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APRILIA RST1000 FUTURA (2001-2003) Review

Published: 22 November 2006

"Desperately underestimated, sadly short lived and now a potential bargain"

APRILIA RST1000 FUTURA  (2001-2003)

"Desperately underestimated, sadly short lived and now a potential bargain"

  • At a glance
  • 998cc  -  113 bhp
  • 42 mpg  -  160 miles range
  • Insurance group: 15 of 17
    Compare insurance quotes now
  • Medium seat height (820mm)

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

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.

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 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.

Engine 3 out of 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…

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5

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’

Insurance, running costs & value 5 out of 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 group: 15 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 5 out of 5

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.

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2001
Year discontinued 2003
Original price -
Used price -
Warranty term (when new) Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 15 of 17
Annual road tax £88
Annual service cost £200
Performance
Max power 113 bhp
Max torque 71 ft-lb
Top speed 150 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 12 secs
Average fuel consumption 42 mpg
Tank range 160 miles
Specification
Engine size 998cc
Engine type 8v V-twin, 6 gears
Frame type Twin spar aluminium
Fuel capacity 21 litres
Seat height 820mm
Bike weight 210kg
Front suspension Preload
Rear suspension Preload, rebound
Front brake Twin 300mm discs
Rear brake Single 255mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17 in
Rear tyre size 180/55 x 17 in

History & Versions

Model history

2001: Aprilia RST1000 Futura launched.
2003: Discontinued.

Other versions

None.

Owners' Reviews

12 owners have reviewed their APRILIA RST1000 FUTURA (2001-2003) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your APRILIA RST1000 FUTURA (2001-2003)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4.5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.5 out of 5
Engine 4.5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.1 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.6 out of 5
Equipment 4.2 out of 5
5 out of 5

Does everything I need

17 June 2018 by Peter H

I bought a Futura because I wanted something different having owned straight fours, V fours, flat twins, so it was this or a Triumph. Did lots of research first which uncovered a number of glitches which could be modified to overcome. Bought the bike unseen (!) 6 years ago with 13000 miles, now done 33000 and I've enjoyed every one. Most comfortable bike I've owned including an ST1300. Wife happy on the back. Lots of character, goes well and handles well. It's rare - I've never seen another one - and gets comments whenever it's parked. Panniers big, easy to use but not quite waterproof. I did all the electrical mods when I got it which took 2 hours and cost little. It's had new head races, starter solenoid, clutch slave cylinder and chain and sprockets. Biggest problem recently was the front forks badly corroded. It's apparently a common fault and they are hard to find. However RSV ones fit. All in all a very underrated bike which I will keep for the foreseeable future.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
I do my own basic servicing and use a local specialist for bigger jobs.
Equipment
4 out of 5
Heated grips would be good. I may fit Oxford ones before winter.
Buying experience

Bought privately.

4 out of 5

Comfy and quick!

05 November 2014 by jayboy

I'm one of a minority, owning one of 53 of these in the UK. I've had a lot of different bikes in the last 7 years, nearly all Supersport machines and admittedly, I only ever have sub £3k to spend. This is my third Aprilia, previously had an RSV and a Falco, this is more of the same, quality components from Brembo, a bulletproof engine (could do with another 10-15bhp on the Futura in my opinion) and some Italian style. It was a jump from my K4 GSXR1000 to this, but in reality I wanted to slow myself down a bit on the road and I also wanted to be able to ride a bike for more than an hour comfortably. A whole Summer day out this year - approx. 6 hrsin the saddle, on the GSXR had me desperate to get home and lie down. I was almost in tears after getting back on after the last stop! I've not done a full day on the RST yet, but for the one - two hour rides I've had so far it's been very comfortable, plus there is proper room for a pillion, plus the Aprilia panniers are excellent and even look pretty nice. I've had Fireblades, R1s, a Daytona 955i, a VFR800 and even a Blackbird and an original Fazer 1000, I like to ride quite quick but for a good distance not just an hour on a Sunday - and this seems to have the best of all worlds compared to the others, in it's standard form. Who called the Blackbird a Sports Tourer with that original Honda seat?! It handles very well for a large-ish, fairly heavy bike, as soon as you get moving, it feels like a maxi-scooter to ride at town speeds and it can hustle around as the speeds go up on the twisties. It seems to average about 40mpg, I think the commute at 50mph helps keep that up to be honest, but it's still good for a 1000. It's a little soft for some people and I have had to keep winding the preload up, but then it is what it is, it's not meant to be an RSV and the softer suspension helps it soak up our poor road surfaces. On some of my favourite roads I am quicker on the RST than I could ever be on my rock-hard SP-1. Highly under-rated bike as said above and below, not too common which is nice as it gets some attention for it's age and better than a VTEC VFR. Think they are a bargain for around £2000!

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
4 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
4 out of 5

a better bike than a vfr

07 May 2012 by bikerbit

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

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
4 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
5 out of 5
-
4 out of 5

I found one!

01 February 2010 by johnboy56

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.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
4 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
3 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
3 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

Sports tourer with the emphasis on sport...

27 January 2009 by Anonymous

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

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
5 out of 5
-
4 out of 5

Aprilia RST 1000 Futura

14 August 2007 by DrFutura

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.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
4 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

Good comfortable sport tourer

11 July 2006 by ib12

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.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
3 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

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

10 July 2006 by smegfish

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.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

Good bike

04 January 2006 by bigmosher

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

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
4 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

Excellent do-it-all machine

15 February 2005 by RobC

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.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
3 out of 5

3rd month with RST1000 Futura

24 August 2004 by iany

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.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
4 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
3 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

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

12 July 2004 by Bernie

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?

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-

Photo Gallery

  • APRILIA RST1000 FUTURA  (2001-2003)
  • APRILIA RST1000 FUTURA  (2001-2003)
  • APRILIA RST1000 FUTURA  (2001-2003)
  • Aprilia RST1000 Futura
  • APRILIA RST1000 FUTURA  (2001-2003)
  • Aprilia RST1000 Futura
  • Aprilia RST1000 Futura
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  • Aprilia RST1000 Futura motorcycle review - Riding
  • Aprilia RST1000 Futura motorcycle review - Riding
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