Faulty connecting rods are leading to engine failures.
Aprilia unveiled the RS 660 and Tuono 660 to fanfare at EICMA 2019. In addition to the middleweight platform’s street-friendly ergonomics and aerodynamics, both models boast superbike-derived electronics and a potent parallel-twin. Based on Aprilia’s vaunted V4 mill, the brand leveraged its liter bike developments to produce a 100-horsepower, 660cc twin. Despite those V4 roots, some first-generation twins may need more attention from Aprilia.
A batch of poorly produced crankshaft connecting rods forced the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) to recall 308 Aprilia RS 660 and Tuono 660 motorcycles. The components weren’t manufactured to factory specifications. Due to an improper heat treatment, the crankshaft connecting rod is more susceptible to fractures, which can lead to a sudden stall and increase the risk of crashing. As a precaution, Aprilia isn't just replacing the faulty connecting rods, it’s swapping out the entire engine at no cost to customers.
The first NHTSA complaint revealed that the owner was traveling at 75 mph when “the vehicle began to make an abnormal vibrating sound as the alarm pressure warning light illuminated.” A local Aprilia dealership confirmed that a fractured connecting rod caused the engine failure. With just 1,400 miles on the odometer, the House of Noale will repair the unit under the customer’s factory warranty. Following the recall work, the brand will also renew the factory warranty on affected bikes.
Aprilia will send out owner notification letters to affected RS and Tuono 660 owners by July, 2021. For more information, contact your local dealership or the NHTSA. Of course, the Italian marque will address the issue with any unsold models before rolling them back onto the showroom floor.