2016 Aprilia Tuono V4 1100 RR ABS
Aprilia isn’t a brand you see zipping around Smalltown, U.S.A., but European superbike race fans (and competing manufacturers) know the name all too well. Operating under the Piaggio umbrella, this one-time bicycle, moped and scooter manufacturer now focuses its efforts on building large, powerful racing machines – such as the 2016 Tuono V4 1100 RR. The Aprilia “super-naked” line sprang from experimentation with Aprilia’s then-flagship superbike, the RSV Mille, and evolved over years of Tuono 1000 R production. This newest Tuono benefits from years of successful race experience, and it represents the latest generation of Aprilia ingenuity. I’ve made mention before about how passionate Italians (in general) are about their bikes, so let’s see if the Tuono meets my already-high expectations.
Continue reading for my review of the 2016 Aprilia Tuono V4 1100 RR ABS.
2016 Aprilia Tuono V4 1100 RR ABS
Let me just go ahead and say that, in spite of its classification by the factory, the Tuono does not qualify as a naked bike in my book. I like to see a lot more frame and innards before I use that label, but let’s not get bogged down in semantics. What we have here is a fairly typical superbike with just a little bit less than full coverage by the body panels. The engine cases peek out a bit, but the frame is nearly covered and out of sight. While this hides much of the innards from view, it does a good job of minimizing the visual impact of the great, big, honkin’ radiator in front of the downtubes.
A glance is all it takes to notice the aerodynamic details on the Tuono. The tiny windshield, intake vents in the engine cowl and minimal fenders all suggest extensive wind-tunnel testing, and the rider triangle encourages an aggressive, forward-leaning position to get your upper body out of the slipstream. The wide, deeply-scooped saddle provides plenty of containment for hard acceleration, and leaves room for the shifting of the butt when entering corners.
Aprilia borrowed heavily from its successful racing chassis when it set up the frame for the Tuono. The factory used pressed and cast aluminum members to keep things light, and a double-rail construction for torsional rigidity with just the right amount of give. Steering-head angle changed from 25.1 degrees to 24.7 degrees, which increased trail by 0.30 inch to a total of 4.22 inches. This gives the bike stable tracking at speed while maintaining agility in the corners. A Sachs steering damper helps to reduce handlebar kickback and further stabilize the steering on blistering straightaways.
A pair of 43 mm, inverted Sachs forks come with adjusters for preload and hydraulic compression. Personally, I like inverted forks. They are nice and stiff, not all wimbly in the corners like my 39 mm right-side-up forks, and it reduces the unsprung weight on the front wheel. A Sachs monoshock with piggyback gas cylinder manages the rear, and it also comes with adjustable rebound, compression and “sprint preload” so you can dial in the exact ride you want.
Cast-aluminum, three-spoke wheels mount the 17-inch, Z-rated tires, and further reduce unsprung weight at both ends of the bike. Dual, 320 mm front discs, and a 220 mm rear disc provide ample leverage for the Brembo calipers, and the Bosch, multi-map, 9MP ABS allows you to use the brakes with confidence. The ABS comes with three settings: closed-circuit riding, street sport riding or riding in inclement weather, and if you are really pro, you can turn the system off altogether for true feel and feedback at the lever and pedal.
The engineers reworked the proven Tuono, 90-degree, V-4 mill to boost torque in the low- to mid-range. Cylinder bores punched out to a full 81 mm brought total displacement to 1,077 cc. The engine cases were lightened and reinforced, with improved ventilation to reduce loss of power due to crankcase air pressure. Connecting-rod journals come shaved down to 36 mm in diameter, and the con rods themselves were lightened to further reduce the reciprocating mass in the engine. The result: a 5-pony increase to 175 shaft horsepower at 11,000 rpm, and 88.5 pound-feet of torque at 9,000 rpm.
Scoops in the fairing ram air through a total of four, fuel-injected, Weber-Marelli 48 mm throttle bodies under the management of the Ride-by-Wire (RbW) system that monitors wheel rotation and intervenes through secondary throttle plates to prevent loss of traction. Much like the ABS, the RbW comes with three engine maps for Track, Sport or Road that you can change on the fly without the need to stop the bike to make the adjustment.
