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After what has been a very difficult year for Aprilia’s effort in MotoGP, the Noale factory is to shake up its racing department.

Current Aprilia Racing boss Romano Albesiano is to be moved sideways to concentrate on the technical side of the racing program, while Massimo Rivola, former Ferrari F1 team boss and head of Ferrari Driver Academy, will take over as CEO of Aprilia Racing.

The move is a response to the difficulties Aprilia has faced since making a full-time return to MotoGP.

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.

Sometimes, I wonder why brands debut their machines at the EICMA, or any trade show for that matter, but especially the one in Milan.

Asphalt & Rubber published close to 50 new bike stories from Milan, and we still have a few more minor announcements to get out the door, so imagine for a minute that you are the marketing manager for a brand which  is trying to stand out in that crowd.

This EICMA marked the first year where we really saw some brands abandoning the rat race of EICMA, choosing to release their new models ahead of the show, in order to generate some buzz, and dominate the headlines for a day or two. 

And, no one executed this strategy better than Aprilia.

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We first broke the news about the Aprilia RS 660 a few months ago, tipping that the 600cc class parallel-twin would debut soon, but even we didn’t know what we were in for until the Noale brand took the covers off this amazing machine at EICMA today.

True to rumor, the bike is basically powered by half of an Tuono 1100 / RSV4 1100 engine, with the forward bank of cylinders making the engine platform. Building from there, Aprilia has begun to play with an active aerodynamic system as well, taking the current trend in the two-wheeled space to the next level.

Called Aprilia Active Aerodynamics (A3), the name pretty much tells the story. As such, the Aprilia RS 660 concept explores using aerodynamic forces in new ways, which sees the machine capable of changing its front aerodynamic profile, as well as how much downforce it creates.

The 2019 EICMA show in Milan is next week, and there we expect to see a bevy of new models, including a few from Aprilia, but those crafty Italian have gotten a jump on things, releasing today the 2019 Aprilia RSV4 Factory.

As we predicted, the new top-spec superbike is getting a displacement increase to 1,078cc on its 65° V4 engine (we wonder why), which gives the new Aprilia RSV4 Factory a class-leading peak power figure of 214hp (159.6 kW), and 90 lbs•ft (122 Nm) of torque.

Matching that substantial gain in power, the 2019 Aprilia RSV4 Factory gets a solid weight reduction, tipping the scales at 439 lbs when fully fueled. Helping cut the weight down is a lithium-ion battery from Bosch and a street legal titanium exhaust from Akrapovic.

For those doing the math, we will save you the trouble: the 2019 Aprilia RSV4 Factory weighs 11 lbs lighter than its predecessor, and makes 16hp more power, and 5 lbs•ft more torque as well. Win, win, win.

It’s that time of the year again, where Christmas comes early to the motorcycle industry, and we get to see all the new motorcycles that will be coming for the next model year, and beyond.

For the 2019 model year, we expect to see new models debuting at the INTERMOT, AIMExpo, and EICMA trade shows, which are in Cologne, Las Vegas, and Milan.

With things kicking off in Germany next week, we thought we would put together a guide for all the new motorcycles that we expect to see in the coming weeks. There are a bevy of new models that we know will be released at these three trade shows, and there are more than a few rumors of new bikes as well, which may surprise us.

Without wasting anymore time, let’s get down to it. We have broken down the new models and rumors by each manufacturer. Enjoy!

One of the best streetfighters that money can buy is set to get even better for next year, as the Aprilia Tuono V4 1100 Factory is tipped to get semi-active suspension from Öhlins for 2019. 

The announcement is expected to occur at the INTERMOT show next week in Germany, according to the sleuths at GPone.

If true, the move is a strong update from Aprilia, as it helps the Italian brand keep the Tuono V4 1100  at the pointy end of the spectrum, especially from its closest competitor, the KTM 1290 Super Duke R.

