The RS660 serves as Aprilia’s Ducati Panigale V2 fighter, a svelte scalpel with a 660cc parallel twin and a dry weight of solely 366 kilos, or 403 kilos able to journey. That is a strong 10% lower than the Panigale V2, financial savings that Aprilia prizes over the extra bigger and extra highly effective 955cc Superquadro’s vital energy benefit. Energy-to-weight ratios compete in exponential trend, the reasoning goes, so there’s extra happening on this battle than simply all-out straight-line sprinting.
The RS660 additionally sports activities extra aggressive aero versus the enduring Ducati fairings and a way more aggressive entry value, with a beginning sticker of $11,499. However all of the numbers on this planet imply nothing as I draw back from the curb, weight on my forearms and knees tucked in tight for the journey dwelling. Inside a couple of blocks, I do know this bike intimately. As an expert author, I am unable to assist however abhor the laziness of the one approach I can describe the feeling: That is the primary time a contemporary bike has actually felt like what I all the time imagined a motorcycle ought to really feel like.
Every journey over the following two weeks is a revelation, as I achieve confidence in tire traction whereas leaning and countersteering, shifting my weight along with the bike to seek out the stream instantly on any sort of meandering highway. Someway the act of bracing in opposition to the RS660’s decrease grip by means of tight corners pairs completely with throttle modulation and energy supply and gearshifting and braking and… I have to know why. So for the primary time, I take an actual deep dive into a few of the engineering particulars that make this bike stand out a lot from the remaining.