Aprilia is continuing its mission of growing a new generation of Italian racing champions. In 2019 the brand announced its first Trophy model, which was based on the race-spec RS 250 SP and designed to get young riders into roadracing. Despite the adverse conditions created by the coronavirus pandemic, the Aprilia Trophy RS 250 SP turned out to be a remarkable success. Taking its sporting cues from Aprilia’s RS 125, the bike was equipped with Brembo brakes, Öhlins suspension, and Pirelli Diablo Superbike radials on Marchesini wheels. Aprilia Racing also cut the bike’s weight by 80 pounds. The RS 125 chassis proved a perfect complement to the DOHC, four-valve, 250cc single engine, mildly tuned to extract 28 hp at 9,500 rpm, which briskly propels the 230-pound rocket while still allowing for easy control by inexperienced youngsters. The Aprilia junior racer was priced at 9,700 euros, an especially attractive number given the bike’s quality.
The RS 250 SP Trophy was so well received that Aprilia has announced it will repeat the exercise again this year, though in a slightly different form. For 2021 we will see the RS 660 Trophy, a program of a different caliber. The RS 660 was similarly conceived as a race-spec variant, but one allowing aspiring racers to grow into the next level. Aprilia is making a limited run of 42 of these bikes, which feature an engine tuned to generate a reliable 105 hp, a number that’s sure to grant the 337-pound bike healthy levels of performance. Aprilia Racing Director Romano Albesiano claims that the bike will be able to produce lap times not too far off those set by present SuperSport racers, an idea certain to appeal to budding racers. While it’s built around the RS street version, the RS 660 Trofeo’s component list reflects its racing intent, with suspension units all provided by Öhlins Racing and the braking system by Brembo. Lightweight forged aluminum wheels wear Pirelli Supercorsa SC1 V3 racing radials in 120/70-17 front and 180/60-17 rear measurements.
The Aprilia RS 660 Trophy kicks off a six-race cup series, open to junior racers 15 years of age and up, beginning with its first race on May 16 at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli racing circuit. In reality there will be two separate Trophy models, as Aprilia Racing will keep 21 of the 42 bikes produced under its control and management. These bikes will be rented to racers for 34,900 euros for the season, with all refurbishing, retuning, and maintenance operations handled by Aprilia Racing in order to minimize engine tampering and other funny business. That price may seem steep, but it also includes fuel, tires, lubricants, brake pads, and paddock and track assistance, plus hospitality and even catering. This rental formula is intended to help establish a tighter relationship between Aprilia Racing and the potential champions of the future by allowing young riders to focus on their training rather than the details of bike maintenance and tuning problems. The remaining 21 race-ready bikes will be available for sale at 17,959 euros, but only overseas. At the end of the season there will be two separate classifications: Aprilia Racing Area and Challenge.