Aprilia RS 457 Acko Drive 500 km Non-Stop Road Test Review

Published on 8 Jun, 2024, 7:05 AM IST
Updated on 11 Jun, 2024, 9:31 AM IST

Arun Mohan Nadar
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Car & Bike reviews
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1 Aprilia RS 457 - 500 km test

Will the Aprilia RS 457 manage to impress us after the tiresome Acko Drive 500 km realworld test? 

There are many issues with a sportbike, it isn’t comfortable, it isn’t a great commuter and even touring isn't a pleasant experience. But when it comes to aspiration, thrill, performance and visual drama, nothing comes close to a sportbike. No wonder for the 90s kids there was always a personal favourite sports and superbike poster that adorned the walls and for the current youngsters their mobile screen wallpaper. 

What we have with us today is the latest sportbike to enter our market, the Aprilia RS457. So let’s put this new kid on the block through the gruelling Acko Drive 500 km non-stop test to find out what works in favour of the bike and what doesn’t. 

Performance 

Let’s tackle performance first as the 457 cc parallel-twin engine is a proper gem. It features a 270 degree crank so the torque spread is really generous like that of a delicious peanut butter sandwich and this makes the bike so easy to ride. You can be riding one or even two gears higher and the engine doesn’t struggle. ThIs nature makes it a very easy and nice bike for riding in the city. But heck, you didn’t buy the Aprilia RS 457 for commuting, it’s pure performance and that adrenaline kick is felt the moment you open the throttle wide. 

The low-end torque means it shoots off the line with vigour and the acceleration is very quick. The power band kicks in after 5,000 rpm when the engine really begins to sing and triple digit speeds are reached in a jiffy. Given the taller 6th gear, if you find a clean and long patch of road, the RS 457 can manage to cross a speedo indicated 200 kmph, now that's properly fast! 

And that’s not it, this engine is good for touring as well, surprising right? That’s the beauty of the twin-cylinder engine, that it offers a very refined experience even when speeds are above 100 kmph. A special mention of the gearbox too, the clutch action is light and gear shifts are brilliant and precise. In fact downshifts feel like you’re cocking a gun, it’s a proper fun bike. 

6 Aprilia RS 457 - 500 km test

However the lack of a standard quickshifter is a bummer given its ballistic performance. Another bit of worrisome is the heat from the engine. Agreed there was a heatwave, when the bike was tested, but it’s the way that the air is directed that makes the frame very hot. 

Fuel efficiency 

Fuel efficiency and performance bikes aren’t the best of friends but then again, these numbers do matter to the buyer. Let me be clear, the numbers that we have achieved is probably the worst that one can expect from the RS 457. 

During our city run, the Apriia delivered 23 kmpl, which honestly is very good for a bike of this displacement and power. On the highway, the number fluctuates based on the speeds you carry as when ridden at 140 kmph, the figure dropped to around 20 kmpl. 

The real downfall is witnessed, when you ride the bike on mountain twisties and push it very hard, the RS 457 delivered a measly 17 kmpl. As I mentioned before, these numbers are with the bike ridden hard, with normal speeds, the Aprilia RS 457 can deliver between 25-28 kmpl. 

Fun 

The thrilling performance is matched by brilliant handlings and that’s courtesy Aprilia’s years of racing experience. It employs a twin-spar aluminium frame, the construction of which is based on the Aprilia RSV4 superbike and oh lord, what a lovely piece of engineering it’s. Apart from being lighter than a conventional steel frame, it also offers more flex and that makes the handling just brilliant, no wonder MotoGP bikes still are running aluminium frames! 

On the mountain twisties, the handling of the Aprilia is just sublime. Just focus on the line that you want to take and it obeys your command to the T. The handling is almost telepathic and there was a wide grin on my face while attacking corners at high speeds. Apart from the frame, the TVS tyres also deserve their due credit for the leech-like grip they offer. And this agility shines through during city commutes too. You can easily cut your way through traffic as the front end feels so light. As you can see the handling of the RS457 is sublime and makes it a great track tool as Jehan found out during his stint at the Kari circuit. So if you’re planning to buy a track tool that will help you learn the fine art of fast cornering, this Italian is up to the job. 

But there are some concerns, while taking U-Turns, your hand brushes against the frame and this takes getting used to. The other bit of concern are the front brakes, during the first ride, the levers came in at the track, but the media unit that we had fared better in this regard. We aren’t sure, but it seems Aprilia fitted them with sintered pads and this has significantly improved the braking performance. However, given the performance a bit of bite would have been welcome. 

Comfort

The riding posture is properly sporty as expected from a sportbike, but it isn’t overly committed and cramped like the Yamaha R15. In fact, the riding posture is such that you can do a sub-500 km highway tour easily. 

But when it comes to ride quality, the brilliant handling dynamics does affect comfort. The ride quality is between firm and stiff, it changes depending on undulations and bumps. The front is still fine, but the rear is stiff and you feel all the jolts on your back. So on broken roads and rough surfaces, you better be careful on the Aprilia RS 457. Now on a normal motorcycle this would have been a pain point, but given its thrilling performance, the RS 457 covers up for the slightly uncomfortable ride, And then again you don’t buy a supersport for touring, right? 

Technology

The Aprilia RS 457 is loaded with a lot of electronics for a bike from this segment. First up there are 3 riding modes and various traction control settings. The above can be easily tuned via switch cubes and a crisp TFT display. 

My preferred ride mode was Sport as the bike felt the most natural and fun in this setting. Also, the RS 457 feels livelier when the TC is set at 1 or off as the rider has better control and throttle response is on point. For riders with less experience, TC2 is fine as TC3 is very intrusive and chops power very abruptly thereby affecting the ride experience. There’s also a dedicated Aprilia app through which riders can access a lot of more information. 

Accessories

Aprilia also has introduced a wide range of accessories for the RS457 and while some of them are priced well, a lot of them will empty your wallet in a jiffy. You can check out the accessories and their cost in the table below. Among the above accessories, my personal pick will be the bi-directional quickshifter as given the performance you really do miss it and maybe the taller windscreen. The premium pricing for the accessories is owing to the fact that most of it is coming from Europe and attracts heavy taxes. 

Sr. No.

Accessory Name

Price

1

Tall Windscreen

Rs. 899

2

USB Charging

Rs. 949

3

Passenger Seat Cowl

Rs. 1,499

4

Helmet Lock

Rs. 1,899

5

Adjustable Brake Lever

Rs. 5,449

6

Front axle protector

Rs. 8,725

7

Racing brake pads

Rs. 9,349

8

Bike cover

Rs. 16,875

9

Bi-directional quickshifter

Rs. 27,799

10

Tyre pressure monitoring system

Rs. 28,749

11

Front brake lever protection

Rs. 29,825

12

Electronic anti-theft assembly

Rs. 29,925

Verdict

At Rs 4.10 lakh (ex-showroom), the Aprilia RS 457 isn’t a VFM money bike when you consider rivals such as the KTM RC 390 and the TVS Apache RR 310. But being a twin-cylinder offering, it competes against Japanese competitors such as the Yamaha R3 and the Kawasaki Ninja 500, and in this context, the Italian machine does offer good value. With respect to the verdict, I will cut to the chase, the RS 457 is a phenomenal motorcycle and easily the best bike tested by me in 2024. It has the visual drama warranting of a sportbike, performance is versatile and engaging, quality levels are premium, has loads of electronic aids and the handling is just sublime. 

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Having mentioned the above there are still few areas of concern. First up is the reliability of the bike in the longer run as this motorcycle is an all-new platform, reliability remains questionable, but during the road test we faced no issues. The other aspect is the maintenance cost, given how expensive the accessories are priced, it leads us to believe that service and spare costs for the Aprilia RS 457 wouldn’t be cheap. But all said and done, if you have ₹ 5 lakh to spend on a sportbike, just go for the RS 457, it’s that impressive!

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Aprilia
Review
500 km review
Aprilia RS457