2009 Aprilia RXV
Evolution in the name of competitiveness: this is
the mission of Aprilia’s RXV 4.5/5.5 model year
2009. Experience gained from Aprilia Racing’s
excellent results in the Enduro World Championship
has led to Aprilia designers and engineers transferring
even more race technology into this amazing production
Everybody involved with the RXV has worked hard
and in close co-operation to introduce a number of
major improvements compared to last year’s motorcycle,
making this year’s model even more “race
ready”, and better able to deliver complete
satisfaction to demanding amateur and professional
Design: Details Count
As with all Aprilias, a tremendous amount of care
and attention has been lavished on even the smallest
details on the RXV. As a result the RXV boasts a unique,
unmistakable styling that is nevertheless fully functional
in achieving the sort of unrivalled performance that
a genuine competition motorcycle demands.
Essential, decisive lines convey a sensation of lightness
and build quality. The RXV’s designers have
been eager to incorporate the features that distinguish
all Aprilias, and have launched a whole new type of
off-road motorcycle. You simply can’t fail to
appreciate technology like the V twin engine, mixed
steel trellis frame and sculpted swingarm. The tail
and rear side panels are totally different in styling
from traditional off-road designs. Whichever way you
look at it, the RXV presents a host of stunning technical
solutions, all enhanced by original racing colours
to express the aggressive nature of this born-to-race
Every aspect of the bike features intelligent design
solutions. Fixed air ducts, for example, allow the
fuel tank to tilt up for easy access to the air filter
Everything about the RXV is dedicated to winning
races. The quest for technical perfection has led
the design team to improve even the most insignificant
details on the basis of input from the many time champions
who have raced the RXV.
Engine: Continuous Evolution
The amazing 45.2 engine is, of course, the centre
piece of RXV technology. Aprilia was the first manufacturer
in the world to believe in the validity of V twin
architecture in a market segment in which all other
marques still cling rigidly to single cylinder engines.
Aprilia’s high-tech V twin design has already
proved 100% reliable in competition. Even homologation
for road use has not compromised the technology and
performance of this exceptional engine, which is produced
entirely by Aprilia. Since the earliest stages of
the design process, the 45.2 has evolved to keep pace
with chassis development and to give the RXV an unbeatable
mix of power and handling.
The 77° V angle is the result of extensive testing,
aimed not only at boosting power but also at reducing
vibration. As a result Aprilia’s engineers have
been able to eliminate engine balancer shafts. Despite
this the 45.2 engine still vibrates far less than
any single cylinder alternative.
The cylinders themselves are integrated in the crankcase
and have replaceable wet liners. This unique layout
has allowed the engine ancillaries to be arranged
in a way that achieves extremely compact dimensions.
The results are amazing: the Aprilia V twin is one
of the most compact twins in the world, and smaller
in size than many singles of similar displacement.
All design choices have been taken in order to obtain
maximum ridability and an extended power band for
off-road riding. The sophisticated electronic engine
management system, developed by Aprilia Racing, incorporates
numerous innovations for the off-road sector.
The injection system features 38 mm throttle bodies
(40 mm on the 550) and is managed by a programmable
control unit. The ECU of the 2009 model is able to
switch between two different mappings at the touch
of a switch on the handlebars.
This extremely useful innovation offers a full power
mapping for use in conditions of good grip, and a
second, softer mapping for smoother power delivery
under challenging conditions. The system provides
an extremely valid aid to control and has been welcomed
both by expert riders (the system was actually tested
in the final phases of the world championship) and
by off-road fans in general. All you need is one quick
click to select exactly the right power delivery for
The new ECU and stepper motor throttle bodies make
starting much easier under all conditions, and deliver
smoother and more controllable power too. Reduced
unitary displacement has allowed Aprilia to develop
an extremely compact and lightweight crankshaft. The
engine is more responsive to variations in throttle
opening as a result, and the bike as a whole is faster
and more manoeuvrable thanks to the reduced gyroscopic
effect from the crankshaft.
In the MY ’09 the flywheel has increased in
weight to improve power delivery and achieve a smoother
The single overhead cam configuration with four titanium
valves per cylinder head represents an ideal compromise
between compact size, light weight and high performance.
Thanks to its advanced technology, the 45.2 is also
an extremely silent running and ecological engine.
Technology, after all, should mean reliability and
longevity as well as high performance. The 45.2 engine
touches new heights in this direction, and permits
extremely easy access to parts requiring regular maintenance
like the spark plugs, oil filter and air filter.
Just as much effort has been put into weight reduction,
and the 45.2 engine sets a new record for a V twin
with an electric starter. Abundant use has been made
of prestige lightweight materials. The central crankcase
sections are in aluminium-silicon alloy; external
engine casings are in magnesium; the valves are in
titanium; and all gears are exceptionally light in
A closer look at the unique characteristics
of the 45.2 engine:
• Electronic fuel injection system with 38
mm throttle bodies (40 mm on the 550), complete with
stepper motors and a new ECU that gives even better
• Dry sump lubrication with separate external
reservoirs for gearbox and engine oil to avoid contaminating
engine oil with particles of clutch friction lining,
and for extended lubricant life.
