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Aprilia RST 1000: Aprilia Goes Sport Touring

If you read this site frequently, you probably know that Aprilia does things its own way. Do you think Honda sent us the artist’s drawing of the expected 2001 Gold Wing 1800 published on this site on July 17, 2000? No!

Aprilia, however, has sent us an artist’s rendering of its own, entirely new 2001 model (still seven weeks from its introduction in the flesh). The Aprilia RST 1000 is a sport tourer designed by Aprilia around its existing 60 degree, 1000cc v-twin motor. This motor, in various stages of tune, already resides in several Aprilia models, including three full-sport Milles (the standard Mille, a limited edition Mille and the homologated superbike Mille), and the Falco (Aprilia’s semi-naked sports tourer — with the emphasis on sports).

Now comes the most comfortable variant from Aprilia, the RST 1000, with full and generous fairing protection and optional saddle bags.

Interestingly, this least-sporty of the big-bore v-twins from Aprilia will come with a single-sided swingarm and under-seat exhaust (designed, says Aprilia, to leave the rear of the motorcycle narrow and receptive to the optional saddle bags — which would be mounted on the standard attachment brackets). Indeed, to us, the drawing looks attractive, and more interesting that several other sport tourers currently available.

Aprilia says its v-twin has, once again, been re-tuned “to power characteristics favorable to a motorcycle with a more sport-touring oriented use.” In other words, more torque and power down low, at the expense of peak horsepower. Aprilia says the RST 1000 will be available in three color schemes when the production machine is presented at the Munich show later this Fall, along with a full line of accessories and side cases.

I haven’t hidden my admiration for Aprilia — particularly, for its success in racing against the Japanese giants. The Mille and its offspring are superb by all accounts, and the RST 1000 should be no less impressive. Aprilia has grasped the fact (as Triumph has) that color-coordinated, stylistically-integrated hard saddle bags are now a must in the sport touring category. Once you have had bags like these (remember, I own a Triumph sport tourer), you will miss them on any sport tourer that lacks this feature. For a minor investment in engineering and chassis design, the addition of detachable hard bags is a huge payoff in convenience for the motorcycle consumer. We applaud Aprilia in recognizing this fact.

We will certainly try to get our hands on one of these machines to test as soon as possible.