Aprilia had showcased the two premium 150cc motorcycles - the Tuono 150 and RS 150 - at the 2018 Delhi Auto Expo. The company had confirmed that these motorcycles would go on sale in the country; however, the launch timeline was not announced. The bikes were to be produced at Piaggio's Ahmednagar plant. The motorcycles are expected to be launched in the Indian market this year. The Aprilia RS 150's production-ready model has been spotted at an Aprilia dealers meet in Goa.
The spotted Aprilia RS 150 looks quite different from the European-spec model, which was unveiled at the 2018 Auto Expo. The spotted model seems India-spec as it comes with subtle changes in design and features. Aprilia is yet to make an official announcement on the same. The Italian automaker is also producing a similar 150cc faired motorcycle, called the GPR 150 in the Chinese market. This motorcycle was produced in China in collaboration with a local Foshan-based company called Zongshen.
In fact, the motorcycle showcased at the dealer meet looks identical to the Chinese-spec bike. This leads to a speculation that Aprilia could import the motorcycle as CKD kit from China and assemble it at its Ahmednagar facility. However, this will increase the price of the motorcycle. It won't be a good idea for a price sensitive market.
Talking about the changes, the India-spec Aprilia RS 150 comes with a more conventional fairing instead of the floating fairing of the European-spec model. It also comes with new body decals, revised tail-section and re-profiled fuel tank. The pillion seat is now wider and longer for a comfortable journey, though the rider seat is similar to the European model. Pillion footpeg mounts have been repositioned forward for more upright seating position, while the mirrors and switchgears have been revised.
The Aprilia RS 150 is powered by a 150cc, single-cylinder, liquid-cooled engine with fuel injection. Paired to a six-speed gearbox, this powertrain churns out a maximum power output of 18bhp at 10,000rpm and a peak torque of 14Nm at 7,500rpm. These power figures are similar to that of the Chinese-spec GPR 150. It is expected that Aprilia will tune this engine for more power. The motorcycle will directly rival the segment-leader Yamaha R15 V3.0.
Based on the perimeter frame, the Aprilia RS 150 gets the premium upside down front forks and monoshock unit at the rear. However, the company could opt for conventional telescopic forks to curb pricing. The motorcycle gets a smaller diameter front disc brake and a dual-channel ABS (Anti-Lock Braking System). The Aprilia RS 150 is expected to be priced over Rs 1.5 lakh, while the Yamaha R15 V3.0 ABS model costs Rs 1.39 lakh.