New RSV-R 03 Model - Sportbike Forum: Sportbike Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-14-2003, 07:18 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2000
Posts: 93
New RSV-R 03 Model

Just wondering I am currently seriously looking at a new 03 RSV-R Mille with Kit race heads, Cams and Ti Exhaust with all the other Ergal Alloy bits and pieces, I was wondering if anyone has had any bad experiences with the Mille in the engine department or any other area that I should know about?

I have ridden an 02 model RSV-R extensively and was really impressed with the way it handled, not as quick as my current mount but I am looking for something different as an addition to my 9R.

The dealer tells me all is not a problem but their is nothing like an owners experience.

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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-15-2003, 08:08 AM
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I have an '00 Mille, and I just love it. I did blow the clutch on it last summer, and I had to wait for six weeks for all the parts (as it was still under warrantee). I was really upset, but this is the price you pay for being somewhat exclusive. Aprilia is a MUCH smaller company than say...Honda. I was all set to sell it and get something from one of the big four....until I got it back and rode it again! The bike is just awesome. (When my buddy lost the clutch on his GSXR 1000, he also had to wait six weeks...go figure!) Also, the word is that they revamped their parts dept, so getting parts is supposed to be much easier now. Good luck in whatever decision you make...Rick
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-15-2003, 09:23 AM
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 35
Cool 03 RSVR

I recently acquired a new 2002 rsv r. It is a dream bike for sure, and I just can't get enough of it. Heck, I'm even riding it to work in the mornings when it is below freezing here if that means anything. I think the only problem I've had w/mine was electrical-related (kickstand sensor adjustment). However, I only have just over 600 miles on it so far.

I have a friend that works at Aprilia/Moto Guzzi NA, and I have been able to see the offices and talk w/some of the Aprilia folks that work there. I am very impressed with their operation and I highly recommend an Aprilia based on what I have seen.

I also have a friend that purchased a 2002 used rsv w/10k miles on it (ridden hard as a test/track bike). He does not have any engine problems, and does have the Aprilia Racing titanium exhaust/eprom chip on it. A very sweet setup.

Have you checked on the availability of any of the haga replica bikes? I believe there are a few left around, and purchase of the bike includes the akrapovic dual race exhaust and chip as well as the stock exhaust, plus a few other goodies if I remember correctly. I guess the only drawback there is that you don't get the new version of the ohlins suspension and the other minor enhancements that Aprilia has made effective with the '03 model. Something to consider, since there are no major bike renovations and the sweet exhaust system/chip comes w/the bike. You may be able to get the whole package on a haga replica bike for less than a new 03 rsv r bone stock w/o the akra exhaust/other goodies.

Make sure you let us all know what you do!!
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-15-2003, 09:48 AM
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how much horsepower do you want to make? in the u.s., blackman's ( sells different performance parts. it seems that the rotax is pretty stout dependable motor until it starts making big serious power.

bill himmelsbach has made 150+ rwhp mille's. what he did i don't know, nor do i know how long they lasted. but they seemed to have some problems staying together at 145 for fusa (a u.s.-based series). i don't know if it was because the program was new, or...

i've ridden a 120 or so hp mille r (2001), it was pretty stout. but if you're used to 4's, all twins "feel" slow. it's a weird thing. i was trying to chase down my gsxr on it (swapped bikes) and it was equally has fast, imo. felt real slow though.

as far as the haga replica, the new akro's have really small holes in the cans for the exhaust. i hear they don't make the same horsepower as the old ones do. they don't look as good either. personally, i'd save the money on the haga and buy a regular r. i do like the 2002 tail lights better.


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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-15-2003, 06:59 PM
Join Date: Oct 2000
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Lightbulb Wait for a 2004 Mille?

Just something to keep in mind as you're chewing on the idea of an '03 RSV R....I have heard that Aprilia is coming out with a totally new re-designed Mille in 2004. I'm not sure how close you are to pulling the trigger, but this might be another alternative.

I haven't seen any pictures or press on it yet, however. Knowing Aprilia, I'm sure it will look sweet.

Also, if you buy the 2003 Mille new at the beginning of the model year, isn't MSRP 17,2k on the rsv r? I know that there are quite a few new 2002 RSV R's on cycletrader listing at between $14k and $15k from various dealerships. I guess the question is do you want to pay an additional $3,000 to get the newer model......

Make sure you let us know what you go with...!!
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-15-2003, 07:08 PM
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2004 rsv r

check out the pics of the 2004 aprilia rsv on in the Aprilia forum. I don't know if it is legit or not.....
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-16-2003, 04:48 AM
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In '04, my inner thoughts will sound something like this:
new car or new bike,
new car or new bike,
new car or new bike,
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-16-2003, 05:58 AM
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Minor url link error on 04 rsv

sorry folks, I guess I mis-typed the url.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-16-2003, 09:47 AM
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 91
Re: New RSV-R 03 Model

Originally posted by Garry
Just wondering I am currently seriously looking at a new 03 RSV-R Mille with Kit race heads, Cams and Ti Exhaust with all the other Ergal Alloy bits and pieces, I was wondering if anyone has had any bad experiences with the Mille in the engine department or any other area that I should know about?

I have ridden an 02 model RSV-R extensively and was really impressed with the way it handled, not as quick as my current mount but I am looking for something different as an addition to my 9R.

The dealer tells me all is not a problem but their is nothing like an owners experience.


I have 30,000 miles on my Falco, and overall relibility has actually been BETTER than the 97 VFR I had before (It had a HUGE, uncurable appetite for rectifiers. A failure which can, and has, left me stranded.) The original clutch lasted 18K. The replacement kit cost me around $150 complete (springs, frictions and steels). I got the updated kit, and another 12K shows no signs of weakness. Because it *is* a slipper-type clutch, if you're real aggressive with it you can wear it out pretty quickly. A lot of guys pull out the sandpaper, rough up the steels and replace it. Seems to bring it back, no prob...

