Aprilia RST1000 Futura

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Aprilia RST1000 Futura
Also called RST 1000 Futura
Production 2001 - 2005
Class Sport touring
liquid-cooled, four-stroke, V-Twin
Bore / Stroke 96.5mm x 96.5mm
Compression ratio 11.8:1
Top Speed 149 mph (240 km/h)
Horsepower 113.05 HP (84.3 KW) @ 9250RPM
Torque 70.81 ft/lbs (96.0 Nm) @ 7250RPM
Air Filter K&N AL-1098 `01-04[1]
Ignition digital electronic ignition with tsi (twin spark ignition) with two spark plugs per cylinder. ignition timing integrated in the injection control system. diac (dynamic ignition advance control) electronically controlled ignition timing.
Spark Plug NGK DCPR9E '01-05 [2]
Battery YUASA YTX12-BS '01-05 [2]
Transmission Gear box: 6-speed, manual
Clutch: wet multi-disc, manual
Final Drive Chain: 525x
Front Sprocket 16T
Rear Sprocket 43T
Suspension Front: 43mm Showa upside-down fork
Rear: Sachs adjustable monoshock
Brakes Front: dual 320mm discs, 2-piston calipers
Rear: single 255mm disc, 2-piston caliper
Front Tire 120/70-17
Rear Tire 180/55-17
Wheelbase 56.5 inches (1435 mm)
Length 85.39 inches (2169 mm)
Width 29.09 inches (739 mm)
Height 48.82 inches (1240 mm)
Seat Height 32.28 inches (820 mm)
Weight 416.67 pounds (189.0 Kg) (dry), 210.0 kg (wet)
Oil Filter K&N KN-564
Fuel Capacity 4.76 Gallon (18.00 Liters)
Related Aprilia Caponord 1000
Aprilia SL1000 Falco
Competition Honda VFR800
Manuals Service Manual

Reviews ·

The Aprilia RST 1000 Futura was a liquid-cooled, four-stroke, V-Twin Sport touring motorcycle produced by Aprilia between 2001 and 2005. It could reach a top speed of 149 mph (240 km/h). Max torque was 70.81 ft/lbs (96.0 Nm) @ 7250 RPM. Claimed horsepower was 113.05 HP (84.3 KW) @ 9250 RPM.

Engine[edit | edit source]

The engine was a liquid cooled liquid-cooled, four-stroke, V-Twin. A 96.5mm bore x 96.5mm stroke result in a displacement of just 998.0 cubic centimeters. Fuel was supplied via a double overhead cams/twin cam (dohc).

Drive[edit | edit source]

The bike has a 6-speed, manual transmission. Power was moderated via the wet multi-disc, manual.

Chassis[edit | edit source]

It came with a 120/70-17 front tire and a 180/55-17 rear tire. Stopping was achieved via dual 320mm discs, 2-piston calipers in the front and a single 255mm disc, 2-piston caliper in the rear. The front suspension was a 43mm Showa upside-down fork while the rear was equipped with a Sachs adjustable monoshock. The RST 1000 Futura was fitted with a 4.76 Gallon (18.00 Liters) fuel tank. The bike weighed just 416.67 pounds (189.0 Kg). The wheelbase was 56.5 inches (1435 mm) long.

Overview[edit | edit source]

Ace Futura Story Sam MacLachlan A sportster with a comfy seat, or a tourer with sticky tires? Aprilia's Futura blends fast with practical for a mile-eater with attitude.

It's not often you see a bike with panniers sporting a set of sticky Michelin Pilot Sports. Or mixing a single-sided swingarm with quality pillion accommodation. The Futura does, and the result? A bike that can transport the rider large distances in comfort, yet still get up and boogie when the situation allows (demands?) it.

These features were perfectly suited to a recent mission of mine, which involved riding to Tumut (NSW) from my Melbourne home base to meet up with my Sydney-domiciled girlfriend, Bec - the hastily-arranged solution to an air travel (or lack of) problem!

Starting out from Melbourne around 5.00pm on a Friday meant battling traffic to the city outskirts, then a leisurely drone up the Fume Freeway and Snowy Mountains Highway in order to make Tumut at something resembling a decent hour.

