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This might be a nice, VFR alternative.....


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This is not a boring old twin.

The Aprillia has a 270° crank, and sounds and behaves like a V twin, just more compact.

Don't underestimate the new generation of twins with the crossplane cranks, they have huge amounts of torque and are just as intoxicating as the V4 was in its day.

With the power to weight ratio, latest equipment and all the electronics, they will leave the poor old VFR far behind.

But it's not a sports tourer, they are out of fashion I'm afraid, and it doesn't seem like anyone is in a hurry to bring them back. Sad really.

I couldn't find a replacement, it's why I bought a 1050 Sprint.

 

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.....from a surprising manufacturer: Aprilia RS660.    Claimed 100hp, claimed 372lbs, 6-axis IMU, cornering ABS, traction and wheelie control, RBW, electronic cruise control, up/down quickshift

I'm not trendy and rich, more like unemployed and make poor financial decisions with my severance check. 😉

do we really need trendy rich guys bragging here about how much better their ducatis are ?? 😬

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13 hours ago, GreginDenver said:

I agree that it's hard to find a replacement (or alternative) to a V-4 engine.  And yes, I agree that a crossplane parallel twin is a bit of a far cry from the V-4 experience.

 

But here's an in-between engine candidate, the Triumph "T-plane" triple.  Surprisingly the T-plane triple engine has exactly the same firing order as the VFR engine, just without the 4th cylinder.  The T-plane fires like this: 1-0-3-0-0-2-0-0- and it sounds a lot like the VFR's V-4 engine.

 

At the end of this video there's a few seconds of full-throttle T-plane 3 cylinder acceleration to listen to.  You'll be surprised how much it sounds like a VFR V-4 engine.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Woh023WrZlQ

You're right.  That does sound similar to a V4.  Pretty cool illustrations of the different firing orders, too.  Thanks for posting that link.

 

As I've mentioned in a couple other places on the forum, I recently bought a BMW boxer twin.  One huge reason I dig it is the engine, which has similar characteristics to my VFR in my opinion, even including the engine braking.  The V4 is smoother overall, but they're both a blast to ride.  Sounds like maybe I should look at a triple in the future, too.

 

Anyway, I just couldn't buy an inline 4 or parallel twin that lacked as much character after having ridden a V4 for 14 years.  😉

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On 9/19/2020 at 6:05 AM, Gebruiker said:

 

Am I the only one who thinks the future VFR is going to look more like this? https://www.damon.com/   

 

...Sorry for the sacrilege... No offense intended.

 

 

 

 

On 9/19/2020 at 9:55 AM, ShipFixer said:

I'd like to try one...but I don't think Honda is this adventurous.

 

I'd like to try one too, but $25K for base model and $40K for premium version is a bit much...then watch the first few episodes of Long Way Up and see what you'd be up against. I'm ready to give it a go, when the electric infrastructure is there to support something beyond a daily commuter.

 

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On 9/19/2020 at 12:55 PM, ShipFixer said:

I'd like to try one...but I don't think Honda is this adventurous.

 

All the manufacturers must be looking at the possibilities. Not sure how they'll emulate the purr and whine of the engine. 🙂

 

vfrcapn said:

I'd like to try one too, but $25K for base model and $40K for premium version is a bit much...then watch the first few episodes of Long Way Up and see what you'd be up against. I'm ready to give it a go,

 

It won't be long to wait. We know how quickly this technology is advancing. 

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Well...I said "try one."  😜  I don't plan on buying a $25K anything bike any time soon!

 

Of course just as I typed that I realized my bicycles are getting into crazy territory anyway, so who knows...

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Ari Henning’s review. 
https://www.revzilla.com/common-tread/2021-aprilia-rs-660-first-ride-motorcycle-review?fbclid=IwAR222VOAf8t5i0fT6XC3M_2AkPYQHGqD8RE1QjJlkwZ0c4cGd8Gj8X1OPro

 

The pics appear to roughly resemble the seating position of a 6th Gen. 
 

There’s a video of one, with an SC Project full-exhaust, on FB, but, I can’t get it to share to here. Anyway, it sounds gnarly. 
 

Right at 400lbs wet weight. 

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I rode this 790 for a few hours last month.  Parallel twin.  True, not as much character as the v4, and I'm not buying one, but it's still a very good engine.  Lots of power in a tiny package.  Power was very much on par with the vfr.  It was a nice bike!  I hate to say it, but it had tech that makes my VFR seem like an antique. 

