Aprilia have whipped the covers off of a stunning new sporty concept at Eicma in Milan, marking the manufacturer's first real steps into the world of sporty middleweights since the iconic two-stroke Aprilia RS250 of the 1990s and early 2000s.
Having invested heavily in the superbike class with the Aprilia RSV4, which first appeared in 2010, Aprilia claim this new RS 660 has been created "in response to the demand of new generations for fun bikes that are capable of thrilling on the road as well as on the occasional track day," a statement said.
Powered by a 660cc parallel twin-cylinder engine derived from the V4 powerhouses used in the bonkers Tuono V4 and Aprilia RSV4 1100 Factory, Aprilia claim they opted for a twin layout for its efficiency and compact nature, alongside the freedom that it left the designers to create a lightweight frame that uses the engine as a stressed member and a competent suspension package, capable of living up to its sporting appearance.
This includes a clever rear shock with remote preload adjustment, mounted between the swingarm and frame in such a way to remove the need for linkage, which has been devised to help shed a few extras pounds. It also produces a cleaner, less cluttered back end.
Despite its sporting credentials, the Italian firm also claim that the RS 660 gives a comfortable riding experience, thanks to a large seat and sensibly-placed foot pegs, as well as handlebars placed above the top yoke to remove excess weight from your wrists.
Although most of these high-end components are unlikely to ever make it to a road-going RS 660 (should there ever be one, for that matter) this sporty two-cylinder sportsbike currently stands in a class of its own, with racy faired twins such as Suzuki’s SV650 S now all but extinct and Kawasaki’s Ninja 650 offering a far more comfortable, commuter-centric design.