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Beautiful Aprilia RS 660 Takes Lightweight Twin Performance to New Levels

Aprilia debuted its first lightweight twin in the form of the RS 660. Built around a 660cc parallel twin that delivers a claimed 100 horsepower, Aprilia is moving the bar for performance in this engine category. That parallel twin is essentially a re-worked single bank of the V4 found in other Aprilia larger-displacement models.

Combined with this relatively huge engine performance is a claimed weight of just 372 pounds. Here is the full press release from Aprilia, as well as some photos.

INTRODUCING A NEW ERA FOR APRILIA: THE 660 TECHNICAL BASE GIVES WAY TO A NEW GENERATION OF BIKES

APRILIA RS 660 MAKES ITS DÉBUT, THE NEW SPORTS CONCEPT CREATED USING RACING TECHNOLOGY FOR ENJOYMENT ON THE ROAD

AN EXCEPTIONAL CHASSIS, REDUCED WEIGHT, THE NEW 100 HP TWIN, ELECTRONICS DERIVED FROM THE UNBEATABLE V4, PREMIUM TECHNICAL CONTENT. RS 660 REPRESENTS THE ESSENCE OF THE APRILIA BRAND: THE PERFECT COMBINATION OF INNOVATION AND DESIGN

EICMA 2019 marks the start of a new era for Aprilia.

Created around a totally new technical base, defined by the 660 parallel twin, comes a new generation of lightweight, high-performance bikes that are sophisticated in design. A return to the mid-sized engine, supported by the electronics and technology of the Aprilia Racing department, to rediscover the pleasure and joy of everyday riding.

The first born in this brand-new generation of Aprilia bikes is RS 660.

The history of Aprilia is inextricably linked to the RS initials, which have always characterised the sportiest of Noale bikes. A tradition of success, the result of bikes that are high-performance, innovative and superb to ride, the very image of an Italian sportbike.

Aprilia RS 660 is a response to the needs of new generations of motorcyclists, who seek fun, fulfilling, easy to ride bikes that can excite on the road just as they can during the occasional track outing. The bike gives new meaning to the sports concept, aiming for an excellent weight/power ratio able to generate excitement that is accessible to all.

For the first time in this category, a new bike offers a premium design and technical content deriving from Aprilia’s experience in top level competition at the service of enjoyment on the road combined with the brilliant performance of the 660 cc twin, capable of delivering 100 HP. The perfect formula for ultimate enjoyment is completed with a dry weight reduced to just 169 kg, numbers that well represent the character of this latest-generation Aprilia.

RS 660 is born to support young Aprilia customers on their individual motorcycle growth path: from the entry-level bikes, where Aprilia is a leader with the widest 125 range, right up to the V4 family comprising the Tuono and RSV4, considered definitive bikes, a point of arrival to which expert riders aspire. RS 660 rediscovers the pleasure and daily enjoyment of a bike with fairings, exploiting the dynamic qualities of a refined, fast and lightweight chassis, combined with the optimum performance of the engine and complete package of APRC active electronic controls, derived from RSV4 racing technology. This is the new concept of Aprilia sports versatility: a stand-out bike whatever the occasion, whether it is daily riding or something sportier, always with the same enthusiasm and enjoyment.

Design: Aprilia pride and passion 

Just one look is enough to realise that the Aprilia RS 660 also stands out for its style, dictating the shapes of future Aprilia sportbikes. The design is innovative, sophisticated, authentically sporty. It immediately transmits that Aprilia passion and skill for creating bikes that leave a mark, like the inimitable RSV4 that, right from its birth in 2009, rewrote the rules in the superbike segment. The Aprilia Centro Stile set itself the goal of creating dynamic, modern shapes with a contained surface area so as not to hide the fabulous frame, all without taking the concept to an extreme, in order to offer both rider and passenger significant comfort on board.

The main physical traits of the fairing speak the language typical of Aprilia V4 bikes and include a triple front LED light assembly, complete with perimeter DRL lights positioned on the profile of the two main headlamps, to ensure the RS 660 is highly visible even in the dark. The indicators are integrated into the two DRL profiles, making for an even more compact front section. The lighting system also incorporates details designed to make riding even safer: thanks to the presence of a twilight sensor, the low beam lights are activated automatically, while the self-cancelling indicators flash in case of emergency braking. Lastly, thanks to the “cornering lights” function, a pair of additional lights in the setting illuminate the entire turn when riding.

