2013 Motorcycle & Motorcyclist of the Year

By Motorcyclist Staff, Photography by Kevin Wing

Best Naked Bike 

Aprilia Tuono V4R APRC

The Real, Full-Power Deal

Naked bikes are all about attitude, and Aprilia's Tuono V4R radiates the stuff. It's based on the RSV4, but Aprilia didn't just strip the bodywork off its Superbike—it retuned the engine and reconfigured the chassis and riding position to yield a more comfortable and practical machine. It's equally at home on a back road or on city streets and, unless you live at a racetrack, the Tuono is the best way to enjoy Aprilia's incredible V-four engine.

There's not much that can compare to the gruff, angry noise that emanates from the Tuono when you twist the throttle. And the V4R bites as viciously as it barks, with a top-end rush of 145 horsepower to match the stupendous torque. Thank goodness, then, for the Aprilia Performance Ride Control (APRC) package, which offers eight-level traction control, variable engine modes, a quickshifter, wheelie control, and launch control, too.

This year, it's a great bargain, too. Aggressive price cuts list the Tuono V4R APRC at $13,999—the same cost as some Japanese literbikes but with loads more character and the practicality a naked bike promises. This is a sophisticated yet frighteningly raw machine—and one that consistently makes every member of our staff laugh inside his helmet.


Alternative Take

Triumph Speed Triple

Triumph’s Speed Triple gets better every year, and the 2013 version, with a 120-horsepower triple ready to wheelie in almost any gear, is the best incarnation yet. A balanced, thrilling, and engaging do-it-all machine, Triumph’s original Speed Triple remains one of our all-time favorite bikes, regardless of category.

By Motorcyclist Staff
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vincible
"It's what these guys do: defend old-tech machines by bridging the conversation from clanky machinery to unique engine architecture, significant historical precedent, the serenity of Lake Como, or some other specious attribute meant to make us look past obvious flaws."

Leave out the part about Lake Como - and you're describing a harley rider..
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