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Installing a Mille single exhaust system on a Falco

Posted by cplus on Sunday, September 18, 2005 at 05:19 AM

So you want to fit a set of RSV pipes to your Falco. ChazdFalco did and originally posted this article on retrofitting a single exhaust system from a Mille onto a Falco on the Aprilia RiderSite. It is re-printed with additional photos by permission.

Dave, who got me onto this site after a very nice chat at the Ally Pally on the Renegade stand earlier this year, imparted some very useful information that I am sorta of glad I didn’t listen to, he said. don’t do it.

Well the end of the story is that I have managed it. The grand designs I started off with have been replaced by more practicle ones.


(1) Falco (stock)

(1) RSV swing arm

(1) RSV oil reservior tank

(1) complete stock RSV exhaust system

(1) Aprilia Titanium Race can

(1) RSV Sachs shock (to be fitted later)

12-18 inches 1/2” bore oil pipe

(1) aluminium floppy disk drive rail

(1) computer with internet access and the addresses of:

I wanted a single exhaust pipe as opposed to the twin that comes as standard. Seemed easy enough, the engines are similar so fitting shouldn’t be a problem.

The answer from most people at the Ally Pally was “err, don’t know ask somebody else, like them” pointing at any random stall.

Eventually I walked past the Renegade stand and although I didn’t have the money at the time I could not walk past without asking about the air kit, which I have still not managed to get around to purchasing. Talking about the kit obviously brought up the question about what exhaust would be fitted (well we were on Renegade’s stand after all), so I brought up the conversation closing statement

“I am thinking of fitting a complete RSV system”

Rather than finish the conversation I was told I needed to talk to this scarey looking Scots bloke, Dave. That was cool, as I am Scots myself it was rather a pleasure to be directed to him. More so when he started talking. Finally after all the stalls that had blank looks on their faces here was someone who knew things and immediately explained the problem with the swing arm.

For those who don’t know, one of the reasons for the RSV having a banana swing arm is to bring the exhaust system tight into the bike, due to this the Falco’s swing arm actually makes contact with RSV collector box.

“Find the Aprilia Riders’ Site and email the American who managed to contact Pikfee.” he entoned like Alec Guinness making up some Jedi quest, but without the sword play and mind powers and travel to exotic planets. This turned out to be Litre1 who supplied me with the bad news, you need to cut the RSV pipe and reweld if you are going to use the standard Falco swing arm or bend it to fit, but basically it doesn’t fit as standard.

Hmm, I am not that technically competent, Litre1 was talking about having a shop look once he had assembled the bits, I decided to go the easy way and fit an alternative swing arm and wanted something different so started looking at a Futura swing arm.

I quickly realised that the Futura swing arm would incur a lot of expense since I would be looking for the wheel, brake disk and caliper, basically the entire back end.

So began the look for a reasonably priced RSV swing arm, which had miracously tripled in price from the day before I had the money ready and the following day (at least that is how it felt).

After a while Cheshire Motor Cycle Salvage came up trumps with a respectable swing arm at a good price ($100) and they also had an RSV Sachs shock so I bought that as well.

After working out how to support the bike while dropping the swing arm out, myself and a friend who is “a man with a van full of tools” and a further friend swapped the swing arms in about 3 or 4 hours using information from the Hadeler site (I thank you).

This would have been the ideal time to swap the shocks as well, but I quickly realised that my sub frame impeded the air valve by a large amount rather than the few mils that I had read on the various sites that talk about swapping in the RSV Sachs shock. IsleFalco has mentioned an Ohlins valve mod that should solve that so I am looking around to find a local-ish firm to do the mod.

Back to the pipes then.

Now Litre1 had done a better job of researching than I had and had obtained an RSV oil reservoir tank as the RSV downpipes run straight down the centre of the engine where the Falco’s kinks out to accomodate a larger (Heavier construction?) oil tank. I got mine a tad late for the swing arm swap so the original exhaust went onto the bike again.

The following Sunday saw the completion, with the RSV reservoir tank having arrived it nearly fitted straight on.

The top mounting point is out by about 2-3 inches but in the right plane. A quick drill on an old aluminium floppy drive rail did the job as a temporary fix and may even be left a the permanent fix.

The oil return pipe on the Falco sits on the top of the oil reservoir tank on the RSV it sits at the bottom so extra pipe was needed. Mercifully the van of many tools also contained an amount of the right piping (completely unplanned for, just lucky), the reservoir was fitted leaving the path free for the RSV exhaust to be fitted.

I had recently secured an Aprilia titanium race can on eBay which once the RSV down pipes were in place, attached to reveal the last problem.

The whole RSV rear sub frame sits higher than the Falco’s. This is why there is a problem with clearance on the RSV Sachs shock shrader valve and also why the my new second-hand pipe ended up being too close to the pillion pegs. A little modification was needed to make this fit (mostly brute force).

The final solution will be to junk the pegs and a correct sized exhaust hanger made up to allow correct fitting of the pipe.

Or I could have the pipe bent down a little, we are talking about needing to drop the exhaust by an inch at the most.

Refilled with oil and the bike was ready to start.

I had recently listened to an RSV with the same end can. It sounded deep and resonant but quiet enough not to attract to much attention, just what I was looking for actually. The one I got on eBay does not seem to be the same. It may be that I have been used to the standard pipes but this system just seems to be too racous however having listened to a friend ride it up and down the street it wasn’t too bad but it is wearing on the rider.

Time to find some noise killers, I will probably have to repack the end can as well, so will measure up when I do that, and add them if the repacking doesn’t subdue the noise.

These engines like to breath and although I can’t really report a huge difference in performance I have noticed the front wheel lifting more often and a lot easier.

Click on either image for an enlarged version

Left side with the single Mille exhaust canister.

Aprilia RSV Mille
Aprilia RSV Mille
Aprilia RSV Mille
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