APRILIA TUONO V4 (2021 - on) Review
- Base Tuono naked now more practical
- Taller screen and improved ergonomics
- New TFT dash and switchgear
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
Aprilia’s Tuono has been best super naked ever since its introduction as the 1000cc V4R in 2011. Impressing with its superbike performance and electronic sophistication, it’s been repeatedly updated and grew to 1100cc and 175bhp in 2016.
For 2021, though, its two versions have been made more conspicuously different: the Factory remains the race-spec track refugee while the standard Tuono V4 (previously called the RR) gets roomier ergonomics, taller fairing and extra pillion provision to make it more road friendly.
The new bodywork includes MotoGP style wings/ducts and slick LED lights including the front indicators while this base version is distinguished from the sportier Factory with a more substantial screen.
For a so-called 'naked' its weather protection is decent and the taller screen improves things enough to make prolonged 85mph motorway cruising effortless. Its more mature colour options of gunmetal grey or matte white are growers, too, sauced up with a flash of Laboutin-style red on its inner panels.
As well as the larger fairing, the 2021 Tuono V4 is also intended to be more touring and pillion-friendly via a more relaxed riding position thanks to higher bars, larger pillion pad, substantial grab rail and lower pillion pegs. Both Tuonos also get a new tank which is narrower at the rear (although still 18.5litres). Again, it all works.
Though still sporty and compact, the riding position with tall but decent seat is notably more roomy and there’s plenty of nakeds with worse pillion pads. On the slight downside, both pegs are still a little high and fiddly and range is little more than 100miles.
The engine has also been revised to meet Euro5, although thankfully there’s no change to its brutal, ballistic performance, while also new for 2021 is the now usual colour TFT dash with the revised switchgear to match – both taken from Aprilia’s new RS 660 sportster and Tuono 660 as introduced earlier this year.
The overall result is that, although there wasn’t much wrong with the old Tuono, when it comes to this base, 'cooking' version, 2021’s revisions are all undoubtedly for the better.
The taller screen, roomier riding position and slimmer tank add comfort. Better pillion provision adds versatility and the new TFT dash, switchgear and LED lights are modern upgrades that help keep the Tuono up to date – albeit with slight reservations.
Best of all, despite Euro5, the Tuono is still the most barking, brilliant and best-handling super naked of all.
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
The 'full-fat' Factory version of the Tuono V4 gets semi-active Ohlins suspension and more to go with its 175bhp performance and is unsurprisingly revered as a result for both its fabulous ride and handling.
But although this 'base', more street version of Aprilia’s super naked does without those fancy Swedish suspenders, it is hardly the poor relation in terms of ride and handling – certainly on the road.
The standard bike gets Sachs suspension front and rear, which is still better quality than that of most of its rivals and is also fully adjustable. And with the rest of the bike’s shimmering, high spec, aluminium chassis and new underbraced aluminium swingarm (which makes no notable difference on the road), when it comes to handling and ride quality there are few, if any better machines.
Its steering is a particular highlight with a precise, engaging connection that marks the Tuono out. All told, for steering, stability and sophistication, the Tuono remains the one to beat.
Braking-wise it’s right up with the very best, too. With the latest Brembo M50 four-pot radial calipers biting onto the same company’s massive ‘dinner plate’ discs, all activated by a similarly top-notch Brembo radial master cylinder pump, there’s simply nothing to criticize.
There’s cornering ABS as well, a precise, sensitive yet powerful sensation from the lever and the end result is a machine that pulls up with a power and aplomb many superbikes can’t match.
Another change for 2021 is the improved pillion provision. Along with the enlarged seat pad – which in itself is more substantial than most rivals in the super naked class – there’s also a new and pretty substantial grab rail, too.
The pillion pegs have also been resited to give any passenger more legroom – which was a particular criticism of the old base Tuono. It’s still not exactly roomy (the Aprilia remains a performance-focussed super naked, not a touring machine, after all) and any pillion will need to be both on good relations with the rider and have a good grip, assuming the Tuono’s ridden as intended, but it is a significant and welcome improvement.
EngineNext up: Reliability
The Aprilia Tuono’s Austrian Rotax-built, 60-degree, liquid-cooled, four-valve V4 has always been a gem and it remains so in this latest form despite the necessary changes now undertaken for 2021 to meet the latest Euro5 regulations.
Expanded to 1100cc in 2016, changes this time round include an all-new exhaust with a 'part-ceramic' catalytic converter plus an uprated ECU that now has four times the calculating capacity of before.
Despite all that, however, performance is thankfully unchanged – and just as ballistic as ever. With a brutal, curdly 175bhp and the monster midrange to match, no super naked – barring possibly KTM’s 1290 Super Duke R and Ducati’s Streetfighter V4 – comes close to the Tuono 1100. While the Aprilia’s slick, six-speed transmission features ratios that are perfectly-spaced and benefits from the assistance of a slick quickshifter/autoblipper.