00~01s seemed to have a somewhat weak clutch slave. This was redesigned for 02. I haven't heard of newer bikes failing, but then again the mileage wouldn't be very high on those, either. make a replacement for $180 that's MUCH better (triple sealed) and reduces effort at the lever by around 20%. Nice Mod!

I warped my brake rotors after the first season. This seems to be common on a lot of recent bikes, not just Aprilia: I've heard the same from owners of a lot of current front line sportbikes. A reasonable suggestion seems to be to rotate/clean/lube the buttons holding the rotor to the carrier. Supposedly road crap can get in there and sieze it up, inturn creating a hot spot and warpage. Twins seem to be a little more vulnerable since they generally weight 40LBS more than their I4 compatriots. Aprilia considers them to be a Wear and Tear item, though a sympathetic dealer can go a long way towards getting a free replacement.

Mine lasted me until after the warranty was over, so I was hemming and hawing about what to do 1) since OEM costs the same as (much better) aftermarket rotors and, 2) I feel rotors are like lightbulbs: They receive the same abuse and therefore should be done as a pair. I ended up installing a set of Spiegler full floating iron jobbies. PURE SWEETNESS!

Early bikes also had trouble with the wiring harness being sealed less well than it should be. Nothing catastrophic, but if I wash my bike aggressively, especially the right intake (air sensor) and the dash, I can get an EFI light until it all dries out. The bike runs normally, though. Most never see that, though.

A few bikes have experienced failures of a seal on the water pump that allows a little oil to leak. Usually just a few drops here and there. It is a warranty repair, and there is an updated seal out there.

The valvetrain is the world standard Shim-Under-Bucket design, just like everyone else (except Ducati). The interval is 10K for inspections, though most bikes don't need any adjustment until past 20K miles. I have one exhaust valve that's marginally loose (30K inspection), but we decided not to change the shim, 'cause the next larger one would make it marginally tight. 30K with no valve adjustments is pretty damn good. I would expect Aprilia to extend the inspection interval. Charges for major inspection seem to vary greatly, so check on that. My dealer charged me $250, but that also included a safety inspection (check/retorque all major fasteners), and oil/brake/clutch/fluid service. Not bad at all. I've heard some horror stories, though. So check, and ask for the dealer to include First Service at no charge as a Condition of Sale.

The motor responds well to exhaust and (especially) intake mods. Between my slip-ons, EPROM and Renegade airkit, I'm up an massive TWELVE lb/ft of torque at around 5K, and 6 HP peak. That's very excellent for not touching the actual motor at all, adn the bulk of the gains are right in the midrange where I use them all the time. Most Excellent. There should be a dyno chart in my gallery if you want to look.

If you're into opening your motor up: 130 at the rear wheel seems to be the limit for somewhat OEM-type reliability. That would be higher compression pistons, a medium clean up of the heads, and modding the OEM throttle bodies to 54mm, instead of the 51mm thay are as stock. There *is* an official Aprilia kit for that. Beyond that, you may experience valvetrain and main bearing *issues* if you're aggressive. Not fun. Common wisdom says to keep the rev limit where it is (10.5 redline, 11K for the actual limiter) to minimize that. Personally, I dont see the point of doing that on a street bike.

The 04 bike is supposed to have an all new motor capable of WSB spec output (180 RWHP) in race trim. Figure a decent garage could tune it to 140+ if they knew what they were doing.

The stock suspension is excellent: 1.0 KGmm springs up front (Hondas are usually 0.7). That's stiff enough that a lot of guys actuall REDUCE the strength of the spring (if you're a 180lb or less street rider, definitely consider it!). The OEM valving is very good as well. A lot of guys do replace the OEM shock with an Ohlins or Penske, but the original is also VERY good for stock. Race-Tech do make a (compression) valving kit, and Ohlins have kit internals as well (part number 3200-01, $270). I have tried both, and as you would expect, the Ohlins kit is clearly superior.

Yeah, I have a Falco and not an RSV, but it's the same motor and mostly the same componentry. 30K miles, and I'm not even remotely thinking of trading it in for something else. That should speak volumes for ya...

Hope thathelps!

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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-16-2003, 02:42 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2000
Posts: 93
03 RSV-R

WOW ! I am impressed as the response from you Guy's Lot's of Great information just what I was looking for, real world information. I know what you all mean about the bike being Just that little bit different and this is the appeal as good as the Jap bikes are, I have seen the supposed 04 RSV photos before spoken to the Australian agent and he swears Aprilia have nothing in the pipeline that they know about.

I have been offered a deal on an 02 RSV-R but really want the new model with the Radial Brakes and all the other options, I have heard that to extract big HP from one of these is to fiddle with the reliability and if you thrash it expect to lose an engine!

The true Haga bike is a totally different animal it uses the SP Motor and trick frame ect, if I option the race kit heads and cam setup I still retain my warranty and if I fit a Motech Computer with some serious Dyno time with the exhaust you can really dial in the setup.

I agree with the comment on the Aprilia cans they look weird with the small outlets I will ask the guy that works on my bike now what the go is as I will probably get him to flow the kit heads for me prior to fitting to see how good they are or if he can improve them by porting as he also sells Akro systems as well.

i have heard that Arrow make larger primary pipes for the RSV that connect to the Akro cans for even more HP so I might look into this closer, could you post some more information or a link on the Renegade Air Box system I would lke to look into this also.

Thanks for all your input and comments I will surely keep you informed of what I eventually decide to do!

Keep it Safe!

See you in the Soup and we will have a PEE together.
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