Comparison test Aprilia Tuono V4 1100 Factory KTM 1290 Super Duke R 2018

Aprilia Tuono V4 1100 Factory and KTM 1290 Super Duke R (2018)

Power naked bikes in comparison

Forest and field shake, the earth shakes. A performance has never been staged in a more grandiose manner. Aprilia Tuono V4 1100 Factory and KTM 1290 Super Duke R of the 2018 model year celebrate abundance in its most beautiful form.

There are offers that cannot be refused. At least not if you’ve got a little gasoline in your blood. Simply because you can never be sure that such an opportunity will come a second time. “Do you want to compare the AT.prilia Tuono V4 1100 Factory with the KTM 1290 Super Duke R “? That was clearly such an offer. A quick eye contact, a decisive nod. Just don’t be too enthusiastic, otherwise the others will get in a bad mood, because one thing is certain: With this pairing, the cleaning lady and the caretaker would have agreed.

Aprilia Tuono V4 1100 Factory and KTM 1290 Super Duke R (2018)

Power naked bikes in comparison

Tuono the favorite?

In any case, we would go to Posemuckel with these blasts. Or to the South Pole. Maybe even to Switzerland. Because one thing is clear. If you were to ask everyone in the MOTORRAD editorial team about their favorite for the weekend – everyone who knows them would spontaneously choose the Tuono. But the KTM would also definitely be shortlisted. There was something else that made this offer so tempting. No points, no consumption trip, no reason. This time the heart should triumph over the head, the keyword "ratio" should at best play a role in the gear ratio. Yes, this must also be clearly stated here: that is exactly what makes this task smaller. Because how do you want to give you, dear readers, lively, up-close impressions of these performance giants, when the spit stays away in the face of this power and glory?

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The Aprilia Tuono V4 1100 Factory and the KTM 1290 Super Duke R compete against each other in a duel.

It seems best to start very carefully. To approach these forces in homeopathic doses. For example in the MOTORRAD underground car park, which many of us magically drive into whenever the latest models move into their parking spaces. The Power Nakeds XXL have recently resided there. Or rather, they hold court and receive a large audience. You come by, sit for a test and admire the impressive compactness of these powerhouses. Just like the finesse of their technical details. It’s a call like Donnerhall, the Tuono doesn’t bear its name in vain. And since KTM exaggerated a little bit with the market launch of the Duke with 180 hp and also only spoke of the "Beast", it is not just one, but "the" face of this new class of powerful, wiry country road racing coaches.

Admired and admired enough

But this little cheating is quickly forgotten in view of the logical stringency with which these two very special motors nestle in their tight frame corset. This literally obvious balance and ideal center of gravity are impressive, which are only made possible by the narrow cylinder angles (65 degrees for the Aprilia-V4, 75 degrees for the KTM-V2). But now there is really enough gossip about this conceptual perfection that technology freaks and aesthetes alike inspire, admire and marvel at enough. One push of a button, and the engines thump. What really counts is also in place for these majesties!

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Both bikes transport a lot of power to the asphalt.

The Tuono comes to life with a greedy V4 snap, the KTM counteracts it with a relaxed two-cylinder stroke. The idea that from now on both over there and over there will be tugging around 175 hp on the chain if necessary, is not necessarily more reassuring given the manageable 216 kilos (Aprilia) and 218 kilos (KTM) with a full tank. A look at the brake material has the effect of reducing the heart rate. Everyone agrees that it has to be Brembo. Of course only of the finest quality (M50 monoblock pliers), of course controlled by the appropriate Bosch curve ABS. The diameter of the discs? Considerable, namely the usual 320 millimeters for the Super Duke, while the Tuono with 330 millimeters is one more thing. You can probably bring an Airbus A 380 to a stop with this.

What do the numbers say?

