2015 Aprilia Tuono 1100 Review

The 2015 Aprilia Tuono 1100 proves that you can make a wonderfully exciting and practical supernaked from the DNA of a superbike. The latest Tuono from Italian manufacturer Aprilia goes a long way to addressing some of the quibbles that previous models had while retaining the mantle of being the most insanely fun supernaked on the market today.

Note: We had our usual video review in production when a hard drive crash resulted in all our footage being lost. Sad Panda.

Aprilia has been at the top of the pile when it comes to supernakeds for a long time and arguably the original Tuono 1000 R Streetfighter that was released back in 2002 is the first of the supernaked class. Over the years many competitors have come by, such as the KTM 1290 Super Duke R, but the Tuono has always been right there with a great combination of outright speed, handling and rideability.

The all new Tuono – like its brother the RSV4 – gets a pretty big makeover for 2015. Normally, I’d refer to a naked bike’s superbike sibling as the big brother, but in the case of the Tuono it actually has more capacity by means of an additional 78cc. Aprilia’s reasoning for this is to have more torque available – a feature that makes riding in the real world much easier where one doesn’t need (or necessarily want) to ring the neck out of the engine all the time.

 

That sees the V4 produce 175 HP (129 kW) at 13,000 rpm and 121 Nm at 10,500 rpm. That means power is down by about 26 hp on the RSV4, but torque is slightly higher. It also means that the only machine with better specificasion on paper is the Super Duke R, which is sporting an extra 224cc of capacity and also weighs five kilos more.

I honestly could write for pages about the engine in the Tuono. Like the RSV4, it really feels close to motorcycling perfection but because of the increased torque which is also more accessible now thanks to Aprilia’s modifications, it’s even better in the Tuono when it comes to every day riding. No matter what gear you’re in or the speed you’re going, the power just comes on and on and on. It’s so linear too – there’s no abrupt rush of speed once you get to say 8,000 prm – it’s just a beautifully refined engine that honestly doesn’t feel like it has any flaws.

Even at low speeds in stop start traffic where many highly tuned and powerful engines can struggle, the Tuono is quite content to putter along. That’s also thanks to a light clutch lever action that makes low speed movements nice and simple.

Then there’s the sound. Aprilia should really find a way to bottle the exhaust note of the Tuono and sell it. It’s tame and moderately quiet when cruising along but open the throttle and it emits a glorious note – better than anything we’ve heard from a stock motorcycle in a long time.

Handling has always been a strong suit of the Tuono and it remains the same for the new model. Turn in is sharp and quick and the front end provides a tremendous amount of communication. Never once did I have any doubt what the front wheel was up to. This is a bike that makes fast and furious riding seem so much easier than other bikes.

Stopping power is good too, with the brakes offering near perfect levels of feedback and progression when the anchors are applied. Brakes up front are dual 320mm rotors with four pot calipers and back of house is fitted with a single 220mm rotor. This is mated to Aprilia’s Race ABS system which they’ve developed in conjunction with Bosch.

 

Level 1 of the system is made specifically for the track, acting on both wheels and deactivates rear wheel lift mitigation. Level 2 is for hard riding on the roads and activates RLM. The third level is the most intrusive and is designed for use when riding on poor grips surfaces, such as wet roads.

Other electronic aids include Aprilia Traction Control (aTC) which has eight settings, Aprilia Wheelie Control (aWC), Aprilia Launch Control (aLC) and Aprilia Quick Shift (aQS). Like the RSV4, the engine modes merely modify the amount of engine braking when coming off throttle. Like any good electronics package, you’ll hardly notice it’s there for the most part – only really doing anything unless absolutely needed.

The last time we rode a Tuono was the 2013 model, which despite in our opinion being brilliant definitely had its flaws. Its mileage was awful thanks to a thirsty engine and tiny tank. The seat was less than ideal meaning longer rides would see you wanting a butt transplant and let’s be honest, it had a face only a mother could love.

I still wouldn’t call the new Tuono pretty, but it’s a definite improvement. Thankfully, both the seat and range are greatly improved. I managed to use around seven litres of fuel for every 100 kilometres traveled which is adequate for a bike of this performance. Coupled with the fuel tank which now can fit 17 litres of fuel inside, you’re good for about 240 kilometres of riding.

I do have some criticisms however, most of which are the same that I had for the RSV4, but I’m less willing to overlook them given the Tuono is designed more for every day use. Firstly, the dash is looking pretty tired and dated. It’s also an enormous pain in the neck to use and compared to the latest interfaces from Ducati and BMW, is quite archaic. Frustratingly, there’s no fuel gauge either – not even a readout telling you how many kilometres or miles of range you have. Instead, you get a crappy light that comes on when you need to find a service station. And while there’s a standard dial to adjust the brake lever, you’ll need a screwdriver to adjust the reach of the clutch lever.

