For the past 10 years, Aprilia’s sportbike offering has come in the form of a 1000 cc class, V4 superbike. Despite now being a little long in the tooth, the RSV4 has been lauded for its wonderful ability as a track weapon, as well as for being one of the best sounding engines available to the public in any form (seriously...).
This week, at the annual EICMA show in Milan, Aprilia introduced the world to what will be the RSV4's little brother of sorts. The RS660 (pictured above) is being billed as Aprilia’s return to the middle-weight market. While not a true supersport bike like, say, the Yamaha R6, it certainly looks to be a formidable machine.
So what is it?
As stated previously, this bike represents a return to middle-weight machines for Aprilia. The heart of the RS660 is its all-new, 660 cc, 100 hp, parallel-twin engine. If you think about this engine as essentially being the front two cylinder banks from the RSV4, you’re headed in the right direction. A key offering of this new engine is that it’s already prepared for the impending and stringent Euro 5 emissions regulations. This likely means that there are a few extra ponies waiting to be unleashed with the installation of a less restrictive, aftermarket exhaust and a flash tune. If that piques your interest after reading above that the RS660 makes “only” 100 hp in stock trim, it’s again important to remember that this is not meant as a supersport machine.
What the heck is ‘supersport’ and why do you keep saying it?
This is a wonderful, and valid question. The supersport class of motorcycles represents race homologation machines with (usually) 600 cc of displacement; think Yamaha R6, Suzuki GSX-R600, Triumph Daytona 675, etc. Common features of those machines would be high foot controls, low, clip-on handlebars, sporty bodywork, and roughly 110-120 hp; all features designed with a racetrack in mind.
In contrast, the RS660 is designed to be sporty, yet comfortable and at home on public roads. The bodywork clearly channels that of the RSV4 and is largely responsible for the motorcycle’s aggressive looks. However, the ergonomics, from the roomy seat and low foot controls, to the risen handlebars which are located above the upper triple clamp, are definitely designed with comfort in mind. In this way, the RS660 is much more aimed at being an upscale offering in the vein of the Honda CBR650R than it is at being a track weapon. This is a machine meant to whisk you around town in style and comfort, but also one which would be happy to tackle the occasional track day (so long as you ask nicely).
In addition to the black and red color scheme, the RS660 will also be available in this lovely purple and red livery which is meant as an homage 1994 Reggiani Replica RS250. I’m not trying to tell you how to live your life, but this scheme is clearly the only correct option for the bike.
Other noteworthy features include: Brembo brakes, inverted front forks, a weight of only 169 kg (373 lbs), and a 6-axis IMU granting it access to the RSV4's full electronics suite. Also, check that triangle exhaust pipe; the world needs more triangles.
Price and availability have yet to be announced.