Aprilia RSV 1000 Mille


Make Model.

Aprilia RSV 1000 Mille




Four stroke, longitudinal 60°V twin, DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder


997.6 cc / 60.9 cu-in
Bore x Stroke 97 x 67.5mm
Cooling System Liquid cooled
Compression Ratio 11.4:1


Fuel injection


Digital electronic with two spark plugs per cylinder
Starting Electric

Max Power

93.3 kW / 128 hp @ 9500 rpm

Max Power Rear Wheel

83.5 kW / 112 hp @ 9250 rpm

Max Torque

103 Nm / 10.5 kgf-m / 76.0 ft.lbs @ 7250 rpm
Clutch Multiple disk in oil bath with patented PPC Claimed Horsepower: -assisted hydraulic control.


6 Speed 
Final Drive Chain
Rake 25°

Front Suspension

Upside-down Öhlins fork, Ø43 mm titanium nitride treated sleeves.
Front Wheel Travel 120 mm / 4.7 in

Rear Suspension

Swing arm in Aluminium alloy, progressive linkage with APS system. Öhlins Racing hydraulic shock absorber
Rear Wheel Travel 135 mm / 5.3 in

Front Brakes

2 x Ø320 mm discs, 4 piston calipers

Rear Brakes

Single Ø220 mm disc, 2 piston caliper

Front Tyre

120/70 ZR17

Rear Tyre

190/50 ZR17

Length: 2035 mm / 80.1 in 

Width:     730 mm / 28.7 in
Height: 1145 mm / 45.1 in

Wheelbase 1418 mm / 55.8 in
Seat Height 825 mm / 32.5 in
Wet Weight 215 kg / 474 lbs

Fuel Capacity

20 L / 5.2 US gal
Reserve 4 L / 1.1 US gal

Consumption Average

6.5 L/100 km / 15.3 km/l / 36 mpg

Standing ¼ Mile  

10.9 sec / 198 km/h / 123 mph

Top Speed

272 km/h / 167 mph


Motorcycle News

Miracle Mille

Story: Ken Wootton Aprilia's RSV1000 has copped a major makeover for 2001. If we didn't know better, we'd say the factory has been reading some of AMCN's past RSV tests...

Don't buy Aprilia's 2001-model RSV1000 if you don't like being the centre of attention. And no, it's got nothing to do with the intimidating Mad Max-style matte black paintwork.

Nor has it got anything to do with the add-on winglets on the leading edges of the fairing, which give the latest incarnation of the RSV an aggressive look missing from the earlier versions.

In fact, it hasn't even got anything to do with the rorty note from the testbike's optional $1276 titanium race pipe (which incidentally comes with a replacement chip to suit).

No siree, the reason you'll be the centre of attention on a 2001-spec RSV is because some goose in the Aprilia design department decided to swap the horn button with the indicator switch. And that means every time you change lanes, or turn a corner, or pull into a parking area, you'll be tooting away merrily while you fumble for the correct control.

The reason for this inexplicable design change still has me flummoxed.

However, with 199 other more useful changes having been inflicted on the latest Mille, my horn concern is but a minor grievance.

With more power, revised geometry, recalibrated suspension, slimmer bodywork, altered weight distribution, upgraded brakes, improved rider ergonomics and a styling makeover, the 2001 RSV1000 is but a shadow of the model that first greeted Aussie buyers back in late 1999.

Back then the RSV Mille cost $25,700 compared to the $28,995 Ducati was asking for its base-model 996, the obvious competitor to the RSV in the exotic V-twin sportsbike market.

The arrival of GST in July 2000 actually dropped the prices of both models initially, but the falling Aussie dollar soon bumped things up again, with current pricing seeing the RSV at $23,929, the 996 at $25,995 and Honda's VTR1000 SP-1 at $21,690. And just to confuse things that little bit more, you can also get Ducati's up-spec 996S for $28,995 and Aprilia's up-spec RSV1000R for $29,990.