As the Silly Season for riders is almost complete, the test rider market is starting to take shape. The first official announcement came today, as Aprilia announced that Bradley Smith will be taking on a role as test rider for the MotoGP project for the Italian factory.

Smith had told the media yesterday that he felt like he still had work left to do in the MotoGP paddock. “At the end of the day I feel like I have a lot to offer,” Smith said. “Also I’m not done. When you’re not done, the motivation is high.”

“I’ve said before I want to be back inside this paddock full-time in 2020. The motivation is high to help the whole project and ride well myself and put myself in the shop window. As long as that’s managed in the right way in the team structure, it’s certainly not a negative thing to be [a test rider].”

“Having wildcards available is always a good incentive for the rider and also a good incentive for the project. Everyone pushes on and pushes forward.” 

Smith had also been in the running for the job of test rider inside Yamaha’s new European test team, but that option disappeared during the British GP.

“In Silverstone the final nail in the coffin came from Lin Jarvis when he said there would be no British rider as a test rider,” Smith said. With Smith out of contention there, that means that Jonas Folger is almost certain to take the role with Yamaha as test rider.

Suzuki will have Sylvain Guintoli working as a test rider for them next year, while Michele Pirro will continue at Ducati. Mika Kallio will return with KTM, though the Austrian factory is also trying to persuade Dani Pedrosa to take on a role alongside Kallio.

Stefan Bradl is likely to return with HRC as test rider. At Ducati, Casey Stoner is leaving the Italian factory at the end of the season, though there is no sign of whether he wishes to continue as a test rider.

Source: Aprilia; Photo: © 2018 Sebas Romero / KTM – All Rights Reserved

Back in April, Kevin Dunworth of Loaded Gun Customs ran into Miguel Galluzzi at the Handbuilt Show in Austin and asked him to come to Los Angeles to serve as a judge for the inaugural Golden Bolt Motorcycle Show.

For those of you who don’t know who Miguel Galluzzi is, let me clue you in. He is the designer of the iconic Ducati Monster, the Moto Guzzi California 1400, and the Aprilia Dorsoduro, just to name a few.

Additionally, he is currently running Piaggio’s Advanced Design Center in Pasadena, California. Not only that, he is a lifelong motorcyclist and a heck of a nice guy.

I had a chance to sit down with Galluzzi for about 15 minutes during the Golden Bolt to talk about motorcycles and the industry in general. His insights were illuminating.

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Episode 83 of the Two Enthusiasts Podcast is out, and in it we talk mostly about Harley-Davidson’s big fat new bike road map announcement.

Before we get to that though, we talk some news: Triumph North America losing its COO, MV Agusta’s new Moto2 race bike, Aprilia’s rumored parallel-twin sport bike, and emission concerns in Europe & Japan, as well as California.

The conversation then turns to news from World Ducati Week 2018, as well as a recap from the Suzuka 8-Hours endurance race in Japan.

From there, we talk about Harley-Davidson – its ADV bike, its streetfighter, its custom model, and its electric lineup. We also talk about the company’s business plan going forward, and what we see in Harley-Davidson’s future.

There is a lot of ground to cover in this show, but thankfully we had plenty of caffeine to help us through it. Enjoy!

You can listen to the show via the embedded SoundCloud player, after the jump, or you can find the show on iTunes (please leave a review) or this RSS feed. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter as well. 

We hope you will join the conversation, and leave us some audio comments at our new email address: twoenthusiasts@gmail.com.

Do you want further proof that the supersport segment isn’t dead? I mean, besides the fact that both Suzuki and Kawasaki have plans to released new 600cc sport bikes later this year, for 2019?

Our Bothan spies have been hard at work in Noale, and they bring us word of a project brewing at Aprilia: a two-cylinder supersport model, that should debut for the 2020 model year.

The concept for this new model is pretty simple: take the class-leading Aprilia RSV4 superbike (which is also set for an update in 2019), lop off the rear cylinders, thus making it a parallel-twin engine. Boom goes the dynamite.