Test ride, thinking of purchase. Advice/opinion if poss please

Sep 2015
Hi there,

Please can you assist a confused biker! I've owned a whole range of Sportsbikes and naked's with the exception of the RSV4. I purchased a S1000rr in March and sold it with 700 miles 2 weeks ago. I convinced myself that I wanted to move away from Sportsbikes. Wait for it.....purchased a Harley Fat Bob!!!! Quickly realised that it was a move to far away from Sportsbikes. It's going next Tuesday.
Test riding an RSV4 tomorrow and may take the plunge, thinking of a 2013 or 14 Factory APRC. My reservations are that - I sense due to the seat height one may feel like its a perched on top riding position as opposed to sat more in it. Comfort - as I'm used to blades and the BMW which was incredibly comfy for a Sportsbike ( I'm 5'8") .

More importantly some say they can be problematic and unreliable and thus if I go down the 2013 route potentially it could be out of warranty. Perhaps I could purchase one from my local Aprilia dealer?

The in line 4's I've had I fined a bit clinical, refined and thus lack sole or character. I would guess that the V4 engine characteristics and sound contribute to the character . Of course I'd pop a can on it.

Any help/advice would be very much appreciated please. Thanks in anticipation.
Apr 2015
I switched from an '08 'Blade to the new RSV4RF and have no regrets at all. The 'Blade was a great bike but it is totally eclipsed by the Aprilia. The handling, ride and especially the noise (even with the standard cans) are awesome and all contribute to a fantastic ride. I'm 6'1" so can't really comment on the height issue but I do have a short legged friend who struggled to get his feet on the ground a bit but as I say he is unusually short in the leg department (rumour has it he has turn ups on his underpants). You'll just have to try it.
I think the reliability issue is also a bit out of date. I doubt they will ever match up to Honda standards (not one problem in 6 years with the 'Blade) but by comparison with other European brands I think they are just as good. Spares used to be a problem apparently which enhanced the reliability issue but not anymore.
I also thought I had outgrown sportsbikes (so I probably should at 54) and bought a BMW R1200 GSA which is great at what it does but is really rather boring so I returned to the fun life. I don't regret it at all and if I had to keep only one the BMW would go.
As far as character goes there is no comparison with the Honda. Great bike but lacked charisma. The RSV4 has bags of it and never fails to put a smile on your face when you ride it.
I can't really fault it at all and that is probably why it keeps winning every comparison test and has been voted SPOTY 2015 again.
Just take one for a test ride and see for yourself.
Jul 2015
Dover, DE
I'm 5'8" with a 2010 RSV4R. I can not stand flat footed even with boots, but aside from that, I feel like it's made for people our size; very comfortable riding ergos.