2021 Aprilia RS 660 Review

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Heavily inspired by the Aprilia RSV4 superbike, the Aprilia RS 660 is a road and track hybrid sports bike that is LAMS approved and has many safety features for beginners. Most of these are electronic rider aids, but the weight and slim profile of the motorcycle add greatly to its handling and therefore ease of use. This is a powerful motorcycle capable of growing with the rider, from beginner to expert riding levels. This is achieved by customisable modes that allow you to alter the electronic riding aids. You can find all of the information you need in this 2021 Aprilia RS 660 review.

Summary:

  • Suitable for both road and light track use
  • Lightweight
  • Slim and comfortable
  • Powerful with a vast array of customisable rider aids

Introducing the 2021 Aprilia RS 660

2021 Aprilia RS 660 Review

Specs

Style: Sport

Top Speed: 230 km/h

Riding Position: Half Tuck | Full Tuck

Engine: DOHC, liquid-cooled parallel twin; 4 valves/cyl.

Chassis weight: 183kg

Chassis construction: Aluminium dual beam chassis with removable seat-supporting subframe

Suspension: KYB

Dashboard: Full-colour TFT

Tyres: Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa II

Braking: Brembo

Pricing: $20,030

Seat Height: 818mm

Learner Approved: Yes

Pros

+ Suitable for both commuting and light track use

+ Super lightweight

+ Flexible ride assist with the ability to turn settings down

Cons

Some electronic riding aids can’t be disabled

Fairly pricely for a beginner bike

Summary
Performance
3.6
Handling
4.4
Aesthetics
4.2
Cost
3.5
Features
4.5
Versatility
4.5
Rating
4.12/5

Computer & Electronics

The Aprilia RS 660 is a beginner-friendly motorcycle that has many ride-assist options. These include the Aprilia Performance Ride Control, wheelie control, cornering ABS, cruise control, and a quick shifter. On top of these features, the Aprilia RS 660 allows you to choose from five riding modes. Of these riding modes, there are two for track use and three for road use.

The modes for use on the road are Commute, Dynamic and Individual, while the track options are Challenge and Time attack. Only two of the five modes are adjustable, being Individual and Time Attack. In addition, you can turn down all electronic assistance options and even display lap times instead of a speedometer. However, the remaining three modes are all pre-set values, and if you are a new or inexperienced rider, it’s probably best to stick to these. Ultimately, the Aprilia RS 660 has an impressive suite of electronic features and can accommodate most riders. Unfortunately, some of the settings can’t be disabled entirely.

2021 Aprilia RS 660 Review

Gearing

With a precise 6-speed gearbox, the Aprilia RS 660 utilises a slip-assist clutch, which ensures the clutch pull is notably light. On top of this, it’s the only bike of its class to feature an up/down quickshifter. This is an incredible feature for beginners, as it can ease them in and get them used to all the other facets of riding. It’s also a great feature for track riders, as it allows you to focus on the technical aspects of handling the bike first and foremost. The only downside in this instance is that the shift could have a slight hesitation, so it may not be a good competitive option where every millisecond counts. Still, it is an excellent way of familiarising yourself with all of the ins and outs of the track.

Engine

The RS 660 features a brand new 659cc parallel-twin engine that outputs 75kw at 10,500rpm and has a peak of 67Nm at 8,500rpm. Much of the power delivery comes in at the low to mid-range, with diminishing returns beginning at 9,500rpm. This is shown in the graph below. There are several indications that this engine is heavily influenced by the Aprilia RSV4, especially regarding the intake design. It utilises varied length intake funnels, electronically controlled 48mm throttle bodies, a 13.5:1 compression ratio, and the cylinder head design.

It is well known that the Aprilia engineering team took heavy inspiration from the 999cc and 1,077cc V4 engines when creating this one. However, this variant has been designed to be extremely compact to suit the small, narrow chassis. The engine is also a stressed member, meaning its design is built into the frame itself. This saves a significant amount of weight.

Chassis

Constructed out of aluminium with a twin-spar frame, the Aprilia RS 660 is an extremely lightweight motorcycle. It’s an incredibly slim and compact bike, which provides the benefit of gripping into the footpegs better. This gives you much more control over the bike, making it easier to flick around and perform technical manoeuvres.

