Without a doubt, the 2021 Aprilia RS660 was the motorcycle I most anticipated riding this year, thanks in no small part because I first saw the bike in person over a year ago and salivated over the chance to ride it ever since.
No, it’s not a Ducati Superleggera or Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP, but between the three, this is probably the motorcycle I’d actually own. Why? Because despite the huge grins the Ducati and Honda put on my face, I can’t help but feel like I’m only tapping into a fraction of the performance they have to offer. With the RS660, I feel like a much bigger hero riding it to its limits instead of mine. It’s the same reason so many people, myself included, get started on bikes like the Suzuki SV650 – then decide there’s no reason to move up.
The SV650 reference was no coincidence, as the RS660 is coming for the middleweight Twins mantle the Suzuki has arguably held the crown to for the past 20 years. Aprilia wants us to think of it as the bridge between full-fledged 600cc four-cylinder supersports and 650cc-ish Twins; a streetable sportybike you could ride to the racetrack, do a trackday on, then ride home. Not that you should. But you could.
If you haven’t already, go check out my First Ride review of the new Aprilia. There you can find more details about the 660 platform (the RS660 is just the first in a series of future models) and what it’s meant to do. While the 659cc parallel-Twin engine is heavily influenced by the RSV4 with the rear bank of cylinders lobbed off, the 270-degree firing order gives it unmistakable character and the loads of electronic rider aids rival those you’d see on Aprilia’s own RSV4.
But how does the package all work together? By now you’ve probably already read several written reviews, including mine, that answers this exact question. If you haven’t, then I suggest watching the video and I’ll tell you exactly what I think about it.