The other standout feature of the Aprilia Tuono’s performance and drivetrain has always been its slick, sophisticated, effective and class-leading electronic rider aids and, again, the same remains true with this mildly-updated 2021 version.
These include easily-switched modes, traction and anti-wheelie which remain the class benchmark, while its 'Touring' mode, incidentally, is smooth enough for all-day travel yet still delivers a mind-warping mid-range and top-end drive.
That all said, performance-wise, this is not a machine to be taken – or ridden – lightly. Getting the most from the Tuono requires commitment and studied understanding of everything its motor – and sophisticated electronics – are capable of.
In short, it’s true exotica and not a bike to be taken lightly or casually. Yes, 'Touring' mode is more gentle but the Tuono is a machine that demands commitment from its rider and is never at its best or most comfortable when merely travelling. Yes, you CAN tour and do more mundane day-to-day travelling on this latest Tuono, but if that kind of riding is important you’re better off looking elsewhere.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
As well as being fast, safe, comfy and a cornering genius, the new Tuono V4 is still a thing of beauty and quality.
This is a premium machine with beautiful metal finishes – particularly its signature, aluminium twin beam frame which is now uprated even further with the new-for-2021 underbraced swingarm.
Components are all top-notch, build quality is as good as any and there are virtually no reliability concerns. The Aprilia Tuono V4 will be as rewarding spending time with it in your garage cleaning it and marvelling over the build quality as it is pulling great big wheelies and skidding into corners (with the ABS switched off).
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
With new prices of this base version now starting at £15,500 and the higher spec Factory version substantially more still, the Tuono V4 is very much a premium machine and is among the most pricey of super nakeds, right up there (almost) with KTM’s 1290 Super Duke R and Ducati’s Streetfighter V4 and beyond that of the base version of BMW’s latest S1000R – but you can see where your money goes. Simply, the Aprilia Tuono V4 is the ultimate super naked in terms of performance, electronics and spec.
That said, you certainly pay for it. On top of the steep purchase price any buyer should also be aware that Aprilia residuals aren’t the best – and certainly not in the same league as, say, a comparative BMW or Ducati.
Insurance premiums are also high and day-to-day running costs are pretty pricey, too (in that the Tuono has a 175bhp pure performance machine’s hunger for consumables such as tyres, brake pads, chain etc).
It gets worse: all that performance makes for a thirst for fuel, too. Ridden hard, you won’t get much more than 40mpg which, with the 18.5-litre tanks translates into the Tuono’s low fuel warning light flickering on at a slightly disappointing 105-110 miles and a range of barely over 120 miles.
Buy the Factory version if you want the ultimate, which is pricier still. But this understated, classy, 'base' version is the thinking man’s Italian exotica – stratospherically fast, sophisticated, sexy and sublime yet now more day-to-day usable than ever.
Watch our video review of the rival BMW S1000R below:
Also new for the 2021 Tuono is a now de-rigeur colour TFT dash. At first glance Aprilia’s 5in unit seems smaller and less sophisticated than the monster iPad-alikes offered by rivals BMW (6.3in) and KTM (6.5in) but its layout is well designed, includes everything required without being over-complicated and in time you appreciate that anything bigger would be unnecessary and distracting.
The three base modes (Road, Sport, User) are flicked through effortlessly and usefully displayed in different colours, there’s a fuel gauge, clock, trips, easy to operate cruise control and automatically reverses in low light. Job done.
The final change for the 2021 Tuono is it now also gets the new-style Aprilia switchgear introduced on the RS 660 and Tuono 660. Again, at first, like the dash, it seems slightly disappointing. The slimline right hand unit, with starter/kill switch, high beam and riding mode selector, is fine. But the chunky, oversize left-hand block means the indicator toggle is a stretch, especially if using the clutch.
The menu navigation buttons are reasonably intuitive, though, and the ‘+’ and ‘-‘ thumb paddles to instantly adjust the traction control etc are brilliant. There’s even cruise control.
The taller screen is reasonably effective and certainly an improvement over the old version, although two minor criticsms are that it’s not adjustable and this six-foot tester suffered slight buffeting at high speed.
