Ducati V-4 superbike 2019
Aprilia RSV 1000
Honda 2019 V-4 superbike
KTM rc16 replica
Ducati, Honda and KTM have a V-4 Superbikes project on it’s way.
Meanwhile in Austria…
KTM's boss Stefan Pierer announced a new KTM RC16 replica for track use in a couple of years.
As you may know, the Aprilia RSV 1000 features a V-4 and it's fantastic. Aprilia's compact engine is great and so is the frame. They won a bunch of Superbike championships and then they raced that bike in Moto-GP as a CRT for years.
(The production RSV 1000 is so good that Aprilia probably decided to give it a weird, un-stylish design in order to do a favor to their competitors.)
V-4 Engines feature much power (as most of four cylinders use to do) paired with a natural, predictive way to deliver the power to the rear wheel. On top of it, V-4 are, ca va sans dire, way more structurally thin compared with in-line four. Due to this, the bike will be almost half large compared with an inline-four, with great advantage for the frame and aerodynamics.
On the other hand, these engines are more complex and require some parts to be duplicated, such as the distribution.
The list of pro is way more long, but the cons side says "more costs" and this was enough to suggest to Japanese manufactures to drop this solution during the last decades. Except when it comes to racing, isn't it HRC?
Point of fact, not only Honda Moto-GP bike is a V-4, but when Ducati and KTM decided to race in Moto-GP, they designed a V-4 machine. No surprise at all.
The V-4 and the market.
No mistery, the superbikes market is stalling.
The number of sports bikes sold is low and will not increase in the short period. By the way, current products aren't too attractive.
When we saw the Honda CBR 2017 and the Suzuki GSX-R 2017 for instance, we were just like...meh.
At the end of the day, turns out that a posh, exotic V-4 model is a good deal because it can attract buyers that can afford it. And last but not least, it will be a flagship bike. A true halo model useful to sell any other kinda bike...provided that it will be really good looking also. Is it right Aprilia?