One of the brands that we're always excited about come EICMA season is Aprilia, and this year, there's a lot of reasons to be excited, and most of them have 660 in their name.
What we're talking about is the new RS 660 and the Tuono 660 concept, oh, and did we mention that Aprilia is also revamping its RSV4 superbike to keep pace with Ducati?
So, to start, let's talk about the 660 bikes. These are a huge deal because, for a long time, Aprilia has offered and its fully-faired fraternal twin, the RSV4 exclusively with its big V4 engine. While there's nothing wrong with the that the V4 makes, it's more than a little too much for newer riders.
That's why the 660 is so exciting. With a power output of just 100 horsepower (still a lot, mind you), it's way less to try and manage than the full-fat V4 version, which for 2020 will now make 201 horsepower. But power doesn't tell the whole story.
The RS 660 drops a bunch of weight over its bigger, racier progenitor. With a claimed dry weight of just 372 lbs, the 660 should prove to be extremely light on its feet and easier to maneuver around in everything from a twisty canyon road to a Trader Joe's parking lot on a Sunday.
From a design standpoint, the 660 hews reasonably close to the classic RS formula for Aprilia, albeit with some new technological tweaks. Specifically, Aprilia designed the RS 660 with what it's calling a "double fairing" which will help funnel air through the bike as cleanly as possible. In a practical sense, this means that less heat gets thrown at the rider at speed, and there will be less buffeting too.
Aprilia is a leader in motorcycle electronics with some of the most potent rider aids available on the market in the form of its Aprilia Performance Ride Control (APRC). This suite of systems features lean-sensitive antilock brakes, traction control, stability control, wheelie control and more. The electronics are controlled through a full-color TFT dash and Aprilia's typically intuitive button layout.
Alongside the production RS 600, Aprilia also introduced a concept Tuono version, which, like the 1100 bikes, is more upright ergonomically and lacks many of the RS' fairings. If the 660 version is at least half as good as the 1100 version, then we have a ton of good things to look forward to in the next couple of years.
Finally, as we mentioned briefly above, Aprilia is making some updates to its flagship RSV4 models, including a reduction in displacement that coincides with a power update that should help bring them closer to parity with the utterly bananas V4 models rolling out of the Ducati factory these days.
The standard RSV4 will retain its 1100 designation (and its 100 extra cc's), but the RSV4 RR gets the tweaked 1,000-cc engine and the 201-hp headline figure.
The RR is as close as Aprilia will come to selling you one of its MotoGP bikes. In addition to the already wild standard RR bike, Aprilia will also sell you a whole host of sanctioned performance upgrades, and even offers three upgrade packages. These packages each focus on a different aspect of the bike's performance.
Weight, for example, is pretty self-explanatory. It comes with a lithium battery, a lightweight slip-on exhaust by Akrapovic and forged aluminum wheels. The Riding Efficiency kit comes with an Öhlins NIX fork, an Öhlins TTX rear shock absorber and an Öhlins steering damper. Finally, the Aerodynamics kit adds carbon-fiber brake air vents and a few other aero devices to improve stability.
Aprilia is keeping mum on pricing for all the bikes so far, but we'll have our ears to the tracks, and when we find out, you'll find out.