The footpeg positioning is also a little fiddly and makes moving your feet around – if you’re the sort that switches between having the balls and insteps of your feet on the pegs – a little awkward.
|Engine type||longitudinal 65° V4 cylinder, 4-strokes, liquid cooling system, double overhead camshaft (DOHC), four valves per cylinder|
|Frame type||Aluminium dual beam chassis with pressed and cast sheet elements|
|Fuel capacity||18.5 litres|
|Front suspension||Smart EC 2.0 electronically managed Öhlins NIX fork with TIN surface treatment. [Sachs upside-down “one by one” fork, Ø 43 mm stanchions]. Forged aluminium radial calliper mounting bracket. Completely adjustable spring preload and hydraulic compression an|
|Rear suspension||Upside-down double braced aluminium swingarm. Smart EC 2.0 electronically managed Öhlins monoshock absorber with piggy-back [Sachs monoshock absorber with piggy-back, fully adjustable in: spring preload, hydraulic compression and rebound damping]. APS pro|
|Front brake||Dual 330-mm diameter floating stainless steel disc with lightweight stainless steel rotor with 6 pins. Brembo M50 monobloc radial callipers with 4 Ø30mm opposing pistons. Sintered pads. Radial pump and metal braided brake lines. Cornering ABS|
|Rear brake||220 mm diameter disc; Brembo floating calliper with two 32-mm Ø isolated pistons. Sintered pads. Master cylinder with built in reservoir and metal braided hose. Cornering ABS|
|Front tyre size||120/70 17|
|Rear tyre size||200/55 17|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||-|
|Annual road tax||£101|
|Annual service cost||-|
How much to insure?
|Warranty term||Two years|
Top speed & performance
|Max power||173 bhp|
|Max torque||89.2 ft-lb|
|1/4 mile acceleration||-|
|Tank range||120 miles|
Model history & versions
- 2003: V-twin Tuono 1000 Fighter and Racing launched.
- 2005: Tuono version on the new-style RSV1000 released. Factory version also available.
- 2006: Revised Tuono 1000R with chassis and engine tweaks carried over from the RSV1000R
- 2007: Factory version released.
- 2011: Tuono V4R launched, based on V4 RSV4R. Two versions available, one with or without APRC electronic rider aid package.
- 2012: APRC version only available.
- 2015: Tuono V4 1100 RR launched. Based on V4R, with a bigger engine, more power and torque, refined electronics, tweaked geometry, a 4mm longer swingarm, a comfier riding position with a softer seat, narrower bars and a more aerodynamic fairing. A Factory version is available for the first time since the old V-twin Tuono, with Ohlins suspension and steering damper.
- 2021: revised Tuono V4 and Tuono Factory introduced.
Aprilia Tuono V4 Factory – Comes with fully-adjustable Ohlins forks, shock and steering damper. Costs £1500 extra.
Watch MCN's expert Aprilia Tuono V4 Factory video review below:
Owners' reviews for the APRILIA TUONO V4 (2021 - on)
1 owner has reviewed their APRILIA TUONO V4 (2021 - on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
This is like the motorcycle equivalent of a Mafia Hit-man in an Armani suit. At low speeds in 2nd or 3rd it's a little "chuggy", a bit like riding a big V twin but not rough and the throttle connection feels very good. Once on the open road and past 3000 revs it becomes a glorious howling cruise missile that makes your eyeballs hit the back of the sockets if you accelerate even slightly hard, (and I'm still running mine in.)
Like a scalpel on the road (or perhaps an Italian Stiletto). Handling is almost telepathic. It takes corners so well that it makes you feel like every other bike has square wheels. Brakes are exceptional and the ride quality even on British roads is superb. Comfortable for as long as it's ridden between fuel stops and I have long legs! Around 120 miles before the fuel warning light illuminates but still has 4 litres left in the tank so might do 160 miles when run in if not going silly. The seat is not sofa plush but it is roomy enough to move around and quite well padded. The pillion seat is generous but stylish too.
This is where the MCN rating falls short. This motor should get 6 stars as it is quite simply sublime. It hardly needs 5th and 6th gear even at motorway speeds. Overtaking in any gear is effortless and instantaneous. Once past the low revs v-twin feel it just is a delight. Smooth, linear power in all gears. Indescribably fabulous.
Beautifully assembled and lots of lovely quality details. A radiator guard might prove to be a good investment as the radiator and oil coolers may be vulnerable due to the short mudguard. The engine management light came on early on during the running in period but I'm told by the dealer that this is a common software fault that is incorrectly reporting a misfire and that this will be sorted at the first service. It's not detrimental to the running of bike but it is annoying. Temporarily fixed by using black insulating tape over the light!
Quite expensive but you get what you pay for. Too early to tell about servicing costs but some dealers are offering lifetime warranties which takes away a lot of the worries of owning an Italian mistress.
The electronics are as good as it gets but it is a shame that you have to pay extra for a USB socket, and the MIA module that enables smart phone connectivity to the dash is another £140+. For the price of the bike I feel that these should have been included. The stock silencer is almost as good as an aftermarket piece it sounds lovely. Fitting any kind of luggage may prove challenging although Aprilia do offer panniers as an accessory. One pannier is hardly any bigger than a wash bag!
Buying experience: Bought from a dealer and the experience was good. Made to feel like a valued customer and very good communication. Paid full price but that was with a trade in and free lunch! Price includes a Lithium battery and mine came with a nice stretchy garage cover too.