But back to the 2001 RSV in question, which is not only cheaper than the 1998 version, but substantially better...

Why is it substantially better? Well, if I didn't know any better I'd say that someone deep in the bowels of the Noale factory has been reading past AMCN tests of the RSV, and taken note of our criticisms.

Late last year (Vol 50 No 10 to be precise) we reported on the upgrades to the 2000 RSV over the '99 model. Then AMCN staffer Martin Port waxed lyrical over the improved throttle response, courtesy of the R's fuel-injection mapping which had been incorporated on the base model. However, we wondered why the R's clutch revisions hadn't been included at the same time. Wonder no more - they're there for 2001.

Last year's RSV upgrade also corrected a problem AMCN had identified with the first Mille testbike we sampled back in 1998 - a rear shock that wasn't up to scratch in spirited use, primarily because its damping went off due to heat from the rear exhaust header (refer Vol 50 No 10).

Changed damping rates and a better quality oil in last year's Sachs shock corrected the problem - providing the shock was dialled in correctly via the clickers.

Our conclusion at the time: "A motorcycle manufacturer that listens to criticism and then acts on it? Sounds like the attitude that could take this marque to its first World Superbike Championship in 2001."

Well, Aprilia didn't quite win the overall in the 2001 Superbike World Championship, but it did take victory in the opening round of the series when Troy Corser won both races, qualified on pole and set a new lap record at Valencia on March 11.

And at the final round at Imola on September 30 Corser again qualified on pole and claimed the new lap record, while teammate Regis Laconi won the final race of the 2001 series. Not too shabby for a factory in only its third season of SBK competition.

And it's that involvement in SBK that has led to many of the changes found in the 2001 RSV, and especially the repositioned engine and swingarm pivot point. Who says racing doesn't improve the breed?

Admittedly Corser and Laconi are aboard the $60,000 short-stroke RSV1000SP which didn't make its way Down Under, but the 2001 base RSV and RSV-R still have plenty in common with the factory racebikes. Although hopefully not that stupid horn button...

Which brings me back to the bike in question. To be honest, some of the changes would only be noticed by a Corser or a Laconi, and last time I looked at my laptimes there was still a way to go.

So I'll take their word for it that a slight change in engine location and swingarm pivot position are worthwhile. It's not something that boy racers Masters Port and Maclachlan have commented on either, so I'm not Robinson Crusoe there. Must try harder...

However, the narrower tank is a worthwhile change, with the RSV now feeling more like the 996 - not quite as diminutive, but an improvement nonetheless. The smaller tank dimensions allow for a greater variety of seating positions - and therefore weight distribution for spirited cornering.

Another area that has improved is the weight - or lack thereof. Our previous RSV1000 testbike tipped the scales at 223kg fully fuelled, whereas the 2001 version came in at 215kg. As both bikes sported titanium pipes when they straddled AMCN's electronic scales, the diet must be due to the revised bodywork and componentry.

The brakes too have stepped up a notch, not that the previous ones were lacking. Plenty of feel and power in the latest items, whether they be cold or hot.

The same goes for the standard-fitment rubber, excellent Dunlop D207RR radials. With D207GP race compound rubber on D207 street construction, it's the best of both worlds, with some of AMCN's fastest ever Phillip Island testbike laptimes set on the RRs. No need for a change of rubber if you're taking the RSV to a trackday.

Speaking of trackdays, with a hill climb beckoning and a fine weekend coinciding it seemed like an ideal opportunity to give the RSV a gallop. Not up the hill itself (I'd forgotten to fit knobbies!), but to the venue in question.

A circuitous route via the back roads and mountains gave the RSV a solid workout over real Aussie roads (as opposed to billiard smooth racetracks), as I was keen to see just how the removal of the steering damper of the 2000 model would affect what is after all a scalpel-sharp sportsbike.

No problems. The impressive stability of past RSVs remain, although the additional half a degree of rake has probably helped here - 24.5° to 25°. No slappers without the damper either.

