As far as we here at MO are concerned, 2016 will be remembered as a particularly exceptional vintage for Aprilia. The RSV4 arrived with newfound power and claimed our 2016 Sportbike of the Year award, while the Tuono’s bump in displacement from 999cc to 1077cc was enough to usurp KTM’s Super Duke R, earning the Tuono 1100 the 2016 Streetfighter/Hooligan Win as well as Honorable Mention for Bike of the Year for 2016. Congratulations, Aprilia!

2017 Aprilia RSV4 RR/RF Review – First Ride

050217-2017-aprilia-tuono-1100-factory-left-standing

Yet there’s no rest for the wicked-fast among us, and for 2017 the Tuono 1100 RR and Factory return outfitted with the same electronic upgrades the RSV4 RR and RF received this year. We detailed the upgrades last October in our 2017 Aprilia RSV4 And Tuono V4 1100 Previews, but here are the highlights:

  • New ATC: Aprilia Traction Control, adjustable on the fly, without having to release the throttle, to 8 settings (9 settings for the RSVs).
  • New AWC: Aprilia Wheelie Control, adjustable on the fly, without having to release the throttle, to 3 levels.
  • New ALC: Aprilia Launch Control, for use on the track only, with 3 settings, uses even more effective operating strategies.
  • New AQS: Aprilia Quick Shift, the electronic strategy that allows shifting without closing the throttle and without using the clutch, now allowing clutchless downshifting.
  • New APL: Aprilia Pit Limiter, the system that lets you select and limit the top speed allowed in pit lane at the track or simply to make it easier to comply with posted speed limits on the road.
  • New ACC: Aprilia Cruise Control.
  • New APL: Cornering ABS, a Bosch 9.1 MP multi-map Cornering ABS (C-ABS) system optimizing cornering stability via constant monitoring of lateral acceleration, lean angle, pitch and yaw angle, and, of course, the amount of pressure being applied at the front brake lever. Adjustable to 3 levels and can be switched off.
  • New RLM: Rear Lift-up Mitigation, system that limits the lift of the rear wheel during heavy braking.
  • New Color TFT Digital Instrumentation.
  • New V4-MP: Multimedia Platform, smartphone connectivity for corner-by-corner calibration of electronics setting (TC, ABS, C-ABS, etc.), as well the infotainment system including voice commands.
Last year’s Ultimate Streetfighter Shootout revealed the Tuono to have a bit more peak horsepower, with a lot more available revs, than its KTM rival. However, the 224cc larger V-Twin in the KTM has a generous torque advantage, arriving earlier, compared to the Aprilia’s smaller V-Four.

Last year’s Ultimate Streetfighter Shootout revealed the Tuono to have a bit more peak horsepower, with a lot more available revs, than its KTM rival. However, the 224cc larger V-Twin in the KTM has a generous torque advantage, arriving earlier, compared to the Aprilia’s smaller V-Four.

2017 KTM 1290 Super Duke R First Ride Review

In all our streetfighter shootouts that have, in recent years, been dominated by KTM’s Super Duke R and Aprilia’s Tuono, the MO staff can agree on at least one thing between them; the relatively compact, sharp-handling nature of the Tuono gives it an advantage at the race track.

From our 2016 Ultimate Streetfighter Shootout : Ridden in a vacuum, either bike will have you convinced of it being the hooligan king of motorcycledom. It’s only when they occupy the same space that nuances come to light, such as the Tuono being the better track bike. We love, love, the RSV4’s chassis and handling characteristics, and the Tuono shares these attributes by virtue of having the same chassis. A rider can put the Tuono exactly where he wants on the racetrack, and might have a slight advantage to its racier counterpart by way of the leverage provided by its superbike handlebars. The KTM, with its 1.4-inch longer wheelbase, is a half step behind the Tuono on the track. Both Duke and I struggled keeping time with the Aprilia when aboard the KTM.

Riding COTA

2017 Aprilia Tuono 1100 RR

Having spent the morning riding RSV4s it was Tuono time following lunch. My first trip through COTA’s S section – and every trip thereafter– was a leverage-fest provided by the wider, more upright handlebars provide compared to the RSV4’s clip-ons.

2017 Aprilia Tuono 1100 RR

Editor Score: 95.0%
Engine 19.0/20
Suspension/Handling 14.0/15
Transmission/Clutch 9.5/10
Brakes 10/10
Instruments/Controls4.5/5
Ergonomics/Comfort 9.25/10
Appearance/Quality 9.5/10
Desirability 9.5/10
Value 9.75/10
Overall Score95/100

There’s a direct connection between the RSV4 and the Tuono, but when ridden back-to-back the differences between the sportbike and the streetfighter become apparent. The most notable difference is going to be handlebars vs. clip-ons, where the handlebars – in most instances barring high-speed straights – can be viewed as advantageous. Gobs of leverage makes quick transitions even quicker, the drawback being a reduced amount of front-end feel.

