I am an ordinary guy who enjoys riding motorcycles. I love being riding all makes and models. I have ridden Yamaha, Honda, Suzuki, Harley Davidson, Victory, Kawasaki, Ducati and BMW motorcycles. I love short rides, long rides, and multi-day road trips. On this blog you will find gear reviews, ride reports and comments about motorcycles, roads, restaurants, gear, sights, gadgets and more. Join the conversations.
Be safe and enjoy the ride, Ordinary Biker Oz.
https://www.instagram.com/ordinarybikeroz/?hl=en @ordinarybikeroz




Monday, January 13, 2020

Aprilia RSV4 Superbike Review

Matt's RSV4 in Colorado during the Beat The Heat tour 2019
Motorcycle Reviews
I do not have the time nor the finances to ride all the motorcycles I would like to ride.  I see so many motorcycles I would enjoy riding for an extended time and really test them out. I have never owned a Aprilia, but I once road an RSV4 I have a great friend, Matthew,  who owns one the best looking sport bikes on the market, the Aprilia RSV4.

Matthew has graciously written a complete review of the RSV4 after owning his for 3.5+ years.  Matthew has ridden the RSV4 in multiple states, on the track (including COTA in Austin, Texas) and in various weather conditions.

Please enjoy Matthew's Aprilia RSV4 review.
 Matthew's RSV4
The 2015 Aprilia RSV4 is my second sport motorcycle and my first superbike. This is my review of one of the more iconic sport bikes in modern production.

July 2016
I had just returned from a tour of the Rocky Mountains with Oz. I was on my Triumph Street Triple R, which was my first motorcycle. An excellent machine but lacking in wind protection for my own high-speed style of touring. I had an itch for more horsepower and more capability at the racetrack. While in Colorado, I stopped at a Yamaha dealership as I had my eye on a new gen R1, but I couldn't find one suiting my pricing and color choice.

Back in Texas, I test rode a 2015 R1 and rather enjoyed it, barring a few niggles. At the dealership I had previously purchased my Triple, they had a brand new 2015 RSV4 R on clearance pricing, due to having sat on the show room floor unsold. One test ride blitzing up and down I35 in Dallas made me fall in love with the unique growl of the V4 motor. I traded in the Triple on the RSV4 that day.


The feel of the RSV4
The RSV4 feels smaller than it really is. You very much sit on top of it rather that in it, like many other sport bikes (the Panigale comes to mind). I'm also taller that the average pilot Aprilia envisioned for this bike. At 6'2" I tower over the bike when riding. What some would consider to be cramped ergonomics, I find the bike puts me right in comfortable race position, knees hitting right in the curve of the fuel tank. With 33.3" seat height, it's a tall bike, but my height still allows me to flat foot at stop lights. What's funny is my knees would bother me on the Street Triple after so many miles with its lower and more forward foot pegs. My legs and knees never get tired on the RSV4.

The lines on this bike are second to none. Italian styling all the way.
Ready to roll at COTA for a track day.
 The finish of the bike
The quality on the bike is impressive. All of the controls feel solid under hand and thumb. The welds on the frame are all beautiful, even where they aren't normally visible. The little details like the gas cap and latch snapping closed satisfyingly scream quality. A gripe I have with most super bikes is that their fuel tanks flex when squeezed with your knees (I'm looking at you CBR1000RR). The RSV4 tank has no flex and inspires great confidence when hanging on to it through the corners.

RSV4 dashboard
Performance
The 999cc V4 punches hard at around 5500~6000 RPM and then rapidly and predictably rockets upward, peaking at 186HP at 12500RPM. Redline is at 14k, so you have some headroom at the top, but not much. The V4 motor has the characteristic of a broad powerband and doesn't suffer the peak-y-ness of inline-4 motors. At stock gearing, I was able to max out at 180MPH. I've since gone down to -1 in the front to help with around-town riding and make the bike more responsive at lower RPM. It also helps loft the front wheel more easily.

