MO’s Project Yamaha MT-10SP Vs Aprilia Tuono V4 Factory
When I first set out to modify Yamaha’s MT-10 SP, the mission was to prove what we say here at MO all the time: that simple mods can transform a motorcycle. All I did was change the brake pads and rotors, swap out the exhaust, and reflash the ECU. After that was said and done, this new and improved MT-10 really is a blast to ride – and it all happened for under $1000. I really didn’t need the rotors either, so that could have saved an extra couple hundred bucks.
2021 Aprilia Tuono 660 Review - First Ride
The Aprilia Tuono 660 is a bike that I’ve been eager to ride since I first laid eyes on the pretty production-ready looking concept at EICMA 2019. Even through what was left of my tired red occhi, dried from so many hours of planes, trains, and automobiles (what I would give for that now!), I was digging the “naked” version of the RS660 more than the sportybike itself.
2021 Aprilia Tuono 660 - First Look
The obvious choice to follow-up the RS660 in Aprilia’s lineup, the Noale-based factory has now officially released details on the 2021 Tuono 660. Taking a page from the RSV4/Tuono V4 playbook, the smaller siblings share the same relation, as the Tuono 660 is essentially a “stripped down” version of its RS brother, meant first and foremost to be ridden on the street.Everything You
Want To Know About The Aprilia RS660 (Except What It’s Like To Ride)
We use quotes around stripped down because, just like the V4 Tuono, there’s still quite a bit of plastic to be found with the Tuono 660, including the double fairing up front with the hidden winglets. What’s interesting is that, during the RS660 press briefing, Aprilia downplayed the winglet’s downforce effect and played up rider comfort, saying the winglets were primarily to channel hot air from the engine away from the rider. In its press materials, Aprilia still says the winglets move hot air away from the rider, but also “contributes to optimized stability at high speeds.”
Aprilia Announces Details For The 2021 Tuono 660
The worst-kept secret in the moto world for 2021 is finally here, as we now have official information about the upcoming 2021 Aprilia Tuono 660. I say it’s the worst-kept secret because Aprilia itself teased the bike back in November of 2019, and the official photos you’ll find all over this story don’t look too far removed from the ones back then.
Based on the RS660 platform, that second word provides all the foreshadowing needed as Aprilia basically told the world’s press during the presentation for the RS (without actually saying the words) that a Tuono 660 was coming. Other bikes based on this platform are in the pipeline too – the Tuareg 660 adventure bike being the next, we assume – but let’s get back to the Tuono 660. An even more street-focused sporty-bike than the RS660, the obvious comparison will be to consider this a miniature Tuono V4 which, in case you didn’t know, is one of our favorite motorcycles.
Limited Edition Aprilia Tuono V4 X First Look
On the heels of its uber exclusive RSV4 X winged wonder, Aprilia announced a naked version with the Tuono V4 X. As with the RSV4 X, the Tuono version is designed only for track use and will be produced in very limited numbers. Only 10 units of the RSV4 X were made, and all were scooped up in a few hours after online orders were opened, but Aprilia hasn’t announced how many Tuono V4 X models will be made. We do have a price: 34,000 euros, or about US$40,473.
The most striking detail about the Tuono V4 X (except, perhaps, the black/red/yellow/lavender/white color scheme inspired by the 2006 RSV 1000 Bol d’Or racebike) is the addition of the carbon winglets on the front fairing, derived from Aprilia’s RS-GP MotoGP racer. Aprilia claims the aerodynamic appendage increases stability at high speeds and during braking or when cranking open the throttle.
Aprilia Is Teasing Us With The RS 660-Based Tuono 660 Concept
The hot news coming from the Aprilia camp at EICMA 2019 was clearly the official debut of the RS 660. Aprilia’s middleweight Twin is sure to be a firecracker, but much like the RSV4 also gave us the brilliant Tuono V4, Aprilia has wasted no time teasing the world with this baby Tuono powered by, you guessed it, the RS 660 Twin. Officially Aprilia is calling this a concept bike, but let’s be real – it’s coming here sooner or later.
Best Streetfighter / Hooligan Motorcycle of 2019
Well yeah, the FTR did not win our little Monster 1200/Yamaha XSR900 comparo, and is currently taking heavy fire in the Comments section from the sportbike purists. But as you know, MOBOs are also selected using other criteria, including historical significance, originality, and the debating skills and/or ability of a given bike’s proponent to wear the other contenders down with BS via Google Hangout.
