The times they are a-changin’. Like everyone else, Aprilia is supposedly working on plans to make a machine in India, in the 300-400cc category, aimed at a low price point.
The rumour comes from Indian moto-mag Zigwheels, which claims to have got the hot tip from a Piaggio Group bigwig (remember, Piaggio Group owns Aprilia, along with Moto Guzzi, Piaggio and Vespa). Supposedly, Aprilia is already working on a machine in the 300-400cc category, with plans to enter production in two-three years, if everything works out. The bike would be designed in Italy, but built in India, and exported to other developing markets.
It’s possible Aprilia could even follow the pattern some other OEMs do, building the knock-down kits in India and assembling them in other countries. Whatever the production model Aprilia uses, the idea is to build a motorcycle at a much lower price point than the current exotica that Aprilia cranks out at its Noale factory.
What will this machine look like? Are we talking about a single, a twin, or some other engine? It’s hard to say; parallel twins are popular in the 300-400cc category, but KTM’s done well for itself with the 390 single, and there are some advantages to going that route. No doubt the machine will have the flashy paint and aggressive Euro design that comes with Aprilia’s brand, and probably a basic electronic safety package, since that’s where the sub-500cc market is headed these days.
As for the Canadian market: Who knows? If there’s demand, Piaggio Group is actually pretty good about bringing in interesting machines.