Aprilia Tuono V4 aPRC (2011-current): Supermoto Streetfighter!

      The Tuono model derives from the Aprilia RSV4, with some changes. The most important is the more relaxed steering geometry. Additionally, the fairing of the RSV4 has been removed, as well as the main ram-air intake.

     Engine: The 65 ° V4, 999.6 cc engine delivers 167 bhp/11500 rpm and 11,2 Kgm / 9500 rpm claimed figures. The selection of the V4 engine layout is due to the advantage of engine decreased dimensions.
     There are three modes of engine operation, Road, Sport and Track available to the rider, which alter the power provided and throttle response. Road mode is recommended on slippery road conditions, performance is smooth, reduced by 25%. Sport mode is intended for ordinary road use providing full power although smoother and more linear than the Track mode. Track mode, should be used mainly on track environment, the full engine power is unleashed, untamed.

     There is an 8 increments traction control system, level 3 to level 1 adjustments are the least intrusive. During high speed riding the Track mode and the second increment of the traction control were chosen. The wheelie control provides three settings. Rider may choose any combination of the above adjustments. It is obvious that a ride by wire system is equipped also. Finally the ALC system enhances start-ups and AQS, the quick shifter, requires no throttle-off action during gear changes.  

     Actually, engine sound is powerful, sensational and ... bad. Very bad. The Tuono alerts drivers and pedestrians around the bike, that a tuned V engine is getting closer. Not very strictly speaking, this rough sound reminds something between a tuned V2 bike engine and a very bad V8 muscle car. At the end of the day, neither the rider of the Aprilia nor the drivers around will remain indifferent by this engine sound. What the rider gets by purchasing the Tuono is also quite a lot of vibrations, which accompany the V4 soundtrack.
 
     With Track mode selected, engine requires at least 2000 rpm or higher in order to provide surge-free acceleration. If 6th speed is selected, a minimum of 3000 rpm is necessary. The lower powerband range up to 4000 rpm, is sufficient for town use, accelerating ahead of normal traffic, releasing some minor doses of adrenaline. Power provided is linear, although its superb, given the character of the bike. The rev limiter intervenes at 12300 rpm.. An oil radiator is also provided. An indicative fuel consumption figure is 8 l/ 100 Km (35 mpg Imperial).
     Generally speaking the operation of the electronic systems equipping the bike is very smooth. It really depends on the rider. The most appropriate engine mode has to be selected according to the road conditions and riding level. If these are combined successfully together, rider will hardly notice the intervention of the electronic control units. Of course, safety is greatly increased at the aPRC version. If only an ABS was also available…
 
    Riding position: The seat height is great, 835 mm, ( 32.87 in), it will not be satisfying for short riders willing to commute on the Tuono. The saddle for the pillion is quite more roomy compared with that of the RSV4.
     The dimensions of the bike refer to the 600 cc class standards, that means its a small bike. Even the width of the Tuono feels narrow considering its a 1000 cc bike, except from the handlebar which is relatively wide.
     The weight of the bike is average 183 Kgs (403.4 lbs) nominal dry, while the bike provides a relatively light feel to the rider. Actually it feels the same with that of the RSV4.
  
     Rider is placed mostly over the bike. The handlebar is high, thus the riding position becomes neutral. This is the most obvious change compared with the RSV4.
     Actually riding position is so very neutral that if the rider didn˘t have a clue about what this bike is all about, he would presume that it˘s a supermoto underneath him!
     The same argument described differently, if someone rides this bike knowing that it˘s a naked RSV4, he would rather disapprove this riding position! If this riding position is combined with a top case at the rear of the bike that could make the Tuono appropriate for fast pizza deliveries!!
     Seriously now, lowering the handlebar costs nothing really and it would make the riding position equivalent to the final conclusion of the test: The Tuono is a superb sports naked bike and that˘s a fact.
 
     On the road: The fully adjustable Sachs suspensions are set relatively firm. A 43 mm fork is equipped at the front. Naturally, a linkage is provided at the shock.
     The tyres fitted at the bike are the Pirelli Supercorsa SP, with dimensions 120/70-17 at the front and 190 / 55-17 rear. These road tyres are an excellent choice for the character of the bike, appropriate for some track use also. For the observant readers the rear wheel dimension is slightly narrower than that of the RSV4. This increases agility, although the 200 mm rear tyre may also be mounted.
 
     City leisure rides, not really at a daily rate, on the Tuono can be performed. If she will be used downtown, she will ask for some compromises. Riding position is quite comfortable, it˘s the only bike characteristic, considerably enhancing urban use.
     Street imperfections are absorbed relatively well. Tuono seems to announce to the rider after any pothole that “ This is the way that potholes are absorbed by any sport bike, you had better like it!”.
 
     The sound of the silencer and the engine is quite loud for town use, scared mothers are calling home their children from the streets. That was an attempt of humour by the editor…
     At the process of filtering the heights of the handlebar and mirrors are the same with car and SUV mirrors respectively. Consequently, filtering on the Tuono could be better.
     Steering lock is really moderate for urban rides, thorough planning prior to commuting manoeuvres will be required. For the naked bike standards this is a great compromise asked. In case of a U-turn, rider will have to search for the nearest roundabout! This a common feature among the Italian sports bikes, not suitable to convenient naked motorcycles.
     Conclusively the Tuono despite the neutral riding position is not much more usable than the RSV4 on daily commuting. She had better be used on urban wandering rides or at the suburbs.

    On B-roads the compact-robust bike feel is dominant. The combination of steering geometry, light weight feel, small dimensions with the instant - superb power delivery, create an absolutely explosive package that will provoke the rider.
     Tuono˘s agility and stability are great. Cornering is ridiculously easy, despite the conservative steering geometry, e.g. a 1445 mm (56.9 in) wheelbase is provided. Riding on a slow-average pace would be out of the question for the rider. Except from the case that he is a spirited Tibetan monk. Since there are not many riders like these around…
 
     ...The faster the pace gets, riding position feels gradually more and more unsuitable. Rider will wish he could apply more weight on the handlebar, hence charging more the front end. However feedback to the rider is almost superb, while the wide handlebar provides decent leverage in order to change direction.
     Rider has to take advantage of the provided agility turning in swiftly, the stability and feedback during the turn, the feedback and the electronics for a superb exit. The elevation at the rear of the rider˘s area on the saddle is very useful, serving like a stop for the ride˘s body at such a pace.
     The Tuono resembles then to a sure footed ballerina, combining agility with stability. The differences with the RSV4 concerning the steering geometry will be noticed at such a pace. The RSV4 feels like a 600 c.c. muscular athlete, Tuono˘s cornering is closer to the 1000 c.c. standards.
 
     Dividing cornering into three steps, brakes are excellent, although not ABS assisted. Rider may brake very confidently indeed at the entry, probably reducing the speed more than it is necessary. Âraking without ABS, requires some practice because braking power is immense.
     Of course the bike is sturdy and super-stable during cornering, allowing safely very steep cornering angle. The front end provides very good confidence, rider feels directly connected with the rear wheel also.
     Engine power is very usable, downshifting is unnecessary, rider may engage the most appropriate or the following-greater speed at the gearbox. Rider will feel the rear wheel over steering at the exit, no problem with that except from a worn tyre after the party. Its like an “I do it like Biaggi” style. This is because the traction control lets adequate skidding before intervening.
     Due to the slower geometry design, on high speed riding on roads featuring imperfections, the steering damper (at the aPRC version) will not intervene as much as on the RSV4.
 
    On the highway the wind protection is normal for the naked bikes standards… Due to the upright riding position, above the speed of 150 Km/h (93 mph), rider feels like a parachute… Thus, the 260 Km/h, (160mph), top speed is a theoretical issue only, which will be examined thoroughly only in bikers pubs.
 
     Two 320 mm disc brakes at the front, a single 220 mm disc brake at the rear, steel braided lines are equipped. The front brakes which equip radial four piston calipers are very powerful, linear, providing very good braking feedback. Lifting the rear end due to excessive braking is really easy. Besides the fun of it, the front brake is very close to the definition of a braking anchor. A limited length on the road is required to scrub off a serious amount of kinetic energy.
     The rear brake equips a two piston calliper. Power provided is moderate, feedback to the rider is relatively good. It is complementary to the front, a track oriented braking perception. However on road riding and especially in the case of a superbike with a high handlebar, rider often wishes for the safety provided by an ABS, like keeping always an ace up to his sleeve...
                             
     Quality build-reliability: During the initial presentation to the journalists in 2007, there were some engine con rod failures. This problem was resolved by the factory in a very costly and brave reaction. Since then there was not any problem reported. Quality build is excellent.
                             
     Comments: There are two Tuono versions, the standard model and the aPRC. Ôhe aPRC which means APRC (Aprilia Performance Ride Control) consists of (ATC) Aprilia Traction Control, anti-wheelie control (AWC), Launch control (ALC) which may be adjusted or deactivated separately.
 
     Compared with the former Tuono bike, the RSV4 Tuono is obviously more capable while cornering, more agile, 10 Kgs (22 lbs) lighter, more explosive (41 bhp more power), safer at the aPRC version, while it remains greatly neutral, like the predecessor. Therefore she is obviously improved concerning riding, although she lacks the touring potential of the former model, mainly due to the next to zero now air protection. She also lacks the all-around character that her mother proudly exhibited.

     No matter the superb electronic systems operation, the steering damper is a mechanic one. The frame and the swingarm are made of aluminium, brushed, underlining the bike˘s racing background. The pillion handgrips and foot pegs are really smart, reminding of Scandinavian minimal design principles.
     The red light on the clocks at night makes the heart of the rider pump slightly faster… The headlamp reminds that of the previous Tuono, although the main RSV4 ram-air intake is missing. The mirrors of the bike are fixed, rider has to adjust the glass on the inside. The design of the bike provides many edges over the petite body, like a small bodybuilder, or …Godzilla, which is an RSV4 legacy.
 
     The Tuono is an absolute bike that will fully satisfy an experienced fast rider, as soon as he changes the height of the handlebar. If he does not proceed to this improvement, the bike lies in the middle of two worlds: Sporty riding and usability, while its not extremely good in any case. On the contrary, for the not-very-well-informed-bikers, this could look like a thing-to-do procedure for the factory. Like a “ take an RSV4, install a high-wide handlebar, strip off the fairing and off we go” approach. Experts on motorcycles issues know that a lot of discreet work has been done for the Tuono.
     One thing is certain. Provided with a lower handlebar, the Tuono will be an even more exciting bike to ride, favouring what this motorcycle is all about: Sporty riding.

     It seems that the Italians have two completely opposite riding position theories concerning the Streetfighters. Ducati boasts an extremely sporty one, while Aprilia an extremely normal. Because they are both superb bikes at their kind, even if there were not great differences between them, these should have been invented! The other one is the tag price. That difference is eye-popping between the Tuono and Streetfighter S.
 
Price base model:12850 ¤

Price aPRC:14100 ¤

+ Price

+ Handling

+ Electronic control systems˘ smooth operation

- ABS

- Riding position ads no advantage to the bike

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