Aprilia have actually been around for much longer than most people will realize, having made the switch from bicycle to motorcycle production in 1968.
Two-strokes were the order of the day for them, and in the ’90s, their small-displacement two-stroke race bikes were the fastest machines on the track. It was their racing success that inspired them to start making 4-stroke machines. After a few other flops, they eventually teamed up with Rotax to produce their first full-fledged superbike, suffice to say they’ve never looked back since.
Today, they have established themselves as one of the premier motorcycle manufacturers and compete in every form of track racing around the world, including MotoGP.
10 Tuareg 600
Technically, their first foray into the world of 4-stroke engineering was their line of dual-sport Tuareg bikes.
With their sights set on the infamous Dakar Rally, they needed a bigger, more powerful machine than their 350 dual sport. The answer to that was simply adding displacement to the thumper, the 562cc single delivered a respectable 46 horsepower. That’s not much by today’s standards, but more than enough to be competitive in the desert in the late ’80s.
9 RS 250
For years, the most famous Aprilia bikes were their 2-stroke bikes, mostly used for club level racing thanks to their incredible performance.
The RS 250 was a true racing machine that made incredible power, 72 screaming horses, an impressive figure even by modern standards. It was the machine to have if you wanted to win races in the 250cc class in the 90s.
8 Tuono 1000 Racing
In the early 2000s, the naked sportbike was still a fairly new concept, and this 130 horsepower V-twin took that concept to new heights of performance.
The powerful Rotax engine propelled Aprilia into the limelight. Not only did it make a lot of power, but it also proved to be one of their most reliable superbikes.
By the 1980s, Aprilia had made a name for itself in the dirt bike world, especially across Europe, so it was only natural for them to experiment with producing trial bikes.
Coincidentally, they decided not to pursue this particular market segment, which was a “niche” sport at best. That didn’t change the fact that this rare little machine that only put out 20 horsepower is now one of their most desirable classics.
6 Tuono 660
With the launch of the RS 660, Aprilia showed the motorcycling public just how good a parallel twin could be, and then they made it even better with the naked version.
In reality, the two bikes are very similar in terms of ergonomics and power delivery, but the nature of the bike just leans more towards the style of a sporty naked Tuono. With 100 hp in a fairly light frame, it has become an instant classic.
5 RSV Mille
When it was first released it ran alongside some of the most iconic liter bikes ever made and was overshadowed on the spec sheet.
Aprilia was also an unknown amount, the bike cost more and it didn’t win races against the Japanese bikes that were waging a horsepower war at the time. In the real world, the Mille is a lot better than those machines with more usable power on the street and better quality components.
4 SXV 550
Back in the 2000s, single-cylinder 4-strokes were the gold standard for high-performance dirt bikes, so making a V-twin was a huge gamble.
It didn’t really work for them as it was a sales flop, but the supermoto version is easily the best that has come out of this particular project. A luscious little V-twin in a dirt bike chassis, it really is a hooligans dream.
3 RSV4 1100 Factory
With over 200 horsepower on tap, this is one of the best superbikes on the market today and comes equipped with one of the best modern electronics suits to fit any motorcycle.
In terms of design there are very few superbikes that can even hold a candle to it, the only one that can is arguably from the same stable…
2 Dorsoduro 750
It can be criticized for being too heavy for a supermoto and a bit too tall for most riders, but if you can fit and don’t mind losing the odd spec sheet war, this is an incredible bike.
It has only one goal and that goal is to put a big smile on your face. It looks great from every angle and sounds even better.
1 Tuono V4 X
Arguably the most beautiful motorcycle on the market today, and we’d go so far as to say that it would rank quite high in the list of the most beautiful bikes ever.
So much is subjective, but what is not subjective is its performance, and with over 200 hp this is a flying machine. The tuned V4 is also slightly different in person, with a totally addictive soundtrack.