When I was at EiCMA, Milan 2019, I witness the launch of the Aprilia RS660, and at that moment I knew that a new era will unfold for the Noale Factory.
Resting on all new generation 100-bhp 660cc parallel-twin engine, a new generation of lightweight yet high-performance bikes is born, featuring sophisticated design and cutting-edge technology!
This marks a re-emergence of mid-displacement engine sizes, allowing Aprilia to rediscover the pleasure and joy of everyday riding with a touch of occasional track days.
In Milan, during the launch, I met up with Juan Chow, General Manager of Goh Brothers, he ask me what would the right price be for Malaysian market! Calculating in my head came out to around RM70k-75k with the Malaysian taxation of 150%. Bear in mind this RS660 is Made in Italy, and it’s CBU. Hence that was the rough price point at that time 2019.
But i followed on with Juan “if you priced it at around RM60k” “I would get one”, once the RS660 reach Malaysia.
Finally early 2021, I got the news that the RS660 will finally land here with an earmarked and unannounced price of RM60k!
So I stright jump into Motoplex and made the booking!
So we are here at RS660 launch in KLCC to get a first view of the most talked-about bike in recent time, the all-new Aprilla RS660! And we are proud to be the first 2 owners of RS660 in Malaysia!
Style: the new generation of Aprilia
The Aprilia RS 660 also clearly stands out in terms of style and dictates the shape of the Aprilia sports bikes to come. The design is innovative, sophisticated and genuinely sporty. The main objective of the Aprilia Style Centre was to create dynamic, modern shapes with low surface area, although without taking the concept to extremes, to offer a sense of space and comfort to both rider and passenger, even aboard a sports bike, while at the same time, enhancing both its lightness and slenderness. The main features of the fairings speak typical Aprilia sporting parlance, and are characterized by a triple LED headlight assembly, equipped with perimeter Daytime Running Lights positioned around the two main headlights, making the RS 660 immediately distinguishable in any lighting conditions.
Direction indicators are integrated into the DRL profiles making the front end even more compact. The lighting system is equipped with several features to make riding even safer: thanks to the presence of a twilight sensor, the dipped beams are switched on automatically, while the self-cancelling turn indicators flash in the event of emergency braking. Finally, thanks to the cornering lights function, a pair of additional headlights in the parabolas illuminate the inside of the curve, increasing visibility when taking bends.
The Aprilia RS 660 boasts a double fairing with integrated aerodynamic features, an extremely cutting-edge solution that reaffirms Aprilia’s commitment to aerodynamic research. The analysis of these two-dimensional surfaces in order to achieve the twin objective of combined design and functionality, proved a particularly taxing one. Efficiency was first analysed with the help of CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) calculation software, followed by wind tunnel analysis, then further evaluation on both road and track. The inspiration clearly derives from the world of racing: one of the functions of the double-walled fairing is, indeed, to optimize stability at high speeds, while increasing rider comfort by protection from air pressure and the dispersion of hot air flows emanating from the engine and radiator.
Aboard the RS 660, the ergonomics are perfect. The riding position is coherently designed with everyday sportiness in mind, with Aprilia culture having always designed bikes based on perfect rider integration. The seat-footpeg-handlebar triangulation welcomes riders of all stature, offering comfort and spaciousness, with a posture that is neither heavily-loaded onto the handlebars, nor with legs excessively bent due to highly-placed foot-rests. The rider can, therefore, enjoy a position that guarantees maximum control but without causing long-distance fatigue, making the RS 660 perfect for either full-throttle racing or everyday riding.
The seat features very comfortable padding and is tapered at the sides to facilitate the resting of the feet on the ground which allows easy manoeuvres from a stationary position. The generously-sized pillion pad is positioned on the tail, whose design was once again inspired by the V4 family, while a single-seat tail comes as an optional extra. The choice of placing the exhaust pipes beneath the engine brings an added benefit of allowing greater freedom to position the passenger footrests, thus increasing comfort. The 15-litre capacity petrol tank is designed to enhances the compactness, letting the rider embrace it comfortably while protectively positioned behind the fairing.
In the traditional vein of Aprilia sports models, the RS 660 has also been designed to facilitate the fast, easy removal of any surplus elements when used on the track, such as mirrors, passenger footrests and license plate holders.
The Aprilia chassis: a benchmark in handling and precision Aprilia’s ability to manufacture first-rate chassis is the stuff of legends: “It’s an Aprilia” signals a guarantee of design and construction quality, feeling and handling effectiveness.
In keeping with this fine tradition, the RS 660 features a magnificent, brand new structure focusing on slenderness, made up of a frame and swingarm both in die-cast aluminium, featuring unique characteristics within their class. The chassis dimensions favour agility: thanks to its 1370 mm wheelbase and the 24.1° inclination of the steering head, the RS 660 boasts exceptional handling capabilities, combined with all the precise features and sensations that characterize the front end of classic Noale-produced motorcycles.
