Between Aprilia’s locally produced scooters and the imported premium bikes it sells in extremely small quantities in India, Aprilia has a gaping hole in its product line. But with the arrival of a brand-new sports bike - Aprilia RS 440 - just spotted testing - everything is set to change.
Although there are rumours that this bike would have a 300-400cc engine, a source tells us that it will actually have a 440cc parallel twin. The larger motor on the Aprilia RS 660 and Tuono 660 has an engine case that is very similar to this one. We know that the engine on the RS 440 (and on future variants) will be a modified, smaller-capacity parallel-twin unit that will displace about 440cc.
While the power and torque numbers are currently unknown, they will probably be comparable to, if not somewhat better than, those of its benchmarked competitors like the Kawasaki Ninja 400. However, given that the RS 660 motor produces 100 bhp, the 440cc engine is definitely going to be developed more cost-effectively than the 660. Therefore, it probably won’t have as high of a specific output. Nevertheless, 45-55 bhp is still quite feasible. Additionally, it appears from the hazy pictures that this bike has an underbelly exhaust muffler, just like the RS 660.
The hardware and chassis are the main areas in which the RS 440 differentiates from its older sister. Given that it is a new engine, a brand-new chassis will probably need to be created in order to support it. Despite having a comparable shape, the swingarm also seems to be slimmer than the RS 660 unit. The RS 440 has a single disc up front because it will be a considerably less powerful (and more affordable) bike. Its USD fork and mono-shock system, however, are standard. The RS 440’s wheels are also brand-new and have no design similarities to any of Aprilia’s other, more powerful models.
The design of the Aprilia RS440 test model spotted here is strikingly similar to the larger sportbikes the Italian manufacturer sells. The angular tail section and distinctive tri-headlight system are almost exact replicas of the Aprilia sportbikes. Furthermore, the huge digital dash looks a lot like the multi-cylinder 2021+ Aprilia and Moto Guzzi bikes. Additionally, the bike appears to feature a sizable gasoline tank, which will add to the impression that this is a massive bike.
The seating position on the RS 440, as on the RS 660, strikes a nice mix between comfort and sportiness despite the bike’s aggressive sportbike design. However, since Aprilia hasn’t been a player in the sub-500cc motorcycle market in India, it’s unclear what electronic rider aids the RS 440 will have, especially given that competitors like the KTM 390 and the 660 Aprilia are both quite well-equipped.
In India, the Aprilia RS 440 will be made in the Piaggio plant in Baramati, which is outside of Pune. According to the information provided, the bike might be introduced in India within the next 18 months. When it does, anticipate it to cost significantly more than the Rs 3.16 lakh KTM RC 390 and, ideally, not much more than the Rs 5.14 lakh Kawasaki Ninja 400.
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