Nathan Byers Testimonial

 

Customer Testimonials

Nathan Byers

Seattle, WA

When I was a kid, there was one crayon in the box—a yellow color called “dandelion”—that I particularly liked and I was always looking for a chance to color things with it.


I grew up and bought a Yamaha R1 (two things that don’t belong in the same sentence). It was not yellow, it was red and it was a fine motorcycle if a bit, well, colorless to ride. It was so competent that I always felt a little inadequate. It was easy to imagine it feeling unfulfilled, turning to the other bike in the garage and saying, “Is one of those fast guys going to come over someday?”


The R1 left my garage and I rode bikes that I found more engaging. And then…Dave at Moto International sent me out on a test ride on Aprilia’s RSV4. A dandelion yellow RSV4. Like the R1, it’s a four cylinder sportbike. It’s wildly excellent: Loaded with more sophisticated electronics than an AWACS plane and amazingly similar to Aprilia’s racebikes that have dominated World Superbikes for the last four years. Dave flipped through the screens on the dash and said, “Let’s put this in ‘track’ mode. You’ll enjoy that.”


Aprilia built in a little throttle blip when you punch the starter button, which provides a delightful introduction, and off I went down the street. I’d just come off a Guzzi 1200 Sport, which is a perfectly wonderful bike. But I cracked the throttle on the RSV and literally laughed out loud in my helmet (no lie, I actually did) at the sheer ridiculousness of its acceleration. It’s like riding on a shell fired from a battleship’s main turret.


You see, the RSV4 is blessed with one of the most characterful engines ever to be slipped between aluminum frame spars. After the delicious moment of that little welcoming vroom when it starts, on every ride you are accompanied by one of the most seductive motorcycle soundtracks ever made.


After my second test ride I broke down and bought one.


The very best thing about the RSV4 is that I can bimble around town on my Aprilia and be completely entertained and even feel a bit special every time out. This bike does not feel like it’s bored just taking a little ride around the city, and wondering when we’re going to the track to actually have some fun. It’s wonderfully engaging.


The V4 mutters underneath you like a bar full of rowdy soccer fans waiting for a score. And then you find yourself on a open road, wind on the throttle, the edges of objects around you get blurry, and the sound crescendos… gooooooooooooooooooooooooal! In the upper rev ranges your face can get distorted like one of those rocket sled pilots.

It’s surprisingly comfortable. I once rode mine 3,000 miles in a week, including one 580 mile day from Dunsmuir, California to Seattle without needing chiropractic or deep tissue massage. Although a professional massage is always a good idea.


And the RSV4 comes in yellow. Dandelion yellow.


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