Aprilia RS 457 first ride review - Little RS, lots of fun

Christopher Chaves Updated: January 22, 2024, 10:06 PM IST

The Aprilia Rs 457 is a gorgeous-looking machine. The Rs 457 supposed to give you a small but generous proportioned piece of the fully faired bigger displacement RS model pies from the Aprilia window - like the 660 and the V4 - and that, it very much does! It's a motorcycle that's designed in Italy but built right here in India. And past the looks, the new engine, new chassis, what piqued our interest more was when Aprilia revealed that the bike would cost Rs 4.10 lakh (ex-showroom, Maharashtra) to own, with Yamaha dropping a Rs 4.64 lakh price bomb for the 2023 R3 about a week later. Not many foresaw the Aprilia to undercut the Yamaha. So there was definitely excitement all around leading up to this Aprilia ride.

From the headlamp with the integrated turn indicators and the winglets up front, to the loud graphics all across the motorcycle, down to the tight, tapered off tail section, everything about this motorcycle talks performance. Everything about from the buttons and switchgear to the TFT dash speaks of quality.

The plastics feel nice to the touch too, and hopefully we won't witness any rattles or buzzing over time. The engine is a parallel-twin which puts out 47.5Ps of max power and this stat, coupled with the bike's 175kg weight, makes it the best power-to-weight machine in its class, at this time.

The liquid-cooled 457cc parallel-twin is a real treat in environments like this, with the party really kicking off once you enter the mid- and top-end of the powerband, past 5,000rpm up to just past the 9,400rpm mark when max power is produced. The suspension which comprises a 41mm USD fork at the front and the monoshock at the rear can only be tuned for preload adjustment, which is fine because in the stock setting we checked out, the front doesn't dive too much under hard braking and the rear squirms just a tad while at it as well.

The engine! Oh man! It's just brilliant. It loves to be revved and seeing the speedo numbers rise in a rapid fashion every time you whack the throttle open is absolutely exhilarating and it comes a laudable and thrummy exhaust note to match to. Out at the circuit in Coimbatore, I managed to hit a top speed close to 161kmph in fifth gear on the straight before having to stab the brakes, and think I could have gone faster given more time. So if you give this bike running room and you can expect to do speeds of about 170-180kmph easy.

What could be better on this Aprilia are its brakes, though. The 320mm floating disc with Bybre 4-piston radial calliper setup up front coupled with the 220mm disc with a single Bybre caliper biting down on it really didn't live up to my expectations. Initially, they appeared to provide just about adequate braking performance, but appeared to unfortunately fade quite quickly through the sessions. Now if you're out on the street, taking things a lot easier, things might be a lot more different on this front. There are two levels of ABS where you can have it active on both wheels or just the front.

Now it's a known fact that in general, there are more tourers than track riders around the world. And there are a lot of performance motorcycles that are designed to look mean, and have lovely, fast engines. But when it comes to handling department, manufacturers tend to tend to ease off a bit because not everyone wants to assume a completely sporty, committed stance especially when they are bound to ride their bike on a daily basis.

The Aprilia RS 457 at first appeared to be like one of them, but after swinging a leg over it yes, you will be in the more sport-tourer stance as soon as your feet and hands in position, but you never feel overly cramped and rather comfortable while the bike allows you to really tuck in down the straights when you're going for it, and get a good grip of the tank and attack corners at speeds with a level of confidence you weren't expecting at first. There's enough room for tall riders to move about the seat quick, find the right spot, and run hot on full attack mode around a technical circuit like the Kari Motor Speedway. Which is great! The aluminum perimeter frame gives this bike a tremendous amount of agility and is one of the main reasons you'll be looking to take up some track riding school lessons to make the best of this bike out at places like this.

For newcomers to this category of motorcycle, the Rs 457 is a great motorcycle to start off on because it's just so easy to get a hang off and the more you ride it, the more you'll gradually gain confidence and build your skills. The TVS Eurogrip protorq extreme tyres on the motorcycle are simply phenomenal and complement this bike really well. The best part is that you won't lose an arm and a leg replacing them once their time comes to pass. The 457's engine and its handling dynamics really do justice to the RS badging it bears.

Now, of course, the bars could be positioned lower, the clutch and front brake levers should have been adjustable and the windscreen could be bigger and provide better aero. But like the bike's gearing, that's something you'll have to tweak and fine tune for yourself if you want to enhance your track day experiences.

One thing that this bike sorely misses out on is a standard quickshifter. Aprilia say that it's available as an optional accessory, but this really should have been part of the standard kit on there to begin with. It's simply a must have a feature on a motorcycle of this pedigree. You have Eco, Rain and Sport ride modes, but being out on track, I found it sensible to stick to Sport. There's three levels of traction control to choose from or it can be switched off completely. The system didn't interfere too much, even in the highest setting, but how it fares out on the dirty and wet road, like the other two ride modes, remains to be seen. Yes, there are some minor shortcomings with it, but simply from our experience with the bike out on track, the Aprilia RS 457 comes across as an impressive machine. A definite win for now!


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