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Driving report: Aprilia Tuono V4 R / APRC

V4 naked bike with a lot of bite

Aprilia is preparing to change the standards in the world of naked bikes. The Tuono Aprilia V4 R, a stripped version of the super sports car RSV4 R, wants to become the new boss of the curve-robbing gear with inspiring V4 power and crisp driving dynamics. What MOTORRAD was allowed to try out exclusively in the area around Valencia.

Wow! First turn right and take a deep breath. How this device shoots forward unrestrainedly, claws its spurs into the ground, folds from one lean angle to the other with insane ease – you have to let that sink in, that’s a huge impact in the elite of naked bikes. Aprilia’s new Tuono V4 R, a derivative of the super sports car RSV4 R. A motorcycle that is guaranteed to knock any fan of ambitious locomotion off the stool. A pretty crazy asphalt milling machine, uncompromisingly trimmed for sport and full of the latest mechanics and modern electronics.

Actually, this experience doesn’t come as a surprise. Because already with the two-cylinder Tuono presented at the end of 2001 went AT.prilia followed a similar path, even then the most radical of all Nakeds. And it turned out to be extremely successful. With 18,000 units, the V2 Tuono became the best-selling model for the Italians. The knitting pattern: The Tuono RSV 1000 R was actually nothing more than a stripped competitive athlete with a high handlebar in the style of the classic superbikes of the 80s.

Driving report: Aprilia Tuono V4 R / APRC

V4 naked bike with a lot of bite

Tuono V4 R built. So RSV4 R as a base, trim trimmed, wide sail pole on and done? It’s not that easy, as project manager Marco Zuliani explains: "You can’t just mount a tall handlebar. Then you get a wild horse without kidneys. To turn a super sports car into a naked bike, you have to change a lot of details."

It starts with the engine, whose peak performance was initially slightly capped. Although mild is perhaps the wrong expression, the former superbike engine remains wild with 167 instead of 180 hp. It seemed more important to smooth the torque curve: for example, by lengthening the intake trumpet in the airbox by 25 millimeters, changing the timing of the camshafts, a modified mapping and finally a little more flywheel mass. Interventions intended to give the one-liter V4 more civilized manners.

The Tuono is a lot of fun. And is always ready for a ride on the rear wheel. Provided that the electronic helpers have been deactivated. But it took a lot of detailed work to transform the RSV4 into the Tuono.

Should – okay, at least the good intentions were there. Because the 167 PS tear at the chain so much that you should grip the handlebars with a firm grip. This is power for professionals, you should, no, you have to be in control of your senses at every moment. Below, the four-cylinder behaves somewhat cautiously, it can also behave tame.

From 5000 revolutions, however, it scoops up the briquettes so quickly that the pupils suddenly dilate. Only at 11,500 revolutions does the limit cut the primordial thrust, 1,000 revolutions earlier than with the superbike engine. Feeling this powerful kick in the bosom on a super sports bike or upright on a naked bike fluttering in the wind are different experiences. Especially since the lower three gears of the outstandingly switchable transmission are now geared up shorter, which increases the catapult-like acceleration. Above all, the overall gear ratio is unchanged, allegedly the propulsion only slackens at 270 km / h. For this reason, the Tuono is not really naked, high-speed without a wind deflector would not work at all. It is aerodynamically refined and should guarantee stability at the highest speeds. The author has not tried it on the Spanish streets, but the aerodynamic properties can already be guessed at at moderate speed.

At least the adrenaline rushing pilot can influence the development of power. On the right end of the handlebar using the throttle grip, logically, but also using three different mappings that can be accessed at any time while driving at the push of a button. The use of power is quite abrupt in track mode, and a tad more sociable in sport mode. R as in Road also reduces the power over the entire range by about 25 percent. However, there is still scope for fine-tuning bits and bytes: Every now and then the starter has to turn a little until the hot engine starts. And when starting off, something like a torque hole has to be overcome.

Speaking of coordination: you usually don’t care about the issue of consumption at the first contact. But the days of excessive drinking seem to be over at Aprilia, as MOTORRAD recently discovered when testing the RSV4 Factory. And also with the Tuono the exhaust flap is now continuously controlled. Only around 5000 revs, accompanied by an increasingly blaring V4 fanfare, gradually switched to passage. Until then, the engine holds back somewhat discreetly, so that you no longer have to mimic the rascal brother in urban areas.

The fairing brings the downforce urgently needed at high speeds.

Electrifying power is one thrust of the Tuono, razor-sharp handling the other. It was designed as the ultimate driving machine that should drive everything else on the country road into the ground. This required profound changes to the chassis. The development department filed and milled until the optimum geometry and the best installation position for the engine were found. The steering head was moved a few centimeters further forward, which changed the mass distribution and wheelbase. The engine hangs half a centimeter lower, and the swing arm bearing axle bores a few millimeters deeper through the frame. The fork bearing seats are milled into the frame blank at a shallower angle. In the end, the steering head angle is almost the same as on the superbike due to the forward tilt of the frame.

