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. http://www.evoluzione.net
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...