Aprilia has a huge gap in its lineup between the scooters it makes in India and the imported high-end bikes it sells in India in very small numbers. All of that is about to change, though, because a brand-new sport bike is currently being tested.
Some people think that this bike will have a 300-400cc engine, but a source tells us that it will have a 440cc parallel-twin engine. The engine case seen here is very similar to that of the larger engine on the Aprilia RS 660 and Tuono 660. We know that the engine on the RS 440 (and future versions) will be a reworked, smaller-capacity parallel-twin unit that will displace about 440cc.
Power and torque numbers haven’t been released yet, but it’s likely that they will be about the same as or a little higher than the Kawasaki Ninja 400, which is one of its main competitors. This 440cc motor is probably going to be made in a more cost-effective way than the 660, so it probably won’t have as high a specific output. However, since the RS 660 motor makes 100hp, 45-55hp is still possible. From the blurry pictures, it also looks like this bike, like the RS 660, has an exhaust muffler under the seat.
The RS 440 is different from its older brother or sister in terms of its hardware and chassis. Since this is a new engine, it is likely that a brand-new chassis will need to be made to fit it. The swingarm looks thinner than the one on the RS 660, even though they are both made the same way. Keeping in mind that this will be a cheaper and less powerful bike, the RS 440 only has one disc up front. But the USD fork and monoshock are standard equipment. The RS 440 also has brand-new wheels that don’t look like those on any of Aprilia’s other larger bikes.
The Aprilia RS440 test mule seen here looks a lot like the bigger sportbikes that the Italian company sells. The large digital dash looks like the one on the multi-cylinder 2021+ Aprilia and Moto Guzzi bikes with three or more cylinders. The tri-headlight design and angular back end are also similar to Aprilia sportbikes. The bike also looks like it has a big gas tank, which will add to the idea that this is a big bike.
Even though the RS 440 looks like an aggressive sportbike, its seating position is a good mix of comfort and sportiness, just like the RS 660. Aprilia hasn’t been in the sub-500cc motorcycle market in India before, and it’s still unclear what kind of electronic rider aids the RS 440 will have, especially since rivals like the KTM 390s and Aprilia 660s are very well-equipped.
The Aprilia RS 440 will be made at Piaggio’s plant in Baramati, near Pune, in India. We’re told that the bike could come out in India within the next 18 months. When it comes out, it will likely cost a lot more than the KTM RC 390, which costs Rs 3.16 lakh. It will probably be closer to the Kawasaki Ninja 400, which costs Rs 5.14 lakh, but hopefully not too close.
Soon, a Tuono naked and maybe even a Tuareg ADV will join the RS 440, just like we’ve seen on the larger 660 platform.