Aprilia’s dirt-chugging V-twin: the MXV 450

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Aprilia has introduced the MXV 450, the Italian company’s first-ever motocross bike.

Powered by Aprilia’s spooky little — get this — V-twin, I can only guess how this thing screams over track and trail. The 452cc, fuel-injected beast comes with two ignition settings that you

You might want to strap yourself in.

You might want to strap yourself in.

control by poking the handlebar switch. The “Big Bang” setting throttles things down a bit and gives an easier rideability, control and traction by closing the firing gap. Hit the “Screamer” setting and you can guess what happens — the firing gap changes back to standard and the motor wants to zip up to its 12,500 rpm limit. (So says the company.)

Speaking from some experience, Aprilia knows what it is doing with these V-twin-powered dirtbikes. I had the SXV 5.5 for a while last year (it’s the one dressed up in supermoto clothing) and that damn thing wasscary fast. Minutes after picking it from the fleet center I merged onto to the 110 freeway and found the front lifting in second and third, no help needed. The motor screamed like a two-stroke. The first couple times on it, I honestly felt like it was trying to get away from me and run to the nearest track where someone with more skill and balls would treat it like it needed to be treated.

Even when I had it parked, I’d start it up and tweak the grip just to hear the instantaneous throttle response. It was like a clarion call to all the gearheads in my neighborhood who come to my garage just to hear that motor spin.

That's a V-twin.

That's a V-twin.

It sounds like Aprila’s MXV 450 is coming at you with the same aggressive snarl, all packaged into a machine optimized for motocross use. That V-twin motor serves as a stressed part of the chassis — a steel trellis affair. The dry sump lubrication system is integrated into the crankcase and the starter motor is … umm. What starter motor? There is none. This is a kick-only bike that has a titanium exhaust system that helps shave off weight.

Keeping things in-country, the MXV features a Marzocchi upside-down fork with 50mm tubes calibrated for motocross. The braking system uses a 270mm wavy disc up front and a 240mm wavy rotor out back. If there were one hitch in this giddy-up, it might be the price. But then again, what price for Italian-made dirt madness? (An MSRP of $8,499 to be exact.)

When I get any more details on the rest of the specs, I’ll update this blog post.

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5 Responses to “Aprilia’s dirt-chugging V-twin: the MXV 450”

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