Giving the already bonkers Aprilia Tuono V4R even more power and torque may seem like overkill. But that doesn’t tell the whole story of the New Tuono RR…
When we were being introduced to the new Aprilia Tuono V4 1100 RR, there was an admission from the Italian firm about what it had originally decided to do with it. Aprilia was going to slot the new RSV4 engine directly in, with little to no adjustment towards the naked class. Now that’s a mouthwatering – and scarily exciting – proposition.
By all accounts it was tested, but it was simply too bananas, even for Aprilia’s sports focussed tastes. Instead, they chose to take a different route by modifying a version of the V4 engine, a hybrid of old and new RSV4 metal, if you will. The goal was to make the Tuono more usable, doubtless to try and tempt a larger number of folk on to one and to expand its repertoire. There wasn’t anything inherently unusable about the old Tuono and, being who we are, we enjoyed the fact that the sports angle was so heavily played upon.
2016 Aprilia Tuono V4 RR : What’s New ?
It meant that the Tuono won our big annual nakeds test with ease, year after year, and the lack of compromise was a big part of that success. However, we can see why Aprilia would want to do this; the Tuono could seem like a real handful if you only ever had a quick test ride on one. So, more torque was needed to smooth things out a bit.
To achieve this, Aprilia changed the cylinder bore from 78 to 81mm, leading to the new displacement of 1,077cc. The conrods and pins were changed, and some new pistons were slung in. As a result of that, and other new refining and engineering processes, the motor is not only more powerful, but lighter. It still retains other traits unique to its class too, such as a race-spec removable gearbox just in case you ever fancy looking at it…
Controlling the show, a new ECU has been fitted with new maps and tricks up its sleeve. Track and Sport modes are joined by a ‘Race’ setting, should you desire the full beans option. Throttle maps for the ride-by-wire system have also been made less aggressive and more refined.
The best electronics package on the market has been upgraded too, featuring eight-stage traction control, three-stage wheelie control, launch control and the quickshifter. You can also use the V4 – MP app for when you go on track, just like the RSV4 RF, to adjust lecky aids corner by corner.
2016 Aprilia Tuono V4RR Chassis
For improved stability the headstock angle has been changed from 25.1 to 24.7 degrees, while the ‘fork advancement’ is now 35mm from a previous 30. The swingarm is 4mm longer to control wheelies better and increase grip. The RR comes with Sachs fully adjustable suspension, the Factory with Öhlins, both featuring a new standard set-up. Brembo M4 32 calipers stop the show, with Bosch 9MP Race ABS fitted as standard. The RR comes with a 190 section rear tyre, the Factory a 200 section. The V4-MP app is also included here, for increased race track functionality.
Bosch 9MP Race ABS is included too, bragging Rear Lift Mitigation (RLM). All of these systems work in tandem to give you the best helping hand on road or track, and they all work brilliantly.
Chassis wise, the bike remains similarly based on the RSV4, although the swingarm is longer by 4mm for increased stability. The headstock angle has been altered, as has trail, for better road agility without losing any of its track potency. There are two models available, the RR and the Factory, the former coming with Sachs fully adjustable suspenders front and rear. The Factory is fitted with Öhlins’ finest at both ends, with one of its steering dampers to sure things up, while Brembo provides the braking power for both versions. So, many new things, many upgrades to savour, but has Aprilia sanitised it too much?
2016 Aprilia Tuono RR Ride Test !
To find out, well, truth is we still haven’t been able to fully explore the potential of the bike. Following a rousing morning on the RSV4 RF around Misano, we expected a similar affair traversing the Italian hills on the Tuono. Yet that wasn’t what happened, sadly. Aprilia’s test route meant riding through a lot of towns as they wanted to show off how much friendlier it was.
Fair enough, but the short time we had on open roads was left largely pointless as they are without doubt the slipperiest I’ve ever encountered, despite it being bone dry and very hot.
For the full-on appraisal of its sporting characteristics, and whether it’s been blunted or boosted with the new mods, you’ll have to wait until we get one back in the UK. It would later transpire that the route was also chosen so we could be shown Rossi’s riding ranch. Which was great, I guess, but I’d rather have been able to give the Tuono a good thrashing.
However, it wasn’t a complete waste of time. True to their word, the bike is far more usable than before; and it all begins at the handlebars. They’re shorter, a decision made to increase control and reduce the amount of leverage effect. In essence, it works, and although at first a little strange with just a few miles rolled, it’s soon clear it was the correct choice. They alone make the bike feel even more compact than before, and more under your thrall. Usually it’s the other way around, but in this instance agility feels more direct; you just have to use an almost imperceptible amount of extra input through them for similar or greater effect.
APRILIA TUONO V4RR ENGINE
A new cylinder bore of 81mm was used to get the new capacity to 1,077cc. Power is increased by whopping 20bhp, while torque is also higher. The engine cases are now fashioned using a new shell-fusion technique, are reinforced and lighter. Internal ventilation is also improved, reducing power loss. New crank rod pins are smaller, but heavier, while the Pankl rods save 400 grams. The gearbox is removable, and cam-timing is taken care of via a chain and gear arrangement. A new ECU controls the RBW Marelli fuelling, and also the excellent APRC electronics package.
Likewise, the throttle response is vastly improved, as is the connection from wrist to rear tyre. There’s only a surge of power if you demand it, and through idyllic Italian country towns it plodded along without so much of a snatch or burp. Once out of the urban areas another bonus was made evident.
The longer swingarm and improved throttle response, allied to the increase in torque, now means the Tuono isn’t a half bad wheelie bike once the wheelie control is switched off. Before it was, um, aggressive to say the least, and stunting wasn’t really its forte. Now it’s far easier to control and to hold in a onewheeled pose.
Speaking of control, it did appear that stability has been increased on the chassis front, but that’s only really been evidenced by general riding. After nearly crashing half a dozen times on the slippery surfaces, I elected to not push it any further, but as it would turn out even then the roads we were traversing didn’t allow that opportunity, even if it had been grippy. The ATC traction-control did shine though, as corner exits saw the bike slide even on gentle openings of the gas.
Set on a low level of ‘2’, it would see the Tuono regaining the initiative whenever it started to spin. In some regards, this was a good demonstration of its abilities, a handy refresher on the hoof, although it was already class-leading kit.
And that’s about it really, there’s not a great deal else to tell simply due to the circumstances. I suppose we could claim ‘job done’ for Aprilia on the increased usability scale, that much is clearly evident. However, I’m confident it’ll still be able to throw all the necessary shapes to keep it ahead of the pack sports-wise, too…
2016 Aprilia Tuono V4RR Specs
Engine : 4-Stroke, 65-degree V-4, DOHC 4-valves per cylinder, Liquid-Cooled
Bore x Stroke : 81.0 x 52.3 mm
Engine Capacity : 1.077cc
Max Power : 175 HP @ 11.000 RPM
Max Torque : 89.2 lb.-ft. @ 9.000 RPM
Fuel System : Airbox with front dynamic air intakes – 4 Weber-Marelli 48-mm throttle bodies with 4 injectors and latest generation Ride-by-Wire engine management. Multiple engine maps selectable by the rider with bike in motion: T (Track), S (Sport), R (Race)
Ignition : Magneti Marelli digital electronic ignition system integrated in engine control system, with one spark plug per cylinder and “stick-coil” type coils
Starter : Electric Starter
Exhaust : 4-into-2-into-1 layout, single oxygen sensor, lateral single silencer with ECU-controlled bypass valve and integrated trivalent catalytic converter (Euro 3)
Gearbox : 6-speed cassette type gearbox
1st: 39/15 (2.600)
2nd: 33/16 (2.063)
3rd: 34/20 (1.700)
4th: 32/22 (1.455)
5th: 34/26 (1.308)
6th: 33/27 (1.222)
Gear lever with Aprilia Quick Shift electronic system (AQS)
Clutch :Multiplate wet clutch with mechanical slipper system
Traction Management : APRC System (Aprilia Performance Ride Control), which includes Traction Control (ATC), Wheelie Control (AWC), Launch Control (ALC), all of which can be configured and deactivated independently
Seat Height : 32.5 in.
Trail : 3.9 in.
Dry Weight : 406 lb.
Fuel Tank : 4.9 gal.
Frame : Aluminum dual beam chassis with pressed and cast sheet elements, Sachs steering damper [Öhlins steering damper]
Front Suspension : Upside-down “one by one” Sachs fork, 43mm stanchions [Öhlins fork with TIN surface treatment]. Forged aluminum feet for radial caliper mounting. Completely adjustable spring preload and hydraulic compression and rebound damping. Wheel travel: 4.3 in.
Rear Suspension : Double braced aluminum swingarm; mixed low thickness and sheet casting technology – Sachs monoshock with piggy-back fully adjustable in: spring preload, hydraulics in compression and rebound [Öhlins monoshock with piggy-back, fully adjustable in: spring preload, wheelbase and hydraulic compression and rebound damping. APS progressive linkage. Wheel travel: 5.1 in.
Front Brakes : Dual 320mm floating stainless steel discs with lightweight stainless steel rotor with 6 M432 4 32 studs [aluminum flange] Brembo M432 monobloc radial calipers with four 32mm opposing pistons Sintered pads. Axial pump master cylinder and metal braided brake hoses
Rear Brakes : 220mm diameter disc; Brembo floating caliper with two 32mm isolated pistons. Sintered pads. Pump with integrated tank and metal braided hose
ABS System : Bosch 9MP, adjustable on 3 maps, featuring RLM strategy and can be disengaged
Wheel Rim : Cast aluminum wheels with 3 split-spoke design
Front: 3.5 x 17 in.
Rear: 6.0 x 17 in.
Front Tires: 120/70ZR-17 Radial
Rear Tires : 190/55ZR-17 Radial