
Just from reading what I can do I understand that the RSV and the Tuono have the same V-twin 1000cc engine? Is the Touno a milder version (less top end, more mid range power)?

[/ QUOTE ]


A Tuono is an 03 spec RSV, naked. Same motor, same chassis, same state of tune... Same mods (chips, etc) work on both.


[ QUOTE ]
How are they maintenance wise?

[/ QUOTE ]


No more difficult than any Japanese bike.


[ QUOTE ]
Do they tend to brake down a lot?

[/ QUOTE ]

NO!!!!

Couple little niggles: They all come stock with slipper clutches, so clutch life isn't quite what you'd expect. Clutch slave cylinders aren't the most bulletproof. Aftermarket ones are available, much better, and lighten effort at the lever. The OEM battery is only 'adequate'.


[ QUOTE ]
Are they hard to work on and get parts for?

[/ QUOTE ]

Oil changes are a snap, else is no harder than any other twin. I get my parts as quickly as I did when I had a VFR, except in the rare case when something gets backordered to Italy (happened once to me). Then you're in for a month long wait. Regular maintenance items have NEVER been an issue for me.


[ QUOTE ]
How many miles can you expect before major maintenance (adjusting valves, new coils, clutches, timing chains etc)?

[/ QUOTE ]


Scheduled valve checks are at 600 mile (breakin), then earlier bikes have a 10K interval for valve inspection. New bikes have 12K. The motor uses shim-under-bucket valves, just like all Japanese bikes, and it is rare for a bike to need adjusting before 20,000 miles. Mine had it's adjustment cherry popped at 36,000 miles for the exhaust valves on the rear cylinder. Else is still in spec from the factory. Never replaced a coil, or heard of an owner that did. The spark plug caps (wires) would be the first place to look for an ignition issue. There are aftermarket wires available, if you like. My first clutch lasted 18K miles, kinda low. I installed the last new one at 40K, so the second lasted 22. It's slightly different from most bikes in that the last friction plate rides in a second, offset, set of fingers in the basket and that there is a rubber seal in there that should be inspected for flaws. My bike's at 44K now. I've heard of a couple owners who had to replace CCTs, but that is rare. The motor, a Rotax, is quite bulletproof, overbuilt, and quite bulletproof.




[ QUOTE ]
And do you feel the Aprilias are worth the price?

[/ QUOTE ]


For Me?? Absolutely. If you're about Horsepower Gained per Dollar Spent, then you should be on a Japanese I4.



One thing I did notice about Aprilias is that they don't do the Honda "feels like a favorite pair of jeans" thing, where you're immediately comfortable even if your technique is off. These bikes do what YOU tell them to, and aren't afraid to let you know when the loose nut behind the triple clamp is the one that needs adjusting. The trade off is that they feel SOO much better when you get it right!

Forza Italia!!!

Scott :smile:
 

·
eClogs
Joined
·
8,998 Posts
[ QUOTE ]
scotteq said:
One thing I did notice about Aprilias is that they don't do the Honda "feels like a favorite pair of jeans" thing, where you're immediately comfortable even if your technique is off. These bikes do what YOU tell them to, and aren't afraid to let you know when the loose nut behind the triple clamp is the one that needs adjusting. The trade off is that they feel SOO much better when you get it right!

Forza Italia!!!

Scott :smile:

[/ QUOTE ]

Well said! :bow:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
206 Posts
I'll second Scott's response.

The engines really are bullet-proof. Build quality is very Honda-like, or better.

In term of battery life.... I bought my Mille in August of 1999 and still have the same stock battery. They went with a smaller 12 amp (?) battery and it doesn't match the 14 amp on the first generation bike. They all need to be kept on a tender as there is a small, but constant drain from the electronics.

I run semi-synth oil & have had no issues with the bike other than the weep hole gasket (they have changed the gasket material several times...). Keep the front rotor buttons clean... otherwise, you'll think they are warped as grundge can build up in them.

