Aprilia has officially unveiled its new middleweight sportbike with the RS 660 making its public debut at the EICMA show in Milan. The big news, however, is that the New Zealand market confirmed as one of the first in the world to get the new Aprilia.
Based around a new parallel twin-engine, the RS 660 marks a new era for the Italian marque, with the bike moving away from the hard-core racer focus of many of Aprilia's fully-faired sports bikes with a new focus on everyday riding pleasure.
Key to the RS 660 is its new engine. The 660cc parallel-twin is derived from the front bank cylinders of Aprilia's 1100cc V4, from which it takes its base concepts and measurements.
Aprilia chose this configuration due to its compactness and efficiency, its very limited transmission of heat to the rider, and the freedom it gives engineers to exploit the spaces and create a slim, lightweight chassis.
Producing a record-breaking (for its displacement at least) 100hp, the DOHC 270 degree crank'd twin promises to revitalise the middleweight category, which has been quite lacklustre in recent years.
The power figure is matched with a weight of just 169kg dry, creating an exciting weight-to-power ratio compared to other bikes in the segment. This is in part thanks to the all-new aluminium chassis, which also uses the engine as a load-bearing element.
Suspension comes in the form of an adjustable upside-down Kayaba fork with 41 mm stanchions and a braking system comprising, at the front end, a pair of 320mm steel discs, a pair of radial callipers and a radial cylinder, all by Brembo.
Aprilia also has packed the RS660 with class-leading electronics to ensure it rides at the pointy end of the field. Equipped with a 6-axis IMU, the RS660 boasts the full shebang of Aprilia riding aids including Aprilia’s Traction Control, Anti Wheelie Control to keep the bike’s performance in check, while practical inclusions range from cruise control to multiple riding maps and a quick shifter.
Aprilia New Zealand has confirmed that along with the Australian market, New Zealanders will be among the first in the world to get their hands on the RS660. There is a catch, however.
Company spokesman Michael Beckhaus says that the bikes are still some time away from their road debut.
“They are still a long way off however, we expect to see our first units in November 2020, he told the Kiwi motorcycling press.
“We have no confirmation of pricing yet but expect it to be in the vicinity of $20000 RRP.”