2003 Aprilia RSV Mille R into track bike
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2003 Aprilia RSV Mille R into track bike

This is a discussion on 2003 Aprilia RSV Mille R into track bike within the Project Builds forums, part of the Caferacer.net Forums category; This isn't really a build, and it's not a cafe racer either, so I figured it'd fit in the Project Build section just fine. First ...

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Thread: 2003 Aprilia RSV Mille R into track bike

  1. #1
    Senior Member DesmoDog's Avatar
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    2003 Aprilia RSV Mille R into track bike

    This isn't really a build, and it's not a cafe racer either, so I figured it'd fit in the Project Build section just fine.

    First some background. This is to be a track toy, as in track days only. I have zero intentions of racing this, it does not have to be competitive vs any other brand/model. I fully realize I would be better off buying an already prepped Japanese 600. I don't care. I wanted something interesting, had planned on some sort of Ducati, but when I saw the ad for this and looked at how it was equipped I decided what the heck and took the plunge.

    Here is one of the pics from the Craigslist ad. I'm a hardcore Ducati fan. I sent this ad to a buddy with an Aprilia a couple weeks before I started to think "Hey... this thing has Ohlins suspension, Brembo radial brakes, OZ forged aluminum wheels, the factory optional Akra exhaust..."


    I found a set of track bodywork on closeout from Yoyodyne. It showed up before I had even picked up the bike. I woul dhave chosen a fiberglass tail if I had the choice, but I didn't, so there it is.


    My basement/shop is a fricking disaster area. This bike is bigger than I had imagined. The basement is more filled than I remembered. Even after cleaning up a bit, the bike didn't fit where I thought it would. Now it's shoved up next to my long term car project but it's that or not work on it. Any port in a storm!


    While tearing it down I discovered it hasn't had the easiest life. I knew it had been lowsided once but there's more damage than I knew about. Nothing major, just details that I hadn't noticed before. One of them - the front fairing stay is broken. D'oh! I'll try to get it welded up before it's replaced, new ones are about $300 and used ones all seem to have crash damage too. AF1 Racing sells race stays but I from what I can tell they don't have provisions to mount the stock dash or the steering damper.


    And that's pretty much where I am for now. I also discovered the plastic tank has expanded, but I had already ordered a metal tank from an earlier bike to replace it with so that's not terrible news either. Rumor has it they return to their normal shape if dried out so we'll see what it looks like after a while on the shelf. Most of the stock bodywork is going into storage in case I want to turn it back into a street bike some day. I've ordered some other parts too, more on those later.
    Last edited by DesmoDog; 02-05-2018 at 07:50 PM.
    -Craig
    The Mighty Monza Jr. Thread: https://www.caferacer.net/forum/proje...r-project.html

  2. #2
    Senior Member Cyorg's Avatar
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    You could try hanging some desiccant inside the tank. I was going to give it a go on the V11, but never got around to it. Last time I had the tank off, I was able to stuff it back on without any drama and (at the risk getting your new thread hijacked) I use premium fuel without any ethanol in it, so it hasn't grown any more since I bought it.

    Hope you have fun with your new project.
    "Non urinat in ventum"

  3. #3
    Senior Member DesmoDog's Avatar
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    The tank that's on it now won't be on it long. I ordered the earlier metal tank, and also a later tank that is plastic but has a nicer shape, I've heard the later tank makes it easier to move around on the bike. I'm not sure what needs to be done to make it fit but the price was right ($50) so I thought I'd give it a shot. With how often I'll be riding this, draining the tank between rides won't be that big of an issue. And I should probably be able to find ethanol free gas for it too. Fill up a can before a track day, use anything left over in the lawn mower or something.

    In other news I took a closer look at the faring stay and I think I should be able to get it welded up pretty easily. I'll clean it up in the next few days then bring it in to work and have someone who knows what they're doing weld it.

    And before I forget, the Ohlins forks are 51mm/56mm top and bottom. I know no one asked but it's going to come up when I get frustrated with the Aprilia way of doing things and go back to my original plan of pulling the cool stuff off of this to put on a Ducati and part the rest out.