Stock tires for the RSV4 are Pirelli Supercorsas which are the tires I enjoy the most for super aggressive and track riding. On the street, I get by with Rosso Corsa IIs, but I have made good B-group pace on the track with them. The Brembo brakes are highly competent and Sachs suspension can be dialed in for either street or track riding.
Having fun on the track
Modifications
I've done a little customization to the bike, but it doesn't need much help. A ZeroGravity Corsa windscreen, T-Rex Racing protection, TechSpec Snake Skin tank grips, RG tailtidy, and RhinoMoto bar ends to fit a single CRG bar-end mirror. The Zero Gravity windscreen helps a tremendous amount with wind protection on the highway and at the track; my long torso needs all the protection it can get. The ZG windscreen also makes it easier to get into the full tuck position.

Knee down at COTA
After a couple years of ownership, I installed an Arrow GP2 slipon and flashed the official Aprilia RACE tune to the ECU. There's no need for PowerCommander or any piggyback systems. The official tune is the best one for the RSV4. I picked the Arrow over many other choices due to it being mid-length (not requiring an additional mounting bracket), reasonable priced, and sounded good while not being as loud as many shorty cans. The wide open Arrow lets the RSV4 speak its iconic sound clearly at full tilt.  

Looking good and ready to go
 Longer rides and MPG
When traveling on the bike, I fit Cortech Super 2.0 Saddlebags and the matching Cortech Super 2.0 tail bag for a combined 60 liters of storage. This setup straps to the rearsets and the tail section firmly. I've had this rig up to 130MPH with no shifting or coming loose. For a little extra comfort on long trips, I purchased a stock seat for a Aprilia Tuono, which swaps directly over with no modification and is thicker and squishier, but it does add noticeable ride height. With mixed spirited riding, I average 31 to 35 MPG. The fuel light (no gauge, just a warning light) usually kicks on at 110 miles on the tank.

At home, but ready to hit the road
Final Thoughts
Total weight is the only downside on this bike, 460-ish pounds when fueled and ready to roll. Fortunately, the poundage is only noticeable when pushing around the garage.

I have commuted to downtown Dallas, ridden back roads twisties, taken weekend trips to the Hill Country and even hauled the bike out to the Rocky Mountains in Colorado and the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina.  I’ve done 8 track days including multiple weekends at the world-famous Circuit of the America. The RSV4 has taken me on the windy roads in the Smokey Mountains, including the Tail ofthe Dragon, and over many mountain passes of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado and New Mexico.  I can put about 300 miles of spirited riding in a day before fatigue starts to set in.
Riding the Tail of The Dragon during 2018 Beat The Heat Tour
The RSV4's handling is its shining feature which breeds confidence in the twisties. The bike feels solid, stable, and predictable at max lean angle, even all the way down to scraping foot pegs, which I've done on the track. The bike wants to be thrown into corners and hangs there until you pick it back up on the gas. Both factory levers are adjustable and have given me no reason to change them out for aftermarket or shorty levers.
RSV4 on the track in Austin
The RSV4 is a superbike that people that know race bikes respect, but people outside of that circle have probably never heard of it. The guys at the Harley shop will ask “Apri- what?” The die-hard Japanese sportbike fans may or may not have heard of the little Italian brand. Read any of motorcycle magazines when they compare the latest and greatest sportbikes every year. If the RSV4 doesn’t outright win the comparison, it’s always the Aprilia that wins the tester’s choice award as they bike they would take home if it were their money.

I plan on keeping this bike for the foreseeable future, but when the day does come for a new fun machine, I will definitely be getting the latest year model of another Aprilia RSV4.

 
(My VFR is leading the ride for a little at first) 

Matthew Bowers          https://www.instagram.com/matt_rsv4/?hl=en@matt_rsv4 
If you have questions for him you may contact him through Instagram.

Let me know with a comment what you think of Matthew's review in the comments or via Instagram.