 

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On 10/26/2020 at 12:48 PM, Sparkie said:

I rode this 790 for a few hours last month.  Parallel twin.  True, not as much character as the v4, and I'm not buying one, but it's still a very good engine.  Lots of power in a tiny package.  Power was very much on par with the vfr.  It was a nice bike!  I hate to say it, but it had tech that makes my VFR seem like an antique. 

 

 

From a tech perspective the 8th gen is antique. My 2017 Ducati SuperSport (base model) has far superior ABS, Traction Control, and ride modes.

 

Funny about the 790, I had a buddy that bought one and only kept it long enough to trade it in for the 890 when it released. He said the 890 was a better machine in many ways. Funny how a year difference can do so much.

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9 hours ago, lazyeye said:

From a tech perspective the 8th gen is antique. My 2017 Ducati SuperSport (base model) has far superior ABS, Traction Control, and ride modes.

 

Funny about the 790, I had a buddy that bought one and only kept it long enough to trade it in for the 890 when it released. He said the 890 was a better machine in many ways. Funny how a year difference can do so much.


If the Supersport had cruise control, it’d be tough to beat. 
 

That 890 is in another league, from all reports. But, my paid-for 800XCx will have to be good enough for me, as I’m done with the ever escalating offerings. 

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7 hours ago, ducnut said:


If the Supersport had cruise control, it’d be tough to beat. 
 

That 890 is in another league, from all reports. But, my paid-for 800XCx will have to be good enough for me, as I’m done with the ever escalating offerings. 

 

I'd mentioned before that I considered buying a used late model, low mileage Duc Supersport S from a local BMW/Honda shop.  I was seriously considering it, but the lack of warranty and no local dealers kept me from it.  It was already having a fueling issue, but it was also a sportier bike than I wanted to replace my VFR.  Still, man what a sexy bike.

 

The local Big 4 dealer also sells Aprilia.  I'll have to keep an eye out for one of these new RS660s there, though I wonder how many dealers in non-metropolitan areas and rich suburbs will pass on ordering them just to put on the sales floor.  That's a pricey ornament to just sit around until the right buyer walks in.  😕 

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2 hours ago, TimC said:

 

The local Big 4 dealer also sells Aprilia.  I'll have to keep an eye out for one of these new RS660s there, though I wonder how many dealers in non-metropolitan areas and rich suburbs will pass on ordering them just to put on the sales floor.  That's a pricey ornament to just sit around until the right buyer walks in.  😕 


I’m trying to stay in the loop, with this bike. The couple dealers who are active where I hang, claim you will not be able to buy one off the floor, because their pre-sold bikes are going to overwhelm production, alone. One has taken more than a dozen deposits and he’s not even a big dealer or in a big metro area. They’re talking like it’ll be late-2021 before showroom stock will be available, unless someone backs out of their reservation. 

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How can a naked street bike like the KTM 790 and 890 possibly be compared as an alternative to a VFR? They're completely different bikes.

 

Nice, very nice, very nice indeed, but....

 

 

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20 hours ago, ducnut said:


I’m trying to stay in the loop, with this bike. The couple dealers who are active where I hang, claim you will not be able to buy one off the floor, because their pre-sold bikes are going to overwhelm production, alone. One has taken more than a dozen deposits and he’s not even a big dealer or in a big metro area. They’re talking like it’ll be late-2021 before showroom stock will be available, unless someone backs out of their reservation. 

 

It's good to hear folks are already ordering this new model.  I have to admit I was wrong on my "pricey ornament" comment.  I thought I'd read somewhere this new bike was going to be much more expensive than it actually is.

 

It's also good to know there are more new bikes with this engine coming, as the review says...

"This isn’t just a tangent for Aprilia, it’s a whole new trajectory. The 660 engine will spawn a number of new models, including a Tuono naked bike that’s said to arrive in spring of 2021 and a Tuareg adventure bike by the end of next year."

 

I'll be interested to see the other models, though the RS will be the sexiest of the lot!

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The Tuono prototype/concept has been shown and it looks as good as the RS. 


Spy pics abound for the Taureg (think Aprilia T7).
 

I hope, this bike causes dealers to pick up the franchise. Right now, I’m ~4-1/2hrs from my closest dealer, whereas I used to have one ~1-1/2hrs away. Dealer comments I’ve read is Piaggio has straightened out parts supply issues that used to be a problem 15yrs ago. 

