April 2021 – The subject line of the E-mail reads “My RSV4 RR”, and the sender is a mysterious “fastcaptn”. OK, we were intrigued: the attached text and photos told the story of an American motorcycle enthusiast from Texas, who would subsequently reveal his identity when we contacted him for more information.
Austin, Texas, Cota 2019: Brian Bates and his Aprilia RSV4 RR in front of the Aprilia Racing Team Gresini box the day after the GP, during the Aprilia track day; the photo was taken by Fausto Gresini, the gone-but-not-forgotten team manager and rider.
Rider “fast captain” Brian Bates writes: “I wanted to share my story about my 2018 RSV4 RR. I purchased it on April 11, a few days before the 2019 Red Bull US GP at Cota (editor’s note: Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas). The day after the race was an Aprilia track day and I decided to ride out to check out the action. I was surprised to pull up to the gage on my bike and be waved to the pit areas of the track. I think security though I was with the Aprilia group. I made my way down to the pit box where team manager Fausto Gresini was standing outside on the phone. He pointed at my bike and gave me the thumbs up – Wow – I can proudly say he took the attached photo. For an Aprilia fan like me, it was truly an unforgettable moment that I will treasure forever.”
The photos for this article are owned by Brian Bates.
Click on the images to enlarge.
And he continues: “Now for the real story of the bike. I'm proud to say that, as of April 3, 2021, I have posted 15.736 miles on this incredible machine. I have completed an Iron Butt 1000 miles Saddle Sore (1000 miles/24 hrs) and a 1500 mile Bun Burner Silver (1500 miles in 36 hrs). I did some research with the Iron Butt Association and there is a handful of RSV4s that have completed the 1000 mile challenge, but I’m the only one in the 1500 mile club.
It makes me proud to scroll the list and see an Aprilia sportbike represented on the list (dominated by Harley, Honda and BMW). And I have another challenge planned: Saddle Sore Gold, scheduled for late May (1500 miles/24 hrs). Thank you for the beautiful bike. It’s a head turner for sure. It’s also quite capable in any request. And if Aprilia needs a long-distance sport bike rider as brand ambassador, I'm your man. I love to represent and show off the bike. And trust me, many see it. Thank you for your time.”
Info Iron Butt Association: www.www.ironbutt.com/themerides/ssseries
Thank you, dear Aprilia fan, for your passion, and congratulations on our extraordinary accomplishments astride your beloved RSV4 RR, but we won’t let you off that easily. We want to know about more about you. And we bombard Brian with questions. Here are his responses.
Age, where you live? “Age 53, New Brunfels, Texas.” What’s your main occupation? “Captain”. So “Fast Captain” is your nickname? “Yes, Fastcptn. And there’s a really good sea story behind it.”
(And we resist the temptation to ask to hear it, since we’re talking about bikes here...!).
When exactly did you “fall in love” with the Aprilia brand? “April 10, 2016 when I first sat on one at US GP COTA.” Why did you choose the RSV4 RR? “I owned an ’86 GSXR, an ’06 GSXR and, when it came time to decide on another bike, the RR was at the top of the list. Incredible styling and just a beautiful bike. There was no test ride. I just knew it was the one.”
Which American dealer did you buy it from? “The number one dealer in the U.S.: AF1 Racing, Austin Texas, with a special shout out to Brandon Napier who made the deal happen for me and has been there for every question about the bike and post about my rides on Instagram and Facebook.”
AF1 Racing’s tribute, posted on their Facebook page, February 2021, for the passing of Fausto Gresini. AF1 RACING, OFFICIAL APRILIA DEALER IN THE USA: www.af1racingaustin.com
Is your Aprilia RSV4 RR a daily rider or do you use it just for recreational rides or track days? “I ride it every day I'm home, because I work offshore and I'm gone quite a bit. When I'm off, I ride as much as I can. I have a very understanding wife. It’s never been on the track and yes, it has some chicken strips on the tires. I will never be able to use all the bike’s strengths. But I get out of it what I can. With confidence.” In your opinion, what are the strengths of your Aprilia? Power, performance, technological content...? “Strengths? The whole bike! The power, the handling, braking. I can’t even imagine the RF and factory models’ performance. Reliable - I have had zero problems with the bike. I take very good care of it and do all maintenance myself except the valves. Another strength is the look. There is not a better-looking bike out there. When I'm stopped at a light, I look around. Every head is turned to look at the bike. Men, women, young and old comment on its appearance and many take pics. Touch it, never... don’t even ask.”
And Brian Bates, hopelessly in love with his Aprilia, concludes: “Thank you again for letting me tell you about myself and my bike.”
And we thank him with the Aprilia video dedicated to the new RSV4, which Brian Bates and all the other Aprilia fans overseas (and not only) will certainly enjoy.