The 2006 Aprilia Tuono is the Italian motorcycle company’s naked superbike. This streetfighter bike varies only slightly from its track crushing cousin, the Aprilia RSV1000. Translated from Italian into English, Tuono means ""thunder,"" but no dictionary will be needed to understand the rumble of pure power pulsing through the veins of this beast.
The V-twin Magnesium on the Aprilia Tuono engine brings track racing technology to the streets, with a few changes to improve torque and muscle at low RPMs. Fuel injection has been improved, along with modified valve timing to accomplish this task. The V-twin Magnesium motor has a maximum power rating of 133 horsepower, a stat that places it amongst the most powerful naked bikes in industry. Aprilia’s Pneumatic Power Clutch is a hydraulically operated, power assisted clutch system for controlling rear-wheel bounce under deceleration.
The Aprilia Tuono is the only naked bike with a dynamic air intake located directly under the nose fairing and a duct to channel ram air through the frame to the airbox. This design was inherited directly from race-tuned performance styling. Like the RSV, the Tuono uses a superbike level exhaust system. The 2-in-1-in-2 system is made completely of stainless steel. To keep things polite and environmentally conscious, the Aprilia Tuono is equipped with two silencers, with a three-way catalytic converter and lambda oxygen sensor.
Suspension is handled on the Aprilia Tuono via a racing derived set-up that promises optimal performance. The 43mm inverted Showa fork is fully adjustable in spring preload, compression, and rebound damping, to adapt between racetrack performance and street level comfort. In the rear, a Sachs monoshock absorbs the bumps and is fully adjustable in spring preload and rebound damping.
Riding ergonomics are of the utmost importance when racing, and the 2006 Aprilia Tuono remains true to its track heritage. The handlebar rises are lower than previous models, and the footrests have been moved back so that the riding position is sportier and more effective. The seat is 15mm lower, which gives even greater control over the front end. Despite this aggressive stance, overall comfort has been improved so that riding doesn’t tire out the rider. The seating setup is easily transformable from single seat to dual seat, adding a passenger seat with built-in grab handles for a comfortable and safe ride.
The cockpit of the Aprilia Tuono arrives just as well-engineered as the rest of the bike. The dashboard is a digital-analog unit and uses the data received over a Controller Area Network (CAN) line to perform an essential auto diagnostic function. The dashboard control unit performs the same functions as the previous unit (including the 40 lap timer), but has become more compact and modern in design, as well as lighter in weight. All functions are controlled from two practical push-buttons on the left hand light switch. The LED backlighting can also be adjusted to three levels of intensity. The ignition key is internally coded, and the ignition block is fitted with an engine immobilizer for security purposes.
Aprilia has gone to great lengths to ensure that braking is as smooth and powerful as the engine. Both the front and rear brakes use aeronautical metal braided hoses to establish maximum braking precision. Aprilia selects Brembo Gold as the brakes of choice, with the front end receiving four pads instead of the usual two. This doubles the number of leading contact edges and increases break force, with no additional brake lever effort required. In the rear, a 220mm stainless steel disc and caliper, with two 32mm pistons handles the deceleration duties.
If you’re in the market for a naked sportbike, you know what you’re looking for. You want to ride with style and lead the pack. The 2006 Aprilia Tuono is only limited by the skills of the rider, and of course, local traffic laws.