When Aprilia pulled the covers off the RS 660 sportbike last year, the sportbike community stood in awe as the Italian manufacturer practically redefined the middleweight sportbike segment. Indeed, gone are the days of dominance of the 600-ish cc supersport. With the demise of the YZF-R6, and the Honda CBR600RR and Suzuki GSX-R600 both things of the past, in the local market, at least, it was time for a twin-cylinder revolution.
Aprilia didn’t fail to impress with the RS 660. Employing the same DNA as its fire-breathing sibling, the RSV4 1100, the RS 660 is well and truly a versatile sportbike, thanks to its usable power, relatively comfortable ergonomics, and compact, lightweight platform. With that, let’s break this model down just a bit more and pinpoint four key elements that make the Aprilia RS 660 a very special machine.
Tractable is the word that best describes the Aprilia RS 660’s engine. This 659cc, 270-degree crankshaft-equipped, parallel twin motor churns out a healthy 100 horsepower—the most in its class. The manner with which it transfers this power to the ground, however, isn’t manic and violent, like, say, an MT-07’s power delivery. Instead, the RS 660 offers very linear throttle response, making the bike easy to control both on the street and on the track.
This extremely balanced motor is subsequently paired with a suite of intermediate electronic assists such as cornering ABS and traction control. This all results in a bike that’s extremely compliant and ready to handle everything you can throw at it—both on the track and the street.
At a glance, it’s clear to see that the Aprilia RS 660 is slightly slimmer, smaller, and more compact than other middleweight sportbikes. It can be easy to mistake it for a smaller, more compact machine. However, this is exactly what Aprilia had in mind when designing this bike. The company wanted the RS 660 to deliver the most dynamic handling experience possible in a middleweight sportbike.
To achieve such a compact package, Aprilia made use of a parallel-twin engine configuration, as opposed to a V4 or V-twin engine. The use of this configuration allowed Aprilia’s engineers to shorten the wheelbase, making for an extremely nimble machine.
The RS 660’s sharp handling is thanks to the perfect blend of a compact, rigid chassis, and top-shelf suspension components. To do this, Aprilia has made use of a lightweight chassis, mated to fully adjustable suspension. Up front, a 41mm preload and rebound adjustable fork handles damping duties. Meanwhile, out back, a monoshock featuring similar adjustability handles rear suspension duty. The end result is a sportbike that weighs just north of 400 lbs ready to ride.
The cherry on the top of this P860,000 sportbike is definitely its styling. One look at the Aprilia RS 660 makes it clear that it shares the same DNA as the RSV4 1100. It boasts unmistakable sportbike aesthetics characterized by a full-fairing, and sharp, angular lines. What’s more is that a full set of LED lights front and rear give off a thoroughly premium look and feel. Lastly, a full-color TFT instrument cluster not only gives the bike a techie, performance-oriented feel, it also serves as the control module for the bike’s advanced electronics.