- Highly original, low-mileage, two-owner bike
- In dry storage since 2018
- Starts and runs well and looks ready to ride
The 1970s may have been the decade that gave rise to the superbike, but it was in the 1990s that it really started to come of age. Fast-revving road-going bullets which looked like they’d come straight off a race track were the order of the day, and the Aprilia RSV Mille was typical of the breed.
Launched in 1998, it looked every inch the racer, and homologation versions of the RSV Mille did actually race with some success in the Superbike World Championship, competitively ridden by Troy Corser in 2000 and 2001, and Noriyuki Haga in 2002.
With a one-litre V-twin producing 128bhp and giving a top speed of 178mph, on paper and in reality it was truly formidable. The standard bike was quite a piece of kit, but things got even better in 1999 when the Mille R was launched.
This special performance edition was lighter than the standard RSV Mille and benefitted from a higher-specification engine. Special features of the R included Öhlins suspension and steering damper, forged aluminium wheels, carbon fibre front mudguard and a shortened subframe allowing for only a single seat.
You might suppose that all RSV Mille Rs would have been run ragged when new by aspiring Troy Corsers who would push their prodigious engines as far as they’d go. Well, you’d be wrong. This bike survived very much in the ‘one careful owner’ mould until 2018, by which time it had covered only 1,869 miles and retained its full history. Since then, its second owner has kept it generally static in his large and diverse collection of historic motorcycles, so we think you’ll struggle to find a more original and better-preserved survivor.
The History and Paperwork
- Understood to have been sold new through Junction 3 Motorbike and Scootacenta of Exhall, Warwickshire
- Retained by its owner until 2018, when it had covered only 1,869 miles and retained its full history
- Since 2018, it has been on static display in a large collection of historic motorcycles
- The paperwork file includes the current V5 and some historic ones, the original Aprilia literature including the manual and warranty book, a collection of MoT certificates and a few invoices
- Outstanding original condition – virtually showroom fresh
- Original decal commemorating Troy Corser’s third-place in the 2000 World Superbike Riders’ Championship
- Unlike the standard RSV Mille, the R features a single, racing-style seat and carbon fibre mudguards
Resplendent in a brilliant yellow, with eye-catching blue wheels and racing-inspired decals, the Aprilia looks great from a distance and also up close. The condition of it is as close to perfect as you are ever likely to see on a 21-year-old unrestored bike. It looks to us like it might only just have been ridden off the showroom floor, and if there are any slight cosmetic faults, you’ll probably have to search high and low before you find them.
In short, the paint is outstanding, the wheels are outstanding, the seat is outstanding and all rest of the metalwork, carbon fibre and other parts is outstanding. There may be a few extremely minor marks in places, but it’s worth remembering that everything on this bike is original as it left the factory, and it almost beggars belief that it should have survived so well. Then again, it has only been ridden for less than 2000 miles, so it hasn’t really had any opportunity to deteriorate.
- Powered by a water-cooled one-litre 60-degree V-twin
- Starts and idles very nicely
- Last MoTed in 2017 with no advisories
You’ve seen that the cosmetic finish of the Aprilia is pretty much like new. We’d hazard a guess that the mechanical side of things is more or less the same way, since it is inconceivable to us that the bike should have suffered any serious wear in under 2000 miles of riding.
Until 2018, the bike only covered an average of 110 miles a year, and since then it has been in well-ventilated dry storage. While lack of use can sometimes cause problems of its own, we are assured by the vendor that this bike starts and runs well, and based on what we have seen of it we can see no reason why it should not be ready to take to the road all over again.
While the engine is mostly covered, what we can see of the frame, suspension and brakes appears to be in excellent order, and the MoT record would suggest that they are. The bike was submitted for a test every year between 2007 and 2017, bar 2016, and on each occasion passed without a single advisory point.
Since the bike has been largely static for four years, and not tested during that period, we do advise that bidders satisfy themselves as to its roadworthiness before taking to the road, but we would be very surprised if it requires anything more than a straightforward service.
With a genuine motorsport pedigree, the Aprilia RSV Mille R was one of the leading superbikes of its day, and it’s still a pretty hot performer by present-day standards. It would, of course, be great fun to own and ride one like this, but it’s such a remarkable original survivor—there is probably no other like it—that you might think it better-suited to a place in a collection.
Whether your interest is specifically in road/race superbikes or whether it’s more general, such a rare and exotic bike as this in such well-preserved, almost showroom-fresh condition, would make an ideal collection centrepiece. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy riding it at all, though, and we very much doubt that it will require more than a service and MoT to get it back on the tarmac again.
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