Aprilia is an Italian motorcycle company, one of the marques owned by Piaggio.
Aprilia was founded after the Second World War by Cavaliere Alberto Beggio, as a bicycle production factory at Noale, Italy in the province of Venice. Alberto’s son, Ivano Beggio, took over the helm of the company in 1968 and constructed a 50 cc "motorcycle" with a dozen or so collaborators. The first production Aprilia mopeds were named Colibrì, Daniela and Packi. Aprilia later produced a motocross bike in 1970 called the Scarabeo. Produced until the end of the 1970s, the Scarabeo came in 50 and 125 cc versions.
In the 1980s Aprilia added enduro, trials and road bikes of between 50 and 600 cc. In 1981 Aprilia introduced the TL320 trials machine. In 1983 Aprilia launched to St 125 road bike. In 1984 Aprilia launched an improved model called STX, and an enduro, called the ET 50.
In 1985, Aprilia started outsourcing engines for some models to the Austrian company Rotax. In 1985 Aprilia launched a 125 STX and 350 STX. In 1986 Aprilia launched the AF1; a small sports model, and the Tuareg; a large tanked bike for African rallies like the Dakar Rally.
Aprilia has 124 times won 125 and 250 cc class Grand Prix, 15 Road Racing World Championship titles, and 16 European speed titles. Many world champions started on Aprilia such as Biaggi, Capirossi, Gramigni, Locatelli, Sakata and Rossi.
Also in the 1990s, Aprilia entered the scooter market starting in 1990 with Italy’s first all-plastic scooter, the Amico. In 1992, Aprilia introduced the Amico LK and the two stroke Pegaso 125, both with catalytic converters. In 1993 Aprilia launched a large diameter wheel scooter reusing the name Scarabeo with a four-stroke, four-valve engine. Later Aprilia launched more scooters such as the Leonardo, the SR and the Gulliver.
In 1995, Aprilia commissioned Philippe Starck to design the Motò which was shown in New York’s Modern Art Museum. Also in 1995 Aprilia launched the two stroke RS 125 and RS 250 sports bikes. In 1998 Aprilia launched what is its current flagship model the RSV Mille, a 1000cc V-Twin Superbike, and the Falco, a 1000cc V-Twin sport tourer with emphasis on sport. Both bikes used a variation of a Rotax 1000cc engine.
During 2000, Aprilia acquired Moto-Guzzi and Laverda, both historic heritage Italian marques. In 2000 Aprilia launched the 50 cc DiTech (Direct Injection Technology) two stroke engine for scooters which provides high mileage and low emissions, and also the RST Futura, a sport tourer, and the ETV 1000 Caponord; an adventure touring motorcycle. Both of these latter two motorcycles used a variation of the Rotax 1000 cc V-Twin.
Most recently, in 2003, Aprilia launched the RSV Mille Tuono which was essentially an RSV Mille with motorcross-style high handlebars and only a small headlight fairing. Most of the major motorcycle magazines picked it for the best bike of the year. In 2004 Aprilia was acquired by Piaggio & C. SpA, to form the world’s fourth largest motorcycle group with 1.5 billion Euro in sales, an annual production capacity of over 600,000 vehicles, and a presence in 50 countries.
Despite being a relatively small company by global motorcycling standards, Aprilia is very active in motorcycle sports. It contests many Road Racing formulae, including the FIM 125 cc World Championship, the FIM 250 cc World Championship, and the now-defunct FIM 500 cc World Championship.
Fri, 08 May 2009 00:00:00 -0700
The Italian motorcycle company Aprilia withdrew this advert following complaints from the Women’s Institute of Spain, whose advertising monitoring wing considered it to be sexist. Tag translation: “The Arrecife Range: Now several sizes smaller”, I thought Europeans were hip to this kind of thing…
Check out the uncensored photo and a controversial Aprilia TV AD after the jump. Not so bad.
Thu, 02 Apr 2009 00:00:00 -0700
Get the Flash Player to see this player. Update: Read the review now on motorcycle.com
Perhaps only Ducati’s street-legal MotoGP carbon-copy Desmosedici has received as much anticipation as Aprilia’s all-new RSV4 Factory. A four cylinder Vee from Aprilia is significant largely because the Italian bike maker has dealt almost exclusively with V-Twins.
Mon, 30 Mar 2009 00:00:00 -0700
Aprilia has recently jumped into the motocross category with both feet by launching the new 2009 MXV450. A first for the company and the only V-Twin-equipped motocross bike in the world, the MXV 450 promises to combine a high-performance engine with authentic Italian style, light weight and advanced technology. Equipped with Aprilia’s 452cc electronic-fuel injected 77-degree V-Twin engine, the 450 MXV allows riders to choose between two ignition settings – a factory default setting that favors rideability, control and traction, thanks to the closed firing gap between the two cylinders, and the “Screamer” setting that modifies the firing gap, allowing for maximum engine performance up to the 12,500 rpm limit. The Dell’Orto fuel injection system is managed by a programmable electronic control unit (ECU) that allows riders to switch between hard/soft mappings at the touch of a button on the handlebars.
Mon, 09 Feb 2009 00:00:00 -0800
A number of manufacturers have tinkered with various three-wheeled motorcycle applications over the years. Companies like Piaggio, Can-Am, Brudeli and even Harley-Davidson have produced unique trikes with ranging levels of success. The Wesll Corporation is attempting to do one better, literally, as it develops a four-wheeled mechanism that could be applied to many different kinds of bikes.
Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:00:00 -0800
After gaining experience from GP and supermotard circuits, Aprilia has designed and produced the Aprilia SMV750 Dorsoduro. Named after an area of Venice, the Dorsoduro utilizes a derivative of Aprilia’s 92 hp 750cc liquid-cooled engine with a second generation ride-by-wire control system. With the US debut of the mid-size SMV750 Dorsoduro, the Italian manufacturer now offers American riding enthusiasts a lightweight, high-performance V-Twin streetbike that combinesall the benefits of supermoto styling and riding position with precision handling and race-bred technology.
Wed, 31 Dec 2008 00:00:00 -0800
2008 was an interesting year in the world of motorcycles. But the biggest stories of 2008 have left some big questions for 2009. What’s in store for the New Year?
Mon, 03 Nov 2008 00:00:00 -0800
I have had a little walk around checking out the preparations for the show. I haven’t seen anything that I haven’t already seen or heard about previously, but here’s a selection from three of the halls. Yamaha are the only manufacturer to use an industrial crane to place some of its bikes up on high rise stands.