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The History of Aprilia
Aprilia is a dream come true. The dream of an enthusiast,
Ivano Beggio, who made up his mind to create a motorcycle
company which would become famous throughout the world. And to
become famous in the motorcycling world, racing and winning at
maximum level is indispensable. Madness at a time when, one
after the other, the great Italian and English companies were
starting to disappear with the formidable Japanese in hot
How often over the years, even after Aprilia
had started to make a name for itself, they accused the Noale
company of being "over ambitious". A rider who transferred from
Aprilia to Honda at the end of the 1980s said in an interview:
"At Noale, we were all a bit dazzled. We even thought we could
beat the Japanese!".
The distinctive characteristic of Aprilia is the genius, the
passion, the creativity and the faith common to Ivano Beggio and
his closest collaborators, from the first motorcycles made by
hand at the end of the 1960s, one-offs assembled with the heart,
to enter the third millennium with a range going right up to
1000 cc and acquisition of a piece of international motorcycling
history, Moto Guzzi.
In 1985, thanks to an agreement with Rotax, the first Aprilia
four-stroke, the ETX 350, was launched, followed by the 600.
True to the company's spirit, participation was also stepped up
in the African raids such as the Pharaoh and the Dakar.
In 1985, the adventure of the World Speed Championships began
with Loris Reggiani. At the same time, the commitment to
motocross and trials was still strong. With the TX 311, Diego
Bosis came second in the World Championship, winning in the
On August 30, 1987, Loris Reggiani won the first 250 cc Grand
Prix with the AF1. In the meantime, the road "derivation" model,
reaching 30 hp thanks to the RAVE (Regulation Aprilia Valve
Exhaust), was an enormous hit among young people - not to
mention the later "Sintesi". Aprilia was making an ever greater
name for itself on the international motorcycling scene, thanks
to its characteristic innovation, image and flexibility.
It was not long before launch of the Pegaso 600, one of the
mainstays of Aprilia production, and the Amico, the colourful,
easy to ride scooter which confirmed Aprilia's gift for
anticipating market trends and needs.
In 1992, Aprilia won its first world championship title - or
rather, its first three. The Finnish rider Tommi Avhala won the
rider's title and contributed to the constructor's title. A few
months later, Alessandro Gramigni won the World 125
In 1993, the new Scarabeo 50 was launched, becoming an
unequalled success, followed in 1995 by the Moto - designed by
Philippe Starck - with its absolutely unique styling. It is no
accident that it is displayed at the New York Museum of Modern
The same year also saw the birth of the exceptional RS250, one
of the most successful sports motorcycles of all times. In 1996,
the Leonardo - the maxi-scooter characterised by an
ultra-efficient four-stroke four-valve engine - was launched.
In 1998 it was the turn of Sonic, the brightly coloured
micro-scooter aimed at a young public and in 1999 of the
RSVMille. This signalled Aprilia's entry into the
maxi-motorcycle world, astonishing everyone with its
extraordinary ridability and immediately becoming a standard
setter in its class.
In the meantime, the company had already won a further thirteen
world championship titles.
Aprilia began production at the end of the 1960s with the Amico
and the Daniela, the first small diameter wheel mini-scooters.
These were soon joined by the Colibrì, the first Aprilia hinting
at that sporting spirit which would soon become so familiar -
tapering, with a distinctive exhaust, forcing the rider to adopt
a position as uncomfortable as it was sporty and aerodynamic.
Despite the success of these early products, the most famous
Aprilia in this initial period was the Scarabeo which made Ivano
Beggio's first passion abundantly clear - motocross.
It was on the dirt tracks that the structure today so well-known
and admired throughout the world as "Racing Aprilia" made its
debut. It's true that in place of the multi-coloured TIRs, there
was a Fiat 238, but the attention paid to graphics and a highly
original image was patently obvious. Ivan Alborghetti was the
Valentino Rossi of those years, in 1977 winning Aprilia the
Italian 125 and 250 titles. Victories which led to a boom in
replica bikes. After the Italian Championship, Aprilia went on
to compete in the World Motocross Championships with Corado
Maddii in the 125s. Few will remember that wearing the team
colours in the 250s was the Japanese rider Torao Suzuki.
In the meantime, the Aprilia Development Department threw itself
into another field very popular at the time, trials. This proved
From the racing experience came a number of highly attractive
road bikes, in particular the liquid-cooled 125 ST with single
arm suspension. The more sporty STX immediately found a place in
the competitive 125 road bikes market.
The 50 cc market also smiled on Aprilia and the company
introduced motorcycles distinguished by an attention to detail
and dimensioning extremely rare in the competition as can be
seen in the AF1 or the ET.
Today Aprilia in
conjunction with its parent company Piaggio have began producing
scooters in China and Vietnam further implementing Piaggio’s
strategic plan of globalization.
Today Aprilia is not
just a market leader, in a very little time the company has
become a leading name on the world’s racing circuits too,
establishing itself as one of the most prestigious and
successful marques in the world.