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Battle Of The Titans: Aprilia RSV4 RF Vs. Ducati Panigale V4 S – Track

Battle Of The Titans: Aprilia RSV4 RF Vs. Ducati Panigale V4 S – Street


We teased you latterly with a dyno shootout between the Aprilia RSV4 RF and the Ducati Panigale V4 S, with the Ducati blowing the doorways off the much less highly effective – and smaller displacing – Aprilia to the tune of 187 hp for the Panigale and 168 hp for the RSV4. This set the stage for our monitor shootout between the 2 Italians properly, as on paper, anyway, the Ducati seemingly has the Aprilia’s quantity. A much bigger engine clearly provides it an influence benefit, whereas 20 kilos much less mass on the official MO scales and digital Öhlins suspension prevails over the RSV4’s additional heft and guide Öhlins bits. However what does that each one translate to as soon as the tire heaters come off and quick lap occasions must be set?

Three tenths of 1 second. That’s all that separated the Aprilia RSV4 RF and Ducati Panigale V4 S on the West Track at Utah Motorsports Campus. The rider? Shane “Tornado” Turpin, the present lap report holder, multiple-time primary plate holder, and World Superbike wildcard rider. With all of the hype surrounding Ducati’s new flagship sportbike, and our personal love affair with Aprilia’s V4 marvel, we have been shocked to see the 2 come right down to the wire like this, particularly since we thought the quick nature of UMC’s West Track would go well with the Ducati’s energy far more than the Aprilia.

The shutter velocity on Brasfield’s digital camera when he took this shot was barely quicker than three tenths of a second…however not by a lot.

Because you’re doubtless interested by lap occasions at this level, right here you go: The Aprilia turned in a time of 1:31.5. The Ducati? A 1:31.2. Should you’re questioning, Turpin’s lap document is a 1:28.5, aboard his full-blown superbike. Aside from becoming Pirelli Diablo Slicks to each machines, the Aprilia and Ducati have been utterly inventory – lights, blinkers, and even the horns nonetheless in place. Each bikes have been operating on 91 octane gasoline, straight from the native fuel station.

However one quick lap time doesn’t a V4 champion make, and to find out a winner strictly based mostly on lap occasions (particularly one lap time), can be a idiot’s errand. Let’s take a step again, then, and permit me to elucidate the parameters of our monitor check.

Guiding Rules

Equity and equality are what we attempt for when doing comparability checks. We requested every producer in the event that they needed to take part, explaining to each that a quicker lap time doesn’t mechanically decide a winner. From there, we demanded each machines be completely bone inventory, as they roll off the manufacturing flooring. Operating each machines on the dyno previous to our check helps decide if the gamers are abiding by the principles; it wasn’t uncommon in years previous for a motorbike to run extraordinarily light-weight oil merely to pad the dyno quantity. In our case, the facility scores from each bikes fall according to the numbers our dyno operator, Motorsport Exotica, have seen on different Panigale V4s and RSV4 RFs. Filling up tanks and placing each on the official MO scales additionally helps us weed out any tips so far as decreasing weight go (granted, current reminiscence can’t recall any time a producer has carried out such a factor).

A particular because of our pals at Motorsport Exotica for getting these two Italian stallions onto the dyno on such brief discover. For those who’re questioning, these racetracks on the wall are created from motorbike chains.

Usually, we do our checks at public trackdays, which usually have 30 riders on monitor and by no means permits us to document a correct quick lap time. This time across the superior guys at Rickdiculous Racing welcomed us to share the monitor with them. With one thing like 10 individuals on the monitor at any given time, typically we had the asphalt all to ourselves, which means we might have Turpin set a quick time on each bikes utilizing the Goal Solo 2 GPS lap timer. With that in thoughts, we determined the one change we’d make to the bikes was to swap the inventory (already wonderful) rubber for one thing higher. To that finish the parents at Pirelli have been type sufficient to ship over some Diablo Slicks within the SC1 compound, leaving little question that we’d have loads of traction.

Riders for the bikes can be Turpin, myself, and former-MO-staffer-turned-healthcare-provider Tom “Biceps” Roderick. This isn’t a playground for rookies, so the mixed driving expertise of a world-class racer, one journalist hack, and Tom (a reliable trackday A-group rider) provides a broad perspective in relation to bikes as highly effective and superior as these.

One other shoutout to Adam, Ken, Josh, and the remainder of the Rickdiculous Racing crew for his or her hospitality and permitting us to share the monitor with them. Keep tuned for a separate story concerning the Rick faculty. Coming quickly.

