Few upright sportbikes wear their superbike DNA on their sleeves like the Aprilia Tuono V4. A championship-winning chassis, magnificent V4 powerplant, and ergonomics fit for the street, have evoked thunderous applause from those looking to hit the roads and racetrack in comfort.Never one to rest on its laurels, the Noale, Italy-based brand has upgraded the 2021 Aprilia Tuono V4 and Tuono V4 Factory with some shiny new bits from its 2021 RSV4 superbikes in the form of chassis upgrades, electronics improvements, engine tweaks, Euro 5 compliance, and more.We saddled up on the 2021 Aprilia Tuono V4 and Tuono V4 Factory, heading off to some of Southern California’s finest canyons roads to hit you with the Fast Facts.
1. The 2021 Tuono comes in two distinct flavors—the street-focused Tuono V4 and track-ready Tuono V4 Factory. The standard Tuono V4 kicks out all the V4-powered fun with an additional dose of practicality, thanks to a tidy windscreen and fairing deflectors providing ample wind protection (it’s not naked, it just shows a little ankle), accompanied by a taller riser handlebar that props the rider more upright. A comfort seat, integrated grabrail, and lower passenger pegs look after your pillion rider. It can also accept accessory luggage, putting the “sport” in sport-touring along with more sensible rubber. Meanwhile, the Tuono V4 Factory is the same canyon and track apex predator you know and love. Much is shared, but there are differences, and we’ll cover them.2. Aprilia’s 1077cc 65-degree V4 engine is a sport rider’s dream. Bottom-end, midrange, top-end—doesn’t matter—the mighty V4 delivers everything with its signature tractable calling card that will have you fiending until the next ride. Featuring the same 175 horsepower and 89 ft-lbs of torque peaks as before, all those Italian ponies burst to life on a whim and make you forget that these motorcycles aren’t part of the 200-hp club like some of its competitors. Instead, you’ll be reveling in everything that the V4 offers, as it begs you to push on through the canyons.3. Aprilia engineers deliver engine upgrades without upsetting a winning formula. A few critical revisions come into the engine fold this year, starting with lighter valve spring bucket tappets, which raise the redline 300 revs to 12,800 rpm, and the horsepower peaks 350 rpm later than before. That isn’t a new feature we can exploit on the street, but it will come in handy at the track. In addition, the new Magneti Marelli 11MP ECU works four times faster than the prior unit, allowing it to support additional features such as cornering headlights, and the new mapping ensures that the fueling is spot-on in any mode.4. Euro 5 compliance doesn’t come with a performance tax. An all-new exhaust system sees last year’s porky silencer hit the obsolete parts bin. In its place sits a much sleeker pipe that blasts the Tuono’s revered soundtrack for all to hear while meeting the latest emissions requirements, and it’s a tune that never gets old.5. Yes, the Tuono is still warm-blooded. I suppose that’s a nice way of saying that the Tuono is toasty at slow speeds or when stuck in traffic. It was never a deal-breaker for me, as heat has always been the price you pay for high-performance. This year, there is some reprieve, as the double-walled fairings direct air away from the rider, preventing your thighs from roasting to a delicate crisp. Instead, your ankles and feet feel it when dawdling.6. The six-speed transmission is as sweet as it ever was. The updated Aprilia Quick Shift software improves the gearchanges across the board—and that’s quite the feat considering that it was already impressive. Shifting is precise and smooth at high or low rpm, giving you serious WSBK and MotoGP vibes when whacking through the gearbox with glee. Although, on the Tuono V4 specifically, final drive gearing is a tad longer to soften the sporting edge.7. The Tuono V4 has a full suite of electronics that’s still one of the best in the business. Derived from its championship-winning stable of superbikes, the updated Aprilia Performance Ride Control (APRC) rider aid package includes eight-level lean-angle detecting traction control, three-level cornering ABS, three throttle maps, three-level wheelie control, three-level engine brake management, cruise control, and a pit-speed limiter. On the street, all those nannies do their dearest to keep Tuono gleaming without intruding on the fun one bit.8. You can personalize your 2022 Aprilia Tuono V4 via six selectable ride modes. As usual, Aprilia breaks things down into modes for the street and track. It has the preset Sport and Tour modes for road use, accompanied by a customizable User mode. There is a preset Race mode and two customizable track modes for the track, which I didn’t use because we were on the street exclusively. Tour creates a gentlemanly Tuono V4, with a welcoming throttle response and dials up the rider aids to a responsible level. Sport hits the smelling salts with an aggressive yet smooth throttle response and a looser grip on the reins. Those looking to unleash the beast completely can dive into User mode to satisfy their desires.9. A bonded five-inch display is clear as day. Another bit borrowed from the RSV4 is its attractive full-color TFT display, easily navigated with the new buttons on the left-hand controls. The gamer in me will miss the joystick from the ’17-’20 era, but this is easy enough. There’s even a fuel gauge! Naturally, all the Tuono’s ponies get pretty thirsty when you’re cracking the whip. When plodding