Aprilia have shelved their 150cc project for India but are now instead looking at the 300-400cc motorcycle segment as they believe the entry-level performance segment in India has evolved over the years. These bikes are still two to three years away.
There have been lots of talks about Aprilia entering the entry-level performance segment in India for a long time but it has not materialized into something tangible as of yet. Aprilia created a lot of buzz with the RS 150 and the Tuono 150 when they were showcased at the 2018 Auto Expo but we haven’t heard about these motorcycles since then. It was touted to be perfect rivals for the Yamaha R15 V3, Yamaha MT-15, KTM RC 125 and the KTM 125 Duke. Even the Aprilia GPR250 which was spotted in early-2019 gave us some hope that the bike arrive from China and would be locally assembled here.
Of course, none of that has happened as of yet. Aprilia was one of the few motorcycle manufacturers to participate in the 2020 Auto Expo but surprisingly, there were no new motorcycles on display. It was later learned that Aprilia has shelved the 150cc project. The Italian motorcycle manufacturer felt that the entry-level performance segment had evolved in our country and that they needed a motorcycle in the 250-300cc segment. The latest development on this front is that now Aprilia is evaluating a 300-400cc motorcycle.
During the launch of the Vespa racing Sixties Edition, Diego Graffi, Piaggio India’s MD and CEO, said that the project is in its nascent stage and that the motorcycle is two to three years away from production. A 300-400cc motorcycle makes great sense for Aprilia, given the attention this segment has received with the coming of the likes of the Honda CB300R, TVS Apache RR 310, BMW G 310 duo, and the KTM 390 siblings. Graffi also mentioned that the new motorcycle will be a completely new ground-up design which will be designed and engineered in Italy with inputs from Aprilia India.
Aprilia also plans to export the 300-400cc motorcycle from India to Southeast Asian countries, Europe and even Latin America. With examples like the KTM 390 duo, TVS Apache RR 310 and the Royal Enfield 650 twins, we know that India can build world-class mid-displacement motorcycles at very affordable prices. Talking of prices, it is anybody’s guess, but we can expect a price of about Rs 3.25 lakh for something like a Aprilia RS 350 while a Tuono 350 could be priced around Rs 3 lakh.
There are absolutely no details about this motorcycle currently but we can perhaps make an educated guess about what could be powering it. Let’s say a single-cylinder, liquid-cooled, DOHC motor with a displacement of around 350-380cc. The motor will perhaps come mated to a 6-speed gearbox with a slipper clutch. What we do know is that the upcoming Aprilia 300-400cc motorcycles will be available in both faired and naked body styles. In fact, their styling will be inspired by the Aprilia RSV4 1100 and the Aprilia Tuono V4 1100. We can’t wait to find out how Aprilia turns up with these motorcycles.