New 457cc Aprilia naked on the way?

Spy shots have emerged of a prototype motorcycle during testing, which could be a new middleweight Aprilia Tuono

Aprilia RS457

The Aprilia RS 457 is the newest entry in the Noale brand’s sports bike range, and the engine it and frame of that bike seem to be on the way to the naked segment.

Spy shots, published by the German outlet Motorrad, have revealed a new motorcycle in testing that uses the engine of the Aprilia RS 457, and the immediate inclination is to suggest that this prototype should be a new entry in the Tuono range: Tuono 457.

But is the bike in the spy shots definitely a Tuono 457? Not necessarily.

As points out, the bike shown in the photos diverges from the traditional structure of the RS-Tuono relationship. Ordinarily, Aprilia builds a sports bike, calls it ‘RS-something’ and then builds a naked on the same technical base to be called ‘Tuono-something’. 

However, in this case, the design of the naked displays some differences from that of the RS 457. For a start, although the frame is partly hidden by some covers, the bits of it that are visible show a tubular design, rather than the twin-spar frame of the RS 457. Further, the central monoshock is replaced by an offset unit, the swingarm is different, and even the single, round headlamp is a diversion from Aprilia’s visual standard.

At some point, you have to ask: will this bike even be badged as an Aprilia? The evidence pointing in that direction are the engine, exhaust, wheels, and brakes, all of which the bike shares with the RS 457. 

However, its relative lack of familiarity with other Tuonos opens the possibility that this bike could carry the badging of another brand owned by the Piaggio Group. Moto Guzzi, for example, could be a possibility, since it could be argued that the aforementioned round headlamp introduces styling characteristics that can align with the kind of modern-classic categories that ‘Guzzi, with bikes like the V7 (above), already has some experience in, especially in comparison to Aprilia. It’s worth noting at this point that the setup of the spied 457 prototype is less retro than that of the aforementioned V7, with an inverted fork compared to a conventional one, and a digital display compared to the V7’s analogue dash, and Moto Guzzi’s brand identity feels more luxurious than could be fulfilled or matched by a middleweight twin-cylinder. But, it doesn’t feel like an impossibility.

Ultimately, we will have to wait and see on this one, but with a prototype in testing, it seems like the amount of time to tick by until we do see shouldn’t be too long.

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