On the eve of the 2014 World Superbike Championship, Aprilia Racing has revealed it will adopt an entirely new livery for the season, with a distinctive metallic finish replacing the familiar black and red design.

Though the Italian marque has maintained fairly familiar corporate colours in recent years, save for the two seasons during which it had title backing from Alitalia, the new design sees the RSV4 decked out in a 'pure metal colour', with only a few red and black accents.

Though a break from the norm for Aprilia, the decision to 'strip back' the design has been motivated by a desire to enhance 'form and technological content' of the bike, as well improve the commercial benefit of having a livery that stands out from the crowd.

"A large part of a racing bike's attraction, obviously besides pure performance, has to do with its visual impact," says team manager Romano Albesiano. "These are exclusive objects, moving sculptures to be admired, and the RSV4 has definitely blazed an important trail in this area.

"Its compact size due to the exclusive architecture of the V4 engine and its magnificent polished factory frame are both functional elements and distinctive design traits at the same time, enhanced by the new livery which, in my opinion, is one of the most beautiful and unique that has ever taken to the track."

Aprilia comes into the new season eager to reclaim the WSBK riders' crown it lost to Tom Sykes and Kawasaki in 2013, with Sylvain Guintoli staying on for another season and Marco Melandri joining from BMW.

"Very rarely has a bike ever impressed me like this one," said Melandri. "I liked it straight away. It looks aggressive and elegant at the same time, with a really original colour combination. As a rider I obviously focus on speed, but as an enthusiast I can appreciate a beautiful and well refined bike. Aesthetic details are often synonymous with careful development and particular attention to all aspects of the product."

Guintoli is similarly impressed by his 'beautiful' new machine, the Frenchman keen to begin the 2014 season at Phillip Island exactly as he started it in 2013.

"It is simply beautiful! I have always liked the RSV4. It has an aggressive and decidedly racing look even in the factory version. Its lines scream speed and everything is in the right place to guarantee maximum performance. The new colour scheme is the cherry on the top. If it's as fast as it is beautiful our rivals won't stand a chance. This livery would be absolutely beautiful on the street version - I would want one immediately!"