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Updated February 2021

Aprilia might be considered the other Italian motorcycle brand by some, especially dedicated riders of sportbikes, but that shouldn’t make anyone consider relegating the Noale factory to second-tier status. Aprilia’s flagship RSV4 1100 Factory superbike boldly disregards displacement limits in an effort to give riders the ultimate expression of what an Aprilia can do on the racetrack, while providing the basis for its MotoGP racer. Aprilia in fact adopted the V-four engine architecture years before its more famous Italian competitor.

For those desirous of a more comfortable experience without sacrificing any of the performance, the Tuono (Thunder) V4 1100 provides most of the RSV4’s thrills in a more upright ergonomic package more suited to road riding than racetrack lapping. Last but not least, the Shiver 900 V-twin provides a more practical yet still highly capable sportbike experience for everyday use, complete with Aprilia proprietary style and flair.

Brand new for 2021, and highly exciting, is the all-new Aprilia RS660, powered by a new parallel-twin engine based upon the front two cylinders of the RSV4. Lighter, less powerful, and less expensive, many riders are expecting that the new RS just might be the high-performance middleweight sportbike the post-pandemic world’s been waiting for.

Aprilia is now owned by the Piaggio Group – along with Vespa, Piaggio, and Moto Guzzi – and is one of the world’s largest producers of motorcycles and scooters. It all started with a gold and blue 50cc “motobike” completed in 1968. From there, Aprilia has had a long and glorious history of racing, most notably after it produced its first RS250 two-stroke in 1994. Max Biaggi won four straight world championships on Aprilia’s 250 from 1994 through 1997. Beyond road racing Aprilia also built motorcycles for trials competitions (TRX312M, Climber) and long-distance rallies (Tuareg). Most recently, an Aprilia Tuono 1100 took the overall victory in the motorcycle division at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, and with motorcycle competition on indefinite hold at PP, Aprilia will hold the title for some time to come. Here are just a few of our favorite Aprilias.

RS660

Aprilis says the new RS is the first of a new generation of lightweight, high-performance bikes sophisticated in design. A return to a midsized engine, supported by the electronics and technology of the Aprilia Racing department, are blended in an effort to rediscover the pleasure and joy of everyday riding. The 660cc twin engine delivers around 100 horsepower, while dry weight is said to be just 373 pounds. Add an aerodynamic fairing and reasonable ergonomics suitable for road use, and the RS660 and its derivatives should be good. Speaking of which, the Tuono version has already been announced.

RSV4 1100 Factory

Like Red Bull, Aprilia can also give you wings, in the form of the RSV4 1100 Factory. Last year, Aprilia applied MotoGP-style wings to the road-legal RSV4 1100, claiming added downforce; this year, all-new aero styling is influenced by the new RS660. Inside, the 2021 1100 is now packing a new, even more powerful V4 that’s been punched out to 1099cc and a claimed 217 horsepower. State-of-the-art electronics centered around a six-axis IMU provide one of the most sophisticated safety nets for any rider to explore their personal limits. Step up to the 1100 Factory, and you’ll also get forged aluminum wheels, an Öhlins Smart EC 2.0 semi-active suspension system and Brembo Stylema brake calipers. Prego.

Tuono V4 1100

If you like the mental capabilities of the RSV4 1100 but prefer a slightly more relaxed riding position, the Tuono V4 1100 is calling your name. One of Motorcycle.com’s favorite motorcycles, the Tuono never fails to put a smile on our face every time we ride it. The The character, sound, and grunt of the 1077cc, 175-hp V4 continually have us twisting the grip, while the RSV4-based handling is as sweet as you’d expect from such a capable superbike. Like the RSV4, the Tuono also offers a Factory option, which gets you the same Öhlins Smart EC 2.0 semi-active suspension.

Shiver 900

Aprilia’s Shiver 900 is Aprilia’s last remaining V-twin, which is not a bad thing at all for people who know Italian V-twins. Naked, less complex, and least expensive, it’s a great motorcycle for those who don’t need or want the ferocity or expense. Powered by an 896cc V-Twin, it delivers plenty of power but in a more relaxed standard-style package that’s easy and fun to live with every day. It often gets lost in the sea of motorcycles competing in this space, but it’s a solid choice for someone looking for one motorcycle to do a little bit of everything.

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