Aprilia plan to introduce a lower-powered version of its upcoming RS 660 lightweight sports bike so it can be ridden by learners and novices under the European A2 motorcycle licence.
The announcement came in a quirky Instagram post that says “A2 driving license? Aprilia RS 660 95hp version confirmed! Keep updated!”
The A2 licence is a similar system to the Australian and New Zealand Learner Approved Motorcycle System, so there could be scope to also make a LAMS version alongside the fuel-powered version.
This has been done with several other bikes on the market, notably the Yamaha MT-07LA which has reduced capacity (from 689cc to 655cc) and restricted power (from 55kW to 38kW) via 25% throttler restriction, different cams and pistons.
The lithe Aprilia RS 660 weighs in at 169kg dry and fits in the 660cc or below capacity limits of LAMS.
However, they would have to do a fair bit more power restriction on the 95hp (70kW) bike to fit the scheme which also has a power-to-weight formula of 150 kilowatts per tonne or less.
Created around a totally new technical base, defined by the 660 parallel twin, Aprilia promise a new generation of lightweight, high-performance bikes that are sophisticated in design.
A return to the mid-sized engine, supported by the electronics and technology of the Aprilia Racing department.
The first born in this brand-new generation of Aprilia bikes is RS 660.
The light-is-right concept is behind the RS 660 project and can be summed up by its excellent weight/power ratio that makes for enjoyable riding, whether relaxed or more sports-orientated: 169 kg plus 100 HP is what Aprilia sees as the perfect formula for enjoyment on the road.
A new frame and swingarm in lightweight aluminium, and a new high-performance parallel twin engine accessible to everyone.
Inherited from the unbeatable RSV4, the electronic equipment is top class and comprises a Ride-by-Wire throttle and a six-axis inertial platform for optimum operation of the APRC electronic aids.
It offers five Riding Modes designed to regulate the behaviour of the electronic controls for safety and fun during daily riding, dynamic riding on the road, and extreme riding on track.
RS 660 also stands out for its particularly advanced aerodynamics comprising a double fairing with aerodynamic appendage function to optimise stability at high speeds, effectively protecting both rider and passenger from the air pressure.
Details of the Aprilia RS 660 production bike have been revealed in patent drawings that show the Italian company’s intention to go turn the concept into reality.
The concept twin was revealed at the EICMA motorcycle show in Milan last November.
It is powered by two cylinders from a Tuono/RSV4 1100 engine as a 660c parallel twin.
Now, patent images have shown a planned production bike with much of the concept’s features, including MotoGP style winglets, twin LED headlights, asymmetrically mounted rear monoshock and upside-down telescopic front forks.
The concept’s suspension was supplied by Ohlins.
The Italian company said the RS 660 supersport project was aimed at younger riders.
They also said it would be the “development base for a wider range that intends to make Aprilia a key player in an extremely strategic market segment in Europe, but also in Asia and the American market”.
So the patent drawings may not necessarily be the only version to hit the market. We expect there could also be a naked version and maybe even a tourer or adventure bike.
RS 660 aero
Most notable is the aero, which is now a prominent feature of most MotoGP bikes.
Aprilia said the Concept RS 660 was developed out of a “series of aerodynamic studies” in a wind tunnel.
The aero components appear to be coming to the production model, based on the patent drawings.
With fuel economy top of mind and emissions regulations tightening, motorcycle manufacturers are looking for ways to compete and aero remains one of the biggest hurdles to motorcycles, even more so than big, bulky cars.
We have often seen manufacturers trot out ‘concept models at shows such as this week’s EICMA, it is also pretty easy to deduce which ones are pretty much already green-lighted for production. I am fairly sure that this Aprilia RS 660 Concept is a firm pointer towards a new 660cc parallel-twin platfrom that is imminent from the Noale based manufacturer.
Aprilia RS 660 Concept
In Aprilia’s words
With the Concept RS 660, Aprilia researches a new concept of sportiness, defined by the ratio between exuberant but easy-to-manage engine performance, a frame and suspension par excellence and the light weight of the vehicle.
The Concept RS 660 is a possible 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.
The Concept RS 660 interprets the concept of sportiness in accordance with extremely modern canons, the consequence of in depth technological research and the extremes of aerodynamic solutions that are unrestricted by any regulations.
The result is a product that is unique in its kind: a medium engine capacity twin-cylinder, attractive and accessible, that provides extremely high technological content, even higher than bikes in superior categories.
Therefore, RS 660 is a possible option for young riders coming up from smaller engine sizes, looking for a high level sport bike that can provide thrills and fun on a day to day basis on the road and ready to support the rider on the track too.
The design: cutting-edge aerodynamics
Aprilia Concept RS 660 stands out above all for its style, innovative and sophisticated, that stems from a series of aerodynamic studies. With a tendency born in the highest levels of racing, aerodynamics is currently under intense development in the motorcycle sector, so the Concept RS 660 is able to explore concepts such as aerodynamic load control.
Out of the work done in the wind tunnel and from the resulting solutions, the shape of a bike was born where the lines are an absolute and direct consequence of the functions. The variable front section, the air flow direction and the variable downforce values transformed into opportunities for the Style Centre which created ultra modern dynamic shapes.
The concept offers a comfortable riding position, thanks to the large saddle located on the sleek tail fairing, footpegs that are not too high and a pair of semi-handlebars mounted on top of the upper steering yoke. The result is a saddle-handlebar-footpeg triangulation that is sporty yet comfortable, to the advantage of riding pleasure and comfort.
Aprilia chassis architecture, quality bar-setter
Aprilia’s know-how in packaging super fine chassis architectures is recognised the world over. In observance of this tradition, the Concept RS 660 Concept provides a magnificent structure made up of an aluminium frame and swingarm.
In the concept, the frame exploits the engine as a stressed element, contributing to form a compact and stiff structure. The right arm of the swingarm has a curved shape in order to all the exhaust terminal to pass. The particular mounting of the shock absorber allows outstanding progression to be obtained without using linkage, thereby cutting down on weight and making it a cleaner package overall.
The new parallel twin-cylinder for a new generation of bikes
RS 660 was born around the concept of a new engine that Aprilia engineers are already working on, a 660 cc parallel twin-cylinder, a very compact new generation unit derived from the 1100 cc V4 that powers the Tuono V4 and RSV4 1100 Factory.
This configuration was chosen for its compact nature and efficiency, the extremely low level of heat transmitted to the rider and for the freedom that it leaves the designers to create a sleek and lightweight frame and suspension.
The RS 660 project is the development base for a wider range that intends to make Aprilia a key player in an extremely strategic market segment in Europe, but also in Asia and the American market.
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