Aprilia SXV 5.5


The supermotard genre does it all as long as you’re not attempting to break any top speed records. Popularized as a streetable dirtbike, supermotards brought back that pucker your butt rawness lost on refined sportbikes. Take a moment to consider the fun factor of roasting rubber through an intersection, wheeling over a curb and dropping off some park stairs into the grass—that is supermoto and yes, you will still be grinning when it comes time for your mugshot.

Although we don’t condone breaking a laundry list of traffic laws you could very easily do so with this type of versatility. Kenny Caro was one of many who dove into the all-terrain game because it seemed enjoyably different: “When supermotards were coming out everyone and their mother wanted one—it was the new hot thing. I figured I’d [build] something you really don’t see—an Aprilia.

You look at the SXV and think dirtbike, so I was very hesitant on getting it but once I took the plunge I actually enjoyed it. It is a lot of fun to ride, I just hated the way it looked being someone who normally rides sportbikes, so I modified it.”

Marketed as an off-road option, the ’07 Aprilia SXV assaulted asphalt with ferocity when it wasn’t cracked open for unavoidably frequent maintenance upkeep. Making form meet function did not come easy for this reason. Buying exotic meant forfeiting Japanese reliability.

The temperamental Italian powerplant is less than ideal in the concrete jungle, and it took six months at Powerhouse Motorcycles just to make the SXV behave correctly—by Kenny’s standards.

A fueling tune and power curve adjustment created a two-stroke snap down low without losing the ability to comfortably cruise at 80 MPH. To assure the SXV stayed cool, a larger radiator bolted into place in front of a one-off exhaust system later built by Two Brothers Racing. In total, the motor mods accounted for 66 HP and 37 ft-lbs. of torque. Before you laugh, remember those four-stroke ponies only have to push 275 pounds.

Now factor in the Carrozzeria wheels, Galfer wave rotors and 520-chain conversion and you have a machine that’ll get up faster and then come to a screeching to a halt faster than an Enzyte-popping teenager.

Kenny could have stopped there and killed city blocks in bland fashion but that just wouldn’t do. The stock graphics wasn’t his style so he contacted a plastic surgeon (of sorts) capable of realizing the SXV’s bombshell potential.

Calling on the expertise of Tricked Out Custom Cycles, the bodywork went under the knife. An ’06 Yamaha R6 front fender replacement led the way for a facelift centered on an aggressive Acerbis streetfighter upper. The pancake backside received a major makeover by way of an ’06 R6 tail section and ’07 ZX-10R hugger molded to fit.

An oversized Aprilia gas tank enhanced shape and fuel range before it was sent off to paint.

From frame to fork tube, everything received color. Since the build blended various components, the biomechanical artwork of H.R. Giger inspired a Lion (based off the Aprilia logo) to machine theme spread across the body pieces.

TOCC grafted a fiberglass tank overlay on the flexible plastic fuel jug so the art wouldn’t be compromised when ridden. LED lighting stuffed in assorted nooks and crannies completed the look for a bike that’s impossible to ignore.

With a total build cost of $20 grand there is no denying the price of perfection. We don’t expect to see this finicky SXV risking rock chips but it can definitely run off-road. Capable of quicker double-digit speeds than a supersport, a terrain indifferent demeanor and wheelies at the snap of the wrist, the supermotard bug has popped up again at SSB HQ. Time to call a lawyer… ssb

2007 Aprilia SXV 5.5

Aprilia SXV 5.5

Front End: Brembo master cylinder, custom Carrozzeria wheel, GPR V4 damper, Pirelli Rosso tire (120), ProTaper bars, Roaring Toyz brake line, Galfer wave rotor

Rear End: Carrozzeria wheel, EK 520 chain, Pirelli Rosso tire (190), Roaring Toyz brake line, Galfer wave rotor, Vortex rear sprocket (43T)

Motor: AF1 Racing single stage airbox, PC3, Powerhouse Motorcycles custom tune, custom Two Brothers exhaust and Juice Box fuel controller

Bodywork: TOCC

Paint: Amanda Kohler

Accessories: Acerbis hand guards, guard lights and street fighter upper, Aprilia 12-liter tank, radiator guards/straps, DEI exhaust wrap, MECA Racing engine guard, MSR clutch lever, Pro-Tek gas cap, SamcoSport radiator hose, Second Image custom seat, SME sliders, Yamaha integrated taillight, Custom Dynamics LED kit,

Owner: Kenny Caro

Builder: Steve Kehler at TOCC (tocc.biz), motor work by Powerhouse Motorcycles (powerhousemc.com )

Aprilia SXV 5.5
Aprilia SXV 5.5
Aprilia SXV 5.5
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