Actually, there wasn’t even a big fight. The Tuono’s won enough of these things that everybody agreed it was time for something fresh, and there’s nothing fresher than the unique FTR1200 “Streettracker.” It’s definitely original; it really falls somewhere between streetfighter and ADV bike, thanks to those 19/18-inch wheels and bespoke Dunlop DT3 tires. It lost the comparo, but the tables might’ve been turned if the venue had included dirt roads or the evening club circuit.
Historical significance-wise, Indian probably could’ve taken the safe route and just kept on building heavy cruisers and Scouts. It could’ve also designed an all new street-going FTR750 and built a really nubile ripper that everyone would then lambast for being too expensive and impractical. Instead, it buckled down to stuff a thoroughly massaged and 22-pounds lighter 1200 cc Scout engine into an all-new frame: 112 horsepower at a lowly 8600 rpm is plenty for now, but as with any big V-Twin, the torque’s the main course. Nothing says vaminos like 70 pound-feet of torque at 3000 rpm, and the whole 80 lb-ft. enchilada is served 3000 rpm later. It’s sonically delicious and thoroughly satisfying.
Quibble if you must that the FTR isn’t a purer sportbike, but understand that it still goes around corners remarkably well, along with stopping, going, and doing all the other things you expect. Its slight largeness makes it a better place for two people to sit than most, and standard cruise control on both base and “S” models mean you can even tour on it (limited by its too-small 3.4-gallon fuel tank).
At the end of the day, this thing has remarkably few flaws for a first-year effort, heck, the first-ever effort by a major American manufacturer to build a serious high-performance sportbike in modern times. Thank you, Indian, congratulations, and keep up the good work. What’s next?
Writer's Choice: MO's WSBK Sport-Touring Showdown
Usually when we have a shootout here at Motorcycle.com, the participants are somewhat defined for us. First, we choose a class of motorcycle, and then, we put the latest versions of those bikes in a head-to-head-competition. This time we’re doing something a little different. Each MO editor chose whatever bike they wanted to ride to Monterey, CA, for the U.S. round of World Superbike. The only caveat would be that the bike had to be capable of participating in the annual Pirelli Track Day that takes place the day after the races finish at Laguna Seca. Okay, there was one other rule that I tried to enforce, but the one editor just couldn’t bring himself to choose a bike that had OEM bags available for it.
Top 10 Used Motorcycles Under $5000
Right, it’s that time of year again when all the new bikes are out, and we ask ourselves, which one must I have? Followed by a look at the price tag, and an immediate switching of the Train of Thought onto the Used Bike siding, particularly all the ones that have slipped below the $5,000 threshold ($5k is usually my cut-off point when it comes to buying automobiles – I have my eye on a 2004 Jaguar XJR right now – but in the spirit of the Trump Economic Miracle, let’s pretend like I’d spend that much on a motorcycle).
Speaking of cheap Jaguars, the key here is service records and maintenance. Bottom-feeding only works if you research a given vehicle’s weaknesses (our lovely VerticalScope forums are a gold mine), and shop around till you find one where the expensive stuff has already been fixed and the seller can prove it (though I think all the bikes on this list are mostly bulletproof).
An Owner's Perspective: Aprilia Tuono Upgrades - Pt 3
[Frequent MO readers will know that our friend, Thai Long Ly, is not a man of few words. Consequently, we should’ve known what we were getting into when he offered to write up his experience with Tuono modifications. Still, we never expected an 8,400-word opus. So, we decided to break the story into easier to digest pieces. Here is Part 3 for your reading enjoyment. If you missed it, catch up on the part one and part two. –Ed.]
An Owner's Perspective: Aprilia Tuono Upgrades - Pt 2
[Frequent MO readers will know that our friend, Thai Long Ly, is not a man of few words. Consequently, we should’ve known what we were getting into when he offered to write up his experience with Tuono modifications. Still, we never expected an 8,400-word opus. So, we decided to break the story into easier to digest pieces. Here is Part 2 for your reading enjoyment. If you missed it, catch up on the first part here, and check back later for the third and final part. –Ed.]
An Owner's Perspective: Aprilia Tuono Upgrades – Pt 1
[Frequent MO readers will know that our friend, Thai Long Ly, is not a man of few words. Consequently, we should’ve known what we were getting into when he offered to write up his experience with Tuono modifications. Still, we never expected an 8,400-word opus. So, we decided to break the story into easier to digest pieces. Here is Part 1 for your reading enjoyment. – Ed.]