The frame is made up of twin lateral beams bolted into the steering head area and, to the rear; the engine is maximized as a load-bearing element and contributes to forming a compact, lightweight yet rigid structure. In order to make the frame even lighter and more essential, the swingarm is pivoted directly into the engine: this is a monobloc element characterized by its considerable length, useful for having optimum traction and asymmetrical arms – a typical technical choice in the history of the Aprilia RS. The particular mounting of the adjustable shock absorber allows for excellent progression even without the insertion of any linkage, thus reducing even more precious weight.
In designing the frame, Aprilia designers paid particular attention to the area of the steering head to ensure the necessary sturdiness for both road and track use, while keeping the turn radius very low to facilitate everyday riding use. The chassis is completed by an adjustable Kayaba fork with 41 mm upside-down stems and a braking system made up of, a pair of 320 mm diameter steel discs, at the front and a pair of radial mount calipers and a radial master cylinder on the handlebars both manufactured by Brembo. The RS 660 is equipped with high-performance Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa II tyres in sizes 120/70 ZR 17 at the front and 180/55 ZR 17 to the rear, guaranteeing safety and enjoyment on the road, as well as plenty of grip for maximum performance on-track. The handling, nimbleness and compactness of the RS 660, combined with its engine performance, invite pleasure and thrills on winding curve-filled routes, requiring a very limited amount of work on the rider’s part.
Great performance from Aprilia’s new 100 hp twin-cylinder
An all-new engine makes its debut in the Aprilia RS 660 which is set to feature subsequently in a full range of new motorcycles.
This is a 660 cc parallel-twin cylinder unit, a highly compact latest-generation engine derived from the 1100 cc front-banked V4, whose line it follows in both concept and measurements and sports a Euro 5 homologation.
This configuration was chosen for its compactness and lightness. An engine with reduced horizontal and lateral dimensions allows great design freedom both for the arrangement of fundamental parts such as the intake and exhaust. As far as the chassis is concerned, the engine also features load-bearing functions, while housing the swingarm to its rear.
The front-leaning configuration affords the rider more comfort, thanks to the greater heat dissipation and leaves the designers plenty of freedom to exploit the space. Furthermore, the engineering lends itself to superior cooling, helped also by the ingenious double-walled fairing system which aims at accelerating the air flows passing through it. With the same objective in mind, long exhaust manifolds were engineered to funnel flows into a single-piece tailpipe with a asymmetrical split outlet, all fully positioned beneath the engine, with the added advantage of superior weight distribution and a lower centre of gravity.
The new Aprilia twin-cylinder is the result of experience gained developing the extremely powerful engine that equips the RSV4 and is therefore based on a background of highly efficient and technical trials: the cylinder head, combustion chambers, ducts, cylinders and pistons all derive from the V4. Likewise, it features an 81 mm bore – as in the 1078 cc V4 – with a 63.9 mm stroke. The decision to take advantage of the V4 technology guarantees top-class performance, while taking into consideration the high piston stroke speeds relative to its displacement size. Naturally, all engine components, including castings and molds, have all been designed and developed from the ground up.
The new engine has the crankcase split horizontally into two pieces with the cylinders integrated into the upper crankcase to reduce overall dimensions to render the structure more robust. The cylinders are offset from the crankshaft to minimize internal friction during piston thrusts.
The hollowed camshafts of the 4-valve-per-cylinder twin-shaft are side chain driven. The mechanically operated oil bath multi disc clutch has a built-in assist and slipper system.
Wet sump lubrication involves an oil sump protruding downwards and crafted around the intake port, in order to best gather the lubricant in every type of riding phase, even when the bike is at its maximum inclination or during periods of braking and acceleration.
For a parallel-twin of this displacement, the performance obtained is ground-breaking and comparable to that of a much higher cubic capacity two-cylinder: 100 hp at 10,500 rpm, with an extension capacity that allows the limiter to be moved up to its 11,500 rpm threshold. The maximum 67 Nm torque is offered at 8,500 rpm, with 80% of the torque available from 4,000 rpm, which becomes 90% when 6,250 rpm are reached. The RS 660 is also available in the 95 hp version which can be disabled, ideal for beginners or less experienced riders.
In addition to performance and lightness, another aim of the project was to obtain from the engine the same character and grit typical of V-twin cylinders. To this end, valve timing with connecting rod pins arranged at 270° were chosen. Combustion is thus asymmetrical and offset by 270° to obtain irregular bursts which perform and sound similar to a V-twin. Furthermore, this type of configuration allows, by means of a single countershaft, easy balancing of the alternating forces of first and second order.
The injection system includes a duo of 48 mm-diameter throttle bodies, with intake ducts of varying lengths to optimize delivery at high and medium speeds.
The performance of the new engine is guaranteed by electronics directly loaned from the Aprilia V4, including Ride-by-Wire with multi-mapping, an electronic accelerator, for the subtle management of subtle, yet progressive acceleration, even at low revs and optimal consumption.
The first manufacturer to break the black and red monopoly with its spectacular coloration in the 1990s, Aprilia now returns to its role as stylistic ground-breaker, debuting the RS 660’s new Acid Gold – a colour yet to be seen in the motorcycle world – adding a new perspective to the most up-to-the-minute sportiness and setting a new benchmark for high-performance motorcycle sports styling.
Aprilia RS660 is RM59,900 (excluding road tax and insurance) is it worth it? I think this bike is a keeper and worth every penny spent!