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Aprilia RST1000 FUTURA Sports Tourers Motorbike Review

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MCN overall verdict rating is 4

The Aprilia RST1000 Futura is desperately underestimated, sadly short lived and now a potential bargain. Aprilia’s ambitious rival for Honda’s polished VFR sports-tourer is able, well-specced and potent. Quirky styling put off many, however, it sold poorly and depreciated massively. If you like the looks the Aprilia RST1000 Futura is a used bargain.

Engine

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

The Aprilia RST1000 Futura uses a detuned version of the able and respected Rotax-built 60-degree V-twin from the universally admired RSV sportster. Sadly the Aprilia RST1000 Futura loses a little in the translation, ending up with neither the RSV’s power nor VFR-rivalling midrange. And the V-twin vibe seems strangely at odds with the Futura’s sleek, 21st century styling. Still a goodie, though…

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

Being Italian, the Aprilia RST1000 Futura cuts a fine dash a sports-tourer, making the old VFR750 and 800 seem lardy by comparison. It’s roomy, soft and comfy, too. Which is what ultimately limits its sporting potential. The suspension is a little on the soft side, the big fairing is like the proverbial barn door and its heavy, too.

Equipment

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 4

The Aprilia RST1000 Futura has all the bells and whistles: fancy LCD clocks (including clock, fuel gauge etc), single-sided swinger, usd forks, underseat exhaust (before they became all the rage, natch) factory fitted luggage… you name it. Aprilia certainly didn’t cut any corners when kitting out the Futura. Compare and buy parts for the Aprilia Futura in the MCN Shop.

Aprilia RST1000 Futura (2001-2003)

Detail Value
Used price range View Aprilia RST1000 FUTURA bikes for sale to see current asking prices
Engine size 998 cc
Power 113 bhp
Top speed 150 mph
Insurance group 15 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 4 rating is 4.5
Engine rating is 3 rating is 4.5
Ride & Handling rating is 4 rating is 4.5
Equipment rating is 5 rating is 4
Quality & Reliability rating is 4 rating is 4
Value rating is 5 rating is 4.5

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4

Overall: impressive. Paint and metal finishes are good (although like most things Italian the Aprilia RST1000 Futura benefits from  lots of tender care through winter) and there have  been no major reliability issues or recalls. No wonder they call Aprilia ‘Italy’s Honda’

Value

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

When new, dubious, as it was pricier than the proven VFR. Secondhand, however, the Aprilia RST1000 Futura is often a bargain. Late low-milers can be had for under £3000 where comparitive age VFRs are still over £4K. Find an Aprilia RST1000 Futura for sale.

Insurance

Insurance group: 15 of 17

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Model History

2001: Aprilia RST1000 Futura launched.
2003: Discontinued.

Other Versions

None.

Specifications

Top speed 150 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 12 secs
Max power 113 bhp
Max torque 71 ft-lb
Weight 210 kg
Seat height 820 mm
Fuel capacity 21 litres
Average fuel consumption 42 mpg
Tank range 160 miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 15 of 17
Engine size 998 cc
Engine specification 8v V-twin, 6 gears
Frame Twin spar aluminium
Front suspension adjustment Preload
Rear suspension adjustment Preload, rebound
Front brakes Twin 300mm discs
Rear brake Single 255mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17 in
Rear tyre size 180/55 x 17 in

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 4(10 reviews)

  • a better bike than a vfr

    bikerbit

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    bought mine in march this year. had 1 small problem with the bike being the side stand cutoff switch screwing up so bypassed that made sure all mods had be done (which they where) and have to say its a bloody good bike I do alot of A-B road traveling and motorway (although I hate motorways to dull) I ride two up alot and has to be said its great at it. The engine is nice not the greatest but nice enough power to keep you happy. Brakes feel soft but seem to stop you with no trouble what so ever. The ride is a good balance maybe more on the sports side than tourer but take it into the twisties and this is where the bike is truly great keep the engine above 5500rpm and the bikes sings thru the corners Now having owned and rode both the fi vfr 800 and vtec 800 can say that this bike beats them hands down the vtec has a slightly comfier seat but no where near as composed on a-b roads so verdict is this if your looking for a fun sports tourer that's different from the crowd and you still want reliability then this is truly a forgot bike you wont be disappointed I sure as hell aint

    07 May 2012

  • I found one!

    johnboy56

    Average rating rating is 3.5

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    Having one of the Infinity Blue one's, after my patience being severely tested with replacing front warped discs, sorting out charging issues, new battery(higher starting current version), air getting into cluth fluid-fiddly to bleed! now bike appears to assist me with a daily 60 mile commute(160 miles to fuel light coming on. I am gaining confidence with the daily filter along the M27/M3 motorway, with I think the narrowest bike around. Great engine, lots of grunt.