I’m a happy man. In fact, I’m smirking ear to ear as I sit here typing. Not because I enjoy staring at a computer, stringing together plausible thoughts before the coffee drains down into my sleepy fingers, but because I’ve just compiled a list of mods I’ve installed on what’s arguably the finest street bike made today, the Aprilia Tuono V4 1100 RR. And these mods aren’t just tastefully applied to some anonymous press bike destined to return to its maker in time… they’re bolted to my own personal high powered therapy device. And as we all know, these things go to 11, thus making it incredibly easy to get worked up over a machine that’s near perfection – straight from the box. That incredible engine. The telepathic handling. That arousingly sexual sound!
But I digress. As with anything in life, we can always make things a bit mo’ betta’. And bikers have been tinkering with their bikes for as long as there have been bikes to tinker with. Whether for performance, fit, or flash, modifications are a continuous way of life for any bonafide petrolhead.
2017 Motorcycle Of The Year
It takes a really special motorbike to win our MOTY award, and the Super Duke GT comes from premium stock, as it’s based on the winner of our 2014 Motorcycle of the Year, the 1290 Super Duke R. The uncanny beauty of the GT is that it retains the wonderful virtues of the R and expands the platform with a plethora of comfort and convenience updates that enhance the bike’s appeal without appreciably hindering its performance capabilities.
2017 KTM 1290 Super Duke GT First Ride Review
The addition of cornering ABS, cruise control, heated grips and KTM’s first quickshifter to the Super Duke platform adds to the SDR’s attractiveness, as does standard equipment like electronic tire-pressure monitoring, self-canceling turn signals and LED cornering lights. While it’s true that some of these items have been added to the latest Super Duke R, the GT version receives KTM’s admirable semi-active suspension, comfier adjustable ergonomics, a variable-height windscreen, standard hard-shell saddlebags and the ability to carry up to 500-lbs of humans and luggage thanks to its bespoke subframe.
The Super Duke GT ticks all our boxes of what we like to see in a sport-touring motorcycle, bending toward the sporting side of the S-T spectrum. There are several bikes in the category that boast seats with thicker padding or electrically operated windshields or shaft-driven wheels that don’t require lubing or adjusting, but the 525-lb SDGT (full of 6.1 gallons of fuel) leaves them all feeling heavy, ponderous and dull.
BMW S1000XR vs. KTM 1290 Super Duke GT vs. MV Agusta Turismo Veloce
Among sporty sport-tourers, the GT was the clear winner ahead of BMW’s S1000XR and MV Agusta’s Turismo Veloce, pumping out more power while weighing 25 lbs less than the Beemer and just a handful of pounds more than the MV while boasting a V-Twin engine with 500cc extra than the Italian. The GT’s 153 hp and 94.5 lb-ft of torque topped the trio in that comparo – and anything else with standard saddlebags that you’d consider riding across the country.
That comparison test concluded with this statement that sums up our affection for the KTM: “At the end of the day, motorcycling is about having fun, and none of us needed a stinkin’ scorecard to tell us which bike gave us the biggest thrills.”
So, for the breadth of its capabilities and many ways it elicits grins from the entire MO staff, the Super Duke GT earns our award for the 2017 Motorcycle Of The Year.
Does A Dented Exhaust Pipe Restrict Power?
So how does slamming a suicidal rock, thus spewing hot juicy oil all over your rear tire, sound to you as you’re flying down your favorite mountain road? Sorta frightening, right? Because it is. Ask me how I know. Then ask me which of my favorite four-letter words I chose to spit out of my helmet were once I realized that this could have been really bad. Reeeeeealllly reeeeeaaalllly bad. I was thrilled to be climbing off my bike by choice as opposed to a sudden unplanned eviction over the side of a mountain. Guardian angel, this round’s on me.
But, seeing as this is Motorcycle.com, I found two positive things came of this unexpected “oily bike upright” skills test.
Yet Another Streetfighter Shootout!
Each new naked demands of us another shootout. The catalyst this time around is Yamaha’s R1-powered FZ-10. Introduced in July as a 2017 model, the new FZ-10 stands as the only liter-size Japanese streetfighter offering enough performance and attitude to bring the fight to the currently dominant nakeds. Add to that a rare appearance by an EBR 1190SX, and two stalwarts of the class, Aprilia Tuono V4 1100RR and Triumph Speed Triple R, and we’ve the ingredients for a spicy streetfighter omelette.