Sensible sportbike: Aprilia launches RS660

0
301

The teaser campaigns are over, with the new Aprilia RS660 finally hitting the market in Europe and North America (sort of).

Aprilia took the wraps off its new RS660 sportbike this week, and actually says it’s ready for orders, at least in some markets, although we haven’t seen a Canadian price yet, Extrapolating from UK pricing, expect to pay around $17,000, or maybe less if we get a break on the exchange.

At its core, the RS660 is a clever repackaging of Aprilia’s RSV1000 engine tech, with a parallel twin that’s basically the front half of the RSV’s V4 motor, with a 270-degree firing order. The RS660 makes 100 hp and 49 lb-ft of torque, and comes with throttle-by-wire. That enabled Aprilia to include an up/down quickshifter (there’s a six-speed gearbox), as well as a comprehensive safety electronics package: adjustable engine braking and cornering ABS, wheelie control, launch control, and so on. There are five riding modes (Commute, Dynamic, Individual, Challenge, Time Attack), managed through the bike’s TFT screen.

As for the rest of the bike, there’s an all-aluminum frame and swingarm, with removable subframe. Aprilia spec’d 320mm brake discs in front, with four-piston calipers, and a 220mm brake disc in rear with a two-piston caliper. All in, the bike weighs 183 kg at the curb, supposedly, so it should make a very fun little real-world ride. 

That’s where Aprilia aimed this machine at—the real world. Although there’s talk of a track-only version, the RS660 isn’t really supposed to battle directly with 600 supersports. Instead, it’s just the first machine in a new line of sensible 600-class bikes, similar to what Triumph has done so many times over the years. And, like Triumph, there’s talk of not just  a new track bike, but a new naked bike and maybe even other machines based around this same engine in the years to come.

Join the conversation!