    01 February 2010

  • Sports tourer with the emphasis on sport...

    Anonymous

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    The bike has an amazing Jekyll and Hyde character - well mannered enough to tour two up with luggage and sporty enough for an exhilarating blast down your local B roads. The RST will eat miles in comfort and is on the wholereliable. What's more, those looks just get better with age. For more infor see http://www.apriliafutura.co.uk

    27 January 2009

  • Aprilia RST 1000 Futura

    DrFutura

    UK

    Average rating rating is 4

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    I have had mine since October which i purchased for seriously cheap money (though the luggage is missing). Apart from service and a dead fuel pump relay, it has been good. Its done over 25000 miles and has had the original exhaust replaced with a twin can/pipe Staintune job. The riding position is fine for me (6ft 2, long legs), but I get a bit of a numb bum after about 2 hrs.

    14 August 2007

  • Good comfortable sport tourer

    ib12

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    This is a mile cruncher. It has the best seat going, I travelled 836 miles down to the south of France in a day with no aches or pains. The V twin Rotax engine will pull in any gear and with the latest fuel mapping is smooth even at low speeds. People have criticised the styling but Honda with their VFR and Triumph with the Daytona have taken similar angular lines with their bikes, it even looks good without the hard luggage as there is no nasty iron framework to spoil its lines. Although not a light weight it will still perform well on the twisties and with that V twin grunt, pull out the corners with ease. It's a shame Aprilia didn't market this bike properly as a lot of people have missed out on a very underated bike. Strengths: It has a good riding position with not too much weight on the wrists and the seat for both rider and pillion is best in class. Maybe a little tall for some but most people seem to manage. The bespoke hard luggage is a good size and is easy to take on and off. The headlights are more than adequate and the Brenbo brakes do what their suppose to. Front and rear supension are fully adjustable to suit whatever your requirements and it can go like stink and cruise over 100 mph all day long. Weaknesses: There are some weaknesses. The mirrors vibrate showing little more than an elbow and the Italian electrics could be a little better with the use of different components which a number of owners have changed. With those problems solved you have a good all round sport tourer.

    11 July 2006

  • Swapped my 636 for the Futura so I could take the wife out without her head being in the clouds!

    smegfish

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Some people berate this bike, but these people have never ridden one! Put it in gear, any gear, and ride the torque. Adjustable clutch and brake levers, slipper clutch, offset filler cap, little things that make life easy. The seat, engine and brakes are excellent. If you want cheap 2-up riding, you want a futura you do! Strengths: Handling, engine, comfort, brakes, exclusivity. Weaknesses: Spares and trick bits can be hard to find. Dealers with the engine diagnostic equipment few and far between.

    10 July 2006

  • Good bike

    bigmosher

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    this was my first big bike for about 10 years off the seat, i had it for 6 months and moved to a millie r then the 04 model R1. big mistake as i'm a big hairy arsed biker and i regret sellin ma futura, it had a lovely soft big seat and the colour coded panniers were well worth the 300 quid extra. im buying a new futura. ive tried bandits, gsx1400, cbr1300, the works pan euros and fjrs. Strengths: most things with 1 exception. Weaknesses: the shape of the fairing is too much for some folks out there but u make yer mind up; me i go for comfort not fashion

    04 January 2006

  • Excellent do-it-all machine

    RobC

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    After 2 years on the Futura, I've no thought of changing the bike. What would I want to do that for? Commuting, continental tours, twisties or shopping, it does it all. There are flaws, the charge rate can be better, and the plastic quick-disconnect in the fuel line (same as used by other bikes eg Triumph and Ducati) can fracture, but an hour's work puts a permanent fix on both of these small glitches. Strengths: Engine, handling, luggage and comfort. Weaknesses: not many Aprilia dealers around for service and spares. Charge rate (although I never had to recharge the battery in the 2 years before I improved it) and fuel fittings.

