Aprilia Tuono V4 1100 Fac­tory

The pe­riod of time that has elapsed is 15 years. We are out­side the same café in the Ital­ian hills, although it does not look the same now, and the bike un­der con­sid­er­a­tion is the Aprilia Tuono V4 1100 Fac­tory


We spend some time with the lat­est Ital­ian from Noale

FFIFTEEN YEARS LATER, THE café high in the Ital­ian hills is dif­fer­ent and so is the naked Aprilia that I’ve just parked out­side, its fat Pirellis hot and sticky to the side­walls. But the Tuono name on the body­work is the same and so is the feel­ing that once again I’ve just been rid­ing the fastest and best sit-upand-beg su­per­bike that the world has ever seen.

That con­clu­sion was not in doubt last time, out­side the Caffè Mokarico in Tus­cany in spring 2002. Back then, Aprilia had essen­tially just founded the hy­per-naked class by re­mov­ing the fair­ing from the RSV Mille sports bike and bolt­ing on a raised han­dle­bar in­stead of clip-ons to cre­ate the orig­i­nal Tuono, mak­ing that rorty V-twin the undis­puted nu­mero uno in a class of one.

The com­pe­ti­tion is much more fierce these days, the level of per­for­mance far higher; any con­clu­sions less sure. But af­ter a mem­o­rable blast to reach the Costa Salici restau­rant in the Alpine foothills north of Trento, it’s not just the adren­a­line in my blood and the V4 thun­der still echo­ing in my ears that are per­suad­ing me that this lat­est Tuono Fac­tory is the cur­rent un­of­fi­cial holder of that ul­ti­mate hy­per-naked crown.

The Fac­tory will cer­tainly take some beat­ing in any head-to-head with the likes of BMW’s S 1000 R, Du­cati’s Mon­ster 1200R or KTM’s 1290 Su­per Duke R, be­cause Aprilia’s chal­lenger was al­ready at a se­ri­ously high level. In its un­changed Su­per­pole colour scheme the Fac­tory looks al­most iden­ti­cal to last year’s model — in fact, its new Euro 4 le­gal si­lencer is slightly big­ger and the heav­ier ex­haust is the main rea­son that the bike has gained 2.5 kg over­all. But there are plenty of mostly in­vis­i­ble changes that make

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