New nakeds

Tuono Fac­tory, Z1000R and CB650F tested

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week In Mcn - By Adam Child SE­NIOR ROAD TESTER

It’s not of­ten I fail to find fault with a bike, but I’m strug­gling with Aprilia’s new Tuono V4 Fac­tory. Af­ter a long day rid­ing stun­ning roads in north­ern Italy, I can’t think of any other bike on which I’d choose to re­peat the jour­ney. A su­per­bike may have been faster on some sec­tions and a tourer more com­fort­able, but over­all I’d take the new Tuono any­time. It is com­fort­able, us­able and fast.

Aprilia didn’t have to do much to the old Tuono to im­press us but while mak­ing their lead­ing naked Euro4 com­pat­i­ble (with­out sac­ri­fic­ing any power or torque) they’ve also added a new TFT full colour dash and new switchgear that al­lows you to make the most of a se­lec­tion of new rid­ing aids. They’ve also up­dated the fron­tend with a lighter 43mm Öh­lins fork, big­ger 330mm discs and a Brembo ra­dial mas­ter cylin­der, while the rear shock re­ceives a tweak.

To en­sure Euro4 com­pli­ance Aprilia have bolted on a big­ger ex­haust with a larger cat­alytic con­verter, which has added an ex­tra 2.5kg to the bike’s over­all mass. The good news is the Tuono’s V4 still sounds in­tox­i­cat­ing and churns out a claimed 175bhp at peak, while the red­line has crept 500rpm higher.

New front end aside, the big­gest change is the elec­tron­ics pack­age, which now in­cor­po­rates a pitch sen­sor (as well as the old model’s lean and yaw). As be­fore, it has eight-stage trac­tion con­trol, which can be ad­justed or de­ac­ti­vated on the move via a sim­ple fin­ger and thumb pad­dle sys­tem on the left bar. There are still three

rid­ing modes (Sport, Track and Race), wheelie and launch con­trol and three lev­els of ABS in­ter­ven­tion, in­clud­ing one that switches off cor­ner­ing ABS at the front and all ABS at the rear. A new au­to­blip­per/quick­shifter takes care of shift­ing, while a pit­lane lim­iter (first gear only), cruise con­trol, are added.

To make life sim­ple Aprilia have added a new TFT dash with Blue­tooth con­nec­tiv­ity and new switchgear. You can record your ride by con­nect­ing to your iphone then, us­ing an app, re­view your data at your leisure.

These rid­ing aids are class lead­ing and in­tu­itive, and al­low you to tune the set-up to best suit your mood or the road (or track) ahead. The racy modes add an ag­gres­sive edge to the fu­elling so I spent 75% of my ride in the softer Sport mode. There is no spe­cific wet mode, but if you do get caught out in tricky con­di­tions it’s easy to add more TC, which you can do on the move, or add more ABS in­ter­ven­tion at the road­side as you throw on wa­ter­proofs.

The new front-end, brakes and chas­sis are class-lead­ing. I’d ar­gue the naked Tuono could give any pure sports­bike a run for its money on the road, or even on track. The sus­pen­sion doesn’t rat­tle your teeth out over bumpy B roads nor does it sit like a well-trained dog when you dial in the im­mense torque. It’s hugely im­pres­sive. I con­stantly asked ques­tions of the chas­sis and it al­ways came back with the per­fect an­swer.

On one 30-mile sec­tion of road I just couldn’t stop smil­ing as my knee slid­ers brushed un­fa­mil­iar roads and the ex­haust note re­ver­ber­ated around the many tun­nels cut­ting through the moun­tains. The new Tuono pro­vided in­stant torque in any gear no mat­ter what the rpm and the stun­ning head­spin­ning looks left passers-by open mouthed with envy. And yet in town I found my­self on a bike that’s as easy go­ing and fuss free as a scooter.

This is an ex­cep­tional bike: a com­pli­ant, com­fort­able race bike for the road, sup­ported by class lead­ing elec­tron­ics a sound­track that will make you smile ev­ery time you open the throt­tle.

I may have fallen in love.

‘It’s ex­cep­tional. A com­fort­able race bike for the road. I may have fallen in love’

New TFT dash is su­perbly clear and func­tional – and can link to your iphone

There are jet fight­ers with less ag­gres­sively-styled rear ends than the Tuono’s Left switchgear drives the new dash Swedish gold sup­ports front and rear

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.