The Piaggio Group had a big display at this year’s show. Aprilia in particular had a few models on display like the Tuareg and SR GT. However, the star of the show is the Italian brand’s newest small-displacement model, the RS 457.
Aprilia’s smallest sportbike was on display at EICMA this year, and the newest RS in the line got a bit of attention from onlookers. While the RS 457’s pre-order books are open and the prices have been revealed in North America, EICMA was the first time that the brand has publicly displayed the bike for show-goers to see and feel in person. For a bike that costs about $7,000 USD, the brand will appeal to beginner sportbike riders or experienced riders who just want a smaller bike.
Any way that you cut it, it’s a milestone machine from the Italian bike maker. The RS 457 was a ground-up model, with the brand stating that it was an entirely new project. Aprilia boasts of its lightness, seeing that it has the best power-to-weight ratio in the category of A2-restricted motorcycles. Backed up by the company’s experience in racing, its technology features also enhance the rider, and the whole package is designed to accompany motorcyclists in their journey progressing their skills whether on the road or on the track.
Gallery: 2024 Aprilia RS 457
Powering the bike is Aprilia’s new 457cc parallel-twin engine that makes 46.9 horsepower, which is at the limit of what an A2-restricted rider is legally allowed to handle in the European Union. The firing order is set at 270 degrees which is a similar setup to the CFMoto 450 SS, its naked brother the 450 NK, and the new 450 MT. It’s likely that these two models will be the ones that will be compared end to end given how similar the engines are with similar outputs.
Meanwhile, its weight is kept down to a minimum with an all-aluminum frame which is unique compared to the steel frames used by other motorcycles in the segment. The engine is also a stressed member of the chassis resulting in an even lighter bike.
Other pieces of equipment include an optional quickshifter for the six-speed manual transmission, a front 41-millimeter (1.61-inch) upside-down fork with 120 millimeters (4.7 inches) of travel, a rear mono-shock with up to 130 millimeters (5.1 inches) of travel, preload adjustment on both ends, a braking system with a 320 millimeter (12.59-inch) front disc brake with a Bybre four-piston radial caliper, a 220-millimeter (8.66-inch) rear disc with a single-piston floating caliper, and a 17-inch wheels on both ends with a 110/70 tire in the front and a 150/60 tire in the rear.
The bike also comes with some luxuries that are slowly becoming standard fare on small bikes such as a five-inch TFT display, a ride-by-wire throttle, traction control with three levels, and ride modes to set the mood.
It’ll be interesting to see Aprilia fight with other small-capacity sportbikes in the market. Will Aprilia give the likes of the KTM RC 390, Kawasaki Ninja 400, and Honda CBR500R a run for their money? Among the newcomers, will Aprilia take a huge slice out of the segment? Among the other newcomers, the CFMoto 450 SS is a more affordable option in comparison, but the Aprilia does have a good bit of thought put into it considering that it is lighter and comes with a few more tricks up its sleeve. It will be interesting to see the 400s duke it out in a battle royale to see which would dominate in 2024.