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# Based on reviews, word of mouth and discussion with others I recommend this company.  I have an affiliate relationship with this business, which means if you follow this link and purchase, I will receive a small commission and will get to ride more!
 
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Friday, January 3, 2020

Why a Motorcycle Blog - Revisited

My son and I in North Carolina in July of 2011
Original Objective
The Ordinary Biker Oz blog began in September 2007 will the goal of being useful to both new motorcycle riders and experienced motorcyclists.  One of the original objectives was to provide straightforward and honest reviews without crazy, absurd and/or silly comparisons. As I stated in the introduction post "I read several motorcycle magazines and websites. I especially like the product reviews, except for the unique descriptions (which are often silly) that journalist sometimes use to try to sound clever".  I actually heard a comparison between the sound of a sport bike motorcycle to a million mad hornets - how does that help?

Although the blog has evolved and hopefully improved, the founding purpose remains "to give straightforward reviews of items that I have personally used, places I have eaten, roads I have traveled, and/or bikes I have ridden."  Occasionally I did share some more personal post with one of my favorite was about my dad and our trip with Honor Flight to Washington DC for World War II veterans.
Wendell Osburn PFC, Purple Heart recipient talking to some brave American soldiers. 
2020 and Beyond
With the beginning of 2020 I want to renew the goal to provide useful information and reviews.   Encouraging and helping bikers to ride safely, comfortably and often, is part of that goal. 

With my goal in mind I have recently made some improvements and additions to the blog.  Please notice the tabs below the blog description.  The "Recommended" page provides links to numerous other sites including my own personal YouTube Channel, The Moto Oz webpage (I am a co-owner and will say more about Moto Oz products below) and affiliate businesses.  I want to be honest and upfront with you about my affiliate business relationships. If you use the link to visit one of the affiliate business and make a purchase I get a small commission, but your low prices are not affected.  Any purchases are greatly appreciated and will aid in fuel fill-ups :) .
Standing by 1909 HD which Dale at Wheels Through Time Museum told me based on the photo of my Grandfather, is probably the same year & model.
The tab for "Top Review Post" will display the seven most read reviews on the Ordinary Biker Oz blog.  The V Star 1100 Review is the top review and it has been read over 57,000 times while the Arai Helmet review has been read over 1,200 times.  These reviews have been used by a lot of riders to gather information.  The page will change when other reviews have more views.  I will update 2-3 times a year as needed.

Feedback Appreciated
I am always open to suggestions, questions and comments.  If you would like more information on a review, or would like to see some specific reviewed or discussed I will try my best to help out.  You can follow the blog via email, just enter your email address below.
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Moto Oz the side business
When I first started the blog I kept Moto Oz seperate.  Not for sure why, but I did.  My good friend Leland and I are co-owners of Moto Oz (also known as Moto Oz Cycles).  Moto Oz began both wholesaling and retailing motorcycle cleaning/detailing products.  Moto Oz has four products to help motorcyclists keep their rides looking great.
http://motoozcycles.com/22001.html

Oz Wash is a waterless spray on wipe off cleaner.  It has NO ammonia, petroleum or alcohol so it is safe to use on the chrome, paint, glass, plexiglass, leather and/or vinyl.  It works great on helmets to clean the visor and the helmet.  It will not hurt tinting of the visor and/or windshield.  Just spray on and buff off completely (spray  on and let soak a little on stubborn bugs or dirt).

Oz Chrome is a professional grade chrome and polished metal cleaner.  Oz Chrome will remove bugs, melted rubber, rust etc. while maintaining the luster of the metal.  DO NOT use on painted metal.

Oz Leather is a high quality leather cleaner and restorer.  Rub Oz Leather in a circular motion over the complete area, let set for a minute or two then buff off completely.  As long as the product is completely buffed off the leather will not be slick.  It will restore leather saddlebags, chaps, seats and more.

Oz Polish is for the motorcycle's paint.  The quality polish will remove dirt and microscopic scratches.  It also will leave a protective layer to minimize weather damage.

