Jett Design builds a lightweight Aprilia restomod…
In 1998, Aprilia unveiled their first large displacement sports motorcycle, the RSV Mille — a 998cc V-twin superbike whose liquid-cooled, fuel-injected Rotax engine boasted 128 horsepower and 78 pound-feet of torque. The RSV Mille quickly proved itself in the canyons and twisties, where the sure-footed chassis and midrange grunt meant it could carve corners with the best of the breed.
At the time, inline-fours like the Yamaha R1 were asserting their supremacy, but the Aprilia showed that European bicilindricos could still run with the Japanese fours:
“Aprilia’s RSV Mille has the performance potential to put V-twin sportbikes back atop the heap, and do it emphatically. Here is one of those rare serious sportbikes that can do it all—commuter duty, canyon shredder, and sport-tourer…” —Cycle World
Enter Andrew Jett of Washington DC’s Jett Design Garage, a former drag car builder whose very first two-wheeled build we featured on BikeBound back in 2017, a Triumph Street Triple whose modern performance and throwback 1970s GP styling was ahead of the time.
Since then, Andrew has remained hard at work building his small motorcycle design business, making a name for himself building sports-oriented customs. His Ducati 749 custom racer and Rennsport-inspired Street Triple 675 made big waves in the customs world — both built in collaboration with another one of our favorite builders, Sean Skinner of Motorelic — and now he’s back with this one of one Aprilia RSV Mille Special, built for a local client:
“He wanted a 1 of 1 resto-mod style build for his Aprilia. He wanted his bike to stand out from the rest, but have the performance to back it up as well. Another target of this build was not only aesthetics, but to take off a significant amount of weight. Weight came down almost 45 Lbs (lighter than stock).”
The upgrades are extensive, including bespoke bodywork, hand-stitched alcantara seat, adjustable steering damper and rearsets, carbon exhaust mount and swingarm protectors, modified airbox, ceramic-coated titanium exhaust, paint by Petittbilt, and much more.
The result is one incredibly potent V-twin superbike, which weighs around 370 dry, looks like nothing else on the street or track, and can surely surprise some folks on their latest and greatest inline-fours. Below, Andrew gives us the full story on the build.
Aprilia RSV1000 Special: Builder Interview
• Please tell us a bit about yourself, your history with motorcycles, and your workshop.
I am Andrew Jett of Jett Design Garage. I own a small business that specializes in motorcycle design and builds. Based just outside of Washington, DC. My first full-on custom motorcycle build was completed in 2017 and was actually covered by BikeBound! Before that, I was heavily into drag racing cars for almost 10 years. I had been building different style import and domestic drag cars (all personal projects).
I had always been into cars and motorcycles, but slowly made the transition to bikes once I really started to ride. I fell in love with how motorcycles felt, the feeling it gave me! Another thing I love about building bikes, is how I can manipulate the design and create something completely different! I really enjoy the whole design process!
• What’s the make, model, and year of the donor bike?
2000 Aprilia RSV Mille 1000.
• Why was this bike built?
The bike was built for a local client. He wanted a 1 of 1 resto-mod style build for his Aprilia. He wanted his bike to stand out from the rest, but have the performance to back it up as well. Another target of this build was not only aesthetics, but to take off a significant amount of weight. Weight came down almost 45 lbs (lighter than stock).
• What was the design concept and what influenced the build?
The customer specified a resto-mod style build, but gave me substantial creative freedom in the design process. The bodywork was stripped back to show off more of the mechanicals and take the bike down in weight. The color combo was specified by the customer and the beautiful paint work was carried out by Kevin Petitt of Petittbilt, LLC.
• What custom work was done to the bike?
- Jett Design bespoke front and side fairings
- Jett Design LED rear taillight and housing
- Jett Design modified Zero Gravity windscreen
- NRC body-mounted LED turn signals
- Hand-stitched alcantara seat
- Apex clip-ons
- CRG levers
- CRG bar-end mirrors
- Domino GP grips
- Hard Racing adjustable steering damper
- Bonamici adjustable rear sets
- SSR fuel filler cap
- DID chain
- 16 front 44 rear sprockets
- K&N air filter
- Opened / modified airbox with intake baffle removed
- Lithium battery
- Carbon exhaust mount
- Carbon swing-arm protectors
- Carbon/ Tuono reservoir cover
- Jett Design tail tidy kit
- Leo Vince titanium SBK Exhaust – Ceramic coated
- Jett Design front fender
- Paint work by Kevin Petitt
• Does the bike have a nickname?
Aprilia RSV Mille Special.
• Can you tell us what it’s like to ride this bike?
It feels much lighter on its feet now. Overall performance is increased dramatically!
• Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?
The Rear LED light housing and the custom fairing kit.
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