The steering itself is especially light, unbelievably so around town, so the removal of the damper has been a good move.

Truth be known, it was hard to fault the new RSV as a weekend scratcher. The improved seating position (the 2lt smaller tank helps here), fade-free suspension and smoother engine delivery made for a very enjoyable fang, complemented by the booming note from the 'Race Use Only' exhaust.

The note isn't too obtrusive for street use, but just fruity enough to tickle the aural glands nicely. And loud enough to mask the horn whenever I tried to signal my intention to turn a corner!

Our 2001 RSV pumped out 5ps more at the rear wheel than our previous RSV testbike, so the claims about the hotter state of tune hold true, but without any obvious detriment to feel or throttle response.

Our dyno runs showed quite an alarming dip at 5400rpm, more so in the torque curve than in horsepower, but this wasn't noticeable in the real world as it was a range that you tend to accelerate hard through.

Legal cruising speeds tend to be 1000 revs below this, spirited canyon scratching will see the revs higher up, and hard acceleration (such as overtaking cars) sees you quickly through this 'dip' zone. No blips, no glitches and no obvious flat spots.

Nevertheless, if the optional pipe is supposed to be chipped to suit the uprated engine management system and new powerplant, then the factory has some more work to do.

There was no hesitation when spinning the V-twin through to its 10,000rpm limit, although you're really wasting your time with that sort of carry on - it's best to keep things percolating between 6500 and 9000 for best results.

As an aside, when I first headed off on the RSV the shift light on the dash would flicker every time the revs hit 6000rpm. Either the onboard computer automatically encourages wooselike short-shifting, or else the computer needed a quick reprogramming job. Thankfully it was the latter - a quick fix.

The onboard computer is a neat feature, and allows for hours of fiddling, especially at a racetrack where the onboard laptimer can be brought into play. Just don't let Mr Plod get at the highest-speed recall button if he stops you for a chat.

It may pay to reset it at regular intervals, unless of course you want to boast to your mates and have the proof to back up your claims! After all, Aprilia reckons the RSV is the fastest of the V-twin brigade with a top speed in excess of 280km/h.

Sadly, there was little point in trying to utilise the computer (or the RSV's top speed!) at the racetrack I ended up at - unless I was going to fit a paddle rear tyre and slip into some motocross clobber for an assault on the 18.53sec hill climb record held by a KX500. The latest RSV may be good, but not that good...

So what is there not to like about Mille? Capable chassis, top-notch running gear, hotter state of engine tune, improved looks, higher-quality finish - the list goes on.

I'm undecided on the matte black paint work. Sure it looks horn when it's new (and clean), and the ducktail under-cowl looks good in bright orange too. But I'm not so sure that the matte black will be so classy when it gets a few scuff marks. How do you do a quick cut and polish on matte paintwork?

When we last had an RSV at Phillip Island it was the R version, complete with Öhlins suspension, carbon-fibre aplenty and lightweight Oz wheels. Last year's R was 2kg lighter than the 2001 RSV, but had 5ps less at the rear wheel and didn't have the 2001 base RSV's chassis mods.

The $30K RSV-R lapped 0.43sec faster than Honda's SP-1, but 1.57sec slower than Ducati's $37K 996SPS. I for one can't wait to get back to that 4.45km test track and see just how much improvement Messrs Corser and Laconi have wrought on the base-model 2001 RSV.

It's a better roadbike, and I'm damn sure it's a better track bike as well. Who says racing doesn't improve the breed - must be time for a comparo...


Much more than a simple restyling exercise, the 2001 Aprilia RSV Mille has undergone a major upgrade, both technically and aesthetically, with over 200 modified parts.

The Look
First up, the bike has undergone an almost complete restyling. 

  • new, lower tank, shortened to better accommodate the rider and allow movement on the saddle.
  • more comfortable rider and passenger saddle.
  • front fairing and windshield improved aerodynamically, and now also more aggressive in looks.
  • new side fairing and side air ducts.
  • new undersaddle side panels with air outlets.
  • new rear fairing, taillight support, saddle cover base and saddle cover.
  • new headlight.
  • new turn indicators.
  • new colour combinations and new graphics.