Those our the four Moto Oz motorcycle cleaning products.  Of course my recommendation for cleaning your bike, visor and or leather gear and accessories is Moto Oz products!  Moto Oz products can be ordered from the Moto Oz website or in the best local shops in North Texas.  You will also see us at various swap meets and benefit events.



2019 Beat The Heat tour in Colorado, stopped at a reservoir on the Highway of Legends - CO 12.
Another aspect of our Moto Oz venture is the Beat The Heat summer motorcycle tour.  We call it Beat The Heat because we leave Texas for a week during the hot summer and spend a week in a cooler climate.  The Rocky Mountains in Colorado and New Mexico or the Smoky Mountains around Tennessee and North Carolina are the favorite riding spots.  There are many great roads to ride.  We have been doing the summer trip for 12 years and it has changed into the Beat The Heat tour.  I plan and organize the trip and lead the rides each day.

In 2020 we will be going to southwest Colorado where we will ride the Million Dollar Highway (aka US 550) and The Silver Thread Scenic Byway (aka CO 149).  We will stop at the small on of my favorite bakeries in Lake City, CO.  We will spend time in the historic towns of  Ouray, Silverton, Durango, Telluride and Ridgeway.  I am planning to add more trips per year in the future.  Once I retire I would like to conduct 4 to 5 tours a year and several long weekend trips.

Be safe and I hope to see you on the road
I hope you find some of the posts useful, informative, humorous or at least mildly entertaining all the while being honest and straightforward.  As stated above, comments, questions and suggestions are always welcomed.



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Some Recommended Sites:

J and P Cycles - over 100,000 parts!  *
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https://dukecannon.com/?rfsn=3578014.7da392

Shop SPY Optic Today!



Quality Detailing and Cleaning Products for your motorcycle and more **
http://www.motoozcycles.com/index2.html


Ordinary Biker Oz YouTube Channel has video reviews and more
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXRxEDV5qQLsRsag488Rg4Q?view_as=subscriber


* I have personally ordered from and/or visited this business and based on my experiences I recommend this company.  I have an affiliate relationship with this business, which means if you follow this link and purchase, I will receive a small commission and will get to ride more!

# Based on reviews, word of mouth and discussion with others I recommend this company.  I have an affiliate relationship with this business, which means if you follow this link and purchase, I will receive a small commission and will get to ride more!
 
** I am a co-owner of this business and would love for you to try our products! 

Feedback on these businesses is appreciated.  You may comment below.


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Friday, December 20, 2019

Merry Christmas!


Merry Christmas to all our friends, family and readers!  We are hoping you all have a Merry Christmas and a safe adventurous 2020 full of.smiles, curves and miles of great smooth roads.
Breakfast meet up before IMS in Dallas
Mrs. Oz and I have several events and rides planned for the new year as well as my annual summer trip out of Texas to some cooler area of the United States.  We will start the year off by attending the Progressive International Motorcycle Show again this year. It will be held in the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas, Texas on January 3-5 which is a Friday, Saturday and Sunday.The show will feature motorcycles, motorcycle gear, motorcycle tools, communication systems and informational sessions just to name a few.

Free motorcycle parking for IMS sure is nice and in Texas we can ride in January most years
I am looking forward to checking out the new Yamaha FJR, the Indian Scout, Ducati's Multistrada 1260 S Grand Tourer and the Triumph Tiger 900.  Of course there will be a lot of other new models to look at.  We also want to look at the new Sena S30 bluetooth communication system.  We currently have the Sena S20 and it has been reliable and clear.  We are not really looking to change, but it is always fun to compare.  Helmet manufacturers will have booths showing off new models and making deals.  Gear vendors will have everything from boots, doo-rags, gloves, sunglasses and more to examine.  

Vendors are plentiful at IMS

We are hoping there is a stunt show this year.  Last year there was not a stunt show, but in 2018 the high flying motocross stunters put on a great show.  The stunt show is definitely a crowd favorite.