But now we’re exaggerating a little, do you think? It can’t all be so wild? No, we don’t, we let the numbers speak for themselves. Shortly counted to three (3.2 seconds for the Tuono, a tenth more for the Super Duke), and both are at one hundred, after five more seconds the clock is 200 km / h. Theoretically, because these are values ​​that you have to develop on these two with a lot of courage and a little skill. Simply because the furious torque attacks on the rear wheel pull the road away from under the front wheel with a jerk, before you can even say “peep”. Usually. But what would these coronations of creation be without the cornucopia of electronics to manage this excess of abundance discreetly and fully.

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The Tuono takes 2.8 seconds from 100 to 140 km / h.

With the power start, it is the Launch Control (standard on the Tuono, part of the Track Package on the Super Duke) that enables effective traffic light sprints. But exercises like this will not be the order of the day, even with fully irradiated gas heads. Much more important – and can also be experienced at any time in everyday life – is the beneficial effects of traction control when dynamic wheel load distribution gains the upper hand in normal driving. It doesn’t matter which of the lower gears is taking over the frictional connection: sooner or later the moment comes when the front wheel stretches towards the sky, because then the combination of high-displacement engines, compact dimensions, low weight and a gear ratio suitable for everyday use comes through completely. Then the electronics regulate gently but decisively. MOTORRAD usually documents this power with the torque values ​​in sixth gear. In numbers: the Tuono needs 3.1 seconds from 60 to 100 km / h, 3.2 seconds the KTM. That is very, very strong, but it gets even bigger: The Tuono beams from 100 to 140 km / h in 2.8 seconds, the KTM takes a little more time with 3.3 seconds. That is astonishing, because subjectively one trusts the robust V2 more than the very smooth-running and smooth Italo-V4 in the medium and high speed range. How to be wrong.

Well equipped at the gates of Stuttgart

If you haven’t noticed yet – the underground car park is behind us. We rumble and thunder in wonderful sunshine through the forests and vineyards of the early autumn Rems Valley at the gates of Stuttgart. Equipped with more displacement, more power, more chassis and more assistance systems than we could ever have dreamed of. The almost logical consequence: if you are not careful, you will be on the road much faster than it is good for your wallet and points account. Because not only the engines, but also the chassis of these two reach a level that has to be processed with a good measure of physical and moral maturity. We can only do it to a limited extent. Pulling on the throttle again and again enthusiastically, are torn away by what feels like 3 g and slowed down again by the multiple, hit bold hooks, enjoy the playful handling and the outstanding power. However, despite all the similarities that one believes to be discovered in these two Radical Nakeds (that would also be a nice band name), the differences are significant. Or, to put it more succinctly: You don’t have to have a doctorate in genetics to immediately sense that they come from different stable.

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The Super Duke impresses with its low weight and easy handling.

First about the Super Duke R: There are not many of their type and certainly not a performance monster of this caliber that stops so abruptly directly in front of the wide handlebars as this KTM. The multifunctional TFT screen, and then … that’s it. Nothing, no stem, no view of the front wheel, yawning emptiness. There is clearly something enduresque to it that runs through all ergonomic conditions. Relaxed knee angle, narrow tank, grippy bench. No, the Super Duke cannot deny its roots. Somehow this also includes the generous 156 millimeters of suspension travel, which, however, is certainly more due to the directly hinged shock absorber than any ambitions for off-road terrain. After all, this design means that it is easier to do on loose terrain with the great Duke than with the Tuono. The same applies, by the way, in the urban environment, where the KTM mutates nothing to me, nothing to a veritable city runabout. Then the low weight and easy handling are joined by a smooth, easy-to-dose clutch and the gentle throttle response in street mode. And the exemplary mechanical smoothness, because the V2 apparently shifts from hard to smooth without any problems and grows cultivated even at the lowest speeds.

Literally inhaled curves

At Aprilia, the genealogy is even clearer and completely different. From the slopes to the streets – that was the motto of the first Tuono in 2002, and nothing fundamental has changed about that. None of the ultra-powerful naked bikes are closer to the racing iron. Cover up, wide handlebars on – that is and remains a recipe that also pays off in civilian life. Especially in this noble version, which not only takes over the brilliant Ohlins spring elements, but even the sexy rear frame with an emergency seat bun in thong format. The passenger option is ruled out because no one will embark on this adventure, all other doors are miles open.

