Aprilia India confirms KTM RC 390 rival for this year, could be called RS440
After years of wait, Piaggio India will be finally entering the entry performance motorcycle segment in India and has confirmed its intentions to do so as the brand celebrated its 25th anniversary in the Indian market. The upcoming offering is expected to be the rumoured Aprilia RS440 that was spotted testing recently and will be a rival to the KTM RC 390 in the segment.
Piaggio announced that it will be “entering the performance motorcycle segment in India with the group’s marquee racing motorcycle brand, Aprilia. So far, Aprilia retails scooters and premium performance motorcycles in the country. The company shared prototypes of its 150 cc performance bikes in 2018 but the strategy was later changed to bring newer products in the 300-400 cc segment.
Details are scarce on the Aprilia RS440, which could be the potential name of the model. This is in line with Aprilia’s nomenclature considering the RS660 and RS1100 in the company’s lineup. The new offering is most likely designed for emerging markets and India will possibly be the global manufacturing hub for the upcoming model.
The Aprilia RS440 could borrow styling cues from the RS660 including the twin headlamps, sharp lines, and a full-faired body. The spy shots showed aggressive but forgiving ergonomics, hinting at a sport tourer than a dedicated track machine from the company. To be fair, even the new KTM RC 390 gets slightly more relaxed ergonomics in a bid to make the model more comfortable for riders.
There’s no word on the powertrain yet but the RS440 is expected to get a newly-developed liquid-cooled, single-cylinder engine. Hopefully, Aprilia will go all-in in terms of providing some stellar power figures, while providing rider aids including dual-channel ABS, traction control, Ride-by-Wire, bi-directional quickshifter, cornering ABS and more. The spy shots also hinted at USD front forks and a monoshock at the rear, along with lightweight disc brakes with alloy wheels.
Expect prices to be between ₹2.9-3.5 lakh (ex-showroom), which is also where the BMW G 310 RR, Kawasaki Ninja 300 and KTM RC 390 operate. The upcoming Aprilia RS440 is expected to arrive in India around the festive season and we could get the first glimpse of the motorcycle at the first-ever India round of MotoGP - Bharat GP - scheduled to take place in September this year. Not just Piaggio but expect other manufacturers who are present in India and MotoGP to keep some big announcements at the premier class racing event.