The standard class is awash with great motorcycles. It should be: Standards are reliable riding companions—comfortable, sporty bikes that afford room for a passenger and kicks for the rider. But the best standards transcend basic transportation and compete for our affection with much more purpose-focused motorcycles—ones designed with the track in mind, or for covering hundreds of miles at a stretch, or for managing urban commutes. We ask those same things of our standards, but all at once. And nothing delivers like the 2018 Aprilia Tuono V4 1100 RR, making it a back-to-back winner in the category.
The Tuono V4 1100 RR elevates itself above its peers by borrowing the heavily from Aprilia’s RSV4 superbike, and 2018 sees the Tuono nudge even closer to its stablemate. Among filched components are top-shelf Sachs suspension fore and aft, Brembo M50 Monoblock calipers, and a top-level suite of electronic aids that include launch control, wheelie control, and cornering ABS. But the pièce de résistance is Aprilia’s 65-degree V-4 engine.
Tuned for the street, the Tuono's mill cranks out a furious 159 hp and 80 pound-feet of torque on the Cycle World dyno. Strong numbers, sure, but they don't even hint at the addictiveness of the exhaust's yowl, or the jaw-dropping roar of the V4's very rapid inhalation. The noise is Italian exoticism at its finest. Simply put, whacking open the throttle of the Tuono V4 is one of the most thrilling experiences in motorcycling.
But for all the hard-core performance, the Tuono also offers comforts that make it a practical machine. Think cruise control, an attractive color TFT dash, and comfortable accommodations that include a pillion seat. Combined with a chassis and suspension that’s eager to hustle but forgiving of a rider’s imperfections, the Tuono V4 RR doesn’t just succeed as a Standard, it sets a new standard for the class.