Overall Ratings ★★★★★
|Value for money:||★★★★★|
In a Nutshell
Road Test of the new Euro4 compliant Aprilia Tuono 1100
In our opinion the Tuono is the best real-world roadbike, ahead of the KTM 1290 Superduke.
What We Liked
For in achieving the same 175bhp/129kW at 11,000 rpm as the outgoing Euro 3 model, with peak torque of 121Nm at 9,000 rpm also unchanged, Aprilia’s engineers led by Ing. Roberto Calò have had to work on myriad small details to tick al the Euro 4 boxes without sacrificing any performance whatsoever on the company’s best-selling sports model. Indeed, they’ve even raised the redline on the overbored 81 x 52.3 mm 1,078cc engine by 500 rpm to 12,500 rpm, to deliver a still broader spread of power and torque.
The three-time World Superbike title-winning 65º V4 motor’s essential architecture remains unchanged, as designed a decade ago by noted Italian progettista Ing. Claudio Lombardi, the former Ferrari F1 designer and creator of the fabulous Lancia Delta Integrale which won four World Rally titles between 1987 and 1992.
We found the revamped Aprilia’s handling to be as excellent as ever, with enough leverage from the one-piece handlebar that you can soon forget about the slightly longer wheelbase in terms of compromising agility, although the big surprise was how rock-solid stable the Aprilia Super-streetfighter is under fierce acceleration, especially with the three-stage AWC switched on. No handlebar waving in the wind, no speed shimmy even when you hit a bump, just totally planted. Aprilia was aware this could become a problem with a Naked bike with such a high potential top speed, so it made extensive wind tunnel testing in designing the Tuono’s half-fairing and especially made sure it’s mounted to the frame, not the forks, in pursuit of stability.
Euro 4-compliant engine management is entrusted to a new, yet more powerful Magneti Marelli ECU, though Aprilia is still as ever responsible for calibration of the software in-house. The RBW/ride-by-wire throttle system uses a pair of servo motors – one for each bank of cylinders – to operate the throttle butterflies, which thus allows the fuelling for each cylinder bank to be managed independently. Additionally, a choice of three different full-power throttle maps is offered via a switch on the handlebar, labeled Race, Track, and Sport – so, no reduced-power Rain mode, and no Custom map that you can concoct yourself, as on some other brands. But you can now switch between modes on the fly, without closing the throttle, with the settings displayed on the new, very clear, full color 4.3in TFT dash with two selectable screen pages – Road and Race, both with night and day backlighting.
The new Aprilia Tuono 1100 Factory – in its latest Euro 4 compliant guise it remains the benchmark in real-world everyday riding, with a soundtrack that makes you smile every time you open the throttle. This is an absolutely exceptional motorcycle in every way – a compliant, comfortable street-legal Superbike, supported by class-leading electronics that are ultra-accessible in everyday use.
The tall one-piece handlebar it’s best to ride the Tuono through turns without hanging off it – you’re faster if you just use the leverage from the ‘bar to steer it, with a bit of help from your knees as you remain in situ. Less hard work, too, leaving you to just focus on enjoying the ride aboard this Streetfighter supreme.
This is an exceptionally friendly Superbike-turned-Streetfighter whose V4 motor starts delivering serious performance as the tacho needle hits the 5,000 rpm mark, and engine acceleration starts to pick up faster. From 7,000 rpm upwards acceleration becomes explosive in Sport mode – it’s the only word to use for it – and with peak torque delivered at 9,000 rpm, I found that was where the front wheel started to pop up lazily off the tarmac exiting a turn in second gear if I swtiched off the AWC/anti-wheelie programme, and again when you hit third, making me glad I had the Öhlins steering damper well wound up. But then hold the gear and at 10,000 rpm there’s another dose of top end power that will send you rocketing forward as the engine heads for the revlimiter in a way that’s seriously satisfying, and definitely dramatic. Yet there’s a degree of real world rideability that’s as ever unexpected, especially when combined with the APRC rider aid package. You especially can’t help appreciating the smoothness of the perfectly dialled-in powershifter, now fitted with an auto-blipper for clutchless downshifts punctuated by a musical blip from the distinctive note of the V4 motor as you hook a lower gear. The Tuono’s ultra-distinctive engine note is still as intoxicating as ever, the lazy-sounding V4 drone in some ways at odds with the startling performance available at just a twist of the wrist. Indeed, the Tuono’s insane performance is delivered almost apologetically, at almost any revs – top gear roll-on from an indicated 160kmh/100mph with the tacho reading on the TFT dash parked at 7,500 rpm is muscular and decisive, with the droning exhaust just changing slightly in pitch as revs mount. There’s always more of everything yet to come on this motorcycle.
What We Disliked
For more, er, mature riders, the biggest problem with an electronic system as complicated as this is that to figure out how to get the most from it, we need our kids to explain it to us, which makes it fortunate that the Tuono 1100 has ample pillion space for them to sit behind you, and press all the right switches to dial up perfection. Only joking – well, mostly…
You can now switch between modes on the fly, without closing the throttle, with the settings displayed on the new, very clear, full-color 4.3in TFT dash with two selectable screen pages – Road and Race, both with night and day backlighting.
Base Price: MSRP $17,499 for the Tuono 1100 Factory
MSRP: $14,999 for the Tuono V4 1100 RR
Accessories: APRC, Öhlins steering damper
|Max power (horsepower, KW)||129 kW (175PS)|
|Max torque (NM, lb-ft)||121Nm|
|Top speed (km/h, mph)||Over 100 mph (160 km/h)|
|Engine (CC, CI)||1078 cc|
|Frame||Aluminium dual beam chasis|
|Weight (KG, Lbs.)||186.5 Kg (411 lbs)|
|Seat Height (CM, IN”)||825 mm (32 in)|
|Front Brake||Dual 330 mm floating disc brakes, Brembo M432 callipers|
|Rear Brake||Single disc brake, diameter 220 mm, 2-piston floating caliper|
|Front Tire Size||3.5”x17|
|Rear Tire Size||6”x17|
|Front suspension||Upside-down fork Ø 43 mm Öhlins|
|Rear suspension||Öhlins monoshock|
|Fuel Tank (L, Gal)||18.5 L (4 Gal)|
|Avg. fuel consumption (L/100 KM, MPG||– L/100 km (- mpg)|
|Safety||ABS, Traction control, Riding modes|
|Price (EUR, USD)||$17.499|