The first motorcycle made by Aprilia in India brought an instant smile on my face when I laid eyes on it at the Kari Motor Speedway. The smile soon turned into a grin once I got racing. But more on the performance later. At Rs. 4.1 Lakh, the Aprilia isn’t cheap by any measure and goes head to head with the likes of the KTM RC390 the Yamaha R3 and the new Ninja. I haven’t had the chance to test it on the roads yet, but here’s a pretty fair idea of how it’s going to be…
Aprilia RS 457 Review
Design and Build
Oh, it is pretty! It comes in three colour options, one of which is a sort of shimmery matte finish that looks great under the sun. My personal favourite was the white though. The overall design, the cuts, the air intakes and even the lights are all well thought out and give it that mature aggressive sport bike look. The exposed aluminum chassis is a page taken from the bigger bikes in the Aprilia family and I absolutely love the application here. There’s no denying the subtle Italian flair and heritage here.
Performance and features
The best bit about the Aprilia RS 475 is its engine! Apart from it sounding great with a low exhaust note and the hum that reminds you of the bigger Aprilia’s, a twist of the throttle puts a smile on your face thanks to the massive 47.6hp and 43.5nm of torque, most of which is accessible from about 3500rpm! It has oodles of character and makes sure you’re involved right from the get go. I had no trouble reaching speeds upwards of 160 Kmph on the Kari Motor Speedway straight and the tractability is just superb! Picking speeds up from lower gears is also what the Rs 457 does exceptionally well and is downright impressive.
The gearbox though is pretty standard fare. It does what it is supposed to although there’s no quickshifter here, so if you’re used to that, it can feel a bit weird and sort of old school clanky but Aprilia tells us it will be an optional extra and I wholeheartedly recommend you get it if you plan to buy this bike.
There is a 5in TFT display that is great and well laid out. It’s pretty basic and simple to use. The bike comes with three traction modes, two ABS modes and three riding modes.
Ride and Handling
I asked the technical head of Aprilia what the most difficult bit was for them to build on the bike and the instant response was the chassis. It may have been difficult, but they’ve got it right! The aluminum frame pays homage to the bigger Aprilia bikes and looks stunning! You get preload adjustments at the front and rear and that is all. It’s pretty easy to flick into corners and even when you lean all the way down the footpegs are set up high and don’t scrape the tarmac. I have no idea how the suspension will handle our roads but stay tuned for that.
With a seat height of 800mm the new Rs 457 is a comfortable bike for short people and even taller folks have plenty of room here to properly tuck and duck into the corners thanks to the beautifully placed footpegs. Another contributing factor is the slightly higher raised clip ons that don’t need you to get into an extremely aggressive stance. It’s definitely a lot more comfortable than the KTM and there’s plenty of room overall.
My only issue with the bike was with the brakes. On the track, they progressively turned squishy and soft but not to the point where I felt extremely uncomfortable. Now I’m sure this won’t be an issue in normal day-to-day riding, but for those who plan to take it on a track or ride a little harder, you’ll have to probably think of adding ceramic pads with a better cylinder.
The Aprilia Rs 457 checks all the right boxes for a mid 400CC motorcycle. It has the looks, the feel and the best bit - the power. The ride quality and comfort is top notch even though it does show signs that corners have been cut when it comes to certain plastic parts. And at 4.1 lakh, that is where my problem is. For a bike that is built here in India, it feels a bit heavy on the pocket even though it is probably one of the quickest in the segment. A proper road test will help determine more about the asking price, but as of now I would be happy to pay less.
The most powerful 400cc built in India is fast and capable but a tad too expensive