Aprilia Tuono RR
Cut from the same fine Italian cloth as the RSV4
Intoxicatingly exciting to ogle and aurally unique, the Tuono is just great to ride and eager to go fast from the instant its spine-tingling rasp fractures the ether. Listening to someone else stretching the V4’s vocal chords is almost as satisfying as doing it yourself, but not quite. Feeling is believing and take it as read, Aprilia’s Tuono puts the V into visceral.
For 2016, the Tuono received a 100cc boost in capacity plus internal refinement in step with the revised RSV-4 superbike. All this fettling has resulted in a significant power increase over the previous model. Our dyno testing showed the Tuono is clear class leader in terms of peak power output, a full 4 to 5kW up on some seriously heavy hitters such as the 1290 Super Duke R, S1000R
Harnessing that killer top-end requires a sober right hand, light-speed reactions, and hyper-intelligent situation analysis. Luckily for mere mortals, all these things are provided by Aprilia’s finely tuned electronics package. The Tuono V4 is such a powerful and free-spinning engine that even an expert rider will benefit from giving up some control to its electronic APRC systems. Its menu selection process is ponderous and not very intuitive, but you’ve once mastered it you’ll feel like a naked MotoGP warrior.
Sitting in the saddle or just admiring it from afar, you’ll find it hard to believe such a compact motorcycle can contain an 1100cc four-cylinder engine. Its chassis and cockpit dimensions are more akin to a 600cc sportsbike.
The chassis itself is all you’d expect from one designed to win superbike races – light, rigid and responsive. Where the Tuono’s handling differs most from the RSV4’s is in its suspension. Sachs units front and rear are tuned softer in keeping with its street riding focus. This equates to inadequate support at the rear end when ridden hard, blunting what should be a sharper-steering chassis. It’s ironic that for the bike with the strongest track pedigree, it was the track riding component of our test which uncovered its soft spot, quite literally. The range of adjustment isn’t enough to dial out the saggy rear, and has obviously been tuned primarily for comfort.
Ideally we’d have included the higher spec Tuono RF in this test, but getting your hands on one of these limited production beauties in Australia is not easy. As it stands, the more attainable Tuono RR is a flawed yet desirable favourite for any rider with passion and a pulse. It also represents damn good value for a piece of soul-stirring Italian motorcycle exotica.
The 2017 Tuono promises to be even more exciting with upgraded brakes, cornering ABS, cruise control, electronic up and downshift to name but a few juicy tempters. One thing for sure, once you’ve ridden a V4, you’ll be back for more.
Great looking bike, and good to ride fast on the track or slow on the road. It’s hard to beat the sound of the V4. It’s got great electronics with a wide selection of settings. Nice gearbox with a super- smooth quick shifter. Every time you get on this bike it makes you want to ride fast.
It’s a bike that’s easy to ride and a bike I like to ride. The small fairing deflects a lot of the chest bound wind and for those who ride at night the headlights work a treat. Has a fantastic sound and just enough vibration to make my endorphins run.
The front brakes were superb, and although I found that this bike required a little more coaxing than the others to tip in to corners, once you’ve committed to the turn it does feel extremely planted. Aprilia have built a stunning nakedbike that earns massive street cred from the sweet 1100cc V4 engine.