Aprilia reveals plans for GP road bike

Fancy that RS3 in your garage? It’s on its way

8 Apr 2002

Joining the likes of Honda, Ducati and Suzuki, Aprilia has confirmed there will be a road bike based on its all-new GP machine.

But Aprilia insiders say the road version of the high-tech 220bhp triple is unlikely to feature the complicated valve control system to help keep the price within the realms of reality.

For the full story, and a free eight-page GP pull-out, you’ll need to pick up a copy of MCN, out on Wednesday, April 3.

Even if they make it their range-topper it’s unlikely to cost much more than the £23,000 RSV Mille SP.

Jan Witteveen, head of Aprilia’s race department, spoke to MCN prior to the RS3 990 GP bike’s official launch last week. He said: " We have already looked and talked about how we could put the RS3 into production. "

Pneumatically-closed valves work by using tiny bursts of compressed air to snap the valves shut instead of springs. They are opened as normal by a camshaft. Computers control the air supply, so valve timing is optimised for any rev range. Rev limits can be significantly raised without valve float becoming a problem.

Aside from cost concerns, pneumatic valves might prove impractical for road use because they need a pressurised air supply. But even without these valves, a road RS3 could make 175bhp.