Aprilia Tuono R
Take one Aprilia RSVR, ditch the fairing, bolt on a "love it or hate it" headlight pod, a billet bar clamp with a set of mx style bars, and you have just brewed yourself up a Tuono R
It seems like it might have been a simple idea, the best kind always are.
Take one Aprilia RSVR, ditch the fairing, bolt on a "love it or hate it" headlight pod, a billet bar clamp with a set of mx style bars, and you have just brewed yourself up a Tuono R clone. Add one of the sexiest paint schemes this side of a race bike and with one of the best looking tails in the business, you’re almost done.
No strangled top end power, no excess weight, no "too soft" suspension. The Tuono R is lean and mean, with its challenging looks well suited to its personality.
After several rave reviews from those who had ridden one, I was expecting I’d like this bike, and I did.
A lot. With handling good enough to make you feel like you actually are fast, and an impressive wheelie just a throttle twist away, the only thing I’d want to change would be the mufflers for some extra V-twin rumble.
Seated on the bike, you would be forgiven for thinking you were sitting on a very large motard style machine, and it feels much lighter than its quoted 185 kg dry weight.
Once underway, this feeling doesnt change until you twist the throttle, nearly 140hp of fuel injected Aprilia engineering propels you past the motard feeling pretty quickly. Its very easy to ride, and ride quickly.
The Tuono R uses the same box section twin spar alloy frame, and banana style swingarm as the RSVR. As a result the Tuono R is rock stable through higher speed sweepers even when unsettled by road bumps. The reasonably mild 25 degree rake (about 1 degree more than most sports bikes) makes for a stable ride, with no nervousness or headshaking apparent in my experience.
Braided line equiped, four pad, four piston Brembos gripping 320mm discs are capable of standing the bike on its nose with a firm application, and the 1410mm wheelbase – shorter than an R1 Yamaha- translates into a corner carving demon. The wide bars mean tipping it into a corner or flicking through a left-right corner combination is effortless.
The small headlight fairing is frame mounted and offers little wind protection at high speeds unless you get down on the tank, but at sensible legal speeds this isnt an issue. However the tiny side wind deflectors do a pretty good job at keeping the wind off your legs. Some riders have reported an amount of engine heat being transmitted through the front of the seat, but I didnt notice this myself.
Cockpit view includes a fairly simple looking tacho and LCD screen gauge combination, but the handlebar mounted mode switch can shuffle you through a number of functions including a lap timer, multiple trip meters, and various other features. Not being sheilded by a screen, they were a little hard to read at times, dependent on the position of the bike and or sun.
The gold colored bars are mounted in billet aluminium artwork, and the red anodised fork caps set off the whole view. Mirrors gave a clear view of what was falling behind, and are easily adjustable. Horn and indicator switch reversed positioning will take a few rides to get used to for someone getting off a Japanese bike.
The test bike was fitted with its standard 16 tooth front sprocket, but the tall first gear made me want to fit the supplied 15 tooth option for easier takeoffs and more snap in the lower gears. The downside -or upside depending on preference- would be the front tyre would probably then spend more time in the air than on the road. The Tuono’s new 60 degree, magnesium covered, 997cc vee twin is quoted at 139ps, and it has a lovely flat spread of power all the way up to a 9500 plus redline. You will be alerted to this by the adjustable flashing red light that grabs your attention at gear-shift time.
Whether it was just the tallish gearing on the test bike, but the Tuono didnt want to be left too far down in the revs in higher gears, with a downshift required to get things blurring again. The quiet mufflers didnt help in this regard, as the fairly loud (and pleasing) gear whine from the motor does make it sound like it is revving higher that it actually is. A set of Akropovics would fix that!
After a few kilometers had been travelled, it became less of an issue, and once ridden correctly, throttle response was a delight, with minimal lag from the massive twin 57mm fuel injection setup.Gear selection was excellent, missed shifts non-existent.
For its intended purpose, it would be very hard to fault the Tuono R. The bike drew favorable comment everywhere it went, the stunning blue and white paint scheme in particular. This is not a subtle bike in any way. In fact the biggest fault I can think of is the amount of self control neccesary to keep things at a non- lunatic pace. You could really do some license damage on this rocket.