    15 February 2005

  • 3rd month with RST1000 Futura

    iany

    Average rating rating is 3.5

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    Dodgy clocks that don't want to work properly and a not too brill finish to deatail, along with less than satisfactory dealer backup and service marr a very good bike. Comfort and handling of the Futura are its major points, with that beautiful v-twin purring underneath. DK Motorcycles don't seem to bothered about customer care. their comment was "put some mileage on it, then bring it in in a few months". Buying a brand new bike, everything should work from day one. If it breaks, it should be fixed immediately. DK don't seem to want to do that. Strengths: Brakes are excellent, if maybe at times a little too keen. Weaknesses: Clocks seem to be problematic. Dealer told me this morning that there are others with rev-counter problems like mine has. They say it's down to a chip behind the dash which controls everything. Fit of the seat at the front is bad on some - mine included. Mirrors rattle out of position.

    24 August 2004

  • Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. The only real sports-tourer out there

    Bernie

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    The looks of anything are judged by the eye of the beholder. However Honda thought it good enough to copy for the VFR V-tec styling. Do you really think the Triumph TT600 is better looking? C'mon, some journo starts a trend and we're supposed to agree? Wake up guys if you want something to look at buy a painting, if you want something that functions as it should buy a Futura!! The Futura is a true sports-tourer. Panniers are specifically made for the bike. Pillion's are extemely happy with the ergonomics and the seat must be one of the most comfortable standard fitments around. The bike will scratch with most, although in truth the ability of any bike is more to do with the rider than the machine, Rossi and Yamaha ring any bells? However the bike handles well, it has character (seriously lacking in many bikes nowadays)and it has more than enough go for road use. How good is it for a track day, see Rossis and Yamaha reference above. Strengths: Comfort. Handling better than most riders will be able to exploit. Character. Easy to mount, de-mount panniers. V-Twin drive and torque. Enough go to keep it interesting. Very easy to live with. Everyone hasn't got one (until this review). Weaknesses: Only those that 'sports bike' journo's imagined. Even when it was judged the best on a certain magazine's comparison test they couldn't bring themselves to admit they'd been wrong. They had to say it had come first due to the failings of the others. Excuse me, it was considered better than the Triumph ST, Honda VFR and the Ducati ST4. Was the competition really that weak?

    12 July 2004

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fasttourer

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fasttourersays

Aprillia FST

HI,JUST TO ADD A FEW COMMENTS ON THE FST,HAD MINE FOR 2 AND HALF YEARS AFTER HAVING A MILLIE R,I HAVE HAD A FEW NIGGLES WITH IT AS I GOT TO NO IT,ALTHOUGH IT HAS BEEN TOTALLY RELIABLE,I CHANGED THE REAR SHOCK FOR AN OHLINS 1 FROM A TUONO,I DID HAVE TO MAKE A FEW MODS TO THE BATTERY CARRIER BUT IT TRANSFORMED THE HANDLELING,I UPGRADED THE BATTERY TO A HIGHER CAPACITY 1 AND THREW THE ALARM SYSTEM AWAY COS IT JUST RUINED THE BATTERY,ANYWAY WHO WANTS TO NICK A FUTURA???,HAVE TRAVELLED EUROPE 3 TIMES WITH NO PROBLEMS AND IN COMFORT,I KEEP THINKING OF A CHANGE BUT WHAT 2 IS THE PROBLEM,EVERY TIME I RIDE IT IT MAKES ME SMILE AND ON OUR ROADS IT WILL KEEP UP WITH MOST SPORT BIKES,THIS YEAR I HOPE TO GET A POWER COMANDER TO SMOOTH OUT THE MOTOR AT LOWER REVS AND DROP A TOOTH ON THE FRONT SPROCKET JUST 2 GIVE IT A BIT MORE GRUNT,ALL INALL LOOKS LIKE AM KEEPING IT FOR THE NEAR FUTURE AT LEAST,RIDE 1 AND BE SURPRISED.

27 December 2009 12:39

DrFutura

User's Badge

DrFuturasays

Not dissin' my ride

I have had mine since October which i purchased for seriously cheap money (though the luggage is missing). Apart from service and a dead fuel pump relay, it has been good. Its done over 25000 miles and has had the original exhaust replaced with a twin can/pipe Staintune job. The riding position is fine for me (6ft 2, long legs), but I get a bit of a numb bum after about 2 hrs.

14 August 2007 12:40

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