along, you’ll get reasonable fuel consumption—Aprilia claims 33 mpg.10. There is no way around it—the 2022 Aprilia Tuono V4 chassis is superb. Returning to the fold is the aluminum twin-spar frame, along with the sporty 24.7 degrees of rake and 57.1-inch wheelbase, making sure that you can pile on the brakes and trust that the excellent front-end feel will reward your faith as you dive into corners with superbike precision. This year, the Tuono brothers pilfered the new inverted swingarm from their RSV4 cousins, which is said to be 48 percent stiffer at the axle. This gives the Tuono even more sure-footedness during those hard-driving exits, and something that will truly payoff at the racetrack. It’s also 1.3 pounds lighter.11. The flashy Tuono V4 Factory’s Öhlins kit is stunning on the street. If you’re going for the full-tilt Tuono, look no further than the Factory model equipped with Öhlins NIX 43mm fork and TTX shock assisted by Öhlins Smart EC 2.0 semi-active system that automatically adjusts damping as you ride. It is nothing short of outstanding, gobbling up bruises of the road with ease and keeping the Tuono oh-so-anchored when riding at a spirited pace. Three auto modes are available, and A2 worked well for sporty riding. Old school riders can switch to the manual modes and change damping as they see fit—electronically—no clickers needed, save for spring-preload.12. Conventional Sachs suspension on the Tuono V4 isn’t settling for less, either. The fully adjustable Sachs fork and shock are great in their own rights, and keep the standard steed in shape when exploring backroads. It isn’t too far off in ride quality, and the standard Tuono remains nearly as composed with off-the-showroom-floor settings. It is impressive, considering the $3500 price difference between the two motorcycles.13. New aesthetics play a role in ergonomics. Visually, the Tuonos follow in the footsteps of the greater Aprilia family, bringing with it the integrated aerodynamic fairing features, DRLs, and cornering-aware headlights. Of course, the slimmer 4.9-gallon fuel tank, along with the longer, plush reshaped seat and tail section, are in tow as well. This gives the Tuono V4s a slightly thinner feel, and allows my 32-inch inseam an easier reach to the ground. The fuel tank is still a fantastic anchoring point for cornering and braking.14. The looks are more than skin deep and change the experience a bit. The two motorcycles are nearly identical in terms of the rider triangles. However, the Factory model is just as aggressive as before, with its comfy riser bars encouraging more weight over the front end for a sharper feel when cornering. The standard Tuono V4 raises the handlebar a bit higher, reducing weight on the wrists, and lends itself to sport-touring. Well, with this engine, I guess it’d be supersport-touring, but you get the point. Also, the side-fairings are smaller and said to help side-to-side transitions.15. Brembos bring the firepower, and you already know what to expect. Aprilia didn’t spring for Stylema calipers this year, sticking with the Brembo M50 and 330mm rotors from last year, along with steel-braided lines. Well, you don’t hear me complaining because they bring all the stopping power and feel I could ask for on the street, and presumably, the track.16. Pirelli provides the rubber for both machines. The Tuono V4 is shod with Pirelli Diablo Rosso III kicks, boasting a 120/70 front and 190/55 rear that provide ample grip and plenty of mileage. Meanwhile, the Factory goes in for the uber-sticky Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP tires in a 120/70 front and meatier 200/55 rear (a 190/50 is optional). Both Tuono V4s use cast-aluminum wheels for 2021, although I do miss the Factory’s lusty forged-aluminum wheels from prior models.17. The 2021 Tuono V4 and Tuono V4 Factory offer all the sporting prowess you can handle on the street and beyond. The supernaked class is crowded, yet the Tuono always remains a front runner leaning on its brilliant V4 engine, incredible chassis, class-leading electronics, streetability, and track chops—we can’t wait to put that last one to the test. Now, prospective owners have more options for the sportiest forms of touring, thanks to the added versatility of the Tuono V4. Whatever flavor suits your needs, you know it’s going to be soul-satisfying.Photography by Larry ChenRIDING STYLE
Ducati DesertX + Dale Wagler and his BMW 1250 GS Adventure (Owner Review)
byMotos and Friends by Ultimate Motorcycle
In this week’s first segment, Senior Editor Nic de Sena take a look at the Ducati DesertX ADV bike. Powered by the same liquid-cooled V-twin motor as several other models in the Ducati range, the DesertX is another entry into the upper-middleweight class of ADV machines. The big question of course, is can the DesertX make its mark and differentiate itself from a growing field of competitors?
The second segment is the premiere of our new series of ‘Owner Reviews’. These are real-world opinions of machines owned by everyman riders. For this first one, I chat with my friend Dale Wagler. Dale is a former Marine and hard-core street- and dirt-bike rider. Dale recently acquired a new BMW 1250 GS Adventure, and he gives us his thoughts on the bike’s positives—and a few negatives too.
If you’d like to be considered for a future Owner Reviews segment on an episode of Motos & Friends, please email us at email@example.com and tell us briefly about your bike. We’d love to hear from you!
So, from all of us here at Motos & Friends… we hope you enjoy this episode!