Engine Warm-over
The engine has seen major modifications, with the aim of increasing torque and power (from 128ps to 130ps at the crankshaft), while maintaining smooth and progressive delivery, and reducing noise and vibration. The modifications made to the engine include:

  • changes to the cylinder-head and piston.
  • camshaft lift raised by 0.8mm.
  • the diameter of the intake valves has been increased by 2mm.
  • new intake pipes to complement the new cams and valves.
  • the pistons have been redesigned in profile, to accommodate the new intake valves.
  • higher flowing air filter housing.
  • new intake hose, now made from rigid material, housing a resonator designed to reduce intake noise.
  • the diameter of the intake manifold for the air filter housing has been increased from 38mm to 58mm.
  • new injection mapping, with improved operation at low engine revs.

Smoother Clutch
The clutch now has a new spring drive with an activation curve which is no longer linear, but progressive, according to the engine torque applied. Aprilia claims this is to improve smoothness and noise levels at low engine revs.

The shape of the support surfaces of the clutch plates and the lubrication of the entire clutch assembly have also been modified, in order to improve activation and life-span, and to reduce the force required on the lever.

Frame Mods
Despite being aesthetically similar to the previous version, a number of modifications have been made.

  • 5mm higher engine mounting position (the result of World Superbike feedback), which Aprilia claims improves concentration of weight around the bike's centre of gravity, as well as providing better handling and speed of entry into turns.
  • swingarm pivot raised by 3mm in order to optimise chain tension and improve traction.
  • completely redesigned frame plate to allow the higher position of the engine in the frame.
  • change of rake from 24.5 degrees to 25 degrees.
  • new sidestand attachment position (higher), to improve ground clearance.
  • elimination of the steering damper.

Suspension Tuning
The 2001 Aprilia RSV Mille features fully-adjustable Showa upside-down front suspension with 43mm-diameter sliders.

Compared to the previous version of the RSV Mille, the end stop has been changed (designed for track use, it is progressively activated during very hard braking) and features new adjustments and settings.

The rear suspension features a new full-adjustable Sachs integrated aluminium piggyback shock absorber.

The rear suspension linkages are also new (both single and double conrods), again the result of World Superbike racing experience, with the aim of improving the progressiveness and effectiveness of the shock absorber, both on the road and on the track.

Exhausting Work
The exhaust system has been completely modified, with the aim of reducing its weight (by around 1.5kg), increasing performance and reducing noise.

  • each manifold has a new layout, with the intersection between them having been modified (both in shape and position) in order to get as near as possible to a perfect constant conical cross-section.
  • the silencer has a new internal layout, a new support and a guard on the inlet pipe, in order to prevent accidental contact between the pipe itself and the rider's boot.

Stopping Power
The front brakes are completely new, Brembo Gold Series.

The rotors are 320mm diameter stainless-steel double floating discs with exclusive Aprilia-designed six-spoke centring.

Also new are the four-pot calipers, 34mm in diameter with four separate pads (as used for racing) made from sintered material. The calipers themselves are claimed to be extremely rigid thanks to the central connection above the pads.

The rear brakes are also Brembo Gold Series, with a 220mm-diameter stainless-steel disc and two-pot caliper, 32mm in diameter.

Braided steel brake lines are used for both the front and rear brakes.

And Furthermore...

  • the new fuel tank is made from a special resin that has allowed a significant weight reduction. Plus it is more resistant than sheet metal to small bumps, scratches, etc.
  • the fuel tank filler cap is also new, with a flat chrome-finish machined ring nut.
  • new, lighter battery.
  • new aluminium rider and passenger footrests.
  • the 'basic' version uses the steering-stem block of the R model.
  • the headlight has been modified aesthetically and seen the addition of an internal parabola frame and new H7 bulbs.

Source Bikepoint.com