Aprilia RS 457 First Ride Review: Does the baby RS tug the right strings?
- Impeccable handling makes the bike effortless
- The 457 cc twin-cylinder motor is powerful with a strong surge of torque
- The RS 457 is versatile and will allow more new riders to experience its performance
- The RS 457 is compact, which may be troublesome for taller riders
- The front brake does not have the sharpest bite, which feels odd for a powerful offering
- The switchgear quality could've been better when compared to the rest of the components
- The Aprilia RS 457 echoes the same design as its larger capacity siblings but can it deliver on performance too? Read on to find out.
It almost sounded like a pipe dream when Aprilia announced plans to launch a made-in-India motorcycle over half a decade ago. The first examples were 150 cc offerings intended for India but the brand soon shifted gears moving to higher displacement. The result is the much-awaited and highly-talked-about Aprilia RS 457. The twin-cylinder motorcycle echoes the same design and performance theme as its larger capacity siblings. But is it as exciting to ride too? Aprilia invited us to the Kari Motor Speedway in Coimbatore to ride the new RS 457 to see if the bike lives up to its name. Here’s what we found out.
2024 Aprilia RS 457: Design
There’s no simpler way to describe the Aprilia RS 457 than ‘stunning’. It’s a proper shrunken RS 660 or RSV4, which in itself are gorgeous motorcycles. I’m happy to report that this quality hasn’t gone away with the RS 457. There’s not a single angle from which the design will feel odd or uneven and there are only a few bikes in this space that have lines that sit so effortlessly together. The proportions are just right with the twin LED headlamps looking sharp while the side fairing gets several cuts and creases without going over the top.
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The “nose-down, tail-up" design language sits beautifully and everything on the motorcycle comes together perfectly from a visual standpoint. The quality levels too are right up there and the bike impresses with its overall fit and finish, as well as paint quality. Our test bike finished in black looked equal parts sharp and flamboyant.
2024 Aprilia RS 457: Ergonomics
The RS 457 gets a dedicated riding posture without getting uncomfortable. The medium-set clip-on handlebars and rear-set footpegs allow you to sit as close to the fuel tank as possible for an aggressive riding triangle but you can ease your back when you don’t want to go fast. It’s a compact offering and legroom may not seem all that much but what’s surprising is the amount of space the seat manages to provide. The contoured design offers decent cushioning while allowing the rider to move around to find just the sweet spot. We couldn’t get a pillion onboard at the race track but the seat should be accommodating for short rides.
2024 Aprilia RS 457: Features
The Aprilia RS 457 packs a decent amount of tech including a 5-inch TFT screen. The unit is easy to read and gets a premium look, complete with rich graphics. It also comes with Bluetooth connectivity that brings phone and music controls to the motorcycle. The digital console also brings access to a host of features including three riding modes - Eco, Rain and Sport - as well as the option to change between the three-level traction control and switchable rear ABS. The switchgear stock is decent providing access to all the controls but could’ve been slightly better in feel when compared to the rest of the bike.
2024 Aprilia RS 457: Engine & Performance
The RS 457 produces 46.9 bhp at 9,400 rpm and 43.5 Nm of peak torque at 6,700 rpm, which were already impressive numbers on paper to begin with. Out on the track, power delivery is more mature than I imagined. Torque feels linear, almost flat even, and there's a strong surge in power across the rev range. You see the motor climbing up comfortably over 7,000 rpm and the parallel-twin engine feels sublime.
Vibrations are well-contained, much to my liking and surprise, while the motor feels quick if not urgent. The tuning is more mature than the urgency of a KTM RC 390, while the motor is just a shade under sublime, only bettered by the Yamaha R3 in this segment.
Gear shifts feel seamless with a solid click but the lack of a quickshifter is most apparent on the race track. Quick downshifts aren't too much of a hassle in the real world, which is why Aprilia says it prefers offering the feature as an accessory. We kept the bike in the Sport mode for most of the ride to enjoy all of its horses all at once. A quick check in Eco and Rain mode show a duller throttle response, which seems to be the only change in terms of power delivery.
2024 Aprilia RS 457: Handling & Braking
The new twin-spar frame on the RS 457 makes things effortless. It uses the engine as a stressed member and is quite responsive to input. The RS 457 makes leaning into corners feel like a much easier exercise than it is. The weight distribution works well and the bike is ready to hit the apex, your riding skills notwithstanding.
But that's the advantage most users will have with the RS 457. It takes away some of the upskilling challenges that come with starting from scratch. For those looking at their first big bike, RS 457 will allow them to hone their riding skills further without feeling bored. That's where the motor comes into the picture ably supporting the chassis.
Given the near-perfect weather in Coimbatore, it wasn't easy to ascertain heating concerns on the RS 457. The bike heats up a fair bit but is deflected from the rider's legs. Though, you can feel some of the heat from a hot session. However, we'd like to spend more time with it to understand how it performs in day-to-day commutes.
My biggest complaint remains with the brakes that barely had any bite on them. The brakes began losing bite after about three laps, prompting an immediate shift to engine braking to stay in control. That's something we'd like Aprilia to address in the long run.
2024 Aprilia RS 457: Verdict
Priced at ₹4.10 lakh (ex-showroom), the Aprilia RS 457 shows its capabilities effortlessly and is more than just a good-looking machine. Make that a “stunning" machine, from a visual standpoint. It’s smashing to see if you're a fan of the bigger RS series, while the overall package makes the RS 457 more versatile than several of its rivals, notably the KTM RC 390. It may not be as effortless as the Yamaha R3 but packs more power and torque, which tips the scales in Aprilia’s favour. We suggest you go out and take a test ride of the new RS 457, it certainly won’t leave you disappointed.