Another Dog In The Fight: Will The Aprilia RS 660 Join The Twins Cup Fray?

Will there be any Aprilia RS 660’s lining up on the MotoAmerica Twins Cup grid in 2020? Stay tuned. Photo courtesy of Aprilia.

Last year around this time, in a story on this Website, we mentioned the hinted-at Aprilia RS 660 and speculated about the bike’s potential in MotoAmerica’s Twins Cup class. Right from the get-go, with just a few photographs to go by, we could see that the Italian manufacturer’s twin-cylinder sportbike was designed with Twins Cup Championships as one of its possible intentions.

The parallel-twin engine in the RS 660 is essentially the front-half of the 1100cc RSV4. Photo courtesy of Aprilia.

A year ago, the Aprilia RS 660 was just a prototype, but a few weeks ago at EICMA 2019 in Milan, Italy, the bike became a reality when it was introduced as a 2020 production model.

Pricing is yet to be revealed, but what we do know is that the RS 660 features an all-new 660cc, forward-facing, liquid-cooled, parallel-twin engine with a 270-degree crankshaft design that pumps out around 100 horsepower in a very tidy 373-pound package. Can you say “power-to-weight ratio” because the RS 660 has it in spades.

The banana swingarm on the RS 660 shares its DNA with Aprilia’s late-90s RS250 two-stroke GP machine. Photo courtesy of Aprilia.

And, where have we heard about a parallel-twin motorcycle with a 270-degree crankshaft design before? Oh that’s right, Yamaha’s FZ-07, which is now called an MT-07, also has a parallel-twin engine with a 270-degree crankshaft design. The tuning-forks folks call it a “Crossplane Crankshaft Concept” or “CP2” for short, and within the MotoAmerica Twins Cup class, it’s known for giving the Yamahas a whole lot of straight-line steam versus Suzuki’s sweet-handling and well-developed SV650. The V-twin Suzuki—it’s important to note—has won every MotoAmerica Twins Cup Championship thus far.

Rumor has it that a MotoAmerica Twins Cup rider already has an RS 660 on order. Photo courtesy of Aprilia.

It would be a gross oversimplification to say that the new Aprilia RS660 is the best of both the Yamaha’s and the Suzuki’s worlds because that’s not giving the new machine the respect it deserves. Suffice to say that the ’priller twin offers what appears to be the speed of the Yamaha and the handling of the Suzuki. Or, at least it looks that way in the photos and specs that Aprilia has released on the RS 660 thus far.

The proof of the pudding will be in the racing, of course, and word has it that at least one MotoAmerica Twins Cup racer already has an Aprilia RS 660 on order. Will we see it on the racetrack in Twins Cup competition this coming season?

It’s far too early to tell, but stay tuned.