October 8, 2007 Aprilia tell us their much-anticipated V4 engine is currently undergoing durability testing in four states of tune – from a huge 185 horsepower up to an eye-watering 220 horsepower. Which one will we see in the road-going superbike they’re building?
With many MotoGP bikes now running V4 engines due to their compact size and broad power spread, the worldwide roadbike market is crying out for a V4 sportsbike they can play with themselves.
Honda, as usual, are proceeding at a very conservative pace. Although V4 and V5 1000cc engine patents have been taken out, Honda tell us not to expect them to hit the streets for another 2-3 years, at which point the new engine will be a platform for a number of sports and touring models, presumably finally replacing the popular but unspectacular VFR800 and the inline-four cylinder CBR1100XX Blackbird.
Aprilia, however, are proceeding at a rate of knots with their first ever first 4-cylinder engine and intends to race its 1000cc engine as early as 2008. Aprilia Australia tells us there’s currently four versions of the V4 undergoing longevity dyno testing, testing how reliable and durable the engine will be in various states of tune. The lowest state of tune is making a very hairy-chested 185 horsepower, putting it right on par with the big 4 Japanese sportsbikes. The highest state of tune is making a blistering 220hp, which would topple the MV Agusta 312 and blow away every other production bike on the planet. Suffice to say, this engine will be a monster.
The company tells us that no decision has yet been made on whether to race the 1000cc model in World Superbikes or whether a scaled-down 800cc model may be built for the company to take to the MotoGP stage.
If the company go to World Superbikes, things will be very interesting – as while Ducati and the Japanese brands have dominated the competition in the last decade or so, we could be about to see a serious assault from Aprilia, MV Agusta, BMW and KTM, all of whom are bringing their own unique approaches to the contest. The 08 and 09 seasons should be absolutely fascinating!
Aprilia V4 engine details: