Biking tips

Aprilia celebrate Biaggi with special superbikes


The name Max Biaggi is inextricably linked to Aprilia. Even though the mercurial Roman spent most of his time in MotoGP as a factory Yamaha rider, Biaggi won five of his six world titles on the Italian brand’s bikes and remains an Aprilia ambassador today – 30 years after his first world title.

Having arrived on the scene with a bang in the early 1990s, Biaggi and his factory Aprilia RSV250 were the dominant force on the 250cc Grand Prix scene between 1994 and 1996, when the partnership won three back-to-back world titles. He would win the 1997 title on a Honda, before moving to the 500cc (later MotoGP) category for seven seasons. He was a regular front runner in the top class, never ending the year lower than fifth in the standings and being as famous for his feuds with bitter rival Valentino Rossi as his race results. After having his final year MotoGP campaign in 2005, he moved over to the world superbike paddock. After debuting with Suzuki, and then moving to a Ducati, it was no surprise he would move to Aprilia and spearhead their debut with the RSV4 in 2009.

It was a near instant success, with a win in the development season and title successes in 2010 and 2012, after which Biaggi retired as champion. He remains an ambassador for the brand and these new special editions celebrate the first race win of the RSV4, in the hands of ‘Mad Max’ at the Brno circuit in Czechia in 2009.

Called the SE-09 SBK, the superbike and supernaked machines are based on the respective RSV4 Factory and Tuono V4 Factory. They come in Aprilia’s classic black, white and red livery, as used at Brno 15 years ago, and are individually numbered, with a plaque on the fuel tank. They also come with a racing style carbon fibre front mudguard and brake duct as standard. The new bikes will go on sale in June, with the Aprilia RSV4 Factory SE-09 SBK priced £23,450, and the Aprilia Tuono V4 Factory SE-09 SBK costing £18,550. This compares to a standard RSV4 Factory currently retailing at £21,300 (down from the previous price of £23,000) with the higher barred Tuono V4 Factory being offered at £16,700.

The bikes were unveiled at last weekend’s Grand Prix of the Americas, by Aprilia MotoGP riders Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Vinales. Some of the Biaggi magic clearly rubbed off as Vinales (pictured) won both the sprint and Grand Prix races on board his Aprilia RS-GP racer.



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