Newb's questions & thoughts



howdy all

ive been perving this forum a while and ended up buying a 2003 RSV-r over a week ago but until today i had only ridden it home in the snow.

i wanted something different to my trusty old zx6r which i now hope to track more and thought a 'prilia was the way to go.

picked her up for £2300 with loads of extras of ebay - bargain i think?
all the sparkly R bits along with 2 Sato race cans (+2 original cans), Harris rearsets, optimate and some service parts & paddock stand.
25k on the clock but lump feels sweet, i dont think this is high milage, my zx6r has done over 50k. Mainly self serviced by a previous owner, so not much history but he did have 3 different manuals and it seems/ sounds well fettled.

Didnt go very hatstand today but she seems to handle sweet & for a bike bike it feels light although i was expected a bit more power - but having said that i need to spend some time getting used to a V twin compared to an IL4.


Since i intend to do most servicing myself - where is the best place to buy service items/ parts?
When i need a dealer (Im in Kent) it sounds as if Southern Cross or some dealer in Tamworth, surrey? are the places to go?

Is a Scottoiler worth fitting?, it was great on the 6r (adjust chain every 4K!) so it should help even more on a V twin

How cack is that sidestand!!! Must replace ASAP. Other threads suggest buying an early GSXR stand and modifying it or buying a USA sidestand (expensive and how do i know im getting the better stand?)

That indicator/ Horn set up is a bit daft, beep!

I will need a new rear tyre soonish, its currently on a 180, i thought 190 was standard? does a 180 steer much quicker, is it that different

Does it really do 38mpg/ 165miles to a tank if i ride sensibly(ish) as per mcn figures? Would 20miles on reserve be sensible to push?

Ive read about the GSXR fork seals, im going to have to change at some time soon when i change the oil, the manuals dont say anything about servicing ohlins forks. any special tools/ advice?

Ive read about brake clutch bleeding techniques, fingers crossed, syringe & wire at the ready!

I'll leave the performance questions until another day as its the servicing i need to do soon. any advice greatly received, i know that is a lot of questions but hopefully i will be able to contribute in return when i know more!

meet you on a ride out soon
Oct 2010
Pontefract, W.Yorks
howdy all

Does it really do 38mpg/ 165miles to a tank if i ride sensibly(ish) as per mcn figures? Would 20miles on reserve be sensible to push?
I've had 160 to the tank on mine taking it easy, but mines the older 2000 model with a larger tank and yep 20 miles reserve easy. welcome to the zone :thumbup
Sep 2008
Northumberland U.K
welcome to the forum mate, Sounds to me like you got a good deal.

i can confirm the horn/indicators is a nightmare till you get used to it.

Also bleeding the front brake is a nightmare i had to bleed mine 4 times until finally i had one that lasts more than 100 miles!

On average my tank lasts around 110 before the light comes on.

There are plenty people on here with high milage bikes who have no problems at all as the engine is a bit bullet proof(probably just cursed mine!).

I'm a bid of a numpty when it comes to techincal stuff but they are really helpful on here and even i understand what they are going on about.

as for your other questions hopefully someone else can answer them, just enjoy the bike it will put a massive grin on your face! I was always IL4 before this but have not looked back since!. Cheers and be safe
Jul 2007
Northamptonshire, England
Holy Cack mate.......take it easy
These bikes are VERY different to Jap rides...the big thing you need to get used to is...they don't feel fast(until a corner approaches!) But they deceive you...They are focussed SPORTS bikes and will give you relevant MPG as per your riding style...I've seen as little as 70 miles before the fill me up light has gone off on the dash! ....If the bike rides ok & feels ok...don't worry about it...however has the 9K check the valve clearance service happened??.If not worth getting done! JUST ENJOY IT!


Welcome to the forum ApeMunky.

Hold off on all that servicing malarky, we are all meeting up for a ride out on Sunday at the Dartford Esso petrol station, pop along and meet a few guys off the forum. (See the other thread - Click Here)

That's one mighty first post but it's nice to see you've been doing a lot of reading up.

Here goes with answers:

1. There's an Aprilia dealer in Luton (Chatham) although I would not recommend them. Just before I bought mine it had gone in for an MOT and sprockets/chain change. It was noted on the invoice that the engine revs rose when the steering was turned lock to lock.

Why the hell they didn't sort this minor issue out I'll never know, one thing for sure is that they'll never touch my bike.

