It's just an Aprilia RS3 CubeMon, 21 May 2012 00:00:00 -0700
I never get tired of looking at Aprilia's RS3 Cube.
I don't care about the fact it was a shit-or-bust gamble by Aprilia, that tarnished their almost immaculate GP reputation - infact that makes it even cooler.
No-one expected Aprilia to enter a bike into the four-stroke category, their heritage in GP dictated that their interests lay in two-strokes, but what was more left-field than Aprilia's entry? The engine they chose to power it; a 990cc triple.
Designed to offer the best blend of power and low weight (triples could weight in 10kg less than four or five cylinder rivals), the RS3 quickly established itself as a savage beast.
On the drawing board it looked like a race winner, in reality it was hugely flawed. Essentially based on an F1 engine, Aprilia complicated matters by using fly-by-fire throttle, a system that at the time was still basic and unproven, causing savage power delivery that even the best riders couldn't master. The complex engine required many additional parts (compressed air for the pneumatic valves, additional raditors for cooling), meaning the RS3 couldn't get close to its weight limit.
It produced a claimed 250bhp. Edwards said it was 'born bad'. Haga crashed it 28 times in a season.
Brutal, flawed, Italian to the core. No four-stroke GP bike will ever come close to being as cool as the RS3 Cube.
By Ben Cope
See also: WSBK: 2012 Donington Results – Video, Piaggio Reports Q1 2012 Results, WSBK: 2012 Monza Results.