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Both bikes master wheelies with ease.

In a nutshell: There is hardly any other motorcycle that literally soaks up the asphalt, inhales curves in such a way, takes away fears and inspires confidence. And all of this drilled with an ease regardless that is second to none, of the condition of the course. In staccato: responsiveness forehead and back top, feedback outstanding, great accuracy, driving stability beyond any doubt, ergonomics perfect. This chassis is so powerful that it almost seems unfair to put your finger in the KTM chassis wounds immediately. We still have to do it here, you know, chronicler duty.

Tuono is one step ahead

So: the worse the road, the more restless the Super Duke becomes. The unwilling response behavior of the hindquarters – mainly due to the lack of diversion – adds up to a stubborn self-steering behavior of the front to a shaken amount of steering work to keep the load on course, while the Tuono finds the line as if by magic. In a direct comparison, it only helps to give the V2 the spurs at every opportunity, which also works perfectly with the precisely functioning automatic gearshift (up and down) and super-precise throttle response. But be careful: The Tuono-V4 also knows exactly where Bartel gets the must, always and everywhere pushes forward vehemently, roars passionately from the airbox, storms bravely, switches almost as precisely with the automatic switch, but does not depend on the gas as razor-sharp.

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In the end, the Tuono convinced us a little more.

But that is irrelevant in view of the Tuono qualities. As an exception, the same applies to fuel consumption. No standard lap, no conscious fuel economy, no points: We never saw on the road that the Italo V4 would tip over a liter more into the combustion chambers at brisk country road speeds. Especially in view of this fascinating combination of a powerful engine and state-of-the-art chassis. Above all, the Super Duke R has to oppose this with its inspiring V2, its independence and its suitability for everyday use. And yet: if we had to vote now, we would take the Tuono.

Equipment in detail

Systems assistance

Tuono V4 1100 Factory
1290 Super Duke R
ABS / setting options (levels) °(3 / can be switched off) °(2 / can be switched off)
Traction control (levels) ° (8 / can be switched off) ° (1 (9) * / can be switched off)
Wheelie control (levels) ° (3 / can be switched off) ° (1 / can be switched off) *
Engine braking torque ° (142 euros)
Launch control (stages) ° (3 / can be switched off) ° (1 / can be switched off) *
Steering damper (stages) ° hydraulic (19) ° hydraulic (1)
Automatic switch ° (up / down) ° (389 euros) (up / down)
Driving mode (steps) ° (3) Sport / Race / Track ° (4) Sport / Street / Rain / Track
Cruise control ° °
Pit lane limit ° (adjustable)

landing gear

Tuono V4 1100 Factory
1290 Super Duke R
Strut Spring base adjustable with a lever system, rebound and compression damping directly hinged adjustable spring base, rebound and compression damping
fork adjustable spring base, rebound and compression damping adjustable spring base, rebound and compression damping
adjustable swing arm pivot °
Adjustable rear height °
adjustable handlebar position °

Board computer

Tuono V4 1100 Factory
1290 Super Duke R
Display TFT TFT
Adjustments from the handlebar ° °
Slope / delay display ° (degrees) / bars
Lap timer °
Shift light / adjustable ° / adjustable ° / adjustable
Gear indicator ° °
Current / average consumption display ° / ° -/ °
Remaining range °
Water / oil temperature Centigrade/- Bars / degrees Celsius
Delay / throttle position Bar / bar -/-

° = series or installed on the test motorcycle; (-) = not available; * with Track Pack (340 euros)

MOTORCYCLE – conclusion

It is indeed massive what these two powerhouses offer. First and foremost, a sovereignty that is second to none. You don’t have to exploit this potential, in most cases you can’t either. The full boost, on the other hand, can indeed be addicting. Once you have enjoyed this power and glory, you will never forget it. No matter if V2 or V4.

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