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Aprilia Points to Comfort and Performance On RS 660

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With the rollout of the Aprilia RS 660, the advertising blitz has started its inevitable journey throughout the internet.  But this time, it seems that there might be a change to how at least one company pitches its machines.  And it makes me wonder whether this will be a trend going forward.

Although it makes several different models, Aprilia is best known for its sportbikes.  The Italian manufacturer competes in motorcycle racing’s highest level, MotoGP, and produces excellent sporting bikes like the RSV4 and the Tuono V5.

So when its newest model, the RS 660, arrived, most thought that the bike would become the company’s middleweight sporting scalpel.  But a recent Aprilia advertisement and webpage makes comfort one of its key criteria.  Actually, it lists comfort as its number one criteria.

1. Because a sporty ride doesn’t necessarily have to be uncomfortable. From now.

There are bikes that are too extreme to be fully appreciated off the track, others that simply make compromises on the thrills you’re seeking. And then there is the RS 660, which combines sporty performance with comfortable ergonomics, using a saddle-footpegs-handlebar triangulation that guarantees a posture that never stresses the wrists too much and with the legs not bent to much. A new concept of sport versatility that provides maximum control, but does not fatigue on long rides, making it perfect for everyday use and for the most sporty riding.
Who says you have to suffer to be fast? – Aprilia webpage

It’s surprising (to me at least) that Aprilia would make comfort its number one criteria.  You could argue that performance and comfort are Aprilia’s 1A and 1B criteria, but it’s rare to see a company known for performance make it a key criterion for its flagship middleweight sportbike.

Not that that’s a bad thing.  Quite to the contrary, if the RS 660 is both racy and comfortable, Aprilia may have hit a home run.

Is comfort becoming more important?

But it does beg a question.  Could this mean that manufacturers believe that sportbikes are dying.  And that they need to make them attractive to a wider variety of riders?  Have the manufacturers discovered that younger riders are too risk-averse to want to ride sportbikes?  Does it mean that if a company wants to court riders, particularly “older” riders, they have to prominently feature comfort as one of the bike’s key features?

Increasing comfort isn’t a bad thing.  But you have to wonder why Aprilia has put comfort so high in its features list.  Do you think this is a good move for Aprilia?  Or are they diluting their sportbike’s attibutes by spouting that it’s comfortable?  Let us know what you think in the comments below.



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