I also own a Duc 748S and there is no comparison in terms of build quality/reliabilty.... Aprilia has the soul of an Italian bike and the build quality/reliability of a Japanese or German bike...
 

·
eClogs
Joined
·
8,998 Posts
Lets not forget the looks, the Tuono looks way better than the faired one... :grin:

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
274 Posts
the 04 RSV uses a CAN bus and flash memory for the CPU, not a chip. So you need to switch maps if you go aftermarket exhaust. That can only be done with the magical Axone tool from a dealer. The Touna uses the older spec engine that can still be used with a EPROM chip. Go to apriliaforum.com and you can find out all about it.....but be careful of the rowdy biker bar on thate forum......It can be a bit mean at times...

My 04 RSV is great and not a dime a dozen like the usual R1, cbr, gsxr bikes...Those bike have more hp but how often can you wind them up to use it?

The RSV has "issues" with air in the clutch and rear brake....both can be fixed...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
206 Posts
[ QUOTE ]
bayrider said:
Go to apriliaforum.com and you can find out all about it.....but be careful of the rowdy biker bar on thate forum......It can be a bit mean at times...

The RSV has "issues" with air in the clutch and rear brake....both can be fixed...

[/ QUOTE ]

Well some people do take things a bit hashly... but they do mean well overall - overall, they are a really great group.

Air in the clutch? Never really heard of this one (Scott - can you add some expertise?) The rear brake seems to be a hit or miss issue - mine has always been able to lock up the rear wheel at will.... Personally, I believe it might just be due to a lack of regular use...

Overall, my Mille has been more reliable than the Yamaha I had for many years and compared to my Duc, it's amazing!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,544 Posts
On the 04s with the radial master cylinders, Brembo made the weather seal where the plunger enters the M/C a little *too* good, and can force air trapped in it past the M/C 's seals. Not a problem with the brakes at all, since travel is so low. But the clutch is a different story. Take a pin and poke a couple small holes in the underside of the rubber seal. That solves the problem.


Scott :wink:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,237 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I really appreciate all the info guys. Now, if I can find one to ride I will be further on my way to buying one. They are the best looking bikes built today in my eyes. I was just worried about the mechanical part just due to never knowing anyone who rides one.Looks like the Tuono is for me. Start saving my pennies.
 

·
eClogs
Joined
·
8,998 Posts
[ QUOTE ]
FREAKNSTLR said:
I really appreciate all the info guys. Now, if I can find one to ride I will be further on my way to buying one. They are the best looking bikes built today in my eyes. I was just worried about the mechanical part just due to never knowing anyone who rides one.Looks like the Tuono is for me. Start saving my pennies.

[/ QUOTE ]

You won't regret it! :waytogo:
Congrats on a very wise decision... :bow:
 

·
aprilia junkie
Joined
·
16,379 Posts
sitting on an aprilia, let alone doing a short ride will be the biggest mistake ever.

you won't want to sit on anything else afterwards :grin: :grin: :grin:


So I'm coming in here kinda late, but I'll give you my thoughts on the RSV(r)

I use mine to commute without a problem. I get to piss off EVERYONE while lane splitting with unrestricted dual pipes :laugh:
You will do long mile days on the RSV without a hitch, I've done 5-600 mile days on mine before.
Maintenance is quite simple, even getting to the internals.
You will find that the 04 jap bikes will KILL YOU. This is only really noticeable on the track, since more than likely the Aprilia will be putting out +/- 120 HP while the japs have 180 but you won't really care since you're riding a bike with soul and panache. Something the japanese bikes always lack. :waytogo:

I suggest getting woodcraft clipons, or something equivalent because the stock handlebars on the Mille are glass. My buddy dropped his putting it on the service stand and it broke his handlebar. Mine broke, though due to a lowside in the track. Clipons with replacable bars are a good idea, and and theres plenty of frame slider options, to help keep the worry down about plastics, since not surprisingly... yes they're expensive. :bawling:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
250 Posts
chiming in even later, They are great bikes. Probably between owning both a honda and ducati in one. Following only the serve recomdations in the owners manual I put about 27,000 miles on my 2000 before trading it in for an 03 last year. the 99/00s were a little m=nicer with their 5.2 gal tank/reserve to go almost 200 miles before bing empty versue the 4.8 in the 03. And I too have done 500 mile plus rides on the 00 (with helibars on though). As far as maintence it can be frustrating- when I was in little rock the closest dealer was about 5 hours away. But I did most of the routine stuff myself. Otherwise you could find yourself dealer that knows twins or race type shop if you cant do the work yourself. And apriliaforums has a store to get some of the basics otherwies. Heck if the closet dealer is miles away yu can pretty much guarantee yu will have a uniqe biek. I know I did. Even now after the move to the EC I still dont see many. my .02
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Re: The Rotax V990 is not magical...

I just finished checking (and adjusting) the valves on my 2000 Mille RSV at 10,600 miles. Three (3) valves were out of spec, with a fourth close but I left it. So much for the "godlike" Rotax never needing valve adjustments.

Overall they're good bikes, but like everything else they need regular maintenance. And the closest dealer with any parts inventory is 1200 miles away.

For 5-9, 150-lb me, the stock suspension/riding position is terrible. For the typical Mille rider (6-4, 250) it's not bad. I'll do the forks/shock when I get some money. I installed ConvertiBars (much more adjustability than any other bar risers) and now have a decent riding position. I didn't like the appearance of the Tuono, just MHO.

You probably wonder why I bought it in the first place...sometimes I do, too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
206 Posts
Re: The Rotax V990 is not magical...

[ QUOTE ]
starr said:
I just finished checking (and adjusting) the valves on my 2000 Mille RSV at 10,600 miles. Three (3) valves were out of spec, with a fourth close but I left it. So much for the "godlike" Rotax never needing valve adjustments.


[/ QUOTE ]

Well in almost 5 years of ownership and a member of the Apriliaforum for over 3 years, this is the first time I have ever heard of a Mille with valves out of spec... I have heard about a few race bikes that needed adjustment. Compared to my Duc - the Mille is a peach.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Re: The Rotax V990 is not magical...

[ QUOTE ]
hank said:
[ QUOTE ]
starr said:
I just finished checking (and adjusting) the valves on my 2000 Mille RSV at 10,600 miles. Three (3) valves were out of spec, with a fourth close but I left it. So much for the "godlike" Rotax never needing valve adjustments.


[/ QUOTE ]

Well in almost 5 years of ownership and a member of the Apriliaforum for over 3 years, this is the first time I have ever heard of a Mille with valves out of spec... I have heard about a few race bikes that needed adjustment. Compared to my Duc - the Mille is a peach.

[/ QUOTE ]

I must have the one lemon V60 out there. I have had the opposite experience; my '92 Ducati 900SS (41K miles) has more stable valves (and is a heck of a lot easier to work on) than the Rotax. Y'know, if I hear one more of those "well, I've worked on Aprilias for decades, and yours is the only..." I think I'm going ballistic. I'm just offering up my experience for what it's worth.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
299 Posts
Re: The Rotax V990 is not magical...

[ QUOTE ]
Y'know, if I hear one more of those "well, I've worked on Aprilias for decades, and yours is the only..." I think I'm going ballistic. I'm just offering up my experience for what it's worth.

[/ QUOTE ]

Every bike has their flaws. The fact that valve maintenace is such an active topic speaks volumes about the rest of the bike.

So far we have:
It may need shims at the recommended intervals.
A slipper clutch that may not last as long as a conventional clutch.
A weak OEM battery.
A weak OEM clutch slave cylinder.
A few have rear brakes that won't lockup the rear wheel.

Truthfully, not too bad at all!
--
Ronnie
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Re: The Rotax V990 is not magical...

You are right. I only rant because I fully expected my "valve inspection" to be just that; based on others' reports I couldn't believe as many valves were out. Not a biggie. The V990 soldiers on...
 
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
Top