Home Bike Reviews Aprilia RS 457: First Ride Review

Aprilia RS 457: First Ride Review

by caradmin
Aprilia RS 457: First Ride Review
GalleryIntroductionThe VisualsThe PackageThe RideShould you buy it?


The Aprilia RS 457 came as a bolt from the blue when it was spotted testing in India over a year ago. A twin-cylinder motorcycle by the Noale, Italy-headquartered company; made here in India. It was an indicator of how serious Aprilia was about making a bigger dent in the market.

And what better weapon could it choose than its new sub-500cc supersport? Its looks, specs and features left us salivating and the Rs 4.1 lakh price tag hit the spot. All that was left to do was ride the bike and there couldn’t have been a better setting than the Kari Motor Speedway in Coimbatore to assess this gorgeous Italian motorcycle.

The Visuals

Gorgeous isn’t a term that I’ve bestowed upon it lightly, since it is well and truly a stunning design. Call it a scaled-down Aprilia RS660 or the mighty RSV4, if you will, and I’ve absolute certainty that this bike will turn heads wherever it goes.

The front fairing, with its neatly integrated LED lights, looks every bit as sharp and captivating as an Italian supersport ought to. Shift your gaze to the side and the sight of the exposed, aluminium frame snatches your attention. The cleverly designed side fairing adds more visual impact with its cuts and creases without being overtly large and hence ungainly.

The tail section, in quintessential supersport fashion, rises from the mid-section and is quite sleek. Like the rest of the bike, it is shaped beautifully but, impressively, it hasn’t come at the expense of usable room for the pillion. More on that later because for now, I’d declare the RS 457 as the best-looking supersport motorcycle in this segment, especially in white.

The quality, fit and finish are good in most places, be it the panel gaps, the paint or the aluminium bits on the bike. That said, the quality of the plastics used for the switchgear could’ve been of a higher grade.

The Package

Aprilia hasn’t been skimp with the features and you get a neat, five-inch TFT display with Bluetooth connectivity. Besides phone and music controls it offers a plethora of information related to the bike.

There are electronic rider aids as well. Three ride modes – Eco, Rain, and Sport – alter the throttle response without any change to peak power output. Adding to the safety net are three levels of traction control, with the lowest number being the least intrusive. The experienced hands can also choose to turn off TC if they want. Dual-channel ABS is standard and one can opt to disengage the rear ABS too.

As for the ergonomics, the seat is roomy for both the rider and the pillion. The clip-on handlebars aren’t aggressively low either and wide enough to reduce the load on your wrist and forearms. Touring on the RS457, shouldn’t be a strict no-no.

The Ride

With a bike that looks so good, it would’ve been criminal to have an engine that lacks character or sounds industrial, no? Aprilia has, thankfully, been mindful of the same and my word, have they injected this 457cc engine with soul. Fire it up and the deep, bassy tone is unmistakably that of a 270-degree crank. I’ve owned a KTM 790 Duke in the past, so I could relate. On the move, the engine makes an involving sound but, more importantly, it feels quick, and torquey with a solid punch in the middle of the rev range.

With the ride mode set in Sport for the racetrack and TC at , the turn of speed while accelerating was entertaining. It isn’t maniacal like the new KTM 390 Duke but, rather more measured and smoother while being exhilarating at the same time. What also impressed me about the engine was the strong bottom end which allowed me to stick the gearbox in third at 20kmph and ride without any signs of protest. Lazy rides in the city, perhaps, shouldn’t be an issue.

Vibrations, though few and present in places aren’t bothersome at any point. We’d like to test this engine further and for longer in the city to tell you more conclusively about its performance, heat management ability and fuel efficiency. A detailed road test back at the base will hold the answers.

But, what use would a good engine be of if the chassis wasn’t up to the mark? In typical Aprilia style, they’ve hit it out of the park with this new chassis. The RS 457 has a twin-spar Aluminium frame, suspended by a preload adjustable USD fork and monoshock. They work together with the super-grippy Eurogrip ProTorq Extreme tyres to offer a handling package that is par excellence.

Full disclaimer, I was riding at the Kari Motor Speedway after two years and to say that I felt as if I was out of depth would be an understatement. That’s when the RS 457’s friendly, forgiving nature came to my rescue.

Throughout my time on the racetrack, the feedback from the front end felt clearer than distilled water while the effort required to change direction, at Kari’s fast chicanes, for instance, was negligible. The sense of composure under hard acceleration or braking was incredible too. There were times when I took all sorts of sub-optimal lines around the circuit. The bike simply allowed me to correct my mistakes and continue, and not spit me onto the side of the kerbs. Around a racetrack, then, the RS 457 is more forgiving than your mother. The traction control wasn’t intrusive on the racetrack, although, we’d like to test it on a wet or dusty surface to see how smoothly it’ll intervene.

I do, however, wish that Aprilia would’ve gone the whole hog and offered better braking hardware than what’s currently on offer. The use of organic brake pads instead of sintered ones robbed the bike of some extra bite and feedback which would’ve given me a lot of confidence to brake much later than I was. However, this is not a huge issue and is easily fixable by upgrading the brake pads or if you will, a radial master cylinder. Or you can opt for the sintered pads that Aprilia will sell as an accessory, as well as the quickshfter.

Should you buy it?

The Aprilia RS457 is a rather impressive motorcycle on the racetrack. Fast, forgiving and hugely involving, the combination of its responsive engine and fantastic handling is what makes me gravitate towards it a lot. Not to mention its beautiful design and the appeal of the Aprilia brand. The brakes should’ve been better and the TFT’s menu operation could’ve been more intuitive but in the hour that I spent riding the bike, I liked it.

That said, I can’t definitively say if you should buy it right away because several questions are yet to be answered. Like the engine’s performance in the city, heat management, fuel efficiency and ride quality on bad roads. It’ll also be interesting to see what the sales, service and build quality are like over some time. Nevertheless, the Aprilia RS 547 is a bike that should feature on your consideration list, at least, going by how wonderful it is to ride on a racetrack.

Photos by Kaustubh Gandhi


Aprilia RS 457
457 cc|46.9 bhp
₹ 4,10,012Onwards
Avg. Ex-Showroom price

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