The idea to create a double fairing with integrated aerodynamic appendage function is particularly innovative, a choice that confirms the Aprilia commitment to seeking increasingly effective aerodynamic solutions, a window onto the future of sportbike shapes and one that was first opened with the RSV4. Inspiration clearly comes from the racing world: one of its functions is to optimise stability at high speeds, but it has also been designed to increase rider comfort, adequately protecting against air pressure and deviating hot air flow extracted by the engine. In line with the philosophy of day to day sportiness, the riding position is comfortable, comprising a spacious seat located on the tapered tail fairing (accessories also include a single-seat tail fairing) which incorporates the passenger seat portion, with correctly raised footpegs and a pair of semi-handlebars mounted above the upper steering plate. This results in a seat-handlebar-footpeg triangulation that is not overly front-loaded, increasing road riding enjoyment.

The Aprilia chassis, a benchmark for efficiency

Aprilia is so renowned for its ability to develop exceptional chassis that “it’s an Aprilia” has become a well-used phrase among motorcyclists, taken to mean a guarantee of construction quality, feeling and dynamic riding efficiency. Remaining faithful to this happy tradition, the RS 660 flaunts a wonderful new lightweight structure comprising the frame and swingarm, both in aluminium, with characteristics that are truly unique for the category. Aprilia does not just construct excellent frames, but also has a clear understanding of the ideal percentages and weight distribution required to maximise the qualities of the chassis and, hence, the riding experience.

The frame exploits the engine as a load-bearing element, which contributes to a structure that is compact, lightweight and rigid. For the same reason, the asymmetrically-shaped swingarm is pivoted on the engine, a technical choice typical of Aprilia RS bikes. The particular mounting of the adjustable shock allows for excellent progression even without linkage, for an important weight saving. In designing the frame, Aprilia engineers paid particular attention to the steering headstock area, in order to guarantee the necessary stability on the road, as well as during track usage, while keeping the turning circle to a minimum to facilitate daily riding. The exceptional chassis is completed with an adjustable upside-down Kayaba fork with 41 mm stanchions and a braking system comprising, at the front end, a pair of 320 mm steel discs, a pair of radial callipers and a radial cylinder, all by Brembo. One of the main aims of the project is lightness that, combined with engine performance, allows for new levels of riding enjoyment and style.

The significant performance of the new Aprilia 100 HP twin

A new era begins for Aprilia with the introduction of a new engine type, christened by the RS 660 and that will equip a complete range of new bikes. The 660 cc forward-facing parallel twin is a latest-generation unit that is Euro5 homologated and very compact. It derives from the front bank of the 1100 cc V4, from which it takes its concepts and measurements. This configuration is chosen 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. The mechanics are also very versatile, adapting well to different types of bike. The 100 HP delivered by this twin with DOHC and 270 degree crankpins (record power for a forward-facing twin of this size) promises great enjoyment, creating an exciting weight/power ratio, among the very best. Equally important when it comes to road-riding enjoyment is a high torque value, and the new Aprilia engine excels here too, ensuring a rapid, lively response at any speed. The exhaust system includes a single tailpipe with asymmetric double exit positioned below the engine and contributes to the centralisation of masses, to the benefit of handling. The full delivery, combined with a swift, lightweight chassis, gives RS 660 a dynamic character that is appreciated during daily use and invaluable during dynamic riding. Optimum engine function is guaranteed by full electronics, directly adapted from those of the Aprilia V4 and which include multimap Ride-by-Wire electronic acceleration for precise throttle management without low speed stuttering, while also optimising fuel consumption.