A lot has been written about each machines right here, so should you want a refresher on the technical specs on the Aprilia, I recommend studying former EiC Kevin Duke’s First Journey of the present era RSV4. The Dukester was additionally one of many first to experience the Ducati Panigale V4 S, which you’ll be able to examine right here. And if that isn’t sufficient element for you, our personal John Burns took a break from his typical scorching tub and margarita siestas to pen this extremely detailed and informative First Take a look at the Ducati Panigale.

In case you hadn’t observed, Ducati is critical concerning the Panigale. Longtime readers may also keep in mind Ducati have been reluctant to enter the earlier V-Twin 1299 (or 1199) Panigale in previous literbike comparability exams. At occasions, it was as a result of none have been obtainable in Ducati’s press fleet. Different occasions, we expect Ducati USA merely didn’t need to enter a contest it couldn’t dominate.

One ultimate thanks goes to Pirelli for supplying Diablo Superbike slicks for each bikes within the SC1 compound. These are the identical tires used and developed by the World Superbike paddock, and the constant grip offered gave us loads of confidence to go as quick as we dared.

This makes Ducati’s eagerness to be included on this comparability particularly fascinating. It’s additionally an important day for MO, as we’re the primary U.S. publication to get our arms on a Panigale V4 on house soil. However sufficient about getting emotional, let’s get right down to enterprise – how do these two stack up towards one another?

Three Riders, One Impression

All three riders have expertise with the RSV4, so it was solely pure to make use of the Aprilia as a benchmark. As typical, its linear energy supply, accompanied by its intoxicating exhaust howl stirred our senses. In the meantime, the chassis that Max Biaggi helped develop made us really feel just like the Roman Emperor at occasions; it’s sublimely communicative, planted, and safe – leaning over and carrying nook velocity was no drawback. So snug was I on it that, by my fourth lap of the day, the tarmac was amassing samples of my elbow slider.

“The Aprilia has been in development for a decade, whereas the Panigale is just beginning its development cycle, but the RSV remains, without a doubt, the most stable, confidence-inspiring production motorcycle to ride around a racetrack,” says Tom.

The previous glove analogy has been used to demise, however it’s apt when describing the RSV4 RF. It’s immediately snug and acquainted from the beginning.

In the meantime, the Ducati lives and dies by the power of that monumental Stradale V4 engine. With 187 clydesdales keen and excited to hit the pavement, twisting the throttle releases an explosion of energy that wows the senses. However the place the Aprilia is a testomony to the effective stability between energy and management, the Ducati separates the lads from the boys. The chassis surrounding the brand new V4 – itself a serious careworn member – isn’t as cooperative or exact because the Aprilia’s. Whenever you determine it’s time to maneuver with the Panigale, it takes that command critically, and it’s the whole lot the Pirelli Diablo slick can do to drive you ahead as an alternative of sideways. In the meantime, all that bucking and motion that comes from placing energy to the bottom is delivered proper to you, the rider. Remember the Ducati’s extraordinarily refined rider aids are quelling a few of that insanity, which makes the quantity nonetheless attending to the rider eye-opening. The distinction in types between the 2 is crystal clear: the Aprilia is all about carrying nook velocity, whereas the Ducati is the epitome of point-and-shoot.

Diving on the brakes into the nook, the Panigale is keen to sluggish and path brake, its Stylema calipers reminding us as soon as once more how good prime shelf Brembo elements actually are, however as soon as leaned over the chassis has a tough time speaking with exacting precision the place the entrance tire is. And since it’s troublesome to tune chassis flex into the body when the engine is a serious careworn member, low frequency stutter bumps that might usually be a blip on the radar display are huge jolts you’ll be able to really feel from the Ducati’s bars. The RSV4 is the scalpel to the Panigale V4’s steak knife. Each are sharp, however one’s clearly extra of a precision device.

With its 104cc displacement benefit over the Aprilia, and the horsepower that goes with it, when you determine to launch all the Ducati’s energy you higher hold on.

In talking with Tom and Turpin individually, each talked about their love for the Aprilia body and chassis, whereas being in awe of the Ducati’s engine. I’m in unison with the others, as the 2 Italians actually stand out in these respective areas. That stated, the RSV4 is just not sluggish by any means. It’s V4 engine nonetheless barks probably the most melodious sound we’ve heard from a manufacturing sportbike (the Triumph’s 675 and 765 Triples additionally rating up there), with clean but highly effective supply. Longtime readers will understand how a lot we love the Aprilia’s V4, and this newest instance is not any totally different. Nevertheless, because the saying goes, absolute energy corrupts completely, and the Ducati’s engine has corrupted us.

