Is Aprilia developing a new ‘RS 400’ to rival Yamaha R3, KTM RC390?

Member of the Aprilia top brass lets slip the Aprilia RS 125 successor will likely gain 300-400cc engine to go up against the Yamaha R3 and KTM RC390

2020 Aprilia RS 660

While Aprilia is considered one of the pinnacles in all of motorcycling with models as the RSV4 sportsbike and the Tuono naked considered among the most accomplished and premium-feeling machines both on and off the track, it’s still ‘city boy’ at heart.

Indeed, for all of its leanings into the upper echelon, Aprilia has never forgotten its roots which is why you will still see Aprilia scooters and small-displacement motorcycles dashing around, even if they are a more frequent site on mainland European roads than they are in the UK. Imagine if Ducati entered the scooter race…

However, things could be about to change on this front after Diego Graffi - MD of Piaggio India - dropped the bombshell to ZigWheels at the recent Auto Expo that a replacement for the RS 125 has been shelved, in part due to the upheaval caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

New 2020 Aprilia RS 660 | EICMA 2019 | Visordown

Before you begin mourning for what could be the last in the line of the revvy and eager Aprilia RS 125, Graffi follows up by revealing its because Aprilia’s attention is commanded by the prospect of developing a model that would sit somewhere between the RS 125 and the forthcoming RS 660 sportsbike.

Though he doesn’t give much in the way of specifics, Graffi says it is looking at developing an engine around the 300-400cc class, which immediately prompts us to assume the RS will be getting a bit capacity and engine hike to better position it beneath the RS 660 and the RSV4.

Indeed, an ‘RS 400’ - as we’re calling it for argument’s sake - would make sense for Aprilia, not least because it would join the RS 660 in plugging gaps in the range that for a long time saw nothing between the RS 125 and the 900cc Shiver/Dorsoduro motorcycles. 

While we’ll need to wait for an engine to be developed to know exactly how it would be known, the boost means it would be properly positioned in the entry-level sportsbike arena to rival the Yamaha R3, Kawasaki Ninja 400 and KTM RC390, the latter of which is due to be replaced in the coming months.

As for when we’re likely to see this possibly-maybe Aprilia, given the RS 660 is now several months behind original plans to go on sale in May, expect a ‘concept’ to bow at the 2021 EICMA show before a production model appears in 2022, alongside a ‘concept’ Tuono variant as well.

Our hopes of getting our hands on a sporty yet affordable Aprilia could be about to get so much better!