Top class electronics: performance and safety

Another unique Aprilia RS 660 characteristic lies in its electronic systems, designed to ensure performance and safety, the most complete range of equipment currently available in the category, exceeding even that of certain top-of-line superbikes. Aprilia is a pioneer in the electronics field (the first to introduce Ride-by-Wire throttle control in 2007) and currently boasts the complete package of APRC electronic controls, developed in top level competition, and considered by customers and critics to be among the most precise and sensitive available on the market. RS 660 is equipped with an advanced six-axis inertial platform that, thanks to the accelerometers and gyroscopes it contains, is able to recognise the condition of the bike with respect to the road; it records and processes the inputs that result from riding and sends the data to a control unit that intervenes to optimise the control parameters. The APRC of RS 660 is developed to support performance on track as well as ensure safe, engaging riding on the road.

Aprilia RS 660 APRC includes:

  • ATC: Aprilia Traction Control,adjustable traction controlwith precise, high-performance intervention logic.
  • AWC: Aprilia Wheelie Control,the adjustable wheelie control system.
  • ACC: Aprilia Cruise Control. This is very convenient on longer trips because it lets you maintain a set speed without touching the throttle.
  • AQS: Aprilia Quick Shift, the electronic gearbox that allows for very rapid shifting without closing the throttle or using the clutch. It is also equipped with the downshift function, to allow for clutchless downshifting.
  • AEB: Aprilia Engine Brake, the system to control engine braking when closing the throttle.
  • AEM: Aprilia Engine Map, the various mappings change the character and method of engine power delivery. 

Aprilia RS 660 adopts advanced multimap Cornering ABS, to guarantee maximum safety on the road, without sacrificing its sports performance. With its remarkably contained weight and dimensions, the system is able to optimise braking and ABS intervention through the corners, thanks to a specific algorithm that constantly monitors various parameters such as lateral acceleration, the pressure applied to the front brake lever, and the lean, pitch and yaw angle, modulating the braking action in order to better guarantee the ratio between deceleration and stability.

Aprilia has developed five Riding Modes that aim to not only maximise the riding experience across a range of very different conditions, but also simplify life on board. The rider need only select the Riding Mode that best interprets their riding needs to obtain the best possible setting in terms of traction control, wheelie control, engine brake, ABS and other parameters.

There are three Riding Modes for road use: Commute, the most suitable for daily riding, Dynamic, ideal for sports riding on the road, and Individual, which allows for full personalisation of the electronic controls. Two additional Riding Modes are designed for track use: Challenge, suitable for track sessions where a rider exploits the full potential of RS 660 and Time Attack, a logic that allows more expert riders to fully personalise electronic set-up.

Management of the electronic settings is facilitated with the introduction of new electric handlebar controls, which make for quicker navigation and excellent ergonomics.

The colour TFT digital instrument cluster boasts exceptional display options. The two screens available for selection, Road or Track (both with automatic night or day backlighting, thanks to the presence of a twilight sensor), correspond with two represented indices. Aprilia MIA, the new Aprilia multimedia platform that allows a smartphone to be connected to the bike, further extending instrument cluster functions, is available as an optional. The ApriliaMIA system offers a connection protocol that reduces smartphone battery consumption to a minimum, and includes the infotainment system, introduced for the first time by Aprilia on the Tuono V4, for the management of voice commands and ingoing/outgoing calls. It also introduces a navigation function, which allows the rider to view directions directly on the instrument cluster having set a journey destination on the smartphone.

Versions and coloursAprilia RS 660 is presented in two graphic versions, the first clearly dominated by colours that represent the history and sports heritage of Aprilia. The pairing of purple and red is a tribute to the RS 250 in its 1994 Reggiani Replica version, the last real sportbike of the two-stroke era, still beloved by motorcyclists and highly sought after by collectors.  The second graphic version stands out for its total black look, also very much a part of Aprilia sports history, and on which the numerous bright red details make a real impact.


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54 Comments

  1. PATRICKD says:

    Why-oh-why did they make it 660 cc instead of 650? Then it would be eligible for super twins racing.
    Given this bike and the Yamaha twin (698cc?), perhaps they need to allow another 50cc in that class to accommodate additional manufacturers.
    I believe that big bore pistons are available for the Kawasaki and Suzuki options…… ahem.

  2. Brian says:

    Should this be called the Aprilia RS 660 EXUP? Sounds quite similar with its power valve.