Says Tom: “The Aprilia’s 169 rear-wheel horsepower and 73 pound-feet of torque is in no way slow, its V4 accelerating with refined, seamless power delivery that’s intuitive no matter the gear or engine RPM. However, with 18 more horsepower and 8 more pound-feet of torque pushing 20 fewer pounds, the Ducati does, indeed, make the Aprilia feel slow. The Ducati’s V4 is a powerhouse of corner-exiting excitement. It has a top-end wallop of blitzkrieg proportions, while its overrev allowed me carry gears longer, whereas on the Aprilia I was grabbing another gear to keep the party going.”

Maybe the Aprilia’s biggest benefit is its capacity to hold large nook velocity.

In equity to the Ducati’s dealing with, the electronics suite within the S mannequin we examined is sort of spectacular at with the ability to change the angle of the bike via a collection of button clicks. Additionally spectacular is the very fact these clicks are usually not very troublesome to navigate. With the S, two suspension modes can be found – Fastened and Dynamic – the previous permitting you to make suspension modifications to the spring preload, rebound, or compression damping settings, as you usually would with a standard suspension setup, solely on the push of a button. In Dynamic, the rider could make modifications to the motorbike angle – underneath braking, on acceleration, or leaned over – with changes affecting the motion of each the shock and the fork.

For instance of how properly the system works, Turpin naturally modified the settings to go well with him. I later hopped on and shortly realized the stiffer settings mixed with my slower tempo made the Panigale really feel almost unrideable. Nevertheless, after some button presses to again down Shane’s settings and soften it up, the distinction in compliance, and the sensation of rigidity coming by way of the “frame” was dramatic. I instantly had one thing resembling communication with the tires, as an alternative of counting on the very fact a Pirelli slick could have grip. The Panigale was rideable, however nonetheless a handful. “It’s a rare occasion when I’ll choose a heavier bike over a lighter one,” Tom continues, “but in this scenario, the RSV’s ability to carve a corner, while making me feel like a MotoGP star, is undeniable.”

Whenever you begin to push it to the restrict, the Panigale V4 S might be extra communicative.

For sure, the Panigale comes loaded with tech that harnesses its six-axis IMU as its chief, however for monitor driving applied sciences like cornering ABS, traction management, and slide management are the large ones we care about, all of that are tunable for various settings and intervention ranges. Maybe the most important testomony to the Ducati’s electronics is the very fact I didn’t discover if or when it was intervening. By no means did I expertise any ABS intervention on the brakes, although I’m positive traction management should have kicked in once we let the ponies unfastened on exit. Maybe there have been too many different sensations flooding my mind to note TC or SC working, however the reality the one restrict to going quicker was the monkey behind the controls speaks volumes to how far tech has come.

Equally, the Aprilia is sort of tech-heavy, too, although we’ve develop into so acquainted with it that its fluid nature doesn’t shock us anymore – it’s simply anticipated. Sure, the RSV4 lacks slide management, however its traction management system continues to be the one one of many two changeable on the fly by way of intelligent finger or thumb paddles. Perhaps extra spectacular is the V4-MP app (sure, as in telephone app) that permits particular traction and wheelie management settings be utilized for particular activates a racetrack. Admittedly, we didn’t get to check this function, however the reality it exists for a manufacturing motorbike is spectacular.

Down To The Wire

In terms of choosing a monitor bike between the 2, the reply was clear for all three testers, although in very alternative ways. All of us agreed the Aprilia was clearly the better bike to experience, and regardless of the very fact it was zero.three second slower than the Ducati round UMC’s West Course over one lap, Turpin stated, in a 10-lap race, he might run a 1:31.5 lap on the RSV4 for all 10 laps. In the meantime, he admitted the 1:31.2 he pulled on the Panigale he might in all probability solely muster for 4 laps.

“Unbelievable,” stated Turpin when requested concerning the Ducati’s energy. “I wish my bikes had this kind of power when I first started racing.”

Regardless of all of it although, Turpin being the racer he’s – and the Ducati racer he was till he retired three years in the past – he nonetheless picked the Ducati because the one he’d put in his storage. The reasoning is shocking, however in any other case easy. “As a racer,” he stated, “I want the power. Then I’ll throw money or somehow figure out a way to make the thing handle.” In case you have been questioning, sure, that is the mentality of top-level racers. Dealing with is far simpler to return by than horsepower, and cash is not any object.