THE STEED[edit | edit source]

The Aprilia Futura was first unveiled late last year, prior to its worldwide launch in early 2001. It's the result of Aprilia's desire to become a major player in the world's motorcycle marketplace, and therefore compete in a number of market sectors.

While the $19,990 Futura - or RST1000 - has a modified version of Aprilia's established 60-degree, liquid-cooled V-twin, it's wrapped in its own twin-spar aluminum chassis.

The chassis is one reason the fully-loaded Futura was impressive through Melbourne's tin-top maze as I made my escape from Horror HQ.

The rake and trail figures (26 degrees and 102mm) were conceived with easy low-speed handling in mind, and have succeeded admirably. Numerous full-lock U-turns for the photoshoot also proved the point, the RST displaying manoeuvring agility an out-and-out sportster doesn't have a hope of matching.

Once clear of the Melbourne traffic and on the Hume, with the on-board temperature display reading a fresh 11 degrees, the Aprilia's mile-eating nature began to shine through.

The large screen, whilst non-adjustable, did an excellent job of confining the breeze to level with my shoulders and above - leaving my helmet in clean air with little buffeting or excessive noise.

One interesting omission from such a bike is rubber-topped footpegs - for either the rider or pillion. While the vibes through the pegs aren't numbing, the bike would definitely be more comfortable with them.

PADDED PERCHES[edit | edit source]

I gave the seat little thought, a sure sign it's comfortable, my pillion later confirming that the rear accommodation is equally as comfortable.

In fact the seat was still comfortable right up until my first fuel stop 245km later, the bike returning a handy 15.6km/lt. The tallish gearing no doubt helps here, with 100km/h equating to just 4000rpm in sixth (top).

This equates to a touring range of around 280km in highway mode before the fuel light blinks on, signalling five Liters left in the 21-litre tank. The pie-style LCD fuel gauge proved accurate, also.

Helping the rider squeeze in the last drop of premium unleaded is the off-set fuel filler, designed to sit at the highest point on the tank when the bike is on the sidestand - no more arguing with service station attendants over dismounting to fill up...

Whilst I will never mark riding the Hume as one of my favourite stretches of tarmac, the Futura went a long way towards making it bearable - partly because it was so comfortable, partly because I could get it over and bloody done with in short order thanks to the impressive fuel range and comfort!

As comfy as it is on the highway, turning on to the Snowy Mountains Highway was a relief, despite the plummeting temperature (down to nine degrees by now).

With the impressive high beam lighting the deserted highway ahead, I could really get down to enjoying myself, the stability through long sweepers feeling secure enough, whilst line changes mid-corner (dodging potholes and gravel patches) only required a light touch on the bars.

WALLOW FREE[edit | edit source]

A tendency for bikes with loaded panniers to wallow is overcome on the Futura with the easily adjustable rear preload on the Sachs shock, allowing the rider to quickly adjust the spring according to load.

Winding the remote knob up to two clicks short of maximum improved the steering as well, as it effectively raises the rear ride-height. The trade-off, of course, is a firmer rear end - not of the tooth-rattling kind however. The rebound damping is also adjustable.

The USD front forks are well-controlled, with just preload and rebound adjustment available, even though the compression adjustment furniture is still there in blanked off form.

Compression adjustment isn't missed on this bike however, with the standard suspension settings doing a great job of keeping the front tire in contact with the road in most usage.

In fact the suspension is excellent in the real world it was designed for, the odd pothole I did manage to nail prompting nothing but a thump from the Michelin Pilot Sports, all the while the bike ploughing on as though nothing had happened.

STANDARD STOPPERS[edit | edit source]

The brakes were disappointing though, especially compared to the same marque's RSV Mille which employs Brembo Goldline calipers.

The Futura's brake rotors are downsized from the Mille (300mm from 320mm), which goes part way to explaining the difference in performance, though I reckon it's probably more than that - pad material for instance.

While the brakes did the job, they are being stretched by the time a pillion and luggage are aboard, requiring a firm squeeze of the adjustable lever before they start offering much power, while feel at the lever was relatively lacking.

Wet weather also affected the feel at the lever more than usual. Swapping to the Mille's rotors may prove the answer...

Arriving at Tumut five and a half hours after leaving Melbourne, I still felt good and the bike hadn't missed a beat. I was looking forward to heading home the long way!

Oiling the chain on arrival was made easy thanks to the easy-to-use RST centrestand, although it does scrape at times while cornering, which probably explains the lack of hero knobs on the rider's pegs.

One thing to watch when parking the bike is locking the steering, when it is easy to turn the key one stop too far. This will engage the parking lights, which will eventually run the battery flat if left for too long. No, I am not speaking from experience, but I went close a couple of times...

MOUNTAIN CLIMBING[edit | edit source]

The next day Bec and I headed off to take a look at the Yarrangobilly Caves, around 85km further down the Snowy Mountains Highway.

Once into the twisties and heading up the mountain, I tried in vain to cause the Sagem fuel injection to play up. Rolling open the throttle from closed just saw forward motion resume with no missing, coughing or hesitation.

The engine, whilst claiming less power than its RSV brother at 113ps at 9250rpm, still powered us up the mountain in style, all the while emitting a quiet but satisfying growl.

I found bouncing the needle off the 9500rpm redline proves unnecessary with this powerplant. Smoother, more enjoyable drive comes from short-shifting just above maximum torque (9.78kg-m at 7250rpm) at around 8000rpm, it certainly makes it easier for the pillion hanging on to the excellent grab rails.

The gearbox on our testbike got better as it warmed up, but was a little notchy when cold. Shifting gears was still easy, and the hydraulically-operated clutch (with adjustable lever of course) was nice to use.

I was enjoying myself so much, I was a little surprised to feel a tap on the leg from Bec, before she asked me to pull over. "What's up?" I asked.

"It's snowing," she pointed out in a tone that suggested continuing would be bad for my health, one way or another. Message understood, we turned around and gingerly made our way back to safer altitudes. I wasn't game to check the temperature at that stage!

DASH IT ALL[edit | edit source]

The dash is well laid out, utilising an easy-to-read clock-style speedo in place of the RSV and RS250's LCD displays, and glows a funky blue in low light. There are also comprehensive idiot lights, as well as LCD engine temperature and fuel gauges, and a single trip meter, all accurate and handy for the long haul.

A keyhole on the left of the dash intrigued me though - what the hell was it for? Turning it didn't seem to do anything at first. It turned out to be the seat release, which allows the entire seat unit to be lifted, rear side panels and all!

There isn't room underneath for anything much larger than the adequate Aprilia tool kit. That's what the optional panniers ($1,209) are for I guess.

The panniers are a decent size too, the under-seat exhaust meaning the panniers are of equal size due to not needing to make room for a muffler.

I reckon the muffler looks good from behind, and in fact liked the styling in general, although the looks received a mixed reaction from various people.

Talk centred around the angular fairing, and the fact it could date quickly - only time will tell...

The mirrors, too, are part of the whole styling exercise, incorporating the indicators in the mirror body. The left mirror on the test bike vibrated excessively, making the view a blur, while the right mirror performed adequately, though a little small.

ALICE SPRINGS[edit | edit source]

The finish all round is very good, as to be expected from Aprilia, with the panniers remaining watertight even through a thorough downpour for instance, and the single-sided swingarm a well executed touch of class.

More and more, the line between sportsbikes and sportstourers is becoming blurred, with bikes built for comfort able to provide genuine real world sportsbike performance - the Futura is one of these.

Against the RST in the marketplace are Ducati's 916-engined ST4 at $18,995 and 996-engined ST4S at $20,995, BMW's R1100 S at $17,820 and R1150 RS at $19,900, and Aprilia's own Falco at $18,975. Throw in Honda's VFR800 (current 2001 model) at $15,690 and Triumph's Sprint ST at $15,490 and there's plenty to choose from.

The $19,990 RST1000 represents another step forward for Aprilia, and is well and truly up with the established competition in the company's first attempt - an admirable achievement and one I enjoyed sampling.

Specifications[edit | edit source]

Make Model Aprilia RST 1000 Futura
Year 2001
Engine Liquid cooled, four stroke, longitudinal 60°V twin, DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder
Capacity 997.6
Bore x Stroke 97 x 67.5mm
Compression Ratio 11.8:1
Induction Fuel injection
Ignition / Starting Digital electronic with two spark plugs per cylinder / electric
Max Power 113 hp 83 KW @ 9250 rpm (rear tire 101.8 hp @ 9250rpm)
Max Torque 7.78 kg-m 96 Nm @ 7250 rpm
Transmission / Drive 6 Speed / chain
Front Suspension Showa upside-down 43mm fork, adjustable in brake, rebound and preload. 120mm wheel travel
Rear Suspension Swing arm in Aluminum alloy, progressive linkage. Sachs hydraulic shock absorber, adjustable in brake, rebound and preload
Front Brakes 2x 320mm discs 2 piston calipers
Rear Brakes Single 255mm disc 2 piston caliper
Front Tyre 120/70 ZR17
Rear Tyre 180/55 ZR17
Dry-Weight 210 kg
Fuel Capacity (res) 21 Liters (5L)
Consumption average 18 km/lit
Standing ¼ Mile 11.6 sec / 123 mp/h
Top Speed 239 km/h
Reviews Motorcyclist / Motorsport it / Comparator Sport Tourer / Motociclismo / Motocorse / Motorcycle.com 1 - Motorcycle.com 2 - Motorcycle.com 3

2001 Aprilia RST 1000 Futura[edit | edit source]

The 2001 MY Aprilia RST 1000 Futura is addressed to that category of riders who want to spend as much time as possible behind the bars, but also one that is capable of putting a smile on one's face with just a twist of the throttle. It can be equipped with a wide range of accessories, which seriously increase it's long haul capabilities.

In the tech/engine department, it sports a liquid-cooled, four-stroke, 998cc, V-Twin powerplant paired to a six-speed manual transmission, and can produce a claimed 113 horsepower and 96 Nm of torque.

2002[edit | edit source]

2003 Aprilia RST 1000 Futura[edit | edit source]

The 2003 MY Aprilia RST 1000 Futura has, at its heart, a liquid-cooled, four-stroke, 998cc, V-Twin powerplant paired to a six-speed manual transmission, and can produce a claimed 113 horsepower and 96 Nm of torque. This machine comes standard with a aerodynamic fairing and a medium-sized windshield, offering excellent protection against whatever mother nature may throw at you, a high-end suspension package composed of a inverted front fork and an adjustable shock absorber as a rear suspension, dual front disc brakes for increased safety and can be fitted with modern panniers and a rear trunk, for extra storage space.

2004 Aprilia RST 1000 Futura[edit | edit source]

The 2004 MY Aprilina RST 1000 Futura sports a liquid-cooled, four-stroke, 998cc, V-Twin powerhouse paired to a six-speed manual transmission, and can produce a claimed 113 horsepower and 96 Nm of torque.

This machine addresses that category of riders who want every drop of power squeezed out of their machine, but also want to spend more time behind the bars and take extended trips. Standard features include hard, lockable panniers, dual 300mm front disc brakes with 4-piston Brembo calipers, an upside-down front fork and an adjustable rear monoshock.

2005 Aprilia RST 1000 Futura[edit | edit source]

The 2005 MY Aprilia RST 1000 Futura sports a liquid-cooled, four-stroke, 998cc, V-Twin powerhouse mated to a six-speed manual transmission and can produce a claimed 113 horsepower and 96 Nm of torque. This sportbike addresses those riders who want to spend more time behind the bars, thanks to features such as improved ergonomics, a more comfortable riding position, side panniers, and a full-fairing with a small windscreen.

2001 Aprilia RST1000 Futura in red

The Aprilia RST1000 Futura was a V2, sport touring motorcycle that was produced by Aprilia from 2001 to 2005. It is equipped with a 113 horsepower (85 kW) four-stroke 60° V-twin engine with electric-start, liquid cooling and electronic fuel-injection. The engine is broadly similar to that fitted to the Aprilia SL1000 Falco. It could reach a top speed of 149 mph (240 km/h). Max torque was 70.81 ft/lbs (96.0 Nm) @ 5500 RPM. Claimed horsepower was 111.57 HP (83.2 KW) @ 9250 RPM.

With its hard-shelled panniers, the Futura was intended to compete with the similarly styled Honda VFR800,[3] but poor sales and Aprilia's worsening financial position led to the Futura's demise. Production ended in 2003, although the bike remained in the range until 2005.

Design[edit | edit source]

The Futura incorporated an aluminum-alloy, double-parallel-beam frame with a single-sided swinging arm. Transmission is via a six-speed gearbox and chain-final drive. Other features included CDI dual ignition system using two spark plugs per cylinder, dry sump lubrication, mixed gear/chain timing, (AVDC) double-balance countershaft, and power-assisted hydraulic-controlled clutch, with a patented Pneumatic Power Clutch" (PPC) to simulate a slipper clutch to control rear-wheel bounce during sudden deceleration.[4] [5] The Futura's dry weight is 210 kg (463 lb).

The chief designer in charge of the project was Pierluigi Marconi. He would design the Futura around the same motor used in the Mille, a 998cc DOHC 60 degree V-twin. Among major changes from the Mille were the single side swing arm and undertail exhaust used to retain space for the hard sided luggage.[6][7] Marconi also specified an increase in the electrical generator in order to cope with accessories that touring riders were sure to add. Electrical capacity was increased by 30% over that of the Mille. Marconi directed his design team to spend an extensive amount of time on the exhaust system. The result was that it did not heat up the seat as other undertail exhausts did. It also passed Euro 1 standard emissions without the catalytic converter. The design team moved to supplier Sagem to provide the fuel injection and intake systems.

Marconi would later quit to work with Benelli and then later Gas-Gas. It is his leaving Aprilia that caused promised updates like ABS and power outlets to never materialize on the Futura.

Reception[edit | edit source]

The bike's large, angular shape divided critics: some thought it was innovative and made it "look like an F-117" while others said it was just too bulky. MCN reviewed the Futura, saying: "The Aprilia RST1000 Futura is desperately underestimated, sadly short lived and now a potential bargain. Aprilia’s ambitious rival for Honda’s polished VFR sports-tourer is able, well-specced and potent".[8]

Engine[edit | edit source]

The engine was a liquid cooled v2, four-stroke. A 97.0mm bore x 67.5mm stroke result in a displacement of just 997.6 cubic centimeters. The engine featured a 11.8:1 compression ratio. Fuel was supplied via a double overhead cams/twin cam (dohc).

Drive[edit | edit source]

The bike has a 6-speed transmission. The final drive was via chain. Power was moderated via the multiple disk in oil bath with patented ppc power-assisted hydraulic control.

Chassis[edit | edit source]

It came with a 120/70-17 front tire and a 180/55-17 rear tire. Stopping was achieved via double disc. 4-piston calipers in the front and a single disc. 2-piston calipers in the rear. The front suspension was a showa 43 mm upside-down fork with adjustment for compression, preload and rebound dampening. while the rear was equiped with a single member aluminum alloy swing-arm. aps (aprilia progressive system) linkage.sachs hydraulic monoshock with adjustment for compression, preload and rebound dampening.. The RST1000 Futura was fitted with a 4.76 Gallon (18.00 Liters) fuel tank. The bike weighed just 416.67 pounds (189.0 Kg). The wheelbase was 56.5 inches (1435 mm) long.

In Media[edit | edit source]

Videos[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 2019 K&L Supply Co Catalog. K&L Supply Co. 2019. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2019 Western Power Sports Catalog. Western Power Sports. 2019. 
  3. Honda Interceptor ergonomics. Motorcyclist Online.
  4. Aprilia Futura. Retrieved on 27 March 2012.
  5. APRILIA RST 1000 FUTURA – BEST USED BIKES. Retrieved on 27 March 2012.
  6. Futura development - The inside story. Retrieved on 27 March 2012.
  7. Benelli Blues (23 June 2010).
  8. APRILIA RST1000 FUTURA (2001-2003) Review.