    BTW don't be afraid of highjacking this thread. There shouldn't be all that much to go over so sidetracks will be fine. I'm only posting it because A) it's been a LONG time since I've done a track bike and I may be doing something stupid along th eway or miss the chance to do something now that will be a pain to go back and do later. There are pretty much no requirements for novice group but I would hope to move up soon enough, so may as well prep for the higher levels now. No need for all out race prep though. Oh, and B) I know nothing about Aprilias. I'm guessing there are people here who know more than me and might clue me in before I go down some wrong road. Or, say, try to remove the bolt holding on the steering damper without removing the set screw locking it in place and then breaking off the mounting bolt half way down the mounting boss.

    Not that I would do something like that.

    Again.

    (Broke my own rule and started working on a bike before having a shop manual. It's on it's way, I swear!)
    Last edited by DesmoDog; 02-05-2018 at 10:37 PM.
    -Craig
    The Mighty Monza Jr. Thread: https://www.caferacer.net/forum/proje...r-project.html

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  5. #4
    Senior Member Cyorg's Avatar
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    For ethanol free fuel,, there are some sites that list stations where it is available. If that fails. check out the local marina. If that fails, given you are in SE MI, you could pop across the border, but I doubt highly that would be necessary. Up here both Shell and Chevron #1 come sans ethanol.

    As for your damper bolt, no mater how long you've been at it, the M/C gods have a way of handing you your ass. I did a rather delicate (for me anyway) machining operation on a cylinder head. Completed without a hitch and feeling smug while admiring my handiwork, I screwed in a new valve inspection cap. Alloy cap into an alloy head. Have done it literally thousands of times without drama. The cap starts fine, run it in by had, starts to get a little stiff, put a wrench on it, seems to be fine, go to back it out and it locks solid. Long story short I got it out without damaging the head, but the new cap is now in the yard art pile. Mentioned it to one of the local gurus and he said "you put it in dry didn't you" He didn't use the term dumbass, but it he may as well have and it would have been befitting. I suppose it was never a problem before, because there was always some residual oil on one part or the other, or the threads had some wear ... or I was just lucky. The cap was new and the head had just come out of the dishwasher, so both were completely oil free. Baffled as to why I didn't know this long ago. I'm well aware that stainless likes to seize up like that, but not aluminum.
    "Non urinat in ventum"

  6. #5
    Senior Member DesmoDog's Avatar
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    Hugely exciting update today.

    This is the mount for the steering damper. You can see the tricky little bastard of a set screw down below it. Not sure what I was thinking but I didn't loosen it before cracking the mount loose. What a maroon. Luckily the bolt broke off below the set screw, so once I removed that there were enough threads to screw another 6mm bolt in there.



    I drilled a hole in the 6mm bolt first, and used that for a drill bushing to get the hole more or less centered on what was left of the broken bolt.


    Once I drilled through that I removed the new bolt and switched to a slightly larger bit to go after the broken bolt. That destroyed it enough to get the remains out with a small pick. Ran a tap down the hole to clean up the threads and I'm good to go. Well, on the damper mount anyway. I still have to get the bracket welded back together.
    jcw likes this.
    -Craig
    The Mighty Monza Jr. Thread: https://www.caferacer.net/forum/proje...r-project.html

  7. #6
    Senior Member Sabre Cafe's Avatar
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    What a sweet project! I love shit like this. The fun part is the shit you have to fix before you can ride it! I have years of experience removing broken bolts/studs and I have to say the trick you did there is way cool! Gotta keep that one stashed in the grey matter for future reference.

    I spent the better part of this evening soldering up a wiring harness mod on the ST4. Went to put away the soldering iron and long story short, burned the hell out of my palm accidentally grabbing the hot bastard shortly after I unplugged it. Got a cold beer on it at the moment. 500 degrees prolly... nice second degree burn to live with for a week or so... I work on cars for a living so, FUN!

