As we predicted in our EICMA round-up on the Noale brand, it looks like we won’t have to wait long to see the production version of the Aprilia RS 660 sport bike, as photos on Facebook show that the Italians have been caught testing the machine at the track.
With two bikes spotted, one in street trim and one in race trim, the Aprilia RS 660 looks surprisingly production-ready, which tips a debut at next year’s EICMA show, and the bike being a 2020 model year machine.
As we know from the Aprilia RS 660 concept debut, the sport bike uses a parallel-twin engine, which is based off the V4 motor found in the RSV4 superbike.
Lopping off the rear cylinder head from the RSV4 to make the twin-cylinder arrangement, the RS 660 engine still carries an unknown displacement, though the name “RS 660” should be a tip-off.
With the Tuono and RSV4 now coming in 1,078cc of displacement, it will be curious to see if/how Aprilia gets the two-cylinder version over 600cc in displacement.
As for power, we would expect something in the 100hp range, which should make for a very potent supertwin class machine…and that is the whole point.
Aimed to be a lightweight / high-performance motorbike, the Aprilia RS 660 is poised to turn the supertwin category on its head, as the segment is dominated by bikes like the Kawasaki Ninja 650.
This makes for a strong asymmetrical attack by the Italian brand on this unassuming category. and we hope that Aprilia keeps the displacement under the 650cc mark, so we can see the RS 660 racing in event’s like the Isle of Man TT’s Lightweight TT class.
Adding in Aprilia’s robust APRC electronics suite would be a masterstroke move from the Italians as well, and that idea seems likely, especially when you consider the fact that those advanced rider aids were originally built for the RSV4 platform, which will hold close relations to the RS 660.
Of course, pricing will be key. The Kawasaki Ninja 650 retails for $7,400 MSRP, which means a near-$10,000 price tag will be a must for the Aprilia RS 660. A four-digit price tag would be our hope.
Making the machine a platform (expect a naked version, and upright sport-touring / adventure-sport type bike as well) will help spread the costs over multiple projects, so there is some hope for that price point.
But also note that Piaggio has gotten aggressive on pricing lately, as seen on the recent Moto Guzzi V85 TT offering, which is blowing the doors off the middleweight ADV segment with its price and features list.
Will the Aprilia RS 660 do the same? Only time will tell, and we have 11 months still to wait…or will its reveal be sooner?
Photos of the Aprilia RS 660 Concept at EICMA: