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Aprilia RS 457 vs KTM RC 390: Italian Finesse vs Austrian Hooliganism

Aprilia RS 457 vs KTM RC 390: Italian Finesse vs Austrian Hooliganism

Reviews by Team Drivio | Oct 23, 2023

More power on the RS 457 should ideally make it the quicker bike of the two

  • With 47.6PS on tap and an extra cylinder, the RS 457 stands out against the RC 390
  • While the Aprilia is a brilliant-looking bike, the RC 390’s new design has polarized many
  • The RC 390’s single-cylinder engine with better mid-range should make it better than the Aprilia RS 457 in the city

Sport bikes are incredibly appealing and it makes a lot of sense that enthusiasts want to get one to hone their skills. And once you’re done with entry-level Super sports like the Yamaha R15 V4, you’d obviously want to upgrade to something more serious, something you could take out on a race track and hone your cornering skills on. And after something like the R15, riders in India pretty much only had something like the KTM RC 390

But now that Aprilia has brought its beautiful RS 457 to India, enthusiasts have a fantastic new choice apart from the KTM. If you were someone who was confused between the two as well, here’s which one you should splurge your money on: 

Aprilia RS 457 vs KTM RC 390: Designs

The Aprilia RS 457 showcases a true supersport design with its sharp body panels, full fairing, and an eye-catching LED headlamp setup. What sets it apart is its RS-like design, drawing inspiration from Aprilia's larger RS models, the RS 660 and RS V4. This scaled-down version offers the same captivating looks at a more affordable price, making it an attractive option for buyers.

The RS 457 comes with an array of noteworthy features. Its instrument panel features a 5-inch TFT display, granting access to three distinct riding modes and three levels of traction control. Bluetooth connectivity is available as an optional accessory, along with a quick shifter.

In its latest iteration, the RC 390 presents itself as almost an entirely new bike. The most prominent change is the completely revamped bodywork design with race-inspired graphics all around. The two new colors, KTM Factory Racing Blue and Orange, take inspiration from KTM’s MotoGP team. An all-LED lighting system replaces the previous model's halogen projector setup. The bike is loaded with new features, including traction control and lean-sensitive cornering ABS. 

A new super-moto mode lets you disable the rear ABS for controlled rear-wheel slides. Adding to its racing credentials, it includes a standard quick shifter. The supersport model now boasts a TFT screen inherited from its naked sibling, the KTM 390 Duke, complete with Bluetooth connectivity. However, it misses out on navigation, which may disappoint some riders.

Aprilia RS 457 vs KTM RC 390: Engine

SpecificationsAprilia RS 457KTM RC 390
Engine457cc engine373cc engine
Maximum power47.6PS43.5PS
Maximum torqueNA37Nm

The RS 457 is propelled by a 457cc liquid-cooled twin-cylinder engine, delivering an impressive output of 47.6PS. Its suspension system offers preload adjustability for a customized riding experience. Regarding braking, the RS 457 features a 320mm front disc and a 230mm rear disc, equipped with dual-channel ABS. Riders have the option to disable the rear ABS for a Super Moto-style experience.

Powering the 2022 RC 390 is the familiar 373cc single-cylinder, liquid-cooled engine, generating 43.5PS and 37Nm of torque (1 Nm more, thanks to a larger airbox). The new By bred braking system, featuring 320mm and 280mm discs at the front and rear, significantly improves braking performance compared to the previous model's 230mm rear disc.

Aprilia RS 457 vs KTM RC 390: Suspension, Tyres & Brakes

SpecificationsAprilia RS 457KTM RC 390
Front suspensionInverted ForkInverted Fork
Rear suspensionMonoshockMonoshock
Front tyre17-inch alloys17-inch alloys
Rear tyre17-inch alloys17-inch alloys
Front brakeDisc BrakeDisc Brake
Rear brakeDisc BrakeDisc Brake
ABSDual-channel ABSDual-channel ABS

The Aprilia RS 457 exhibits exceptional agility, feeling as nimble as some of the 350-400cc single-cylinder sport bikes. What's particularly impressive is the RS 457's TFT console. It exudes a premium feel and excels in readability when compared to the KTM. The layout is uncluttered, making it easy for riders to access essential information.

In terms of the engine, the RS 457 packs a punch. Its parallel-twin mill provides ample low-end torque, beginning around 4,000rpm. This results in strong performance, even when riding in higher gears, making it manageable in traffic. It's worth noting that both bikes fall short in the mileage department due to their multiple cylinders, a trade-off for the power they offer.

However, the RS 457 does feature a slightly more committed riding posture, which could lead to discomfort during long commutes, particularly for your wrists or back. The lack of tank grips also makes it challenging to secure a firm hold on the RS 457's tanks. Therefore, if you're considering the Aprilia, investing in tank grips is a sensible choice.

Aprilia RS 457 vs KTM RC 390: Dimensions

Weighing in at 172kg, the Aprilia is 3kg lighter than the KTM despite having a bigger engine and an extra cylinder. Even on a race track, the Aprilia RS 457 handles with agility, making it easier to navigate from one corner to the next. This weight advantage contributes to its nimbleness on the road, enhancing the overall riding experience.

The outgoing RC has gained a reputation for its razor-sharp handling, but it often requires a precise and experienced hand to unlock its full potential. The new iteration of this bike has retained much of its cornering prowess but has become significantly more rider-friendly. It now offers a more predictable and natural feel when pushing it to the limit. The RC remains a highly agile and sharp-handling motorcycle, but it has become more neutral and approachable than its predecessor.

KTM's promotional materials emphasize the reduced weight of the new wheels and brakes, with meticulous efforts to shed weight in areas like the frame and chain guard. However, when you consider the complete bike, it has actually gained some weight since its initial introduction. When fully fueled and ready to hit the road, you'll be astride a 172kg machine. That's 8kg more than its weight in 2014. 

Surprisingly, you won't sense the additional weight from the rider's seat, and the RC still retains its nimbleness. It's worth noting that the front end might not provide the same intimate feedback as it did in the past, but this trade-off is generally well-received by most riders, as it enhances the bike's accessibility and ease of handling.

Aprilia RS 457 vs KTM RC 390: Price

PriceAprilia RS 457KTM RC 390 
Ex-showroom DelhiRs 4.25 lakh (Expected Price)Rs 3,18,173 onwards 

KTM has priced the RC 390 at Rs 3,18,173, ex-showroom Delhi. While that does translate to more than a Rs 36,000 price hike over its predecessor, the bike still carries quite a competitive price tag and we think it’s very reasonable. 

As for the RS 457, while Aprilia hasn’t officially launched the bike yet, we think it could carry a price tag of around Rs 4.25 lakh, ex-showroom. 


All in all, which bike you should go for actually depends on you. Those on a budget should definitely go for the RC 390, for it presents very good value for money. But for the more experienced riders who don’t mind shelling out more money, the RS 457 is worth every penny spent, for the bike feels more sophisticated, and more experienced riders will be able to extract more out of it. 

But why we insist on the word ‘experienced’, is the fact that newer riders should definitely get on the RC 390, for it could be that they find the RS 457 a bit overwhelming to get on.