First Ride Review: 2017 Aprilia Tuono 1100 RR & Factory | Motorcyclist
Photo: Andrew Wheeler

First Ride Review: 2017 Aprilia Tuono 1100 RR & Factory

Aprilia’s naked superbike gets a new dash & muffler.

Aprilia says: “The Tuono V4 delivers serious street-worthy performance.”

Motorcyclist says: “Uhhh, don’t forget track-worthy performance.”

The big news for the mighty Aprilia Tuono in 2017 is more refinement. Everyone seems to agree, for now, that 1,077cc of V-4 power is enough to get the job done, so the Tuono gets a full-color TFT dash, a Euro-4 compliant muffler, and cruise control. The rest of the bike is largely the same, and that’s a good thing—massive power, strong brakes, a race-bred chassis, and decent daily comfort are all still intact. If you’ve read anything that I’ve written (or anyone else) about the new RSV4 superbike, then you’ll have a good head start on what’s new with this motorcycle.

Aprilia Tuono 1100 Factory

Aprilia’s 2017 Tuono 1100 Factory in its happy place: pit lane of a racetrack, with no mirrors and no speed limit in sight.

Photo: Michael Brock

The fourth generation of Aprilia’s APRC suite sees three engine maps (Sport, Track, and Race) which adjust power delivery but also engine-braking characteristics, three modes each of wheelie control and launch control, as well as eight levels of traction control. All of which have more advanced parameters thanks to repositioning the sensors in the bike, according to Aprilia.

2017 Tuono dash and gauges

The Tuono 1100 gets the same full-color, TFT dash as the RSV4, and it’s a beauty. Note the roll-meter in the bottom right, which shows live lean-angle.

Photo: Aprilia

Add to that a quickshifter (now bidirectional, with auto-blip downshifts) and cruise control. There’s even a pit-lane speed limiter so you can feel more like a factory rider at your track day. When you’re trail braking the ABS parameters measure everything from lever pressure to lean angle to make sure you stay upright, and in two of the three modes will keep the rear wheel on the ground, too. That’s all trickle-down tech from the RSV4 (and Aprilia’s racing program) and is seriously complex stuff.

Zack Courts wheelie

With wheelie control off the 150-plus horsepower of the Tuono’s V-4 keeps you on full alert anywhere below 100 mph. And that SOUND it makes…!

Photo: Andrew Wheeler

A TFT dash displays all of the info and options, and combines with the ECU to provide Bluetooth connectivity for your smartphone. That means ECU and IMU data conveyed to your laptop or mobile device so you can review your laps, and even tune the bike corner by corner. The new Tuono also has a new muffler that meets the stricter requirements of Euro-4 regulations but the engine puts out the same power as last year, according to Aprilia. The dyno here at Motorcyclist headquarters had our 2016 Tuono 1100 at about 155 horsepower at the rear wheel, so I think it’s safe to expect about the same in 2017.

2017 Tuono studio left side

This is the other color scheme for the Tuono 1100 RR in 2017: a mashup of silver, black, and red. Better looking than the gray or blue options in ‘16, for me.

Photo: Aprilia

I rode both the RR and the Factory versions around COTA, the difference being in the Factory’s up-spec Ohlins suspension, flashy paint, and lack of passenger seat. The RR uses Sachs suspenders and makes due with a matte black or silver paint scheme. Practically, the biggest difference when flying around a racetrack is that the Factory comes standard with Pirelli Supercorsa SP tires (same as the RSV4) while the RR comes with Pirelli Diablo Rosso III rubber. The RR feels nearly as capable as the Factory, even at an expert-level trackday pace, but the Rosso IIIs are simply no match for the Supercorsas when it comes to grip and predictability.

2017 Tuono tires

The Tuono 1100 RR comes with Diablo Rosso III tires instead of Pirelli’s Supercorsa SP rubber. The Rosso IIIs aren’t ideal but, as you can see, there’s still lots of grip. Unless you’re an expert-level rider on a track you won’t mind the DRIII.

Photo: Andrew Wheeler

A couple of the other problems were ones that I experienced on the RSV4 as well. One, the joystick that controls all of the dash functions isn’t quite as direct as I wanted it to be. Triumph’s new Street Triple as a very similar system and the feel of the controls is better. Version two of Aprilia’s system will likely be improved. The other issue was the occasional bobble from the traction control system. I rode with wheelie control off most of the time on the Tuono, and TC in a minimal setting.

Aprilia Tuono headlights

That Aprilia face, the angriest and most loveable triclops in recent memory.

Photo: Aprilia

The system is much more precise for 2017—seemingly making smaller adjustments more frequently to keep the bike in line—but now and then would stumble over an algorithm and not feed power when I wanted it. I struggled with it more on the RSV4 for some reason (maybe to do with the fact that there’s more power?), and the Tuono was happier to sail around the track with the electronics closer to off.

2017 Tuono studio right side

I say the matte black Tuono RR is the best looking of the bunch. Not as flashy as the Factory, but it’s got an “evil empire” look about it that’s really enticing.

Photo: Aprilia

Pricing for the 2017 Tuono has been adjusted, too. The full-zoot Factory edition is $17,499—that’s right up there with Ducati Monster 1200 R and KTM 1290 Super Duke R for most expensive naked bike. The Tuono 1100 is better than either of those bikes on a racetrack though, I can say that. If Ohlins suspension isn’t your thing, you may opt for the “understated” (if that’s even possible) RR version, which retails for $14,999. That’s a slight bump, of $200, from 2016 pricing, but a TFT dash and cruise are pretty nifty additions. In any case, the Tuono is one of those bikes that will likely blow your hair back, whichever version you choose.

TECH SPEC

EVOLUTION
Aprilia’s naked superbike gets a new dash, updated suspension, and Euro-4 compatibility.
RIVALS
BMW S1000R, Ducati Monster 1200, KTM 1290 Super Duke R, Suzuki GSX-S1000, Triumph Speed Triple R, Yamaha FZ-10
TECH
PRICE $14,999 (Factory: $17,499)
ENGINE 1077cc liquid-cooled V-4
TRANSMISSION/FINAL DRIVE 6-speed/chain
CLAIMED HORSEPOWER 173 hp @ 11,000 rpm
CLAIMED TORQUE 89 lb.-ft. @ 9000 rpm
FRAME Aluminum twin-spar
FRONT SUSPENSION Sachs 43mm fork, adjustable for spring preload, compression and rebound damping (Factory: Ohlins NIX30 fork, fully adjustable); 4.4-in. travel
REAR SUSPENSION Sachs shock, adjustable for spring preload, compression and rebound damping (Factory: Ohlins shock, fully adjustable); 5.2-in. travel (Factory: 4.9 in.)
FRONT BRAKE Brembo four-piston calipers, 330mm discs, with ABS
REAR BRAKE Brembo single-piston caliper, 220mm disc, with ABS
RAKE/TRAIL 24.7°/3.9 in.
WHEELBASE 57 in.
SEAT HEIGHT 32.5 in.
FUEL CAPACITY 4.9 gal.
CLAIMED WEIGHT 461 lb. wet
CONTACT apriliausa.com
VERDICT
More technology for one of the world’s most charismatic superbikes. Whether or not it’s too much is up to you.

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