2021 Aprilia RS 660 Review
Pictured: Aprilia RS 660 front view (2021 Aprilia RS 660 Review)

The seat is relatively high compared to the rest of the motorcycle, but it’s still easy for someone of shorter stature to sit on. Being a taller person myself, it was slightly difficult to position myself on it, but once I found a comfortable position, the motorcycle was easy to control.

Suspension

A 41mm KYB fork with rebound damping adjustment and spring preload is utilised in conjunction with a non-linkage KYB shock with all of the same adjustment options. These are configured to be more suited to road use than track use, as they guarantee smoothness when going over bumps and dealing with start-stop situations. They are still quite passable for track use, and it is rumoured that a higher spec model will be released to address this.

Dashboard

The Aprilia RS 660 TFT displays come with software to connect the computer to your smartphone. This allows you to use your voice or handlebar controls to control your music and accept and reject calls. The app also allows you to record GPS information so you can analyse your ride after the fact. It also enables general GPS and route inputting. Even the display has a mode selection for road and track, with the track display mode showing track times instead of a speedometer. In addition, this display can automatically adjust to the ambient light.

Tyres

The 2021 Aprilia RS 660 comes stock with Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa II tyres, which are great performers with great grip and lifespan on the road. Thanks to the wheel dimensions, there is a lot of room for upgrading if you want top-of-the-line track performance or the best road-riding experience you can get at the expense of a shorter lifespan. Fortunately, due to the weight and output of the Aprilia RS 660, your tyres won’t be shredded up quite as quickly as an RSV4, for example.

Braking

Featuring twin 320mm discs with radially-mounted callipers and a master cylinder, the braking is incredibly smooth and powerful. This is extremely important on a beginner-inclusive motorcycle because learners don’t have a great reaction time. Considering the RS 660 is so nimble, this is an excellent feature and is further complemented by the cornering ABS.

Details

Taking a page from the Aprilia RSV4 design, the RS 660 has LED lighting all over it. Similar to the RSV4, it has a three-headlight design, but with the addition of a daytime running light that runs up the front fairing. This greatly adds to the sporty look of the motorcycle and gives it an aggressive feel. To the side of the headlights are MotoGP inspired winglets, which are extremely aerodynamic. These effectively draws all of the hot air away from the engine, greatly increasing comfort.

Pricing

The Aprilia RS 660 price in Australia is fairly high for a beginner bike, coming in at $19,000. However, this comes with many benefits for beginners, especially regarding ride assist options, the high-quality brakes, and the ability to continue using it as you gain experience. On another positive note, this motorcycle is highly customisable, so if you are looking for aftermarket parts to enhance track capabilities, it is entirely possible.

Conclusion

This motorcycle is high-quality and will last a long time. If this price is out of reach, finding a second-hand Aprilia RS 660 for sale is a great option, as this is a highly anticipated bike. The power delivery is on point, coming in smoothly on the low-end and getting a lot more grunt in the mids. The best thing, though, is that the rider has so many tools at their disposal that they won’t even need to think of to make sure that they are safe. Plus, you can keep using the bike as a bonus as you get more experienced while reducing the rider aids. This is an excellent bike and honestly one of Aprilias best releases so far.

Technical Specifications

Power:100 hp (73.5 kW) at 10,500 rpm
Torque:67 Nm at 8500 rpm
Displacement:659cc
Engine:DOHC, liquid-cooled parallel twin; 4 valves/cyl.
Transmission:6-speed
Front Suspension:41mm KYB inverted fork, spring preload & rebound damping adjustable; 4.7 in. travel
Rear Suspension:KYB monoshock, spring preload & rebound damping adjustable; 5.1 in. travel
Front Brakes:Brembo radial-mount 4-piston-calipers, 320mm discs w/ cornering ABS
Rear Brakes:1-piston caliper, 220mm disc
Length:1995mm
Width:805mm
Wheelbase:1369mm
Seat Height:818mm
Fuel Capacity:15.14 litres
Wet Weight:182kg
Warranty:2 year unlimited km
Model Code:AP6115100YCM01
Front Tyre:Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa II 120/70-17
Rear Tyre:Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa II 180/55-17

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