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The Future of Motorcycles: Aprilia Applies for Rear Wing Patent


January 22, 2024

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Wings to ground a motorcycle; that is what Aprilia’s newly published patent application describes. According to the patent application, Aprilia’s system helps plant motorbikes on the ground and around corners at high speeds. This is made possible by an “aerodynamic force” created on the rear wheel, “improving the grip of the bike”. While the patent application was published recently, the document was filed with patent authorities in and around 2022, when Aprilia first unveiled its RS-GP MotoGP bike.


This patent application is likely not intended for racing for two main reasons.


  • First, a patent requires a detailed explanation of the idea which is not ideal for a competitive environment.

  • Second, even if the patent is granted, it may be unsportsmanlike in the world of MotoGP to use patent law to beat out the competition. The likely rationale for the patent application is to protect the idea for future production models to be used on the road by consumers.


Since the advantages noted in the patent application can likely only be gained on the racetrack, there is reportedly skepticism regarding whether Aprilia’s patent application is of any practical value.


Critics reportedly note that, if the technology described in the patent application is intended to prevent other manufacturers from selling similar commercially available motorbikes, then there needs to be a practical benefit on the road. Instead, they reportedly argue that the rear wing will make strapping luggage onto the rear bumper for daily use difficult, if not impossible, making the invention less practical.

 

Authors: Olivia Moon and Arash Rouhi

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