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On 10/27/2020 at 3:29 PM, squirrelman said:

do we really need trendy rich guys bragging here about how much better their ducatis are ?? 😬

I'm not trendy and rich, more like unemployed and make poor financial decisions with my severance check. 😉

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There really just isn't a vfr alternative.  They are so well balanced and near perfect.  You get all day comfort to cross the continent and performance to rip up the mountain roads.  And the v4!  The vfr just does it all, and does it well.  If you are a vfr rider, well then your are a vfr rider.  

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Aprilia aren’t messing about. Their claimed weight is within a couple pounds, from what scales are showing. And, 73kw of power converts to ~98 crank hp and ended up being 87rwhp. The lightweight twins racers who’ve ridden it all say it’s going to be the bike to beat. They’re saying it’s the best chassis of anything in the class, by far. And, everyone says the bike is very comfortable, especially as an all-around bike. I have an opportunity to ride a dealer’s personal bike, as soon as he gets his, and looking forward to it. Between two dealers I know of, they’ve sold more than 30, already. Aprilia have said they’ve bumped up USA shipments, beyond preorders, so there will showroom availability. 
 

B2028677-D091-48ED-A87B-E9288849695C.png

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I find interesting how hard is this presumably dead concept of 600 being hyped all over the motorcycle media. Now being March do we know it is actually selling?

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I visited the local big motorcycle dealer last Saturday.  This place sells all the Big 4 bikes and Aprilia.   I was pleasantly surprised to see they had four new RS 660 motorcycles on the sales floor, one of which was marked SOLD.  They look very sharp and very sporty.  I was going to swing a leg over one to check it out, but with my short legs (and having already done a healthy workout that morning) I couldn't even get my right leg over the pillion seat.  Maybe next time.

 

I will say the clip-on bars looked quite a bit lower than the stock bars on my old 6th gen.  It also seemed like the seat-to-bars reach was shorter, or more compact if you will.  The bike is just smaller overall than any VFR.  It's not a bike you could stretch out on in my opinion.  I would say if you're expecting VFR-like ergonomics on this model you're going to be disappointed.  Maybe subsequent iterations of the new machine will have more relaxed rider positioning, but this one would be way too sporty for me.

 

Edited to add:

I visited that local dealer shop again today and took a seat on the new RS 660, and I can say the ergonomics are more like a sportbike than a VFR.  Maybe not R6 and Gixxer level of supersport-ness, but the clip-ons are low and the footpegs are high.  Also, for those of us with a belly, the tank is tall right there.

 

Other observations from a test-sit:

This is a fairly tall bike IMO, or at least taller than my old 6th gen was.  I have short legs, but was on my toes in sneakers.

It feels nice and light.  Again, I was on my toes, so I didn't try to shift the bike around, but it feels light.

The clutch pull is a little lighter than most bikes I've ridden.  Not a good or bad thing, but it was noticeable.

This is a great looking bike.  I couldn't ride is more than an hour a day, but it is very sharp!

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I’ve been away from the forum, awhile, with a lot of life changes. Partly, I have conveniently taken over the parts department of an Aprilia/Triumph dealer.
 

Now that I’ve had time to be around the RS660, it’s disappointing. The fit, finishes, and detailing simply aren’t worthy of $11,300USD. Sitting next to a Triumph Trident, which is $3200 less money, the Aprilia looks like a Chinese import. I don’t know what the position is called  who creates those aspects of a bike, but, Aprilia need to hire a new person(s). The 660 kickstand is a pinched tube that looks like something fitting of a bike-in-a-box. The seat cushions have detailing in the foam and the cheap-feeling vinyl is pulled right over them. They could’ve used a nicer material, in multiple pieces and sewed together, to creat interest and form-fitment. The stitching and bunching of material is terrible, as well. The plastic guard on the left side of the swingarm adds to the cheapness of the Harbor Freight shade of tool silver used on the rearsets and swingarm. Cheap hardware is very obvious against the nice hardware, like the stem nut. The whole cockpit just looks cheap. It’s shameful the bike was released like this. 
 

Positives are the styling; the bodywork is beautiful. The shade of that red is retina burning and captures the eye. The lava red livery is striking. The DRL/headlight is a very attractive piece. The wheel design looks light and crisp. 
 

The seating position reminds me of the 3rd Gen VFR. However, nothing about the rest is as “VFR” as I originally thought it would be.
 

I’ll gladly walk past the 660 to get on my 5th Gen, for the ride home. 

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