Aprilia Motorcycles

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2001 Aprilia Models

Taming the US

By Paul Szekely

RSV MileAprilia is an Italian motorcycle company that has been building GP race bikes, as well as scooters for about 15 years. The scooter market in Europe is huge, as you can imagine, but they've wanted to expand their market a little further. Realizing that scooters probably wouldn't sell in a market full of 600 pound cruisers, Aprilia took the idea of the 650 single dual sport and made the Pegaso. They also had their 500 GP department put together plans for a 1000cc superbike using existing GP race technology. What resulted was the RSV Mille. Not only do they have the Scarabeo and SR50 scooters to shake up the American market, but two excellent adaptations of today's top selling machines.

Additionally, there is the Pegaso. It's a 650cc, single cylinder, all-purpose bike that goes anywhere. Aprilia definitely took a good look at the BMW F650 (they used to manufacture these bikes in their factory) and made a few improvements. They redesigned the Rotax engine using a five-valve head to increase power and create a smooth torque-y feel. Aprilia made it about 20 pounds lighter than the F650 and aimed the price around $100 less than it's competition. Making matching bags and a top case available, Aprilia intends this to be a light touring bike as well as an around town monster.

Another addition to Rotax's list of reliable machines is the RSV Mille. This 1000cc V60 twin is Aprilia's attempt to make a competitive super-bike. Coming stock at 417 pounds and around 130 hp this bike is a major competitor for the Ducati 996 and the Yamaha R1. Aprilia's 500 GP design team went to work on this bike and ended up with a uniquely styled, yet technologically advanced Duc hunter. Combining GP technology with a rotax engine, Aprilia has created a reliable, nimble and aerodynamic bike with a bright future in the American market.

Aprilia offers two scooters as well. The SR 50 is a two seat, uniquely styled, 50cc two stroke. Capable of around 55 mph, it is a perfect runner around town. With 13-inch tires, it is extremely maneuverable and provides excellent wet weather traction. With a compartment under the seat large enough for a full size helmet and available top case, storage space is not a problem. The SR is equipped with front and rear disc brakes which make for safe, predictable braking. The Scarabeo has a disc brake in the front, but uses a rear drum. It is available in red, light blue, dark blue, and white. The Scarabeo is a classy looking scooter. With unique retro styling and today's technology, this will be one of our best sellers. The air cooled 50cc, two stroke is a very reliable, yet very peppy engine. With smaller onboard storage, a top case may be necessary but they incorporated the retro styling in the luggage.

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