Aprilia RS 457 A New Game-Changer in Small-Displacement Sportbikes-

Aprilia RS 457

The motorcycle world witnessed a significant unveiling at EICMA this year – the Aprilia RS 457. This latest offering from the renowned Italian manufacturer, Aprilia, has stirred excitement among enthusiasts and industry experts alike. Known for its racing pedigree and high-performance machines, Aprilia’s foray into the small-displacement sportbike segment with the RS 457 marks a strategic move. Let’s delve into the key aspects of this bike and evaluate its potential impact on the market.

Small-displacement sportbike

Top Key Points

  • Innovative Engine Design: The RS 457 boasts a 457cc parallel-twin engine, perfectly maxing out the A2 license power restriction with 46.9 horsepower. Its 270-degree firing order mirrors that of the CFMoto 450 series, indicating a harmonious blend of power and smoothness.
  • Lightweight Construction: Aprilia breaks the mould with an all-aluminium frame, deviating from the typical steel frames in its class. This choice, coupled with the engine’s integration as a stressed chassis component, significantly reduces the bike’s weight, enhancing its agility.
  • Advanced Suspension and Braking: The bike features a sophisticated suspension system, including a 41-millimeter upside-down fork and a rear mono-shock, both adjustable for preload. The braking system, with a large front disc and a four-piston radial caliper, promises powerful and responsive stopping capabilities.
  • Cutting-Edge Features: The RS 457 is equipped with an array of high-end features usually reserved for larger bikes. These include a quick shifter, a TFT display, ride-by-wire throttle, multi-level traction control, and various ride modes, setting a new standard in the segment.
  • Competitive Market Positioning: Priced around $7,000 USD, the RS 457 aims to attract beginners seeking a high-tech starter bike and experienced riders desiring a smaller, agile machine. It enters a competitive market against the likes of KTM RC 390, Kawasaki Ninja 400, and Honda CBR500R, offering a unique blend of technology and performance.

EICMA Motorcycle Show



The Aprilia RS 457 emerges as a compelling new player in the small-displacement sportbike category. Its combination of a powerful, regulation-maxing engine, lightweight design, and advanced technological features positions it as a potentially disruptive force in the market. With its racing DNA and a focus on agility and rider engagement, Aprilia seems to have crafted a machine that will appeal to a broad range of riders, from beginners to seasoned enthusiasts.

Parallel-twin engine with 457cc

Key Analysis

The Aprilia RS 457’s introduction into the small-displacement sportbike market warrants a detailed analysis, particularly when considering its potential impact, target audience, and positioning against established rivals. Here’s a deeper look into the key aspects of this motorcycle:

  • Engine and Performance: The RS 457’s 457cc parallel-twin engine is a critical highlight. It maxes out the A2 license power limit with 46.9 horsepower, which is both a strategic advantage and a potential limitation. This power output makes the bike accessible to newer riders within the EU while offering experienced riders enough performance to enjoy spirited riding. The 270-degree firing order, akin to the CFMoto 450 series, suggests Aprilia’s focus on delivering a smooth yet responsive power delivery.
  • Design and Weight Management: The choice of an all-aluminium frame over the more common steel frames in this segment is a bold move. This not only reduces the overall weight, enhancing the bike’s agility and handling but also positions the RS 457 as a premium offering in its category. Additionally, integrating the engine as a stressed member of the chassis further reduces weight, which could significantly improve handling dynamics, crucial for both new and experienced riders.
  • Technology and Features: Aprilia has packed the RS 457 with features usually seen on larger, more expensive motorcycles. The inclusion of a quick-shifter, advanced TFT display, ride-by-wire throttle, multi-level traction control, and adjustable ride modes is quite impressive. These features not only enhance the riding experience but also improve safety and control, appealing to tech-savvy riders and those seeking a high-value proposition.
  • Market Positioning and Pricing: Priced at around $7,000 USD, the RS 457 sits in a competitive market segment, facing off against the likes of the KTM RC 390, Kawasaki Ninja 400, and Honda CBR500R. While its price is higher than some competitors, the advanced features and brand prestige of Aprilia could justify this premium. This positioning will likely attract a mix of entry-level riders who are willing to invest more for advanced features, as well as experienced riders seeking a high-quality, small-displacement bike.
  • Brand Reputation and After-Sales Considerations: Aprilia’s reputation as a maker of high-performance, premium motorcycles could influence consumer perception of the RS 457, setting high expectations for quality and performance. However, this could also lead to concerns about higher maintenance costs and the availability of service, which are important considerations for the target market of newer and potentially cost-conscious riders.
  • Competition and Market Dynamics: The RS 457 enters a segment with well-established players. Its success will depend not only on the bike’s intrinsic qualities but also on how it is perceived against its rivals. While it offers more advanced technology, whether this will be a decisive factor for buyers in this segment remains to be seen. The bike’s performance in head-to-head comparisons, both in terms of rideability and value for money, will be crucial.

