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Aprilia RSV mille endurance test

Aprilia freshness

It was expected like the first ray of sunshine after a gray winter and wafted over the Alps like a spring breeze. Aprilias Mille, the first "real" motorcycle from Noale, was refreshingly new, refreshingly different. And it preserved this state for over 50,000 kilometers.

There is monotony when everyone is doing the same thing. Boredom comes when everyone thinks the same thing. Tension means that everything is brand new and different. A motorcycle from a manufacturer that up to now has only made a name for itself in scooter and two-stroke circles with the exception of two single cylinders is new. A motorcycle with a 1000cc V2 with a 60 degree cylinder angle is different. No question about it: the Thousand is an exciting machine.
It was from the start. Because it elicited reactions from people. Also very atypical. The first entry in the logbook reads: “Mille Grazie, Aprilia. What a motorcycle. «Author: Auto motor und sport employee Ulli Baumann. Completely unsuspecting of exuberance. Harry Humke, MOTORRAD boss on duty and already an advocate of detailed explanations ex officio, simply leaves the Mille speechless. "Yeah" !! he adds to Ulli’s remarks, only to find his way back to the (almost) complete sentence 1000 kilometers later. Test Jörg Schüller’s remarks that the Mille is not a motorcycle, but art, he adds a "Jau, and the sound to it ".
The brand new Mille also attracted attention from outside the editorial office. It was the first time that test editor Stefan Kaschel went skiing for the first time. In the hard gravel of the lift station, because the RSV also inspires South Tyroleans, but ski boots are not suitable for secret sitting practice. But it got even worse: Back in Stuttgart, did she just make the 5000-kilometer threshold ?? and was stolen. Schüller spoke indignantly of art theft.
Fortunately, a mille is not a Picasso and can therefore be replaced. The successor? this time in black ?? found himself in the editorial office just two weeks later and from then on no longer changed hands. What changed after a good 1000 kilometers was the performance. Up until then traveling with 98 hp, the Mille now "openly" took on its tasks, the power measurement showed 116 hp instead of the promised 118 horses. So be it. It should finally start again.
It was also possible. And the debates continued lively, because there were just as many supporters as well as those who were critical of the Mille. What was that? Especially at the purpose and place of use. Anyone who misused the Mille for city shopping was punished by the extremely rough engine, despite two balance shafts below 3000 rpm, with chain slapping far above the pain threshold. Then rubbed her wrists and urged Aprilia to stick with the scooters. An assessment that the first drive chain followed and got rid of its O-rings. The following specimens had an understanding and were more resistant.
As soon as Mille left the sign, the impressions changed. Onliner Andy Schulz indulged himself in self-pity in the stop-and-go chaos in the town, making a hearty statement ("I’m being shaken into a position that pisses me off in the sense of the word"), a few lines later about animal Fun to philosophize: "Outdoor preferably Saturday / Sunday between 7.30 am and 10.30 am in ideal conditions. "Service man Holger Hertneck, on the other hand, alpine professional and kilometer eater, did not really warm up with the Mille on a 3000 kilometer tour through Italy and rhymed: "Ene, mene, miste, what a Appelkiste." But he could not avoid it, the Mille thanks to the low consumption for this performance and the brisk driving style ?? on this tour an average of 5.9 liters, over the entire test distance 6.8 liters ?? and to declared the good wind protection for an athlete to be conditionally suitable for tours.
An assessment that Stefan Kaschel did not go far enough. He made the Aprilia his favorite for his regular commuting between East Westphalia and Swabia, praising range, wind protection, seating position and, above all, the extremely stable chassis in the fast corners of the Kassel mountains. On the drive to Bol d’Or, he learned that you can quickly overshoot the mark with such a hot liason. The brave Mille struck under a Belgian Mercedes, the driver only opened his eyes in the hospital. The first unscheduled stop after 20,500 kilometers.
And for the time being also the last. Because after the RSV, whose engine and frame survived the fall undamaged, was restored, it acted as if nothing had happened. Always drove and demanded a new rear tire every 4,000 to 5,000 kilometers. There were no major differences in terms of function, but there were differences in format. While Pirelli’s MTR 21/22 Corsa and Metzeler’s ME Z3 Racing were convincing as the 180 rear, the 190 version of the Michelin Pilot Sport and Bridgestone BT 010 was true.
The RSV also had small weaknesses. This stupid side stand, for example. So long that it only guarantees a secure footing on sloping terrain. Then there was the loss of cooling water because a hose clamp came loose (kilometer 24,900). Around that time, the handbrake lever also drew attention with its slight pulsation. This increased to pronounced brake judder and led to the replacement of the brake discs after nearly 40,000 kilometers. A little tip: a good alternative to the expensive original discs are brake discs from Lucas or Hagen with sintered metal linings (see MOTORRAD 18/2000). Superior in effect, they are much cheaper.
There are no such alternatives for the starter freewheel. "New experience: starting as a machining process," noted Andy Schulz in the logbook on the occasion of the loud bang during a cold start. The Mille came back to the authorized workshop with over 48,000 kilometers on the clock and spent ?? in the middle of summer ?? almost a month until the freewheel and the clutch friction and steel plates, which were also worn, were replaced. Customer service? Our readers have also had bad experiences with the supply of spare parts.
The analysis after the end of the long-distance test showed that the clutch springs also definitely needed replacement. “Length at the lower tolerance limit,” noted technical director Waldemar Schwarz. The piston size was already higher. A tenth of a millimeter running clearance is too much, even if the Mille used the engine oil very sparingly over the entire test distance and even put five more horsepower on the dyno during the final measurement. There is also a need for action with regard to the gearbox output bearing, which rotated in the housing and the outer ring of which had a clearance of two tenths of a millimeter. A temporary solution with a glued-in bearing helps here, but a new housing is permanently required for the new construction, while the poor contact pattern of the shift forks and the slightly rounded claws of the sixth gear are blemishes. The chassis was also in perfect condition.
W.hat remains the bottom line? Actually just to take off your hat. Before Aprilia, before the mature performance, to put a debut with these qualities on the wheels. Before a mille that not only convinced us, but also the buyers (see letters to the editor) straight away, and which is still pleasantly fresh even after 50,000 kilometers. Refreshingly good? and ?? refreshingly different.

Status

Cylinder head: camshaft bearings and bucket tappets with very little tracks. Valve seats in good condition, one inlet valve leaking. Cylinder, piston, crank drive: Piston slightly grooved and with high wear, so despite good condition of the cylinders too much clearance, piston must be replaced Crankshaft drive in good condition, bearing shells of the connecting rod and main bearings show slight signs of running . Clutch: friction and steel disks exchanged after 47,000 kilometers, clutch springs have set, length at the tolerance limit, clutch basketball and clutch hub in very good condition. Gearbox: overall good condition, The claws of the gear wheels of gear four and six are slightly rounded, the gearbox output bearing rotates in the housing and has play, poor contact pattern of the shift forks. Chassis: Chassis in good condition, no corrosion, brake discs replaced at 40,000 kilometers.

Aprilia takes a position

The oil consumption was in the normal range during the entire test. The contact pattern of pistons and cylinders is absolutely fine for the mileage. Since the engine output was also five hp above the input measurement, there are no concerns about continuing to use the pistons. About the clutch springs The clutch springs should have been replaced together with the friction discs. Reaching the wear limit after this mileage is okay. Regarding the selector forks In our view, an exchange is not necessary. Regarding the defective starter freewheel This defect has occurred in very few cases so far. The possible cause is a kickback when starting. This can be caused by an incorrectly adjusted throttle valve sensor or incorrect cold start operation. To loose fit of the transmission output bearing The pressure between the housing and the bearing has been reduced in production in favor of a longer bearing life. The perfect function is nevertheless guaranteed. The 2001 models will have a modified clutch with improved damping and a modified crankcase. For brake judder We are not generally aware of any braking problems of this type. However, they can occur when using unsuitable brake pads or mechanical overstress (e.g. race track).

Reading experiences

Dedicated Thousand drivers: The editors rarely received so many correspondence about a long-distance test. Conclusion: a great motorcycle. But the service could be better