  3. EZMark says:

    Who’s going to drop that engine in an AFT flat tracker?

  4. Rhinestone Kawboy says:

    Great looking bike! Best integrated exhaust and muffler I ever seen. Aprilia does such a great job in designing their bikes, however the dealers are just too darn far away from me to get that much interested.

  5. ill_mostro says:

    Wow, beautiful machine!

  6. TP says:

    There’s a lot to like here. I just wish the Italians would work on expanding their dealer network.

  7. Bob says:

    I’d love to see this engine in a twin midsize Capo-nord.

  8. Bubba Blue says:

    Great looking, but unless you are racing on a track something like the BMW F900 or Kawasaki 650 might be more satisfying on the street.

  9. SharkGuitar says:

    BELLISSIMO!!!
    STUNNING!!!
    If I was in the market for a middleweight sport bike, I’d be running to an Aprilia dealer!

    • mickey says:

      I ran to an Apilia dealer once, took me 3 1/2 hours in the car at 65 mph. Rarer than hen’s teeth around here. Aparently the only good Apilia dealer is in Texas, that AF place, since it’s the only one anybody ever mentions.

  10. Mick says:

    I wonder if Ducati will do something similar. They have a powerful V4. They had a Supermono. Parallel twins are all the rage now.

  11. todd says:

    Well, I just bought a leftover Duke 690. If only I knew this was coming out…

    • Evan says:

      I also had a similar predicament. I bought a left over S1000R in July. I knew a ton of awesome new bikes were in the hopper, I just knew it… but if I would have waited I wouldn’t have spent the better part of the summer riding the amazing curvy roads through the Redwoods and the PCH.

      The Duke 690 is an awesome little point and squirt bike.

    • Ralph W. says:

      IMO you didn’t make a mistake, todd. This Aprilia is just another sports bike. The Duke 690 is one of the best hooligan bikes available, which means it is my kind of bike. If you push it hard you may learn to do things you have never done. Have you learnt to ‘back it in’ yet? The Duke 690 is the ideal bike to learn on. I don’t know what level of electronic interference your bike has and if you can switch it off, but that could make a difference. The secret to getting the most from your Duke – get aggressive!

      • todd says:

        I can switch off the rear ABS on the Duke. I have done some rear steering on other bikes in the past. It just felt like I was scrubbing off too much speed for my liking. I’d rather keep corner speed up and not spend a bunch of time on the brakes. Maybe if I get better at it I would be faster but for now it’s just an antic that slows me down.

  12. Stuki Moi says:

    Dayumm, that one came out of left field!

    This looks flat out amazing! Base specs almost like a CBR600 (100+-HP, 410+- pounds ready to ride..) Just with near every modern sport bike riding aid included (aside form, it seems, slide control…). As well as a, presumably, more street, and police, friendly powerband.

    I bet Aprilia isn’t planning on giving them away. But at the same time, Aprilia has never charged the same “Made in Italy Tax”, as that other Italian make. The RSV is priced right in there with BMW and the Japanese.

    More concerning is the “younger riders” reference. Which seems to give the impression they feel the RSV, in comparison, has ergonomics more appropriate for “older riders…” That’s a scary thought for those of us who are no longer in the “younger riders” camp…

    I’m not reflexively a big fan of linkage less rear ends, either. But from what I gather, it is current practice for IOM racers to take most of the progressiveness out of their bike’s linkage, as doing so results in ultimately better suspension action for riding truly fast over truly bumpy sections; so I’d be willing to give it a shot on a short, sporty bike; if the rest of the bike is, as it seems this is, enticing enough. I am genuinely concerned my not so “younger riders” knees will veto it, though 🙂

  13. hh says:

    100HP !!! I get where all the tech allows the bike to assist for “safety” so you can ride at optimal speed even when you are maybe not the optimal rider and still getting passed by better riders and less tech bikes with more grunt.. 100HP does not need better tech, just better riders..

    • DP says:

      Don’t worry, you will not get 100HP out of it with your 91 octane rated gasoline. This output is meant in Euro-mode with use of gasoline 100 octane at minimum.

  14. Neal says:

    Ok that’s awesome. Hope it’s priced close to the ZX6R.