The Aprilia RS 457 presents a compelling mix of performance, technology, and design. Its success in the competitive small-displacement sportbike market will depend on how well it can leverage these strengths to appeal to a diverse range of riders, from beginners to experienced enthusiasts seeking a nimble and technologically advanced machine.

Competitive sportbike market


The Aprilia RS 457 enters a fiercely competitive segment of small-displacement sportbikes, where it faces several well-established models. Each of these competitors has its unique selling points and market positioning, making the segment diverse and challenging. Here’s an overview of the primary competitors:

  • KTM RC 390: This bike is known for its aggressive styling, performance, and handling. It’s powered by a 373cc single-cylinder engine, known for its punchy performance and lightweight design. The RC 390 is also equipped with premium features such as a slipper clutch, ABS, and a TFT display, making it a favourite among riders looking for a sporty, race-inspired machine.
  • Kawasaki Ninja 400: The Ninja 400 is a popular choice due to its balance of performance, affordability, and brand reputation. It features a 399cc parallel-twin engine that is known for its reliability and smooth power delivery. The Ninja 400 is also praised for its comfortable ergonomics, making it a great all-rounder for both daily commuting and spirited riding.
  • Honda CBR500R: The CBR500R sits at the higher end of the small-displacement spectrum with its 471cc parallel-twin engine. It strikes a balance between performance and user-friendliness, appealing to both beginners and experienced riders. The bike is known for its reliability, smooth power delivery, and comfortable riding position, making it a practical choice for a wide range of riders.
  • Yamaha YZF-R3: The Yamaha R3 is another strong contender, featuring a 321cc parallel-twin engine. It’s known for its sporty design, impressive handling, and overall balance of performance and comfort. The R3 is often praised for being a great entry-level sportbike that doesn’t intimidate new riders but still offers enough excitement for more seasoned enthusiasts.
  • CFMoto 450 SS: As a more budget-friendly option, the CFMoto 450 SS, with its 450cc parallel-twin engine, presents a value proposition for riders looking for a cost-effective entry into sportbikes. While it may not have the brand prestige of its European and Japanese counterparts, it offers a competitive performance-to-price ratio.

Each of these competitors brings something different to the table:

  • The KTM RC 390 appeals with its race-bred characteristics and aggressive styling.
  • The Kawasaki Ninja 400 offers a well-rounded package balancing performance and comfort.
  • The Honda CBR500R is positioned as a slightly larger, more powerful option that remains user-friendly.
  • The Yamaha YZF-R3 is celebrated for its excellent handling and approachability.
  • The CFMoto 450 SS targets the budget-conscious segment with a compelling price point.

The Aprilia RS 457, with its advanced features, premium brand heritage, and performance focus, will need to carve out its niche in this landscape. It aims to attract riders who value technology and performance in a small-displacement package, potentially swaying some customers from these established models. The competition in this segment is not just about raw performance; it also hinges on brand perception, price-to-value ratio, and the overall riding experience.

Sportbike riding experience


  • Performance-Optimized Engine: The RS 457’s engine is not just about meeting legal limits; its design promises an exhilarating ride experience.
  • Agility and Handling: The lightweight aluminium frame and well-engineered suspension offer nimble handling and control, ideal for both urban environments and winding roads.
  • Advanced Rider Aids: Features like a quick-shifter, traction control, and multiple ride modes are typically found on more expensive bikes, making the RS 457 a technologically advanced option in its class.
  • Strong Braking System: The high-quality braking system ensures rider safety and confidence, especially crucial for beginners.


  • Price Point: While offering advanced features, the $7,000 price tag might be a stretch for some beginners, especially when compared to more affordable options like the CFMoto 450 SS.
  • Brand Perception: Aprilia is traditionally seen as a high-end brand; the RS 457 needs to balance this prestige while appealing to the budget-conscious segment of the market.
  • Maintenance and Service: Given Aprilia’s positioning, maintenance and servicing costs might be higher compared to other brands, which could be a consideration for new riders.


The Aprilia RS 457 stands out as a milestone in the small-displacement sportbike segment. It encapsulates Aprilia’s commitment to performance and technology, distilled into a package accessible to a wider range of riders.

While it faces stiff competition and challenges related to pricing and brand perception, the RS 457 has the potential to redefine what riders expect from a small-capacity sportbike. Its success will depend on how it is received by the market, but it certainly sets a high bar in terms of performance, technology, and design. As we look forward to seeing these bikes on the roads and tracks, one thing is clear – the Aprilia RS 457 is poised to make a significant impact.

Webwire ApriliaAutoX

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