Parallel-twin-powered sportbikes are all the rage these days, and nearly all manufacturers—save for a few purist brands—have at least one sporty machine, either fully faired or naked, rocking this compact powerplant. Out of all the possible configurations of the good old P-twin, the 270-degree crankshaft iteration has always been a favorite of sporty riders thanks to its power delivery, sound, and character that mimics that of a 90-degree V-twin.
Having said that, there are quite a number of bikes available in the market sporting a 270-degree parallel-twin engine, with the Aprilia RS 660 being one of the bikes at the top of the performance food chain. Designed by the Noale company from the ground up as a middleweight supersport, Aprilia pretty much rewrote the rule book in the 600cc class of sportbikes, and continues to enjoy success with the 660 platform, which has since expanded to include the Tuono and Tuareg naked and adventure bikes.
Gallery: Zard Has A Shiny New Full Exhaust For The Aprilia RS 660
Given Aprilia's highly successful RS 660 sportbike, it isn't surprising that aftermarket support is plentiful. Nearly all manufacturers of performance, aesthetic, and ergonomic upgrades have contributed to the ever growing list of possible upgrades, with exhaust upgrades usually being the first item on many people's lists. That said, what better exhaust to fit on a punchy Italian sportbike than a shiny exhaust system from a fellow Italian company?
For those looking to eke out the most performance out of their Aprilia RS 660, Zard has released a brand new full exhaust system designed to reduce weight, improve throttle response, and give a modest bump in power and torque. Best of all, it's Euro 5 compliant, and perfectly street-legal. According to Zard, the exhaust system has been designed specifically to match the aerodynamic features of the RS 660, as well as to optimize exhaust gas flow for a more efficiently running engine. The fact the exhaust system looks so good, and meshes in perfectly with the bike's style, is an awesome bonus, too.
As for the numbers, the new Long Stroke full exhaust system from Zard sheds a total of 1.9 kilograms in weight. Given how this weight is biased to the lower right side of the bike, chances are the bike will be more eager to change direction, resulting in a sharper ride on both the street and track. Performance-wise, Zard claims a bump of 2.1 horsepower. All that being said, is the exhaust system's 1,458 Euro ($1,458 USD) price tag worth it? Well, you be the judge.