Those however are very minor quibbles in the grand scheme of things. Overall, the 2015 Aprilia 1100 Tuono is really a masterpiece of modern motorcycling. It’s fast, it handles superbly and despite many refinements still makes for a raw and enjoyable machine. Perhaps I can give it no greater praise than to say that if I had to choose just one bike to go in my garage right now, this would be it.

 

2016 Triumph Speed Triple R Spotted

After remaining much the same for the fast few years, Triumph’s flagship motorcycle, the Speed Triple is getting an update for 2016. New spy shots reveal both the standard Speed Triple and the higher specification Speed Triple R undergoing further testing before their official unveiling in November this year.

While still a popular choice, the Speed Triple is under increasing competition from other literbike nakeds such as the new Aprilia Tuono and BMW S1000R. While this updated Speed Triple and Speed Triple R won’t be a radical overhaul, it will get some new technology to keep up with rivals, including traction control, multiple engine modes and for the R version the possibility of active suspension and cornering ABS.

Visually again it’s a case of evolution over revolution, with those controversial headlights being reshaped slightly to a more rounded shape. Other minor amendments include redesigned front cowl, indicators and header pipes. The end of the mufflers also have a new shape.

Overall engine power is expected to remain the same, though with the adjustments being incorporated, power may become more broadly available over the engines range.

2016 Triumph Speed Triple R Spotted 2016 Triumph Speed Triple R Spotted

 

UK | Pricing for 2015 Announced by Aprilia

It’s a little bit late but Aprilia has confirmed it’s pricing and model lineup for 2015 including pricing for the updated Tuono supernaked and the RSV4 superbike. Strangely, Aprilia has seen fit not to import the base model RSV4, leaving interested buyers with only the RSV4 RF (formerly the RSV4 R Factory) to choose from, which now costs £17,999.00, up around £1,000 from the previous model. When we asked Aprilia about their decision, they stated that only about 15 per cent of RSV4 purchases were of the standard edition and therefore they didn’t feel there was any benefit in continuing to import the cheaper model. Given the price rise of the higher spec bike, perhaps that wasn’t such a prudent idea.

The updated Tuono for 2015 which gets a major face lift will come in both the standard and upper spec models, £13,134 and £14,634 respectively. The only other real change to the 2015 lineup is the addition of the Caponard Rally which gets crash bars, redesigned spoked wheels LED auxiliary lights and hard panniers all as standard and will retail for  £14,134. Full price list below.

 

RSV4 RF

£17,999.00

Tuono V4 1100 Factory

£14,499.00

Tuono V4 1100 RR

£12,999.00

Caponord 1200 Rally

£13,999.00

Caponord 1200 Travel Pack

£12,999.00

Dorsoduro 750 ABS

£ 7,999.00

Shiver 750 ABS

£ 6,999.00

RS4 125

£ 4,499.00

New 2015 Aprilia Tuono V4 1100 RR

Just one day out from EICMA and new images and specifications have made their way online for the new 2015 Aprilia Tuono V4 1100 RR, a new model superseding the Aprilia Tuono V4R APRC ABS. We’ve previously reviewed the Tuono V4R and absolutely loved it, save for it’s rather unsightly looks and shocking fuel mileage. With this update, the former has been improved while we’ll have to wait and see if it’s thirst has as well.

That may be unlikely given the new Tuono V4 1100 has had a capacity increase from 999 cc to 1100 cc. That has come about by an increase in bore size (from 78 mm to 81 mm) and provides a 5hp increase in power (175hp up from 170hp) and torque now at 88.5 lb-ft (from 84.8 lb-ft). And that’s all from a dry weight of only 403 lb. But while that may not sound like much of an improvement for a 100 cc increase in displacement, it actually translates to an increase of up to 18hp over much of the power band – a significant amount for an already manic bike.

Appearance wise, the previous Tuono wasn’t exactly appreciated for it’s looks and the new front is kinder on the eyes. It loses it’s uniqueness though as the front is now very similar to it’s superbike brother, the Aprilia RSV4. The Tuono V4 1100 also receives the same pillion seat and wheels as the 2014 RSV4. Given it’s appearance and how it also has plenty of front fairing, Aprilia is definitely pushing the boundaries of what a streetfighter should look like.

Electronics (which are among the best in the business), suspension and brakes remain the same. No word on pricing or release date yet, but seeing as the updated 2015 Aprilia Tuono V4R APRC ABS only hit US dealerships in September, the new Aprilia Tuono V4 1100 RR will probably be around six months away. We’ll update this post once we have the final dates and figures.

