Behold the Aprilia RS457, the latest in a flood of small-bore sportbikes that are being released all over the world this year, from Japan, China and now Europe.
Parallel twin comeback
This machine is exactly what the moto-pundits predicted months ago: A small-cc parallel twin machine meant to offer Aprilia’s engineering at lower cost. It’s the same idea as the 660 platform, but scaled down even further. The engine has a DOHC top end, with four valves per cylinder. Max output is 47 hp, with no mention of torque in Aprilia’s press release.
Presumably a six-speed is standard (again, Aprilia does not say). There is a throttle-by-wire setup, though, which means Aprilia can offer separate ride modes allowing different levels of traction control, horsepower and torque. There’s also a quickshifter, but it’s not on the stock bike—it’s an accessory, at extra cost.
The RS457 comes with a 2-1 exhaust as standard, with underbody muffler.
The rest of the story
There’s nothing too shocking here. Aprilia says the bike comes with an aluminum frame and steel swingarm—maybe an alu swinger would have been nice, but no doubt the Italians had their reasons!
The front brake uses a single 320 mm disc, with four-piston ByBre caliper. The rear caliper is also from ByBre. Aprilia ships the RS457 with ABS, which can be configured to “supermoto” mode (with antilock brakes up front, but not in rear).
Both fork and shock are preload-adjustable, with 120 mm of travel up front and 130 mm of travel in rear. As you would expect, the RS457 rolls on 17-inch wheels, with no mention of expensive, sporty rubber. No worries, most riders will replace the stock tires soon enough.
Unlike some competing 450 sportbikes, which rely on el-cheapo LCD gauges to keep pricing down, Aprilia has a five-inch TFT screen. This will make it much easier to switch between the bike’s electronic options, instead of a clunky old-school interface.
And, most significantly for Euro buyers, Aprilia says the bike’s dry weight is 158 kg. With the 47-hp engine legal for an A2 learner’s licence in the Euro/UK market, this machine should have the best power-to-weight ratio that a beginner can buy. This is less of a problem on this side of the Atlantic, but as 400-class race series gain more momentum, more riders are paying closer attention to the specs and performance capability in this class of machine!
Will this bike come to Canada? The Piaggio Group’s focus on North America is often a bit blurry, but it does seem to be quite interested in pushing its sportbikes here. Keep an eye out for further news from Aprilia, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see these machines show up in late 2024.
Otherwise, for more details, keep an eye on Aprilia’s site here.