The Milan show is Home Turf for the Aprilia firm, based in Noale in north-eastern Italy, so the firm always shows off the good stuff there. For 2022 then, it’s brought a couple of updates on its 660 platform, that uses the parallel twin engine from the RS660. First up is a new Factory version of the Aprilia Tuono 660 middleweight super-naked. This has had a bit of a performance upgrade, in the usual Factory way, giving more power and less weight, while improving the chassis and electronics spec.
The 660 motor now makes 100bhp, up from the 95bhp on the stock Tuono, and the final gearing is lowered for sharper acceleration. The Factory’s kerb weight is also down 2kg to 181kg. The suspension has been upgraded, with new, more sophisticated suspension, ideal for harder, sporty riders. New 41mm USD Kayaba front forks are fully adjustable in compression and rebound damping and spring pre-load, while the Sachs rear monoshock is also fully adjustable for compression and rebound damping, and spring preload.
The Factory also has the full suite of APRC electronic rider aids with Ride-by-Wire EFI and six-axis IMU as standard. That includes ATC (Aprilia Traction Control), AWC (Aprilia Wheelie Control), ACC (Aprilia Cruise Control) and the AQS (Aprilia Quick Shift) up/down quickshifter. There’s also the AEB (Aprilia Engine Brake), engine braking system and AEM (Aprilia Engine Map), with different power mapping. Also new is a multi-map cornering ABS system, five customisable riding modes, and an LED cornering light function. Phew.
The Factory Tuono 660 design is rounded off with a Factory Dark paint scheme and single seat unit.
Next up from the 660 stable is the limited-edition RS660 MotoAmerica. The RS660 has had a great season in the MotoAmerica race series (the US version of BSB), winning the Twins Cup championship formerly dominated by the likes of the Kawasaki Ninja 650. Approved just in time for the beginning of the 2021 season, the Italian bike took the top three spots straight away in the opening race at Road Atlanta.
A great start, followed by a winning streak: ten total wins out of 13 races, plus another 16 podiums (nine second places and seven third places),plus six pole positions. That first extraordinary one-two-three was followed by other clean sweeps, at Laguna Seca circuit and in both of the races held in New Jersey.
Five of the 10 total wins were achieved by Kaleb De Keyrel, who took the 2021 Twins Cup title on his Aprilia RS 660 prepared by the Robem Engineering team. The other victories were credited to Jody Barry, Cory Ventura, Anthony Mazziotto (two wins) and Tommaso Marcon.
So to celebrate a stunning first season, the firm has produced this special version, limited to just 1,500 units, and featuring one-off Stars and Stripes paintwork, a reverse race-pattern quickshifter, single seat unit and a unique larger top fairing. Could it be the bike to break the US for Aprilia again? The designers will have their fingers crossed for sure…