In the meantime, mere mortals like Tom and I’ve very totally different emotions. Neither of us will ever be a wildcard rider on a World Superbike grid, and if we have been to purchase both of those two, it will be to take pleasure in on the racetrack at a trackday (within the quick group, in fact). And in relation to having enjoyable whereas going quick and never having to work onerous at it, the Aprilia simply can’t be beat – at the least not but. The Ducati, whereas quick, is loads of work, each bodily and mentally. With the RSV4 it’s merely straightforward to go quick – and it’s rewarding, too. Whenever you get it proper, which you’ll much more typically than on the Panigale, every little thing feels straightforward. A chic handler just like the Aprilia evokes confidence, and confidence is vital for going quick time and again.

Because the Aprilia properly demonstrates, energy isn’t every thing with regards to getting round a racetrack as quick as attainable.

However wait, there’s a twist. After Tom and I had an opportunity to take a seat down, write our ideas, and fill out the trusty MO scorecard, Tom and I had a distinction of opinion in any case – Tom narrowly picked the Ducati! When all of the scores have been tallied, the ultimate outcomes present the Aprilia at 95.34% and the Ducati at 95.45%, with Tom’s Ducati scores narrowly tipping the scales for the Panigale.

When introduced with this conundrum, Tom defended himself thusly:

“It doesn’t occur typically, however there have been a couple of occasions up to now the place the bike I’ve chosen doesn’t match with the scores I entered within the Scorecard. That is a type of events. I really feel as if the Aprilia is the higher bike by a really slim margin, largely due to its means to lap a racetrack and make me really feel just like the metronomic Jorge Lorenzo laying down persistently quick laps inside tenths of seconds of each other. Solely after returning to the workplace and truthfully getting into scores into the Scorecard do I discover out the Ducati truly wins by the slimmest of margins. How is that this attainable? It’s the subjective me vs the target me. Ask me to today which is the higher bike between the Aprilia Tuono and KTM Tremendous Duke R, and my reply will differ by the hour.

On this specific shootout, the S mannequin Ducati runs $4k greater than the Aprilia, however when you recover from $20okay for a motorbike, a number of thousand spent or saved doesn’t make or break a deal as bikes costing a lot much less. When you have been to ask me what I’d spend my cash on, proper now, I’d go purchase the RR mannequin of the RSV for $17,500 and name it a day. Drive me to decide on between these two, and it comes right down to a coin flip between probably the greatest dealing with bikes ever and probably the most ferocious, technologically superior motorbike out there immediately.”

Should you take a look at the scorecard, then the Ducati is technically the winner of this check. However ask Tom or myself which we’d relatively have – for the monitor a minimum of – and the selection ideas in favor of that different Italian motorbike.

Personally, I stick by my selection of the Aprilia. With a decade of refinement, the RSV4 continues to be one of the crucial thrilling liter-class sportbikes in existence. For a primary try, the Panigale V4 S is a powerful motorbike. Give it a couple of years and there’s little question Ducati will clean out the sides and ship a motorbike with a chassis to match that engine. In the long run, this check merely proves that each the Aprilia RSV4 RF and Ducati Panigale V4 S are exceptional machines to rule the racetrack, and the one you need to select actually ought to come right down to which one tugs at your coronary heart strings extra.

Keep tuned for our road comparability, coming quickly!

Aprilia RSV4 RF vs. Ducati Panigale V4 S – Track Scorecard 2018 Aprilia RSV4 RF 2018 Ducati Panigale V4 S Worth 100% 85.5% Weight 95.6% 100% lb/hp 85.7% 100% lb/lb-ft 85.9% 100% Complete Goal Scores 93.eight% 95.2% Engine 97.5% 99.four% Transmission/Clutch 95.zero% 95.zero% Dealing with 97.5% 83.eight% Brakes 95.zero% 96.three% Suspension 95.zero% 97.5% Applied sciences 95.zero% 97.5% Devices 96.three% 95.zero% Ergonomics/Consolation 93.eight% 96.three% High quality, Match & End 95.zero% 95.zero% Cool Issue 95.zero% 96.three% Grin Issue 96.three% 95.zero% Troy’s Subjective Scores 96.zero% 95.2% Tom’s Subjective Scores 95.four% 95.eight% General Rating 95.three% 95.5%

(motorbike.com, https://bit.ly/2NxYvWD)


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