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Vittorio Inserra at the entrance to the photographic exhibition "Aprilia seen from the East", which can currently be seen at the Piaggio Museum in Pontedera until 6 April 2024. The stunning shots by Japanese photographer Aki Kusudo tell the story of Aprilia's passion and dedication in the MotoGP. The exhibition will then be available to be viewed at the Misano World Circuit to mark the occasion of the Aprilia All Stars, the big party to which everyone is invited: 8 June 2024.


After Aprilia in Noale, Vittorio Inserra was invited by Wide magazine to visit the Piaggio Museum in Pontedera (Tuscany).

March (G.T.) CHAPTER 1: NOALE. The news is tasty in every sense of the word: Vittorio Inserra, an engineer from Cagliari who was born in Milan, is 70 years old but he wears his age well - he is a free spirit, a non-conformist, a biker through and through. He has travelled all over Europe, eating up kilometre after kilometre on the road, and is an Aprilia superfan. “A fanatical Aprilia customer”, in his own words. So, riding his latest purchase - an RS660 - he decided to set off from Cagliari, arriving on 20 February in the square outside the Aprilia and Aprilia Racing headquarters in Noale, with a carefully prepared surprise with the help of a local caterer: as they left the office, employees were greeted by a buffet, and a sign that read “Thanks Aprilia!”. The tables were laden with cakes bearing the same message, as well as drinks and other sweet treats (along with prosecco from the Veneto region). The motorcyclist exchanged toasts and a chat with the employees, who were pleasantly surprised - and of course, took plenty of photos for posterity!

To come out of the office and be met by a customer who wants to thank Aprilia...and we would like to thank you too!…”, “What a great feeling of satisfaction, you're a legend Vittorio!”...These are just a few of the many comments from colleagues (which were soon doing the rounds on social media), in appreciation of engineer Vittorio's initiative (which also ended up in the newspapers). He's not even on social media, and when he's not riding his motorbike, he prefers books, art, classical music and cooking (especially desserts).


Superlative poster (signed by Antonio Paglia, Design Center Team) which was sent from Aprilia Noale to Cagliari, as a gift to the customer Vittorio Inserra.

The engineer-biker was also taken on a short tour of the Aprilia Racing Department. He commented: “It was a real moment of glory, offering a slice of cake and a glass of prosecco to the Aprilia employees as a thank you and receiving so much in return. I got an incredible welcome”. But why did you do it? “I felt that I owed this ‘debt’ of gratitude to the entire Aprilia team, for their ability to make motorcycles that are Italian masterpieces of design, technology, style, functionality and riding comfort. Without pretensions, no frills - just real bikes for real motorcyclists”.

Father and son on a bike tour of Sardinia: Vittorio Inserra with his Aprilia RSV 1000 R (the first; over the course of 18 years he has had six) and his son Enrico, 27, a successful actor, also a motorcyclist.

CHAPTER 2: CAGLIARI. VITTORIO INSERRA: “TRAVELLING BY BIKE, MY WAY”. What type of biker is Vittorio Inserra? He tells Wide in his own words: “You take a powerful motorbike, climb onto the saddle,'re off! Apart from a few other little details, like two wheels, a chassis and a set of handlebars, this is what a motorbike is. On the bike, you ride using your body to stay balanced, and to remain on the correct trajectory. When you go for a ride, this is where the pleasure comes from, combined with the vigorous thrust of the engine. Essentially, it's a whole load of physical sensations, which increase as you accelerate.

You're immersed in this activity and these sensations, some of which are olfactory - like the smell of the countryside, or an insect crushed on your helmet. Suddenly, you catch a glimpse of an incredible landscape: you slow down, sometimes you stop, then you are just another enchanted travelling onlooker enjoying the view - you forget about riding and the noise of the exhaust for a moment. Then, up ahead, you see the curves of the road calling to you, and the urge to ride takes over again”.

Vittorio Inserra at the Piaggio Museum, admiring the Aprilia racing bikes.

“I've been riding around our wonderful Europe for years, and it's easy: from far away, you see the houses getting closer together, and at a certain point, a bell tower soaring above the roofs: that's the centre. You make your way there, and when you're right beneath the tower, it's down with the kick stand, and you get off the bike and wander around on foot. Then, when you want to find your bike again, you just look up and search for the bell tower. It's always the same, whether you're in a small village or a big city, in Germany or Spain. Usually, I set off at the crack of dawn to cross the stunning European landscapes, along winding back roads with amazing views. I generally get to my accommodation late in the afternoon: I shower, dress and take a stroll in the centre. I have a typical local dinner, and then get back in my saddle to continue the tour the next day”.

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Florence, Uffizi gallery. Alone, Botticelli's Venus and I. Hey Venus, how's it going? And I admire the ‘Tondo Doni’. Incredible Michelangelo, just me in front of these masterpieces. It makes you tremble inside. I bought ticket number 0001. First in line at 7:45. That's it: the freedom to get about by bike, go wherever you like, wherever the mood takes you, discovering new places and roads.

Guest house 20 metres from Ponte Vecchio, motorbike left in the garage 200 metres away, January 2024. I left at 6 in the morning from Tagliacozzo, the Roman town of Cortina; around 6 in the evening, 700 km of ‘curves’ later, thirty kilometres from Trento, I notice a sign saying ‘B&B’ and, a little tired, I immediately turn around and put down my kick stand. It's adorable, my favourite kind of place: a small building with restaurant, bar and rooms, family-run. The first wave of Covid had just passed. The owner, who had done some major renovation work and had really taken a risk financially, had just reopened when they immediately had to close again due to the pandemic. Then they reopened again and I was one of the first customers, so they rolled out the red carpet and gave me the royal treatment.