To date I have ridden 23,300 kilometers with the Mille and have not found any weaknesses. The engine has a lot of steam, the chassis is awesome. The brakes are okay. I feel very comfortable on this motorcycle. On the racetracks in Oschersleben and Assen, she was just as faithful a companion as on vacation in the Black Forest. If the Mille could still make coffee now, it would be perfect.Bernd Volker, Braunschweig Ordered with 128 hp in December 1998, twelve hp were required for homologation until approval in February 1999. That’s what you call customer catching. Nevertheless: whether on the racetrack or on vacation, the Mille is good for both. I swapped the original front brake pads for SBK 3 from Carbone Lorraine, thinner oil got into the fork, and the original shock absorber made way for one from Öhlins. A nuisance that keeps cropping up is the leaks in the cooling water circuit. The hose clamps are no good. That’s why I almost sunk my Mille in the gravel in Zolder. Otherwise, however, it is a real fun device, problem-free and reliable. And so I will continue to drive it for a while. Rüdiger Stenkamp, ​​Borken When I signed the sales contract in autumn 1999, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. But to this day the Mille ran without any problems and was of course also in the workshop, but only for customer service. I am positively surprised by the fuel consumption between 5.5 and 7.2 liters. The workmanship is great and we don’t even need to talk about the design of the Italians. Andreas Fricke, Calw I bought my RSV in April 1999 in a new condition. After 1200 kilometers a Shark double blowjob system was installed, and on the racetrack this is exchanged for a Sebring racing pipe. After 2000 kilometers I replaced the Eprom and crash pads from GSMG were installed. Since I often drive my Mille on the race track, I swapped the brake lines for braided steel lines from Lukas and the pads for sintered metal pads. The hand pump was replaced by a 19-inch Brembo, at the rear I ride a 43-inch chainring, the footrests come from the accessories. My tire experience: Michelin Pilot Race or Pilot Sport and Bridgestone BT 56 SS are tailor-made for this bike. My conclusion: I would buy the Mille again immediately.Armin Kramer, Radolfzell In December 1998 I bought an RSV mille as a new vehicle. Even on the test drive, I was enthusiastic about the precise handling of this beautifully crafted machine. Over the course of 35,000 kilometers, a set of chains was replaced, and an Akrapovic slip-on silencer and Spiegler cast discs with matching pads were installed at 15,500 kilometers. Together with a set of steel braided lines, the system also makes me happy on the racetrack. The original prom has been replaced by one from Dynotec. Together with the open air inlet and the open muffler, this should have added some power and torque. The manufacturer’s lax warranty processing is to be criticized. Aprilia phoned me in December 1999 to have the bike checked for free. Fine, I thought, starts badly anyway. The steering head bearing was renewed, the throttle valve was converted, new spark plugs screwed in. When it was picked up, it didn’t even start. It took from mid-December to mid-March for the spare parts (starter spindle, cables) to arrive. Then the dealer charged a cost share of 270 marks. I feel ripped off. Conclusion: Good motorcycle, service with endless potential for improvement. Jörg Richterich, Düsseldorf I have been driving the RSV mille since February 1999 and have unwound 19,500 kilometers to date. The part works really well on the road as well as on the racetrack. At 8000 kilometers the steering head bearing had to be removed and the clutch slipped. The change to mineral oil brought improvement, the dethrottling of 125 hp and the change to a 43-tooth chainring brought more liveliness. Conclusion: I only have a V-Twin in the garage. Andreas Gaudeck, Schwedt / Oder Here is a brief summary of my experiences with the Mille. A really great moped that is comfortable and convenient for me as a 1.90 meter tall person. On the last 10,000 kilometers through the Alps, on the country road and through Berlin, the RSV looked like a chameleon that adapted to the most varied of circumstances ?? until I stayed in the Omega at the Sachsenring. Panel and oil tank defective. The latter costs 600 marks. After waiting two weeks, I had it welded. I have been waiting in vain for the panels for a few weeks. A request from Aprilia also went unanswered. Conclusion: ingenious moped, really bad service. Olaf Nißler by e-mail My RSV, a 1998 model, I bought 6000 kilometers used. She’s now almost 15,000 kilometers down. After years of reliable but boring Japanese standard goods, I wanted something good and special. I do not regret the purchase. The chassis is amazing, the engine runs really well from 4500 rpm and is a lot of fun with its characterful vibrations. But she doesn’t really like to stroll, the engine jerks below 3500 rpm and the sitting posture is quite sporty when driving slowly. The dethrottling brings about a torque increase in the middle speed range. The engine works much better from 5000 rpm. A 16-tooth sprocket makes the Mille livelier and more suitable for country roads. Thomas Kuzel, by e-mail After 5500 kilometers with a 1999 Mille, I’m very satisfied. The engine (open version) is simply great on the gas, the chassis cannot be shaken by anything. Compared to the Ducati 916, I find it really handy. I only have to complain about the weak brakes and the too long gear ratio, but that’s what the accessories shop is for. I would only exchange this motorcycle for a mille R.Markus Pütz, by e-mail

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