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Aprilia RS 660 Makes “California Debut” – Will the Pretty “Budget” Aprilia Sell?

Roughly two years after its debut in concept form, the production Aprilia RS 660 is now available for online pre-order in Europe, and made its “California debut” under Pikes Peak champ Rennie Scaysbrook. U.S. availability and pricing has yet to be announced.

The RS 660 is a beautiful and interesting bike that is receiving rave reviews at the European press launch. Slightly more upright/comfortable than a hardcore sport bike, the ergonomics are a particularly big hit and sound somewhat like a Honda 600 from a couple of decades ago.

The 659cc parallel twin puts out a claimed 100 horsepower and 49 foot/pounds of torque. Although the bike has traction control, wheelie control, adjustable engine braking and cruise control, the stock suspension is not fully adjustable, and is more “budget” than found on most superbikes, for instance. With a claimed dry weight of just over 400 pounds, the RS 660 is reasonably light and is stopped by radial-mount Brembos.

Pricing in Europe is just over €11,000, so we expect U.S. pricing more than your typical “budget bike”. The European pricing converts to something close to $13,000 U.S. Aprilia has a web page set up dedicated to the RS 660.

Sales of nakeds and adventure bikes have dramatically cut into sport bike sales, particularly in the U.S. The RS 660 sounds like a fine motorcycle, but we aren’t quite sure if the market is strong for it here. What are your thoughts?

51 Comments

  1. Tommy D says:

    I’m surprised to be #6 on the deposit list at my distant/local dealer. The pricing was announced yesterday. The single color APEX BLACK and ACID GOLD have an MSRP of $11,299 and the replica paint LAVA RED I was told will cost a few hundred more. I have a deposit on a black one so I didn’t catch the pricing.

    • Jose says:

      Hope you enjoy it. They will sell a shitload of 660s at that price. If you guys don’t live near an Aprilia dealer maybe it’s time to move out of the sticks.

  2. PatrickD says:

    For someone who has ‘traded-down’ to an SV650, which I use for trackdays and local ride-outs, I think the capacity and output of this bike are spot on. I’ve had to upgrade the suspension and brakes on the SV, and now it’s plenty capable of running in the medium group of a trackday and is fast enough on the road. How often do people actually ride at 100+mph on the road?

    600cc sportsbikes are so peaky that they have made themselves extinct on a day-to-day basis. They’re like the old 400cc Japanese bikes of the early 1990s.For example, peak torque is at 10,500rpm for the latest R6!!!

    That’s where a bike like this will hit the spot. High-level running gear, a strong real-world output and modern electronic equipment. I think it’s a great bit of targeting by Aprilia.

    • Jeremy says:

      I personally think the ZX6R is a very streetable bike, though perhaps it gives up a little in the ergos department vs this little Aprilia.

  3. Gary says:

    “Will the Aprilia sell?” Not to me. My nearest dealer is 100 miles away, and it is far too single-purpose for my taste.

  4. TP says:

    I like it and will look at it for my next bike. It looks great, is the right size, and 100 hp out of a torquey by nature twin sounds perfect

    • todd says:

      Interesting perception. However, for a given displacement, a triple or four cylinder engine will produce more torque than a twin and even more than a single. Take for instance the Ninja ZX6R vs the Ninja ER-6. The four cylinder Ninja makes 52.1 lb•ft against the 47 lb•ft of the 13cc larger twin. Torque is about cylinder efficiency and a small cylinder will always flow more efficiently, fill more quickly, and burn more completely than a large cylinder.
      The KLR650 single only manages 33.4 lb•ft…

      • fred says:

        “Will produce more torque” is a strong statement. There are far too many factors to cover in a short comment. Tuning, materials, design, etc. For example, a 2016 Suzuki GSX 1250 (4 cyl) puts out 79.7 lb/ft of torque, while a 2014 Ducati Panigale 1199 (Twin) puts out 97.4-98.8 lb/ft.

        Blanket statements are often incorrect.

      • Dave says:

        More peak torque and ho but concentrated at the top of a stratospheric rev range. In my experience the twins are far more streetable and more efficient for being tuned to run best in more realistic rev ranges.

        • fred says:

          Perhaps you should look at the dyno charts. This is just one example, but the Panigale is makeing more that the Bandit’s peak torque from 3750 to redline.

          The point that you make about tuning is correct. It is tuning, more than the number of cylinders, that affects the torque curve.

          • Dave says:

            That’s an interesting comparison. The dyno chart I found shows that the Panigale’s engine does make about 76lb/ft @ 3700 rpm. It interestingly drops immediately to just above 50lb/ft, then gradually climbs, eventually reaching 76-ish again @ 7,500 rpm, on its way to its torque peak. Since the low rpm torque is an anomaly I think my statement stands.

            Nevermind you’re comparing a budget built 1980’s engine to the highest tech v-twin engine Ducati knows how to make..

  5. Stephane says:

    Weight is supposed to be lower than 400 pounds. Dry weight is 169kg so it translate to 372lb and ready to go is in fact 403 lbs.