I buy all my bits online or from InMoto an Aprilia dealer in Croydon (Near my workplace).

Southern Cross and Griff of course, well enough said. Aprilia Guru's who can sort out any issues you may have.

2. Scott Oiler - In short no - why? Cause I hate the thought of oil dripping around my rear tyre area. Just kinda makes me uncomfortable and I can't see the point unless your touring thousands of miles.

3. Sidestands, well you can spend £50.00 on a Bubseywoo replacement or you can be choosy as to where you park the bike. The choice is yours really!

4. I had the (Beep) issue when I bought mine (Beep) remove the switchgear and pull out the brass locator peg and place in a safe place for a long time. Refit the switchgear and position it to your liking.

5. Tyres are a personal thing, I personally prefer the quick turn in and therefore have a 180 cross section. Some guys with 190's fitted have reported the chain taking chunks out of them so be careful.

6. MPG. I usually get around 100 miles to a tank round the lanes and A roads of Kent. On Motorways and Dual carriage ways I have gotten almost 135 miles to a tank.

Given that my tank is around 18 litres then by my calculations that is giving me around 33 MPG which isn't bad for a litre sports bike.

7. Ohlins forks - Hmmm, they look nice but IMO they are more hassle than the Showas. A recent thread exists that has loads of input regards these forks and overhauling them.

Check out this thread and link for data etc... on your RSV - Click Me

Hope this helps.
Jul 2007
Northamptonshire, England
Hi Amb....thanks for making a not eabout the 190 section tyre & chain issue...noticed it on mine yesterday whilst cleaning/lubing chain...Not bad just some scuffs....wonder if it's down to the chain being a little too saggy (although appeared ok!)...anyway cheers!


cheers for the tips amb

there's not much chance i'll make the sunday ride as its my bros bday and between hangovers and family celebrations on sun im sure a ride will slip away.
shame as i mostly work weekends but im sure ill meet up with a few of you soon.

just been playing with the stand, it seemed a bit loose in the bracket as if it had worn. i managed to fit a thin washers as a shim and this has improved matters slightly although the stand is now stiff to move. just had a chat with local garage to weld on a thicker/ longer stand footprint which should help.
babseywoo sounds a bit too much hassle to pin down these days so ill try my mods 1st.

thanks for the manual links, some good stuff there.
tyrewise ill probably stick wise a 180/55 as it has a nice feel. more experience will tell.

still considering the scottoiler, i reckon its the best mod to fit to a bike if you do high miles and use for everyday transport. i use to courier on the zx6r and i must have paid for itself several times over and reduced chain adjustment 8 fold. problem is im skint and the £70 could be a trackday :)

Regarding the ohlins forks ill just have to get my head around the servicing, sounds like ill have to do them twice a year at least which i hadnt counted on,rather than every 2 years on the last bike, just got tempted by their shiny appearance and reviews! it rides VERY nice for a fat lass though.

brake pad wise i always went back to EBC sintered on the 6r, tried all these others but they were best road/track mix, what suits the ape?


pointer rsv

welcome to the forum
seen 160 miles out of mine on a good stedy run
had the problem with the 190 tyre fitted only small amounts of chain rub but enough to fail an m.o.t fitted 180 since feal's alot better:thumbup
Jan 2009
Milton Keynes, England
Hi aPeMunky welcome to the forum.

For online parts I tend to buy online from aprilia parts. They tend to hold quite a bit of stuff in stock and its all OEM.

Although I now live in Essex, I still use my trusty dealer back near Bicester, Oxfordshire. Go onto the Aprilia website and find dealer. Ring around or pop in and get a feel for the place [Just stay away from the RSV4s :laugh or you'll end up coming out with one].

I'm with amb on the Scottoiler - Instead, I spend a lot of time on my chain degreasing, cleaning and re waxing my chain every 600 miles. I'm always weary of having any type of oil near my rear tyre.

If you can get a bigger footprint for the stand that's good, but just be mindful that the chain doesn't touch it in motion as the chain position changes considerably when you are sat on it!

I took a few months for me to get over the beep issue (took me back to when I was learning to ride) however you do get used to it. If anything it's an excuse to ride it more so you can get used to it :devious

I have always had the 190 cross section, never had a problem with it - oh except melting at the edges when i'm pushing it :biggrin

I get anything between 80 - 130 miles depending on how I ride it. Strangely mine runs smoother and longer on Shell petrol.