Dinner in the garden, alone, with a table with panoramic views of the valley and the Pinot vineyards, an eagle circling and crying shrilly overhead, and the busy motorway in the distance. Dinner with minestrone soup and various pizzas cooked by the wife of the family, who was Polish (while I write these notes, I am listening to Debussy's 'Prélude à l'après midi d'un faune'. Music accompanies me everywhere; during my trips, I listen to it in the evenings in my room on a little speaker, but while I'm on the bike, the only ‘music’ I hear is from the sporty exhaust). The cost for my room, a sublime dinner, as the only customer - as well as use of a washing machine and drying rack for laundry, garage for my bike and eagle to boot...: 75 € in 2022”.

“For me, Aprilia bikes are works of art, to adorn the walls of the house, like this part of the fairing from the RSV4 RF - don't you think it's like a sculpture?”, says Vittorio Inserra.

Speaking of Tagliacozzo, it really is family-run! Restaurant with a little girl jumping between the tables and a grandfather behind her saying ‘don't disturb the customers!’. TV with the news on, mother serving up fresh tagliatelle with walnut sauce. Dad still in his pyjamas, a little dishevelled, in the morning at six, while I leave my room in silence, having paid the bill the night before, ‘but let me make you a coffee at least!’, he offers. The real Italy, the things that really make the world go round Then, my beloved Sardinia, which is so varied in terms of landscapes that it's almost like a continent in itself.

Every day, for years, I've been getting up at dawn to go out on the bike for a few hours. I live in the middle of the city, but if I take the right route, I can get to the countryside without coming across a single traffic light. When I've got more time, like now, free from professional commitments, I head to a beautiful beach - we have many here - and take a swim in the open water. Then I shower off the salt with a 2-litre bottle of water and head home, perhaps taking a different route, but always with stunning panoramic curves.’ There's hardly any traffic at all. My son Enrico, who is an actor, often finds himself working in beautiful places, but he's always keen to come home!”.

CHAPTER 3: PONTEDERA, AMONG THE APRILIA BIKES AT THE PIAGGIO MUSEUM. Vittorio Inserra still remembers his first orange Vespa 50, which he was given as a 16 reward for a promotion by his entrepreneur father. “As soon as I picked it up from the dealer, I climbed onto the saddle and set off - he recalls - I learned on my own as I drove, towards the sea (I didn't know about running it in - I pushed the engine to the max, but my little Vespa didn't complain)...I'll never forget these memories; then someone stole it one day when I was fishing, luggage included I came home in my swimming trunks and fins with an octopus; at 17, with the insurance money, I got myself another scooter. It was the sixties, and I would go and meet a girl, whatever the weather, even if it was raining”.

“When I passed my secondary school leaving exam, I had a single-cylinder Aermacchi 350, I still remember the vibrations on my legs. Then I had a Moto Guzzi Le Mans III, 850cc, white, from 1981, as well as lots of other bikes. I first experienced Aprilia in 2006 at a dealership in Cagliari, where they showed me a black Aprilia RSV 1000 R: I saw it and I had to have it. This bike was the start of my long, unwavering passion for Aprilia motorbikes: I went on to have a Tuono 1000 R, Tuono 1000 Factory, RSV4 1000 Factory, RSV4 1100 Factory, and now I have a RS 660. It's amazingly responsive when stopping in traffic, agile, fun, and much safer; because deceleration is just as important as acceleration. I love everything about it; but a special nod goes to the fact that the four emergency lights come on automatically. I've been riding Aprilia bikes for 18 years, on many roads and for many, many kilometres: I am very grateful to Aprilia, I really appreciate the way they make their bikes. Less is more: simplicity is an inspiration, as well as attention to detail, design with substance but without excess. For me, an Aprilia bike is like a real lady”.

Vittorio Inserra poses at the Piaggio Museum with the Aprilia RSV4, (one of the six Aprilia motorcycle models he has purchased and ridden for thousands of kilometres over the last 18 years).

Almost every day I am ‘ready and on the road’ at first light, and I ride my RS 660 for 200-300 km along the charming roads of the island. My love for Aprilia bikes is more rational than instinctive: as a construction engineer, a structural specialist (I graduated in 1980), an expert in computer programming (I used to create apps for public works, they didn't exist back then... I was in great demand), with a long professional career, not least as a successful entrepreneur in the buildings renovation sector. This all goes to say that I analyse and experience my bike as an ‘engineer’, evaluating every aspect, including the advanced electronic innovations which Aprilia pioneered. When it comes to my RS, with low handlebars (which I prefer, I've never had back ache), I love everything about it: it offers great balance on the road, excellent holding, modest consumption and tyre wear, exceptional engines, power and performance when needed, and finally, simplicity and authenticity. I get on the saddle and go everywhere I want”.

Vittorio Inserra's Aprilia RS 660 certainly doesn't go unnoticed! With an oversized Aprilia sticker on the windscreen too.

EPILOGUE: “I'm speechless, it's been such an amazing ride of emotions and exclusive experiences from Aprilia and Piaggio; but above all, I feel your wonderful goodwill towards me, which began on the day of the famous cake and hugs from the Aprilia staff. I am moved”. These are Vittorio Inserra's final words on his experience, before he sets off, helmet and leathers on, with his internal technical jacket with satellite connection, in the saddle of his RS 660, on the road back to his much-loved island.

Meeting a Vespa rider from the Vespa Club Pontedera at the Piaggio Museum.