    The suspensions, from Kayaba, are fully ajustable. They are not from the top shelf, but still good for that class of bike. So yes, the suspension is adjustable

    • Dirck Edge says:

      The rear shock has no linkage, and it lacks compression damping adjustment. Like most budget bikes, it has spring preload and rebound damping adjustment. We have read that the fork is “fully adjustable”, but we need to confirm it has compression damping adjustment … we have seen conflicting specs.

      • Jon says:

        You missed the memo – preload and rebound adjustment is all that is required for the ‘fully adjustable’ moniker now. This holds true until October 2021, when adjustable preload will be the requirement. The following October, a suspension that moves will meet all requirements.

  6. Jeremy says:

    Has the market, here in the US or anywhere else, been clamoring for a sport bike that isn’t particularly lighter, faster, or more capable than what is currently out there? Are more streetable ergonomics all that is required for something like this to suddenly become desirable?

    It’s a pretty bike. I’ll give it that.

  7. Gary in NJ says:

    I like it. It will be interesting to see how they price it in the US. I agree with others, I’d really like to see Tuono version. I’ve given up on all of the plastics.

  8. Eddie Kowalewski says:

    She’s beautiful . Just wait she will steal your heart.

  9. Charlie Mullendore says:

    They may sell better than you think – two dealers in my area already have about a dozen deposits each.

  10. mickey says:

    If you look at the rider in the 3rd pic down, he still looks pretty dependent on his wrists to hold himself up, particularly since his feet are so far back and up. Can’t use your core that way.

    Far as I know no Aprilia dealers within hundreds of miles of me. Never seen an Aprilia on the road. Starting to see more KTM’s though.

    • Dave says:

      I’m betting that rider is tiny and they appear to be contacting the foot pegs with their toes of you zoom in on the photo.

      • OldBiker says:

        The average male in the US is 5’9” tall and weighs 197 lbs. The rider in the picture looks considerably smaller than that. Maybe sport bikes have just become too small? I wonder how sport bikes sell in countries like the Netherlands where the average male is 6’0”?

      • SeTh says:

        His entire arm length is about that of his helmet.

  11. austin zzr 1200 says:

    How is this bike better (in any way) than a Ducati Supersport?

    • Grover says:

      I think the Ducati Supersport is a cleaner design with better comfort.

    • Grover says:

      I think the Ducati Supersport is a cleaner, more attractive design. No contest, I would choose the Ducati.

    • Selecter says:

      It should (allegedly) be significantly lighter and more nimble than the Supersport.

      As for livability, price, reliability, etc… we’ll just have to wait and see.

      Going by the photos and specs, which is about all we have right now, I don’t know how I’d ever choose the Supersport instead. And I’m a bit of a Supersport fan – I think it’s probably Ducati’s best overall bike next to the MTS. But for my bucks, the Supersport doesn’t fit as a touring bike (got my Tenere for that), so an “everyday livable sportbike” slots in pretty well. Which I can’t help but think the RS 660 will be better. But again, time will tell.

    • ScotocS says:

      403 pounds vs. 463 pounds would be one area.

  12. Edpix says:

    I like the the Aprilia RS 660 but I don’t think it will sell well in the US.
    I think it should have passenger accommodations and a solo seat option or seat cowl.
    I realize Aprilia started with 1/2 V4 engine concept but I think this bike would have been better with either more displacement and power or less weight to be competitive with the KTM 890 and Triumph Street Triple 765. I think its biggest strengths are its styling, relaxed ergonomics and full fairing coverage, yes the electronics package is impressive but I agree that I’d rather have higher spec adjustable suspension if I had to choose between the two.
    This light middleweight class is growing and there are plenty of alternatives on either side of it that are better value or higher performance, the more powerful KTM 890 and Street Triple RS are around the same weight and price so that’s gonna make the Aprilia a challenging sell especially considering a much smaller dealer network. All the Japanese 650’s are good bikes albeit less powerful and a little heavier but also significantly less expensive and more versatile. I hope they are successful with it and continue to evolve the the bike(s) around the lightweight twin concept.

  13. Reginald Van Blunt says:

    It is nice to see parallel twins still performing above expectations for power, size, and weight balance, in design. Fooey to inline 4s. Wish the crank timing was mentioned.
    IMHO.

  14. Anonymous says:

    It’s going to sink, my opinion. It should have been a 3 or 4 cylinder and more street oriented without the afterthought turn signal setup. Those bikes are a dime a dozen right now and they sit on the showrooms for years. Too many options for twins and parallel twins all sound the same.

    • ScotocS says:

      “parallel twins all sound the same”

      Actually I would say that depends on whether they use a 180 degree crank (like the Kawasaki) or a 270 degree crank (like the MT-07 and this Aprilia).

  15. todd says:

    If this was available when I bought my 690 Duke, it might have won my money.

  16. HS1... says:

    Miguel Galluzzi is quite simply the greatest living designer of motorcycles. I sincerely thank him for his body of work. This bike isn’t the particular cup of tea that I would buy, but it is absolutely an outstanding design.

  17. MCGMB says:

    This bike will NOT cost $13k in the US, even pre-discount. That number is pure speculation – markets determine the prices, not exchange rates. There’s no way it’d sell for $13k here, and Aprilia knows this.

