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Aprilia’s upcoming RS457 has the entry-level sport bike market in its sights

Care for some affordable Italian flair?

KTM and Kawasaki are squarely in the Aprilia's crosshairs. PHOTO FROM APRILIA

Aprilia makes some of the best superbikes in the world. It has a sterling MotoGP heritage, and the middleweight Tuono 660 and RS660 have put the Italian brand solidly in the limelight for sport bike enthusiasts.

But an affordable, entry-level sport bike is what has been missing, and this is especially important for Asian markets where traffic congestion and lower incomes make it the domain of smaller-displacement motorcycles. With plenty of competition here in the form of the KTM RC390, the Kawasaki Ninja 400, the Bristol Invictus 400RR, and the CFMoto 450SR, Aprilia is taking a stab at the market with a premium offering in the RS457.

The perfect size for riders new to sport bikes, or for veterans who want a smaller bike to thrash on a track. PHOTO FROM APRILIA

Sharing many design cues with its bigger brother (RS660), the RS457 uses an LED headlamp with integrated turn signals. The fairing appears to sport a fair number of gills and ducts in lieu of winglets, while color-keyed wheels complement strategically placed accents on the body.

The motor is a liquid-cooled, parallel twin with dual camshafts and four valves per cylinder, developing a peak output of 47hp. Combined with a 159kg curb weight dry or 175kg wet, the bike is claimed to have the highest power-to-weight ratio in its class. A quickshifter will be offered as an option for the six-speed transmission.

Looks like you get three colors to choose from. PHOTO FROM APRILIA

Suspension is nonadjustable except for preload on this entry-level bike, but the USD fork uses 41mm stanchions and has 120mm of travel. The rear monoshock gets 130mm of travel.

ByBre provides the braking system with a single 320mm disc, a radially mounted four-piston caliper in front, and a 220mm rotor at the back. The two-channel ABS can also be programmed to use only the front. Tire size is 17-inch 110/70 at the front and 150/60 at the back, using TVS Eurogrip Protorq Extreme rubber.

The newest Aprilia makes the brand more accessible to more buyers without sacrificing quality. PHOTOS FROM APRILIA

Aluminum is used for the frame, using the engine crankcase as a stressed member to keep weight down, while a steel swingarm is used.

A concession to everyday rideability is that the clip-ons are mounted high up on the steering yoke rather than set very low like a traditional super sport. The electronics package uses ride-by-wire with three levels of power and torque delivery. A five-inch TFT dash graces the cockpit.

Maverick Viñales approves. PHOTO FROM APRILIA

That’s all that Aprilia will reveal about its new bike for now, and according to our sources at Bikerbox (the official Philippine distributor), the RS457 should arrive in the country early next year and probably not exceed P400,000.

Andy Leuterio

Andy is both an avid cyclist and a car enthusiast who has finally made the shift to motorcycles. You've probably seen him on his bicycle or motorbike overtaking your crawling car. He is our motorcycle editor and the author of the ‘Quickshift’ column.