Until Ducati, MV Agusta and the remaining “Big Four” in Japan release their 2016 models, the closest competitor so far has to be the Suzuki GSX-R1000 Commemorative Edition. At 999 cc, the Suzi-Q displaces 78 cc less than the Tuono, and while this year’s figures are still coming in, last year’s gixxer put out 182 horsepower, 7 ponies more than the Tuono engine, and I doubt Suzuki plans on backing up.
Both bikes come with some method of traction control (other than your right wrist) that reduces power output when wheel slip is detected, and both come with three separate riding modes that allow you to dial in for the conditions and your riding style.
Unlike Aprilia, Suzuki shunned any sort of ABS on this particular gixxer, and I for one do not find that to be a negative. It is my humble opinion that if you want to buy a bike like this and ride it as it was meant to be ridden, you should already have the necessary big-time skillset and shouldn’t need the ABS crutch. But, that’s just my own $0.02.
You can score a Tuono in the Grigio Portimao (gray and black, with red highlights) color scheme for $14,799. It comes with a two-year, unlimited mileage warranty and one year of roadside assistance from Road America.
“It’s an impressive bike, and although I usually like the appearance of Italian bikes, I’m not really feeling the Tuono that much. Aesthetics aside, it’s definitely a powerful machine and worthy of respect. I always like to see race technology adapted for street use, and this bike has oodles of it."
My wife and fellow writer, Allyn Hinton, says, "I agree with my husband on this; in my mind, it doesn’t really qualify as a "naked" bike, but that doesn’t really matter. Folks in the customer pool for one of these babies won’t to be called posers for that. Quite impressive — for me, anyway — is the dynamic control suite that includes the aTC (Aprilia Traction Control), aWC (Aprilia Wheelie Control), aLC (Aprilia Launch Control) and aQS (Aprilia Quick Shift). The combination of controls — which Aprilia claims is still one-of-a-kind and I can’t argue — offers auto-calibration and wheelie control. This eliminates the need for an extended swingarm to keep the front wheel on the ground."
|Engine Type:||Aprilia V4-cylinder, Four-stroke, liquid-cooled 90-degree longitundal V-Twin with double overhead camshaft /DOHC, four valves per cylinder. Ride By Wire with three engine mappings (Sport, Race, Track)|
|Maximum Power:||175 Horsepower at 11,000 rpm|
|Maximum Torque:||88.5 Pound-Feet at 9,000 rpm|
|Fuel system:||Airbox with front dynamic air intakes. Four Weber-Marelli 48 mm throttle bodies with four injectors and latest generation Ride-by-Wire engine management. Choice of three different engine maps selectable by the rider with bike in motion: T (Track), S (Sport), R (Road)|
|Front Suspension:||Sachs steering damper, Sachs upside-down fork, 43mm stems. Fully adjustable spring preload, hydraulic compression|
|Front Suspension Travel:||4.7 Inches|
|Rear Suspension:||Sachs single shock absorber with piggy-back, adjustable sprint preload, hydraulic compression and rebound|
|Rear Suspension Travel:||5.1 Inches|
|Front brake:||Double 320 mm disc with aluminum flange. Brembo M432 mono-block radial calipers and metal braid line|
|Rear Brake:||220 mm disc. New Brembo caliper. Pump with integrated tank and metal braid brake pipe|
|ABS:||Multi-map Bosch 9MP ABS (Three Track, Sport, Rain + Off), deactivable and with RLM (Rear Wheel Lift-up Mitigation)|
|Front Wheel:||Three-spoke - 3.5 x 17 inches aluminum alloy wheel|
|Rear Wheel:||Three-spoke - 6.00 x 17 inches aluminum alloy wheel|
|Front Tire:||Radial tubeless. 120/70 ZR 17|
|Rear Tire:||Radial tubeless. 190/55 ZR 17 (Alternative 190/50 ZR 17; 200/55 ZR 17)|
|Frame:||Aluminum dual beam chassis with pressed and cast sheet elements|
|Maximum Height:||42.9 inches|
|Seat Height:||32.5 inches|
|Fuel Tank Capacity:||4.9 Gallons|
|Warranty:||Two-year unlimited-mileage warranty|
|Roadside Assistance:||One Free Year of Road Side Assistance provided by Road America|
|Approval:||EPA and CARB|