    It looks like a wonderful bike and think many will be surprised at it’s affordability.

    • HS1... says:

      Both Aprilia and Moto Guzzi are priced very well in the USA. Piaggio has a very sparse network of dealers here, but they usually have very fair MSRP’s relative to other European bikes with similar levels of kit. A low volume Italian bike should cost a bit more than one mass produced in Asia.

    • Mick says:

      I lived in Europe for five years before moving to New England about three years ago. In my time there I noticed that no matter the exchange rate, the Euro and the Dollar had roughly the same buying power in their home markets.

      So, yeah. If this bike is 11K there. It will probably be about 11K here, and 11K pounds in UK for that matter.

      Global money is weird.

      Oddly enough. I have an Aprilia and a Moto Guzzi dealer quite close by. Does that make me a hen’s tooth?

    • tomg says:

      I agree with you. Aprilia knows the bike will not sell in the US for anything close to $13k. Pricing needs to be around $10k for it to sell here. I like it. I would be interested in it myself but the closest dealer to me is 150 miles away. That is pretty much a deal breaker for me. I do like it. I just wish the dealer network was better. Aprilia has to figure out a way to have more dealers in the US.

  18. John says:

    Perception, rightly or wrongly, is such a big part of sales. There are no objective reviews of this, yet, so are most people looking at this as a baby RSV? The RSV is a niche bike for a smaller market. I don’t think riders who don’t want an RSV will gravitate to a baby RSV. Then there is the price/performance ratio. If it doesn’t blow the competition away with its handling and engine performance all that’s left is its looks. It’s a stunner, but I don’t think that’s enough.

  19. fred says:

    Other that the (probably) steep price, this is THE bike that I would be most interested in getting. It might not be track-focused enough for the racers and racer wannabees, powerful enough for the LSR wannabees, or laid-back enough for overweight cruiser riders, but a combination of decent power, great handling, great brakes, and terrific ergos puts it right in my crosshairs. I’d prefer better passenger/luggage accommodations, but I seldom ride 2-up these days.

    IMHO, it looks great in 2 of the 3 color combos. The Acid Gold/Puke Green just makes me feel sick, however. I think I’d go with the black.

  20. Neal says:

    It’s a very pretty Ninja 650 that has been going to the gym. It’s not worth 2x the price of the Ninja.

  21. FreddyJ says:

    Beautiful bike, but $13k is a lot to ask for a middleweight without adjustable suspension. I could think of several sporty 800cc+ options for less $$.

  22. Stuki Moi says:

    My kind of bike!

    Except Aprilias, with their excessively high and rearset pegs, and long reach to to excessively wide bars, makes me feel like I’m riding around crucified with my heels nailed to my rear… BMW also does the crucified thing, but at least tend to have more legroom.

    For reference: In my book, the ZX14R is ergonomic perfection. Or the VFR, for more supersport appropriate-sized applications. Forward lean, but feet sufficiently forward to balance out the weight on the wrists, not way back as if on a dedicated race bike designed solely for either limit braking or full throttle acceleration.

  23. motomike says:

    As Bob Seger crooned,”beautiful loser”. I hope it succeeds but the reality is this segment is super narrow for this baby Priller to sell here.

  24. motorhead says:

    This quote is telling: “Sales of nakeds and adventure bikes have dramatically cut into sport bike sales, particularly in the U.S.” Another way to phrase that: “The average age of the U.S. motorcycle buyer is much older now, so uncomfortable sport bikes aren’t selling so well.” This bike could therefore be a rare sight on the U.S. highways.

  25. Shawn says:

    Beautiful, but I would trade the fancy electronic aids for better suspension. Most riders do not need, nor will they use anything beyond ABS and maybe traction control, unless they do a track day. But good suspension is a daily issue.

    • Glenn says:

      This exactly. Just offer mid-high end, fully adjustable suspension, and analog, and I’m interested. I don’t ride close enough to the limit anymore to require/desire any electronic aids on a 100hp motorcycle.

    • hh says:

      What Shawn said, for sure, and the question asked here is right on point, very astute. Also agree, this bike in an analog ( perhaps less electronics please ) Factory component upgrade Tuono version would be sweet, but with added price etc. the sales competition might not be 600s or the likes of MT 07, but from the larger KTM and Triumph middle weights. The bike looks right, but the maybe a lot of the USA market might be the wrong place at the wrong time. I don’t know the east but for the west coast and Pacific NW Cascadia region this would be a swell ride; lots of small and winding roads where ludicrous high speed is not often possible.

    • ScotocS says:

      I think the full up/down quickshifter and cruise control are nice touches though. I wish the Z900 had those, for example.

  26. st1100boy says:

    Let’s see the 660 Tuono. THAT’S the bike for the real world.

    • Dave says:

      It’s a beautiful sport bike but I think they’ll struggle to sell them here. They haven’t reinvented the riding experience in any meaningful way. It’s price puts it in tough company and it isn’t versatile the way a more comfortable bike should probably be. The price makes the very nice but somewhat overpriced Honda CBR650r seem like a bargain.

      I think they’d do better like st1100boy says, Tuono family. “Il piccolo tuono “