If this isnt enough, you could always go for the Tuono R Factory, which for around five grand more, gives you Ohlins suspension, lightweight OZ wheels, a smattering of carbon fibre and tuning tweaks that add even more horsepower. Take a look at the Video at the bottom of this story to get an idea of the sights and sounds of the Aprilia Tuono R Factory!.
For Wallpaper size image of Tuono 1000 R Factory click here
Second Impression: Bec
Being a “sportsbike” person, the street fighter look of the Tuono did not instantly appeal to me. But one ride quickly showed me the error of my ways.
The Italian word for “Thunder” is Tuono, an apt name for Aprilia’s premier naked bike. Crack open the throttle on the vee-twin Tuono and the lightning bolt reaction will crack a smile beneath your helmet. With its combination of throttle response and precise handling, an upright riding style and sexy lines, the Tuono is an engaging package. Extremely nimble and quick steering, the Tuono goes exactly where you point it.
Although tall in the saddle for me and hard on the bum, these minor indiscretions were quickly overlooked after the performance and character of this bike became more apparent. And it did not take me long to get comfortable and confident on this machine. The handlebar position is excellent, much like a large capacity dirt bike. This would account for the Tuono being such a hit for older, experienced riders attuned to sore wrists and stiff backs from sports bikes. More and more riders are favouring an upright riding position, but would still prefer the handling and kick of a sports bike. I have to include myself in this group.
Quite simply, the Tuono is fun to ride. The more winding the road, the more the Tuono liked it, flinging into tight corners and begging to dive underneath anything in its path. And just when I was really enjoying it, it was time to swap bikes! Nothing has felt right since! The Tuono is incredibly well setup and I would rate it as close to a perfect 10 for me. Be warned, a ride around the block at a local dealership will not divulge its true identity. Anyone contemplating a sports bike should definitely take a closer look at the Tuono.
This bike will get under your skin. Take the blue pill and life will carry on as before…or take the red pill and discover the truth… One ride on the Tuono won’t be enough.
Model: TUONO 1000 R
V60 Magnesium Evolution. Longitudinal 60° V twin, four stroke.
Liquid cooling with three-way pressurised circuit.
Double overhead cams, mixed gear/chain timing drive, four valves per cylinder.
95 RON unleaded petrol.
Bore and stroke: 97 x 67.5 mm.
Max power: 102 kW (139 HP) at 9,500 rpm.
Max torque: 10.9 kgm (107 Nm) at 8,500 rpm.
Fuel system: Integrated electronic engine management system. Indirect multi-point electronic injection.
57 mm diameter throttle bodies.
Ignition: Digital electronic ignition, integrated with the injection control system.
One spark plug per cylinder.
Starting: Electric starter.
Exhaust: Two silencers with three way catalytic converter and lambda probe oxygen sensor (Euro 3).
Generator: 12 V – 500 W.
Lubrication: Dry sump with separate oil reservoir. Double trochoid pump with oil cooler. Steel oil reservoir.
Gearbox: 6 speed.
Clutch: Multiple disc in oil bath with patented PPC power-assisted hydraulic control. Metal braid clutch line. Radial master cylinder.
Box section sloping twin-spar frame in aluminium alloy.
Front susp: Showa 43 mm upside-down fork with adjustment for spring preload, compression and rebound damping. 120 mm wheel travel.
Rear susp: Aluminium alloy double banana swingarm. APS (Aprilia Progressive System) rising rate linkages. Sachs hydraulic monoshock with adjustment for spring preload and rebound damping.
Wheel travel 133 mm.
Front: Brembo double floating disc in stainless steel, Ø 320 mm. Brembo triple bridge caliper with four 34 mm pistons and four sintered pads. Metal braided brake line.
Rear: Brembo stainless steel disc, Ø 220 mm. Twin piston calliper, 32 mm diameter pistons, sintered pads. Metal braided brake line.
Front: 3.50 x 17"
Rear: 6.00 x 17".
Front: 120/70 ZR 17.
Rear: 190/50 ZR 17 (alternative: 180/55 ZR 17 and 190/55).
Seat height: 810 mm
Handlebar height: 1,020 mm at bar ends
Wheelbase: 1,410 mm
Trail: 103.7 mm
Steering angle: 25°
Dry weight: 185 kg
Tank: Capacity 18 litres, 4 litre reserve.
Tuono R $20,990.00
Tuono R Factory $25,990.00
Test Bike from Gold Coast Aprilia, Burleigh Heads, Qld, 07 55202300