  15. Dave says:

    This looks to be a fantastic bike. If there’s a downside, it probably will kill off the light twins class that’s been doing pretty well in amateur racing.

    • Stuki Moi says:

      Or, one can hope, revive middlewaight twin racing, by enticing Yamaha to do an R7, Kawi a ZX7, and Suzuki a TL7, all with twins in the 650 to 700 range. Perhaps allow for a slight displacement handicap for longitudinal engines, and we could have a class including Beemer (and RE?) boxers, and Guzzis, as well….

      • Dave says:

        Perhaps, but then in terms of acquisition cost and machine sophistication, that’s pretty much just 600 Super Sport, but with two cylinder engines instead of 4.

        Having never raced, I don’t know if 600ss is much more expensive to prep & run than light twin so I can only speculate why this twins class is so popular.

        • Stuki Moi says:

          Man…. don’t be a pooper!

          I just want to see a field including (suitably displacement advantaged) traditional longitudinal shafties from BMW and Guzzi, along with more modern layouts….

          • Dave says:

            While I’m hopeful, we’ve seen this movie before. 600cc supersport bikes used to be performance bargains. Now they’re premium super sport bikes costing over $12k because 600ss became an important racing class to the manufacturers and AMA & FIM didn’t install rules to prevent an arms race.

  16. falcodoug says:

    i need this.

  17. goodlyRun says:

    Where are the front blinkers?

    • ApriliaRST says:

      Manufacturers often leave items off for glamor shots. Car antennas were usually not on cars shot for the sales brochure as have H-D taillights.

    • Nick says:

      Likely within the headlamp assembly, maybe as an alternative part of the daylight running lights? Quite a common arrangement on modern cars.

    • jfpaso says:

      From the article: “triple front LED light assembly, complete with perimeter DRL lights positioned on the profile of the two main headlamps, to ensure the RS 660 is highly visible even in the dark. The indicators are integrated into the two DRL profiles, making for an even more compact front section.”

      • TimC says:

        Considering how important it is for turn signals to stand out on a bike, this is concerning.

        (For that matter, I think the kits that remove and minimize turn signals to be stupid – I’ve yet to see one that’s anywhere near as visible as stock normal ones.)

        • JohnK says:

          If you look at the photo of the 3/4 view from front left, you can see them neatly integrated and well spaced along the edge of the fairing.

  18. Kermit says:

    I like it👍

  19. FNFAL says:

    Very pretty!

  20. Anonymous says:

    WOW!!! VERY NICE LOOKING BIKE.

    Now IF ONLY they could locate a dealer a bit closer( I live 45 miles NE of Atlanta and CLOSEST dealer is 3+hrs away)

    AND get their parts supply channel fixed (typically takes WEEKS to get replacement parts) I would SERIOUSLY consider the brand.

    Once again though NICE BIKE.

    • Scott Summers says:

      Aprilia’s don’t brake down and you can get just about any part you need from AF1 Racing in Texas. So no excesses go buy one.

      • Provologna says:

        Aprilia’s 450/550 V-twin was in fact a time bomb with a pretty short fuse when it left the factory. Aprilia replaced blown motors with unchanged motors with the same design flaw. Nice. Not.

        So um, no, your first statement is flawed me thinks. Maybe your spelling of “brake” was a Freudian slip.

        • TimC says:

          Not to mention, the crux of the biscuit, is the apostrophe (‘).

        • Ralph W. says:

          The 450/550 V-twins were not typical of Aprilia and are no indication of the quality of the brand. They were highly stressed, high performance engines (for their displacement) and not the type of bike you would buy if you want durability – like all modern high performance dirt bike engines.

      • TRY sourcing bodywork from a minor tip over. Typically 6-8 weeks wait-or LONGER. I know this firsthand from a friend who owns a Tuono.

        When the valves need adjusting it requires specialized tools that the non dealer mechanics are not willing to spend the money on ($1800+). That means a trip to the nearest dealer–at 3+ hrs away.

        Logistics and common sense say PASS.

  21. mickey says:

    They must be listening. 100 HP and 375 pounds in a mid displacement machine? Just what MD readers have been crying for