    Looking forward to following this project.

  8. #7
    Senior Member DesmoDog's Avatar
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    Much more better! No time to install it tonight though.

    Sabre Cafe likes this.
    -Craig
    The Mighty Monza Jr. Thread: https://www.caferacer.net/forum/proje...r-project.html

  9. #8
    Senior Member brad black's Avatar
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    never seen one of them damaged before. i was told you can support the front of the bike with a rod through the tube.

    51/56 is wacky for the fork sizes. original 851 were 51mm at the top. late model ducatis are 53/56.

  10. #9
    Senior Member DesmoDog's Avatar
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    Yeah, every fairing stay I see that's damaged is bent somewhere else, not really sure what happened here. I checked the fork sizes again too, they're correct. I think the base RSV had 53/56 but the Ohlins stuff is 51/56.

    I've been making slow progess on this but it likely doesn't have to be ready until sometime in May so I'm not in a big rush. I think the best chance I'll have to paint it will be the last week of April, we'll see how that goes.

    Yesterday I got around to starting to fit the bodywork, but I didn't get very far.


    I did discover a few things though. In no certain order:

    The tail won’t fit this subframe without some mods. I thought maybe the tail was for a solo subframe and I have a dual, but then figured out I HAVE a solo subframe. I may just have to cut up the inner fender but I'm thinking I'll get a dual seat subframe (they're more common/cheaper) with the inner fender, then mod whatever needs to be modded to make the tail fit. I can get the replacement subframe cheaper than a different tail section, and I have no idea if the new tail would fit any better anyway. I'm not going to mod stock parts - right or wrong I'm keeping the option of turning it back into a streetbike open for now.

    The belly pan doesn’t fit with the sidestand in place (not surprising) but also won’t fit with the dual exhaust. Trimming needs to be done. Not a major deal but I would have thought most racebikes would have had the dual exhaust. I guess not.

    Seven bolts to hold the airbox lid on, and do they need to be that long? Alrighty then. Seems excessive to me but I'm used to Ducatis. Once I got into the airbox I discovered the bike had an aftermarket filter installed, but it's for an earlier bike. I have no idea what the difference is, but the early bikes use a different filter than the later bikes. Now I have to figure out if it's the wrong filter or if the airbox has been changed. I'm guessing it's the wrong filter.

    I have two gas tanks; a later tank because I like the shape (but it's plastic) and an earlier tank because it's metal and I don't like plastic tanks. Turns out the later tank won’t fit without more work than I want to do right now, but the metal tank should work fine. I have a little crash damage to fix on it but nothing major.

    The countershaft cover goes around the shifter shaft, so the shift lever has to come off to view/change the countershaft sprocket. Why? One more of those minor details that annoy me and make me prefer working on Ducatis. I know, it's pretty trivial but I'm finding stuff like that a lot. Aprilia seems to have a fascination with small (8mm, etc) fasteners so I use a lot of 1/4" drive sockets. My 1/4" socket handle broke on Saturday which bummed me out. I've already started replacing misc bolts with socket head fasteners... if for no other reason that that's what I have around.

    Current gearing is 16/43 and it looks relatively new. I'm hearing the preferred gearing for the tracks I'll be on is 15/44 but for now I'm running what I have. It's not a racebike... I'm not racing... this was supposed to be cheap fun, quit buying new parts you don't really need! Well, not right away anywhos...
    Last edited by DesmoDog; 02-18-2018 at 08:50 PM.
    -Craig
    The Mighty Monza Jr. Thread: https://www.caferacer.net/forum/proje...r-project.html

  11. #10
    Senior Member brad black's Avatar
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    most of them had the 2-1, and i think you have to cut the std fairing to fit the 2-2 akra kit.

    yeah, i'd rather work on a ducati. don't mention it in front of aprilia tragics tho, they tend to really hate ducatis (they tend to site the "common" thing a lot, real boulder on shoulder sort of pissy shit) and will bang on endlessly about why they're better. like i could give a shit.

    anyway. have fun.

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