Click above for high-res gallery of the 2009 Aprilia RSV4

After numerous spy shots and leaked details, Aprilia has finally pulled the wraps off its upcoming RSV4 superbike. This is the machine that the Italian company will use to contest the Superbike World Championship in 2009 against the Ducati 1098 and the Japanese literbikes. To properly do battle, the RSV4 will make some 210-horsepower -- fully competitive with the best the series currently has to offer. While the race-going RSV4 is an amazing piece of kit, it's the street-bred RSV4, which will come in both normal and factory guises, that's of the most interest... since you'll actually be able to purchase one sometime next year.

Powered by a 999cc V-Four engine mated to a six-speed gearbox with slipper clutch, we expect the Factory to be on par power-wise with the Ducati 1098R, meaning about 180 horses or more. Coupled to a wet weight of 418 pounds the RSV4 will be one seriously fast machine. A ride-by-wire system will likely allow Aprilia to offer more than one engine map to adjust power for specific conditions. One of the more interesting bits of kit that will be standard across the line are the numerous chassis adjustments, including the ability to alter the swingarm position and the headstock angle. Styling-wise, the new RSV4 tips its hat to the RSV 1000 R that we tested earlier this year with its third eye headlight that mimics the shape of the old ram-air duct from the twin. The rest of the bike looks thoroughly new and appropriately awesome. We're not sure how much it'll cost, but we know we want one regardless.

[Source: Aprilia]

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