Aprilia RSV4 and MT-09 are regarded extremely well and are full of distinct character in their category, we got a chance to ride them back to back for hundreds of kms
To make things clear to you, this isn’t your ordinary shootout or a battle. Obviously, these models have nothing in common with each other that makes us compare them but that is also the reason why we are giving you this insight at the same time. There is a stark difference between these motorcycles that made us think, “Hey you know what, we cannot review them individually because they are not new versions sold in the international market and are due for an update in the Indian market anytime soon”. By the time this story goes live, Yamaha already upgraded the MT-09 to the 2017 version. Aprilia RSV4 RF 2018 version has reached India but we are unaware of prices. Now let’s come to the differences is naked and fully faired motorcycles.
One is easy going the other one requires extreme focus to remove the best possible performance. One is European motorcycle and the other one is Japanese. The world tells us you that the Japanese motorcycles are a bit easier to live within every regard. However, as we know in the past decade, things have changed. That is also something we are here to explain.
The Italians in specific have taken the game much ahead of time and are offering reliability to an extent, copious amount of electronics which the Japanese were lacking till date. However, Japanese have caught up as well in this regard and this MT-09 comes with three riding modes and two level traction control. Something that is still missing in its Japanese rival as they are yet to catch up.
When we start talking specifically, the RSV4 RF motor is a truly a special motorcycle. Majority of the smiles comes just from the way the engine exhaust and intake noise is. The V4 is thunderous and if you live in a place which has a lot of tunnels, you will never have a dull day.
The power is everywhere, it demands a bit extra downshifts for that when compared to Japanese rivals, but yes, when you do that, it just liberates you from the generic daily monotonous schedule and puts you in sports mode, your body, and mind that is. Be it 2000 RPM or 7000 RPM or 12000 RPM, the higher you go the motorcycles pulls like a train, enough horsepower and torque as well makes the RSV4 a hoot.
Taking sweepers at speeds of 165 km/hr puts people on the road in a frenzy as it looks outrageously fast while leaned in. The telepathic chassis, the wonderful Pirelli tyres as always along with a front-end, which is just spot on. Ergonomics which are spot on also help you in putting in extra miles as it offers legroom for taller riders and enough seat height to suit shorter riders at the same time.
MT-09, on the other hand, requires wittingly such a less effort in comparison that at the end of the day, I decided to ride it from Pune to Mumbai and back. The handlebar already makes a stark difference but being raised and not lowered makes it as easy as riding an FZ-16.
The low seat height, the fuss-free ergonomics, the centre set footpegs to help grab no attention but help you gain serious momentum as you briskly cut traffic, go fast on the highway and take corners quickly because of the raised suspension travel which makes it agile while turning-in. The effort was so less that, I arrived home fresh even after riding for almost 14 hours throughout the day. The smooth engine, the low-end torque along with shorter gearing made life simpler and fun as well.
In this case, the Ergonomics and the less demanding engine in the Yamaha made a lot of difference when compared to the RSV4 which required a lot of effort. Right from taking a U-turn to accessing power. Aprilia also makes the Tuono but it still wasn’t this easy to live with. The power band inspired engine vs a continuous rev range in most Japanese motorcycle makes a lot of difference.
The European is more engaging to ride while the Japanese can take it easy and yet provide fun and performance when you start playing with it according to the European rulebook. Needless to say, the Japanese motorcycles will remain the ideal choice for beginners and emerging markets, but the extra performance is enjoyed by experienced riders and markets. You need to decide what you want, we know what we want, both!