 

 

Aprilia Tuono V4 R ABS Review

The 2014 Aprilia Tuono V4 R ABS is a great bike – fantastic even. And I say that because after riding it, the Tuono has gone from a bike that was close to the bottom of my ‘want to own list’ to instead become a bike I would love to have as my everyday ride. Yes, it’s extremely fast and yes, it’s got more technology than an average car. But it’s also more than capable and comfortable enough to use a commuter. It’s not just a track weapon. The Aprilia Tuono V4 R is just an all-round practical motorcycle – one with a wonderful soul, too.

The Tuono V4 R ABS was first released in 2011 and was itself derived from the potent (and highly acclaimed) RSV4 which has won four WSBK championships since its release in 2009.  Aprilia hasn’t reinvented the wheel with the updated 2014 Tuono V4 R ABS, but that’s not to say this is a minor update.  There’s a lot more than just a few cosmetic changes here and it’s enough to push this bike to the head of the class against its competitors. The most significant updates are updated Brembo brakes, slightly more power, a bigger fuel tank and some significant updates the APRC, or Aprilia Performance Ride Control software.

Ergonomics

As soon as you sit on the bike, you know that despite Aprilia labeling the Tuono V4 R as a naked bike (I think semi-faired is a more accurate description), it’s definitely in the streetfighter mold.  While sitting on it doesn’t feel as aggressive as the donor RSV4, this isn’t designed as a long range tourer.  You sit quite forward and almost feel like you’re over the top of the bars. It’s not uncomfortable by any means, but don’t expect a laid back feel when you swing your leg over it. Others have also stated that there’s not enough leg room (the pegs are positioned back and high like a sportsbike) but I didn’t find it a problem with my 6’2″ frame.

The seat is okay, but again I wouldn’t want to be spending all day on it if riding for hundreds of miles at a time. It’s supportive and thankfully less slippery than the Tuono’s previous pew, but it’s definitely been designed with the track in mind rather than overall comfort. The pillion seat is another matter however. On first glance it appears to be a race cowl, but is in fact an attractive but uncomfortably sculpted pillion seat with the handholds integrated into the bike’s bodywork. Clever and it does look nice, but it’s not really practical for anyone to sit on for more than a short distance.

Rear view mirrors offer a decent amount of vision behind you. I found them easy to adjust for my personal preferences and they show a good amount of the road on either side of your body. The kickstand is located in an annoying place however. You need to put your foot in front of the pegs, then underneath and behind to push the kickstand down.

Performance

To say the Tuona is fast is an understatement. It’s definitely twist the throttle/lose your license fast.  And sure, there are quicker bikes around but the lack of fairings and a proper windshield heighten the sense of speed and no doubt the sound of the Tuono’s V4 engine tricks your senses too. The sound of the Aprilia Tuono V4 R’s engine is beautiful. I only think Ducati can lay claim to an exhaust note as intoxicating as the Tuono’s and even they might struggle in comparison. I found myself blipping the throttle on downshifts even when I was crawling to a stop at the traffic lights just to hear the engine growl. I unfortunately didn’t have any tunnels to ride through on my test to really have fun, but the sound of the engine as you tear through the gears all the way to redline is a highlight.

Aprilia claims that the Tuono V4 R will reach 60 mph in 2.8 seconds and the standing quarter mile in a fraction over 10 seconds.  I have no reason to doubt them. Top speed is around 165 mph. It’s definitely a bike where you have to keep one eye on the speedometer at all times – the bike reaches a speed of around 80 mph in first gear alone.

And yet, with all that speed and power, this bike is quite happy to plod along on city streets as if it were a smaller capacity learners bike. The Tuono feels completely normal when you’re around the suburban landscape in second gear – it’s just that it can also turn into a rocket should you choose to twist the throttle hard enough. Fueling is brilliant. Even in first gear the application of power to the rear wheels is smooth as melted butter when you roll on the throttle. I continue to not understand how the likes of Honda and Kawasaki cannot provide good fuelling on their entry level bikes while the likes of Aprilia can do it so easily on a 170 bhp super naked. Go figure.

To me, the practicality of this engine is possibly the biggest highlight from my test. I was expecting an extremely fast machine, one capable of outperforming everything except a few supercars. What I wasn’t expecting is the same bike being so compliant and so easy to ride at ‘real world’ speeds.

The Tuono features both a quick shifter and a slipper clutch. The quick shifter is brilliant and is probably the best that I’ve sampled. If you’ve never used one before it does take a little getting used to as the sensation of just tapping up on the gear selector with your foot without actually moving it or the clutch lever or even coming off the throttle is strange at first, but after a while it becomes second nature. Although just like clutchless upshifting, you need to shift up while accelerating and close to redline for the gear changes to be smooth. The slipper clutch isn’t too dissimilar to most bikes and definitely comes in handy during a spirited ride when you need to slow rapidly.

