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Aprilia looks to enter the beginner sportbike segment with new 250cc parallel-twin engine

The RS250 could make a comeback, but in the form of a roadgoing, beginner-friendly sportbike.

Aprilia RS250

Although a low-powered, small displacement sportbike may appear contradictory to some, these bikes really produce some of the best riders. It's hardly surprising that images of newbies riding liter motorcycles being destroyed by KTM RC 390s and Ninja 400s on the track have turned into a meme. A tiny, agile sportbike may, in fact, post some outstanding lap times in the proper hands.

As a result, it really isn't surprising that the majority of major manufacturers offer at least one small-displacement sportbike that is intended to appeal to both casual commuters seeking a dynamic vehicle and track fanatics. According to recent reports, the renowned RS family of sportbikes from Italian motorcycle maker Aprilia will soon be powered by a new 250cc parallel-twin engine. In fact, there's a considerable potential that the RS250 will make a comeback, although in a considerably more contemporary form factor and with an entirely new parallel-twin powertrain.

Aprilia RS250 engine

However, Aprilia's planned 250cc parallel-twin engine appears to have a central cam drive positioned between the two cylinders, unlike the majority of previous parallel-twin engines. According to reports, this unusual layout lessens camshaft and crankshaft flex under strong loads, suggesting that the next RS250 may be a thoroughbred racing vehicle made for the track.

Because Aprilia is a member of the Piaggio group, which has access to the resources of several other manufacturers, a new 250cc Aprilia is now being developed by Zongshen-Piaggio in China. Having said that, Aprilia is not unfamiliar with Chinese R&D because Zongshen designed and produced the RS125 and GPR250R, two compact sportbikes marketed in the Chinese market.

If and when Aprilia introduces the RS250 to the world market, it's likely that the Italian company will become more approachable to beginner and intermediate track riders seeking a compact, powerful motorcycle to use on the circuit. Indeed, the new Italian competition will undoubtedly be fierce for bikes like the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-25R and Honda CBR250RR.

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