Millimeters here, nuances there, it really does? "Yes, it is precisely such subtleties that count", Marco comments on doubtful questions. Indeed, the Tuono is extremely playful and neutral in every angle. Certainly not as direct as a super sports car in terms of feedback, but always with a good feeling for the front wheel. What the seating position has its part in. Although the pegs are twelve millimeters lower for more comfort than on the RSV4, the sporty stance ensures gentle pressure on the front wheel. The handlebars lie perfectly in the hand with their ends slightly bent backwards.

The test drivers also invested a lot of work in fine-tuning the suspension elements. With success, the Sachs parts are well balanced and strike a good compromise between sporty toughness and civilized driving comfort, but heels and holes in the road are passed on unfiltered. The height adjustment at the rear was saved.

The new Tuono is available in two versions, namely with and without the electronic APRC driving aids. The APRC package included four areas: first of all, the sophisticated traction control, which the electronics department is working on almost constantly. Compared to the last tested RSV4 Factory / APRC, the slip control is now even more complex. In step eight or seven you only notice the permanent control processes at the reduced propulsion. Level six or five are just right for the country road and allow for little slides. Levels two or one are intended for plenty of wheelspin on the racetrack.

Would-be stunt riders might want wheelie control to control the height of the forehead wheel during unicycle acrobatics. On the contrary, it should prevent the front wheel from rising. Which makes sense with this beast, because sometimes it still wants to be on the rear wheel even at 140 km / h. This can be prevented extremely effectively in three stages – if you want.

In addition to the spring elements, Sachs also contributes the steering damper.

The front wheel, which is otherwise constantly striving towards the sky, has to be checked by yourself. The advantages of a quickshifter are now undisputed, and the launch control for rapid sprints could most likely be dispensed with.

The only thing missing is an ABS. "Wait a little longer, we will come up with something very special at some point", press spokesman Daniele Torresan put off for the future. Whereby the ABS is not missed, at least with good grip conditions. The brembos pack heartily and with sensitive transparency into the slices. Who cares that it is the simpler screwed versions instead of the exclusive monobloc pliers?

Because the red pencil had to start somewhere in order to realize the significantly lower price compared to the RSV4 R. The Tuono V4 R is in the list at 13,790 euros, around 1,600 euros below the athlete. MOTORRAD even recommends the 14,990 euro APRC version for asphalt milling cutters. So that the rolling madness remains halfway under control.

Technical specifications

Although "just" screwed and not monobloc, the Brembos bite hard.


Water-cooled four-cylinder, four-stroke, 65-degree V engine, two overhead, gear / chain-driven camshafts, four valves per cylinder, bucket tappets, wet sump lubrication, injection, Ø 48 mm, regulated catalytic converter, 420 W alternator, 12 V / 9 battery Ah, mechanically operated multi-disc oil bath clutch (anti-hopping), six-speed gearbox, O-ring chain, secondary ratio 39:15, bore x stroke 78.0 x 52.3 mm, displacement 1000 cm³.
rated capacity, 123.0 kW (167 hp) at 11500 rpm.
Max. Torque 112 Nm at 9500 rpm.

landing gear

Bridge frame made of aluminum, upside-down fork, Ø 43 mm, adjustable spring base, rebound and compression damping, steering damper, two-arm swing arm made of aluminum, central spring strut with lever system, adjustable spring base, rebound and compression damping, double disc brake at the front, Ø 320 mm, four-piston fixed calipers, Rear disc brake, Ø 220 mm, two-piston fixed caliper.
Cast aluminum wheels 3.50 x 17; 6.00 x 17, tires 120/70 ZR 17; 190/55 ZR 17, dimensions + weights
Wheelbase 1445 mm, steering head angle 65.0 degrees, caster 107.5 mm, spring travel f / r 120/130 mm, seat height 840 mm, dry weight 183 kg, tank capacity / reserve 17.0 / 4.0 liters. Warranty two yearsColors yellow, Black, silver Price 13,790 euros (APRC 14,990 euros).


landing gear
perfectly balanced
Handiness intoxicating
engine mighty power and dynamism

Below 3000 rpm little torque
Seating comfort manageable in the long run
More aggressive Use of power in track mode

Important differences to the RSV4 R

A butted aluminum handlebar sits in the handlebar clamps.

-Changed chassis geometry with an extended wheelbase and a lower engine
-Different ergonomics through higher handlebars, newly contoured seat and lower footrests
-Modified rear frame with integrated handles for pillion passenger
-Slightly reduced peak performance and smoothed torque curve
-Increased flywheel mass due to heavier flywheel
-New silencer with more freedom from lean angles
-High beam is switched via a flap mechanism
-Cassette transmission with a shorter translation of the first three gears
-Sachs instead of Showa fork
-Sachs shock absorber with a new setting without height adjustment
-Bolted Brembo brake calipers instead of Monobloc
-Cast rims a total of two kilograms lighter

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