….Do we trust it too much or not enough ?
After spending 2 days riding around on the new Italian stallion and struggling to get to grips with it I’m wondering if we rely onto much Tech stuff now. The 2014 RSV4 Aprc with abs brakes has 180ish Bhp, Traction Control, Anti Wheelie, Quickshifter, Slipper clutch, Brembo brakes, Ohlins Suspension and laptimer all as standard features. We’ve added a Renthal rear Sprocket with 2 extra teeth on the back to liven it up that extra bit more and a Akrapovic carbon exhaust with the Aprilia Race Map.
However despite all that tech I roll out of pit-lane like a Cbt candidate on his first day of Das training. I’m full of nerves, trepidation and excitement to see what this new bikes going to be like and how to get the best out of it. Have to admit to being slightly disappointed with its initial feel and drive, coming out of slow corners on part throttle it was very Ducati V-Twin like so I knew it was user error but didn’t realise it was down to the Traction Control setting being on 8/8, well you can’t expect a man to read the user manual can you…
The modern dash’s have a lot of information available for the rider to digest. Even with all these modern Led screens it’s nice to see a good old analogue rev counter and traditional green Neutral light. Starting at the top of the screen and going around clockwise we have
- Lap timer
- Map – set to Track
- ATC – Active Traction Control (4/8)
- Ecu mode – set to Race
How the Aprilia designers expect you to digest this information at 135mph is beyond me.
With traction control now reduced to setting 3 out of 8 its got a completely different feel to it, the lumpy Vtwin feel coming out of the final corner is gone and a much smoother acceleration is there. It’s being ridden nowhere near its capabilities as the combination of right wrist, clenched arse cheeks and the human brain just won’t let the bike run to its full potential. This is a superbike that feels like it should be ridden and revved like a supersports bike, its small enough to feel like a 600cc but you know there’s the extra weight of that V4 motor there.
Talking of supersports bike I also have the old trusty Triumph 675 Daytona here. This bike doesn’t come with much Tech as standard but it has been modified with a full Bazzaz Z-Fi TC setup and Valtermoto race shift rearsets and what a joy to ride it is. All parts available from http://www.averysmotorcycles.com of course
Final session of the day and I couldn’t be bothered to refuel the V4 so jumped on the 675 instead. Cold Dunlop D212’s and one steady lap to allow the tyres to gain some tempature and off we went slowly picking up speed. Jumping onto the triumph was like putting on those old slippers that just fit you…
2nd lap in and I was taking the lines like I know I can, with only 122bhp the fear of a highside isn’t so high. The Bazzaz Traction Control didn’t feel like it kicked in,when it has in the past it’s not as refined as the Aprilia Aprc but then again it shouldn’t be used anywhere near as much as the Aprc system.
Corner to corner, kerb to kerb the Triumph just went where I pointed it. Lap by lap the Mojo and self esteem was returning and confidence was getting higher, no need to seek professional help anymore as in one session the triumph had reminded me I could ride a bike. Now to transfer that confidence over to the final day on the V4, the rider can do it and there is no doubt the bike can do it so it’s time to Trust the Tech and the tyres, no matter where I go I have Andrew Pitts words ringing in my ears, trust your tyres Dave trust your tyres…
Ultimately it comes down to trust, trusting that the bike will do what you tell it to do not what it wants to do, so for the 4th and final day it’s going to be Full Gassssss