It’s a daring bet, and it’s the one everyone expects. In the day when the sportswoman only makes sense on a circuit, Aprilia is splitting a whole new machine. A little beauty, carried on the altar of sport with a watchword: pleasure without radicalism.
Aprilia sets foot in the mid-engine sports sector. Its weapon: the RS 660. Its goal: pleasure before the track. Its direct competition: none. So why is Noale’s firm going into a dilapidated category where almost everyone has stopped the fees? ?
Because this machine is the revival of road sports.
She is superb ! Graceful, svelte, toned and sparkling, the RS 660 seems ready to play. Its size and its lines give the impression of a motorcycle with more than measured weight. It’s the case. This Aprilia weighs only 169 kilograms dry. Aside from the installation of mirrors, a “street legal” exhaust and a license plate holder, the production RS 660 is extremely close to the prototype presented at EICMA 2018. As what, everything was ready and Aprilia was only waiting for the enthusiasm of the public to start the final process. If it draws its momentum from the lines of the RSV4, this does not mean that it is content with a copy and paste of the facies as we have seen on many machines of the brand. The RS pleasantly revisits the triptych optical unit. We appreciate the beautiful effect of the daytime luminous eyelashes, just as much as this silhouette of a welcome freshness. The fairing in several “layers” testifies to an obvious attention to aerodynamics and styling effects. Night has not been forgotten, the headlights adopting a cornering lighting system.
With its more slender look, its exhaust implanted under the engine and its slender frame, the RS 660 seems a teenager next to the lady RSV4. The latter sweats the clock; the young girl prefers unannounced adrenaline rushes. For this, his heart beats in a completely different register than that of the pistards.
A new generation of machines, a new engine. The beautiful Italian receives a brand new inline twin, all new, all wriggling. To design it, Aprilia used a chainsaw to cut the RSV4 1100’s 4-cylinder V-shaped in half and then added some volume to the cylinders. This parallel twin is distinguished by its compactness and power. It manages to output 100 horsepower, which is excellent value for this type of engine with this displacement. For comparison, a Paton S1-R with an (improved) Kawasaki ER-6 twin pulls 80 nags. As for an MT-07, even with a few extra cm3, it tops out at 75 hp.
Euro5 approved, this unit will also be entitled to an A2 compatible version.
Aprilia has chosen a 270 ° timing, in order to obtain the character of a V-twin and more engine sensations.
Above this, electronics will be present on several levels. Logical, the manufacturer being one of the pioneers of piloting aids installed in series, and among the most prolific at this level. The RS 660 benefits from a Ride-by-Wire accelerator, a 6-axis inertial unit and the high-content APRC pack. There is ATC traction control, AWC wheeling control, AEB engine brake management, an Up shifter&Down AQS, ACC cruise control and several injection maps brought together under the AEM label.
How much in the box? Five, with two marked trends. Three are planned for driving on the road:
– Dynamic, considered for sports outings,
– Switches, more suitable for everyday life,
– Individual, allowing the pilot to configure all on-board assistance.
Then there are two dedicated to the circuit:
– Challenge, allowing to enjoy the best that the machine can offer,
– Time Attack, designed for experienced pilots who want to push the Aprilia to its limits.
All of this is accessible via new handlebar controls and a color TFT display. This has two display modes (Strada or Pista) with automatic backlighting. The Aprilia multimedia platform can be added as an option, allowing, among other things, call management and a navigation function..
The twin 660 promises beautiful moments. It still needs a part-cycle that allows to extract the optimum substance for fast trips, playful, technical and pleasant. In short, enough to travel without restraint and without misfortune. Aprilia knows the terrain and the solutions; he is even one of the masters of the arrangements. The first surprise comes from its surprisingly compact aluminum frame. It uses the engine as a supporting element, no longer bothering with side sections between the gearbox and the swingarm. The latter is also unique, built asymmetrically, also in aluminum, and anchored directly to the housings..
Another surprise, the implementation of the rear shock absorber. On a motorcycle of this orientation, we expected an element fixed on rods to optimize the work. But not at all. It is held directly on both sides, without any additional element of progressivity. Aprilia defends this choice by saving weight while ensuring the effectiveness of the damping through its speech..
The front axle is in the traditions of sports elements, without switching to racing while being of quality. The Kayaba 41mm inverted fork is adjustable, finished with 4-piston radial Brembo brake calipers. The master cylinder comes from the same manufacturer. 320 mm discs absorb the deceleration while the electronics (still) standby. ABS cornering optimizes braking depending on the conditions.
Why this notion of renewal? Because there is only the Yamaha R6 and the MV-Agusta F3 675 that are fighting for the survival of SuperSports. The time of glory is lost in the memory of the Honda CBR 600 RR, Triumph 675 Daytona R, Ducati 749, Suzuki 600 GSX-R and Kawasaki ZX-6R. The latter has changed sides, only existing today in 636 cm3.
Aprilia aims for a virtue that fell into oblivion when sportswomen became radical. That of sporting pleasure on the road, as in the days of the T-Cat, CBR 600 F, 900 CBR and other models which had little eye on competition. A revealing and unwavering sign: the position of the half-handlebars. On the Aprilia RS 660, they are at a level above the triple tree (i.e. unlike a pistarde). With a driving position not too extreme, this excited will reconnect with a vanished comfort.
Who to oppose it? The Panigale V2 …. already too many horses. The CBR or Ninja 650 …. not sporty enough. The ZX636 …. Too track oriented. The Norton 650 Superlight … too exclusive. The RS 660 is a cornerstone between several worlds and various degrees of motorcycle sport.
Here, no unmanageable power, superbike solutions or missile potential. Make way for emotion, usable watts and tense trajectories. You could almost see a modern projection of the late TRX, 900 SS and VTR from before..
The Italian house is however keen to give a nod to its competitive heritage, recalling in passing the remarkable epic of the RS 250. One of the available decos is nothing less than a replica Loris Reggiani – the first rider to bring victory to Aprilia.
What you must remember
new (Motoplanete estimate)
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sure 2 notice
250 RS 2002
Model marketed in
sup 240 km / h
The technical aspect
Aprilia RS 660 2020
- Dry weight: 169 kg
- Train before
- secondary by chain
- Rear axle
- 660 cc