Earlier this year, at Misano, I had the chance to test the new Tuono V4 1100 Factory, which is powered by a new and very potent version of Aprilia’s 65-degree V-4 that has been enlarged to 1,077cc by enlarging the bore to 81mm from the original 78. This engine delivers a massive claimed output of 175 hp at 11,000 rpm, backed by an even more impressive 89.2 pound-feet of torque at 9,000 rpm.
In addition to the larger bore, the V-4 has received a lighter crank assembly featuring Pankl connecting rods and larger valves (32mm inlet, 26mm exhaust), plus it breathes through 48mm throttle bodies with fixed geometry optimized for mid-range response. There is one injector per throttle body.
This excellent engine is harnessed in the same aluminum frame of the RSV4RF Superbike racer, but with further refined steering geometry and weight bias. The steering rake has been reduced from 25.1° to 24.7° and the offset of the triple-clamps has been increased from 30 to 35mm. The front wheel axle has remained in the same position in relation to the center of gravity of the bike, but the trail has been reduced from 107.4mm to 99.7mm. In addition, the swingarm has been lengthened by 4mm.
The changes, related to Aprilia’s dominance in the superbike arena, are designed to give the Tuono crisper steering and more agility, while adding high-speed stability. Compared to the Aprilia Tuono V4 1100RR tested last April, the Tuono V4 1100 Factory features drastically refined suspension components, all from Öhlins: an inverted 43mm fork, a gas-charged shock absorber, and a steering damper. These upgrades alone made for a remarkable improvement during my test at the Pirelli Tire Test Track.
In addition, the Factory front brake uses twin 320mm rotors featuring special lightweight aluminum flanges and Brembo M432 monoblock radial-mount calipers. The Factory has Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa radials as standard rubber, the front one in the customary 120/70-17 size, while the 6.00 x 17 rear wheel is shod with a 200/55-17 tire instead of the 190/55-17 of the Tuono RR.
The new Tuono V4 1100 Factory is equipped with Aprilia’s most advanced RSV4RR/RF electronics suite, and the APRC includes a very sophisticated Race ABS that offers three selectable levels of actuation. Piaggio specialists also developed software called Multimedia Platform, which gives the Tuono Factory three new functions. Active Electronic Setup is the nearest thing to what in racing is called “corner-by-corner” active management. It uses a GPS module that memorizes the track layout and then adjusts the engine response and suspension settings to the best possible settings for every section of the track. The Multimedia Platform also offers Adaptive Race Assistant and Advanced Telemetry Dashboard, the former to further hone the bike settings, the latter to provide more “virtual” instrumentation to keep the engine under control.
On a gray and humid morning, a black and silver bike does not shine much, but the Aprilia Tuono V4 1100 Factory is a very well styled naked bike, with wheels and red accents that help the bike cut through the morning gloom. The major styling difference that separates the Tuono Factory from the Tuono RR is the streamlined seat borrowed from the RSV4 RR/RF.
The Tuono, at a claimed 408 lb. dry, is appreciably light, and the Engine is an absolute wonder. Power is impressive, about all one can handle on a naked bike. Most exceptional is the torque, which is seemingly available at any rpm, giving the engine and immense flexibility. The Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa were appreciated on the humid track, yet the amount of torque delivered to the rear wheel while accelerating out of a third-gear 70 mph corner was enough to experience a few rear end slides, with traction control set to its least intrusive level. To avoid troubles, I then upshifted to the next taller gears, from third to fourth and even fifth, and the amount of torque available was still perfectly adequate to balance the bike at knee-dragging lean angles. Absolutely fascinating!
With all due respect for the Sachs suspension units, the upgrade to the Öhlins makes a difference in all riding circumstances. The bike feels lighter, more agile, and more responsive at low to medium speeds and superbly stable at high speed. Despite the abundant power and torque, the Tuono 1100 Factory is even at home in downtown Milan traffic. Yet the tack test proved that the Aprilia Tuono V4 1100 Factory is the perfect bike for a spirited ride on a twisty back road, where its superb engine and brakes, and all its dynamic qualities, can be tested.
To check the bike’s all-out speed potential, one must have an effectively streamlined riding style because, at 160-plus mph, the wind pressure is rather extreme. And the Tuono gets there quickly. Even down the short straight of the Pirelli track, the Tuono was easily hitting 120 mph, even though the ide and fairly tall handlebar (which makes for an ergonomically correct riding posture for a twisty course), does not help when the rider tries to tuck in behind the mini top fairing.
But that’s a small nit to pick on this most refined version of the Aprilia Tuono. The sporty seat is adequately comfortable for one, and I think the Tuono V4 1100 is a very flexible platform that could give life to a whole family of models, starting with a fully dressed sport-touring bike along the lines of a BMW R100RS. Build it, Aprilia. Please!
The Aprilia Tuono V4 1100 Factory is available now in the US, priced at $16,999.
||Aprilia Tuono V4 1100 Factory|
|ENGINE|1077cc liquid-cooled DOHC V-4|
|RAKE / TRAIL|24.7º/ 3.9 in.|
|SEAT HEIGHT|32.9 in.|
|FUEL CAPACITY|4.9 gal.|
|WET WEIGHT|472 lb.|