Moving past the obvious, engine differences were soon apparent as the rev-limiter kept reminding me how much quicker I was reaching the Tuono’s lower redline, thus affecting gear selection around the long, 20-turn COTA circuit (mostly it was a simple matter of riding a gear higher compared to the RSV). Neither of these are complaints, just observations that aren’t readily apparent unless riding the two models consecutively. The Tuono’s stronger low-end power and lower gearing are actually benefits in street environments.

2017 Aprilia Tuono 1100 RR and Factory TFT display

Both Tuonos (RR and Factory) receive the same full-color TFT display as the RSV4. There are Track, Street, and Infotainment view modes with both day and night backgrounds. The V4-MP multimedia platform with downloadable track maps is optional. The layout is well organized and legible, and not as affected by direct sunlight as some other full-color displays we’ve sampled.

If the Tuono was considered an excellent streetfighter-cum-trackday bike before, its upgraded electronics for 2017 – especially the up-and-down quickshifter – blur the lines even more. Around COTA the quickshifter worked flawlessly, rowing the gearbox in either direction at my command, allowing me to focus on the rapidly approaching next corner. Quickshifters sometimes only perform well at full song, and we won’t know for sure how Aprilia’s functions at street speeds until we sample it on the road.

When it comes to braking, Aprilia seemingly threw up its collective hands, said screw it, and installed Brembo M50 calipers all around (as well as larger 330mm front discs). Still the best binders going, and having them available on the $15k Tuono RR is a nice performance upgrade over last year’s Brembo M432 calipers.

2017 Aprilia Tuono 1100 Factory

High handlebars and minimal fairing protection didn’t stop the Tuono 1100 from reaching speeds in the low 160-mph range on COTA’s back straight. The track’s notorious bumps had me out of the saddle occasionally, but never upset the chassis to the point of rolling off the throttle.

2017 Aprilia Tuono 1100 Factory

Editor Score: 95.5%
Engine 19.0/20
Suspension/Handling 14.5/15
Transmission/Clutch 9.5/10
Brakes 10/10
Instruments/Controls4.5/5
Ergonomics/Comfort 9.25/10
Appearance/Quality 9.5/10
Desirability 9.75/10
Value 9.5/10
Overall Score95.5/100

Like the RSV4, ATC and AWC can be deactivated for hooligan mode, and, like I did with the RSV at COTA, I left the settings at level 1 to allow for some front wheel lift and sliding out of corners, which makes 156 horsepower seem easily manageable. Because, when switched off, the front end simply doesn’t want to stay down… ever. Cornering ABS is a new technology for the Tuono, and something you’ll be glad is working in the background if you ever realize that it is working. We tested the C-ABS last year on a bike with outriggers, and came away thoroughly impressed with the technology. Also of note in the electronics department is the ability to set AWC separately from ATC (for the riders like EiC Kevin Duke, who live to ride on one wheel).

Unlike the RSV4 RR and RF models, the differences between the RR and Factory Tuonos are fewer, but so is the price difference a much tighter spread: $14,999 for the Tuono RR vs. $17,499 for the Factory. What that $2,500 buys you is an Öhlins NIX fork in place of the Sachs unit on the RR, and an Öhlins steering damper replacing the Sachs damper. A definite value, but when compared to the Super Duke R at $17,999 – not including the Track and Performance Packages that bring more electronic adjustability and an up-and-down quickshifter – either Tuono begins looking like a huge bargain.

I said it in the RSV4 review, and it also applies here: were I shopping for a Tuono, I’d be inclined to purchase the RR model, then take the $2,500 saved and apply it to a set of forged aluminum wheels. Both Tuonos are fitted with cast aluminum wheels, while the RSV4 RF wears forged wheels and the difference in agility when transitioning the RF compared to the RR is night and day. The same performance advantage would be felt on a Tuono with lighter wheels, and if you’re a performance junkie, you’ll appreciate what forged wheels bring to the table.

2017 Aprilia Tuono 1100 Factory

We won’t argue against the added benefit of the having an Öhlins NIX fork, but for those looking to save a few bucks on the purchase of a 2017 Tuono, know that the Sachs units are highly comparable. The difference in grip between the Pirelli Diablo Rosso IIIs on the RR, and the Diablo Supercorsas on the Factory was a bigger contributing factor to track performance than suspension.

Considering that the Tuono RR comes with most of the best the Factory edition does (APRC, up-and-down quickshifter, M50 calipers, frame, engine), it can be hard to make a case for the Factory model. Or, the other way of looking at is that for only $2,500 more you’re getting a Tuono with an Öhlins front end which, by our own admission, is some of the best front suspension money can buy. The choice is yours, but if you’re desiring the best track-going hooligan out there, look no further than either Tuono.

2017 Aprilia Tuono 1100 Factory

2017 Aprilia Tuono 1100: A track bike in streetfighter trim.

Free Insurance Quote

Enter your ZIP code below to get a free insurance quote.

Aprilia Dealer Price Quote

Get price quotes for Aprilia from local motorcycle dealers.

Aprilia Communities

  • lennon2017

    As I read through the piece, I thought there would be a section dedicated to the RR and a street ride. Coming to that abrupt end was a little wah, have to say.

    • Sorry, Lennon, track impressions only.

      • John B.

        Hey Tom, I’m interested to hear your impressions of the COTA track. Is it especially interesting in any way? How does it compare to your favorite tracks?

        • I was told before arriving it was a love-it or hate-it track. Yes, COTA is bumpy in places, but I kind of like bumps. It’s daunting learning the layout, because it’s long and offers a little of everything, and that’s exactly why I had a blast. Fast, sweeping, technical, flowing all in one lap. Not as much fun as Catalunya, but a helluva lot better than Qatar.

          • John B.

            Thank you Tom. I’m thrilled to have such a great facility here in Texas, but I didn’t know how COTA compared to other tracks. I’m not surprised you had a good time.

  • JMDGT

    The must have bike of all time.

    • Born to Ride

      Until the charging system fails on you like the poor sap that had to get towed last weekend from my local sportbike mountain. Oh well, beautiful Italians oft come with temperamental flaws

      • JMDGT

        No guts no glory. It is better to have ridden and lost than to never have ridden at all. If I ever get a Street Triple I am sure I’d like it just as much or more.

        • Born to Ride

          My next bike will be a sportbike. I am finally skilled/mature enough(I think?) to justify purchasing a real no-compromise sport-focused machine. The three bikes in the running are the 2008 CBR1000rr with the red and silver paint, a Tuono 1100, or a Streetie RS. I know the streetie is more than enough and probably the most fun, but the Tuono is soooo awesome and that particular CBR is quite possibly my favorite sport bike of all time. I can’t decide yet…

          • Larry Kahn

            As long as you say “Streetie” you’re not mature enough. Maybe you should be on a Gixxer.

          • Born to Ride

            Idk, I heard a 55 year old retired racer last week refer to his Triumph as a speedie, which is commonplace nomenclature for that bike. Normally I’d write STR, but I feel like STRS is pushing the reasonable limits of acronym, and writing out Street Triple 765 RS is just friggin tedious. Sorry to offend your delicate sensibilities.

          • Huff955

            I call my Speedie, Speedie..I’m 43

          • spiff

            Damn, your old.

          • Doug Erickson

            same, and same!

          • JMDGT

            I still think about my old CBR600. It was heaven. The set up on the Street Triple is ergonomic perfection for me. A lot more upright than the CBR. Being an old Honda guy that CBR1000 really hits the spot. I had a loaner Sport version of the f800 once. I rode it around Santiago Canyon through Live Oak for the better part of a day. My wrists ached for two days after. I always think about getting another bike. Even after I get another bike. I will always have a soft spot for Honda.

          • ColoradoS14

            Screw real sportbikes… I have friends with Panigales and Ninjas that beg me to swap 1.5hrs into a ride because my naked is that much more comfortable. Go naked all the way, on the street they are just as fast if not faster and you can actually enjoy them. Hell a Multistrada owns the top time ever at Pikes Peak, perhaps the ultimate example of a real world road race with bumps and crap track conditions.

          • Born to Ride

            By real sportbike I was referring more to chassis, power to weight, and steering geometry, not ergonomics. Hence my top choices of tuono and Street triple. I feel ya on the comfort issue though. I love tearing up hill climbs on my multistrada, but I hate getting walked on by equal riders that have 50 more horsepower and race tuned chassis. Horses for courses. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a7c34a22bb9a51cf63a69d55cd6b714aa75c9e3de090f2a61fbcf489a84e629f.png

          • ColoradoS14

            Soultion, new Multistrada!

          • Born to Ride

            Too big for my taste. Plus I don’t trust the testastretta motor for the kind of mileage I do on that bike.

          • ColoradoS14

            Tuono then for sure.

      • ColoradoS14

        By and large they are super reliable machines. I have had my Aprilia for 5 years and in that time I had a bad starter relay and that is it. I don’t think it is out or the normal for any bike, even Japanese, to have an issue or two over the first 5 years of ownership.

  • John B.

    The scores Tom gave the Tuono and RSV4 are among the highest scores I have seen on motorcycle.com. Moreover, Tuonos often sell at a discount, which further enhances the value the Tuono brings to the table.

    Sadly, the Tuono is too small for me, however, in the August 2016 Naked Sports Six-Way Shootout Sean Alexander (who fights in my weight class) gushed, the Tuono is “So close to perfection it’s scary….” I guess some things are worth suffering for.

    Nevertheless, if I were to buy a motorcycle in this category I would choose either the Speed Triple or the Super Duke because comfort matters, and I would not push any of these bikes to their limits. I’m starting to think cornering ABS is a must have feature on my next motorcycle.

    • I spent time reviewing previous scores on Tuonos, SDRs (also current 2017 model), and S1000R. The Tuono’s scores are high, but commensurate with previous and current scores, as well as a reflection of how good (and getting better) this bike is.

  • Born to Ride

    I’ll take the black and red RR with a 2000$ discount next year, and put my own ohlins cartridges and shock on it, then buy some Marchescinis, and find a way to put a 2016 instrument panel on it. Hmm, or should I buy a blue 2016, do the suspension and wheels, and buy a set of M50s and radial master? Decisions decisions….

    • Huff955

      Go blue 2016 and put a set of gold Marchesini’s on it. Sexiest bike on the planet! I just got a Portimao Grey one myself 🙂

      • Born to Ride

        Yeah that’s where I’m leaning. I hate TFT displays and I love that blue.

  • mikstr

    Sooooooooooooo desirable!!!!!

  • john phyyt

    For the price of a Chevy Cruze; you can have “arguably” the finest motorcycle available. . Amazing..

    • spiff

      I’ll ague with ya. 🙂

      • john phyyt

        Yes . Evans has a piece on spotting motorcyclists. I would have thought that the most obvious sign is to see a group of people getting heated about.
        Chain/shaft :sport/cruise/adventure/naked: Jap/Euro/States: TC and slipper clutch. Which oil is best .. Tires.. Nutty stuff but WE KNOW what we mean. I was just speaking to someone who “needed” a dished rear hub for a kawasaki trials restoration. And he started flapping his hands around when I said it may be unnecessary.

        • spiff

          I just wanted to beat my chest and proclaim the Super Duke as champion! 🙂 If the Tuono Factory had a pillion my decision would be much tougher.

  • Old MOron

    I kind of agonized over all of these streetfighter type bikes before getting my S1000R. Part of the reason i went with the beemer is that I have a really good dealer close by – no, really!

    I’m really happy with my bike. Fast as hell, comfortable, heated grips, cruise control. The only niggle I have is the inline-four engine. It’s awesome when I ride it in anger, but if I’m just putting around, it’s kind of like riding a freaking vacuum cleaner.

    Great review, T-rod.

    • spiff

      Get a pipe with a nice bark. I4’s sound is underrated.

  • Vrooom

    I have an older Tuono, it’s simple, a twin, with no electronics, but still it’s way faster than I am. Can’t imagine this thing, bet it’s a hoot, and a beautiful bike.

  • Texarkana

    Right now I have a 2016 ZX10R and a 2016 GSX-S 1000. Perhaps this could be the one bike do to rule them all?

  • HTH

    Tom
    Thanks for the review!

    One little thing “bothers” me: You are saying that factory “Should have Öhlins shock..”

    But it does have Ohlins rear shock, doesn´t? I believe it has Ohlins Nix fork and Ohlins rear shock. Instead of RR´s Sachs units.

    One of those bikes must be mine too in some day!

  • constantine Eliadis

    I don’t know why, regardless of the category, you persist in thrashing them around the track. Maybe you missed the memo here… Tuono are street bikes. How about an insightful review about how these bikes are designed to perform … like on the street.
    If you did that you might acknowledge that for example, forged wheels suck on the street because, like, there are potholes and curbs and shit that ruins them… and that the track doesn’t represent real world riding conditions. And that a fraction of the riding community has ever been to the track so maybe the track isn’t the best place to test a bike called a street bike… are you getting my point even vaguely here? If you want to provide a valuable service to your readers, test the bike on the f”n street and tell us something useful.. I actually am thinking of buying one and this review is of no use. I want to know (and I think most prospective buyers would too) how good you think this street bike is on the street. End of rant.

    • denchung

      Aprilia hosted this launch and picked COTA as the test venue.

    • Kevin Duke

      I’ll echo what Dennis said below and add: Should we not ride a new sportbike on a track when we’re invited to do so by the company that made the bike? Also, all wheels are built to achieve a certain level of strength. If a pothole bent a forged wheel, it would likely do the same to a cast one.

      Oh, and if you’re unsure of whether we think the Tuono is good on the street, check out this article and the links inside it: http://www.motorcycle.com/mobos/2016-motorcycle-of-the-year.html