Ride

Again, for a bike that’s more superbike than tourer, the Tuono V4 R seems just as happy on the road as it is on the track. That’s no doubt helped by its weight which is only 414 lb (to put that in perspective, Kawasaki’s popular Ninja 650R weighs 465 lb yet only puts out 71 bhp in comparison to the Tuono’s 170!). Filtering through traffic feels easy, though tight squeezes become difficult due to the bikes wide bars.

Putting your legs around the tank, you’d be hard pressed to believe what lurks underneath. The bike just seems smaller than what it should be given its performance. And that’s a good thing because you never feel like you’re laboring to ride the Tuono at low or high speeds. In fact, it seems to like going around corners just as much as it does thundering down in a straight line.

Those wide handlebars I just mentioned make tipping the bike into corners extremely easy. I found myself needing to make my corner entry later than normal because the bike leans over so effortlessly. The stock Perelli Supercorsas offer plenty of grip without sacrificing too much in the way of comfort. Like all bikes of this level, the suspension is fully adjustable for a wide variety of rider tastes (and more importantly, sizes).

All of this handling is backed up by some of the most advanced rider aids you can get on a bike. The Tuono has the following rider aids:

  • 8 Levels of Traction Control
  • 3 Levels of Wheelie Control
  • 3 Levels of Launch Control
  • 3 Levels of ABS
  • 3 Levels of Engine Mapping

That’s a lot of variables and it goes some way to explain how this bike can actually be a jack of all trades and at the same time, master of one particular style of riding that you choose. Want to go full squid? Turn the wheelie control off and traction control to 1. Track day? Switch off the ABS. Pouring with rain – turn all the settings up to maximum and ride home safely. It’s as intrusive or not as you want it to be.

What’s also nice is that the traction control can be changed on the fly – something some other manufactures don’t allow. That said, being an Italian machine, the actual design of the interface to change settings isn’t the most efficient or user friendly. There’s also a delay between menu selections and changes which feels like you’re trying to run iOS 5 on a Nokia from a decade ago.

Conclusion

The Aprilia Tuono V4 R ABS is probably the most complete bike I’ve ridden in a while. It’s eye wateringly fast yet so easy to ride. It’s packed to the gills with technology yet I can turn it all off if I want. It’s sports bike aggressive yet I can enjoy the wind in my face. And despite being heavily related to the WSBK championship winning RSV4, this is a bike that’s as practical as a day to day bike as it as a track weapon.

I have criticisms of it, but they are few and compared to the overall package aren’t deal breakers. First is appearance. Yes, looks are subjective but I don’t think the Tuono will be winning any beauty contests. It does look better in the metal than in pictures, and from behind and to the side it actually looks pretty decent. But that face…

Mileage is probably the Tuono’s Achilles’ heel. In fact, as part of the model upgrade, Aprilia increased the fuel capacity by 0.4 gallons but that’s only a token gesture. The bike has a range of around 125 miles. That’s awful, even for a bike of this power. Compare that to BMW’s S1000R which can eek out 140 miles from its smaller tank, or the KTM 1290 which can manage 150 miles from its 180 bhp engine. You’ll be visiting the gas station a few times a week with the Tuono.

If you can overcome its face for radio and V10 like mileage however, the Tuono V4 R ABS will not disappoint. In fact I have no doubt that riders of this bike will develop a permanent smile whenever they switch on the ignition and go for a ride.

Price

USA: $14,499
UK: £12,432
AUS: $21,990
CAN: $14,995

Specifications

Engine65° V4, Dohc, 4 Valves Per Cylinder, Liquid Cooled, 4 Stroke
Capacity999 cc
Power170 bph (125 kw)
Torque60 ft lb (110 nm)
Gear BoxSix-speed
Front BrakesDual Ø 320mm Rotors, Dual 4 Spot Brembo Gold Series Monobloc Calipers. Stainless Steel Braided Brake Lines
Rear BrakesSingle Ø 220mm Rotor, Single Brembo 2 Spot Opposed Piston Caliper. Stainless Steel Braided Brake Lines
Front SuspensionSachs 43mm Upside Down Forks, Fully Adjustable (Spring Preload, Compression And Rebound Damping).
Rear SuspensionSachs Piggy Back Monoshock, Fully Adjustable (Spring Preload, Compression And Rebound Damping).
WheelsFRONT: 3.5 X 17” REAR: 6.0 X 17”
Front Tire120/70/ZR17
Rear Tire190/55/ZR17
Wet Weight141 lb
Tank Capacity4.88 gallons