• Single overhead cam with four valve heads
• Single piece crankshaft
• Cylinders integrated in the crankcase with
• Maximum engine speed 12,000 rpm (450 version)
Chassis: Lighter Than Ever
An uncompromising machine like the RXV demands a
The perimeter frame has been developed in conjunction
with the engine, with the result that the 2009 RXV
has lost 2 kg in weight. The tubular steel trellis
structure is interference fitted to forged aluminium
side members to form an extremely rigid whole.
The engine itself forms an integral part of the
chassis, acting as a load bearing element and contributing
to overall rigidity. The variable section aluminium
alloy swingarm has been made even lighter to reduce
rigidity and improve traction.
The rising rate suspension linkage is damped by a
fully adjustable Sachs monoshock with piggy back cylinder
and two different hydraulic settings for high and
low speeds. The calibration of the rear suspension
has been modified for 2009 to improve stability and
control over rough surfaces.
The 45 mm upside down fork also boasts new settings
for greater high speed stability and improved damping
over stony ground, and can be adjusted to suit the
needs of more expert users.
The advanced technology and high performance of the
RXV chassis are reflected in a superb braking system.
The RXV features Nissin calipers and lightweight wave
discs (270 mm at the front) for maximum braking control
even under the most challenging conditions.
The 240 mm rear disc is braked by a single piston
caliper (lighter than on the previous model) for a
perfect combination of power and control.
Components: Ready To Race
All parts of the Aprilia RXV are of the very best
Among the many prestige components are:
• digital instruments: ultra-lightweight, compact
and designed to provide all the information a rider
could possibly need;
• magura tapered aluminium handlebars with no
cross member for optimal elasticity and control;
• high luminosity LED tail light;
• aluminium oil filter cover;
• new race-derived electrical system;
• racing sponge air filter;
Main Improvements For M.Y. 2009
• new aluminium swingarm with cast body and
hydroformed members. The new swingarm is significantly
lighter and more flexible, giving clear benefits in
improved traction and better stability over rough
• lighter and more compact rear brake caliper.
• new lateral exhaust system homologated to
FIM 2009 regulations.
• fuel system with stepper motor throttle body
control and new ECU. This development makes starting
easier under all conditions and reduces weight significantly
too. Power delivery is also smoother and easier to
• simplified, lighter rear frame for a reduced
seat height and a more comfortable seating position
for riders of “all sizes”.
• lower seat height (-5 mm).
• new 2009 graphics and new seat.
• reduced weight (-2 Kg).
Aprilia RXV - Technical Specifications (specifications
for the 550 appear in brackets)
- Engine - 77° V twin four stroke. Liquid cooled.
Single overhead cam with rocker operated exhaust
valves, chain timing drive. 4 valve heads with titanium
- Fuel - Lead-free petrol.
- Bore x stroke - 76 x 49.5 mm (80 x 55 mm).
- Total displacement - 449 cc (549 cc).
- Compression ratio - 12.5:1 (12:1).
- Fuel system - Integrated electronic engine management
system controlling ignition and fuel injection,
with two power mappings.
- Throttle body - 38 mm (40 mm).
- Ignition - Electronic.
- Starting - Electric starting.
- Alternator - 340 W.
- Lubrication - Dry sump with external oil tank.
Separate gearbox lubrication.
- Gearbox - 5 speed. Enduro gear ratios: 1st 12/31,
2nd 13/25, 3rd 15/23, 4th 19/24, 5th 21/22
- Clutch - Cable operated multi-plate wet clutch.
- Primary drive - Spur gears.
- Transmission ratio - 22/56.
- Final drive - Chain.
- Transmission ratio - 15/50 (Z14 sprocket supplied).
- Exhaust system - Euro 3 lateral exhaust. Conforms
to FIM regulations for 2009.
- Frame - Chrome-molybdenum steel perimeter frame
with aluminium alloy vertical members. Steering
head (rake) angle 27°. Lightweight rear frame.
- Front suspension - Ø 45 mm upside down
fork with two adjustments.
- Rear suspension - Aluminium swingarm with cast
body and hydroformed members. Hydraulic monoshock
with compression and rebound adjustment.
- Brakes - Front: Ø 270 mm floating disc
in stainless steel with aluminium flange. Nissin
floating caliper. Rear: 240 mm stainless steel disc
with floating caliper.
- Wheels - Black anodised aluminium alloy. Front:
1.60 x 21”, Rear: 2.15 x 18”
- Tyres - Front: Metzeler 90/90 x 21”, Rear:
Metzeler 140/80 x 18”
- Overall length: 2,222 mm
- Overall width: 800 mm
- Ground clearance: 396 mm
- Seat height: 941 mm
- Wheelbase: 1,495 mm
- Fuel tank Capacity: 7.8 litres