Triumph Daytona 600

Albacete, Spain

April 6, 2003

Typical Spanish road pace.

First it was a couple of phone calls from friends, then a few emails from acquaintances and then a deluge from strangers. The approach differed, the wording varied, the sentiment was the same.

“Which middleweight should I buy?”


Mugello, Italy 2003

RW editors Sam Fleming and Melissa Berkoff were sent to Mugello Italy to report on the off track events of the MotoGP. In between rescuing stranded 250 team members, borrowing scooters and, eventually, escaping from the track through a partially completed railroad tunnel, they submitted the following information.

Honda CBR-600RR

Las Vegas Speedway

January 22, 2003


We all witnessed the RC211V simply annihilate the rest of the field in MotoGP. In some sort of undocumented physical law of racing, such engineering feats do not come cheap. Honda spent a fortune to win race after race with the RC211V.

Despite how the MotoGP grids might appear next year, the RC211V is not a mass production bike. Honda is not going to make back their investment on the RC211V by selling more RC211s, they are going to make it back by selling their usual line of street bikes.

Imagine you are a corporate executive who just spent the gross national product of a small country developing a race bike. The safest way to cover your ass on that investment is to link every commercially successful model thereafter to the success of that race bike. You can proudly proclaim “We sold all these CBRs because we invested so heavily in the RC211V”.

If you were going to pursue such a strategy you would make sure that all of the promotional materials for your new street bike had sentences in it like “A revolution in GP racing takes to the streets” or “What makes the CBR600RR a watershed in motorcycling is its close ties to an elite, exotic MotoGP racer” and “Simply put, the CBR600RR was designed as a race bike first, just like the phenomenal RC211V. Indeed, the two were developed at the very same time, and share astonishing new technologies, such as Unit Pro-Link rear suspension and Dual Stage Fuel Injection.”

Unit Pro-Link or not it is a gorgeous swingarm.

Inside Aprilia

Photos and Words by Sam Quarelli Fleming

In 1999 Aprilia split its core operations into two locations in Northern Italy. A new assembly plant was opened in Scorze while the design, race, corporate and testing facilities took over the original headquarters a few miles away in Noale. Part I of this pictorial depicts the Scorze assembly plant, part II explores the Noale facility. Neither of these locations have tours for visitors yet so, for the meantime, these pictures will have to suffice.