Italian sportbike stalwarts, Aprilia, have taken the wraps off a class-defining machine in the brand new RS 660.
In much the same way as the RS 250 did at the turn of the century, Aprilia aims for the new 660 to be the leader in the middleweight sportbike category, a step above a junior machine like those in the 400 class and one below a full-on supersport machine.
The RS 660 is powered by an all-new 660cc parallel-twin cylinder, essentially the front half of the RSV4’s V4 bank of cylinders, that pumps out a claimed 100 hp and pushes a dry claimed weight of just 372 lb.
The twin-cylinder motor runs a 270° firing order, ride-by-wire throttle, and five different riding maps that include two dedicated track maps called Challenge and Time Attack. A quick shifter is standard fitment on the RS 660, as is a six-axis IMU that mitigates the renowned APRC (Aprilia Performance Ride Control) electronics suite.
These include traction control, wheelie control, engine brake control, engine maps and quick shifter and even cruise control. You also get cornering ABS as standard on the 660.
The motor is a stressed member of the twin-spar aluminum chassis, with the swingarm pivoting on the motor cases. As such, there’s no linkage for the shock.
The front suspension consists of a Kayaba 41mm fork, with braking provided by Brembo in the twin 320mm discs clamped by M4.32 four-piston radially mounted calipers.
The RS 660 is wrapped in all-new bodywork featuring a triple LED headlight with a Daytime Running Light (DRL) and with aerodynamic winglets. Aprilia is calling it a double fairing, with the objective to be high-speed stability and to direct heat away from the engine and not towards the rider.
Aprilia is trying to strike a balance between road comfort and track prowess with the 660, as one of the bike’s main objectives was to “rediscover the pleasure and joy of everyday riding.”
The RS 660 is the bike the Twins category has been crying out for, and it comes with standard features some bikes even in the premier superbike category don’t have.
However, we don’t yet know how much the 2020 Aprilia RS 660 is or when it will arrive, and this will be a big factor in the model’s success.
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