The MotoGP races will be at the Circuit of The Americas (COTA) in Austin on April 3 - 5.  I have attended three of the MotoGP races at COTA including the year my son and I volunteered as Track Marshalls.  The MotoGP at COTA is truly an international event.  It is fun seeing fans from all over the globe.   A lot of fans ride up from Mexico and from all over the United States.  The vendor area has a lot of manufacturers and retailers with many running good sales.

I have become a big fan over the last seven years.  In June of 2017 I experienced the Italian MotoGP at Mugello!  The Italians love their racing and are so enthusiastic. I was there for the first MotoGP after American Nicky Hayden had died after being hit by a car while riding his bicycle in Italy.  The fans were so respectful and appreciative of Nicky's racing career.  It was moving and respectful tribute.  I greatly enjoyed the complete experience.


Two weeks after the MotoGP in Austin the Roads and Trails rally in the Texas Hill Country near Marble Falls, TX will be taking place.  We are hoping to make that rally, but have to work out some other issues. One of my favorite roads in Texas is FM 1431 east of Marble Falls and the rally is headquartered at Hidden Falls Adventure Park.  This rally includes street, dirt and dual sport riding.  It is a great mixture of people and motorcycles.  This rally is about getting out and riding.

FM 1431 between Cedar Park, TX and Marble Falls, TX provides great views of the Texas Hill Country
 At the end of June we will be leading the Moto Oz Beat The Heat tour (BTH) in Colorado.   This is an annual tour I plan, organize and lead.  There will be three couples and six individuals on the trip.  We will spend four nights in Ouray, Colorado and two nights in South Fork, Colorado.  We will ride the Million Dollar Highway (aka US 550) and The Silver Thread Scenic Byway (aka CO 149).  While riding the Silver Thread we will stop at the small Lake City Bakery and enjoy some delicious treats.  We will visit the historic towns of Silverton, Durango, Telluride, Ridgeway and more. I really love Southwest Colorado.  There is so much history and beauty in that area.  Old mines are still visible in so many areas, especially near Red Mountain.


One of the prettiest waterfalls in Colorado is Horseshow Falls near Lake City on the Silver Thread.
  

Leading the group over numerous passes including Monarch Pass, Molas Pass, Red Mountain Pass, Spring Creek Pass and Slumgullion Pass will provide breathtaking views of the Rocky Mountains. The cooler temperatures, crisp air and scenic vistas make for days of great riding. We will also take one day and rent either a Jeep or ATV in the Ouray and drive over some unpaved mountain pass, possibly the 65 mile Alpine Loop and visit the ghost town of Animas Forks.  Animas Forks was a thriving mining town from 1873 to 1910.  In 1884 a 23-day blizzard buried the twon with 25 feet of snow.  There are still several buildings left to explore.
 
Animas Forks on the Alpine Loop is fun to explore

 In the third week of October we will attend the Christian Motorcyclists Association's Changing of the Colors Rally in Hatfield, Arkansas.  "Colors" as we call it, is a fun rally with vendors and a lot of great riding, including the Talimena Scenic Byway and Hwy 7 in northwest Arkansas.  The leaves in the Ouachita National Forest become very colorful at that time of the year.

2020 will be full of bike nights, charity rides, lunch rides, dinner rides, rallies and weekend getaways. I am pretty sure I will also do some test rides, especially on the Yamaha FJR.  I loved the 2010 FJR I had and want another one.

I am looking forward to sharing the rides with you, and posting motorcycle gear reviews , motorcycle accessories reviews, motorcycle reviews and more.  I am planning to post about planning, preparing and packing for mult-day trips, list of great roads to ride, a list of motorcycle related podcast I listen to and there will be some guest posts from fellow riders.  New motorcycle riders will find useful reviews and information.

We hope and pray you have a great Christmas and a fun and safe 2020.

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* I have personally ordered from and/or visited this business and based on my experiences I recommend this company.  I have an affiliate relationship with this business, which means if you follow this link and purchase, I will receive a small commission and will get to ride more!