EXCLUSIVE: Aprilia Tuono V4!
New RSV4-based naked spied during development testing
NAKED SUPERBIKES ARE NOTHING new; three decades ago, examples like Kawasaki’s KZ1000 and Suzuki’s GS1000 Superbikes not only ruled the racetrack but the street, as well. Years later, the scene that spawned bikes like Aprilia’s original RSV1000-derived, V-Twin-powered Tuono has inspired the Italian company to create a replacement, which Aprilia CEO Leo Mercanti has confirmed will be called the Tuono V4.
These exclusive sneak-peek pictures of an Aprilia RSV4 superbike, stripped of most of its bodywork and fitted with a wide and semi-flat handlebar replacing the customary clip-ons, were shot at the Misano Circuit on the Adriatic coast while the bike was being tested.
Mercanti added that these early tests of the Tuono V4 were the first steps in the developmental process to verify how a naked RSV4 would behave at high speed. Additional track tests are scheduled to optimize handling balance for the new Tuono’s altered weight distribution-compared to that of the superbike-caused by the rider’s upright riding position, along with lighter, more-compact headlights and instru-
mentation over the front end.
Engine tuning will be changed to suit the bike’s streetfighter personality, said Mercanti. This will most likely be accomplished through a Tuono-specific ECU with new mapping. The RSV4 already features a rider-selectable, tri-map setup for Competition, Touring and Road modes, so any necessary power-character changes should be easy for Aprilia’s engineers to accomplish electronically.
Road Test Editor Don Canet has had two opportunities to sample the new RSV4 superbike (Roundup, July, and “Supersport Days,” August) and was instrumental in Cycle
World's decision to name the RSV4 Best Superbike of 2009 in our Ten Best Bike awards after it trounced the competition in the aforementioned test. No stranger to accolades, the original Tuono snagged a Bestie of its own back in 2003 and won our “Hot Rods and Hooligans” 12-bike comparison test in the October, 2006, issue. The very idea of an upright naked bike stuffed with lOOOcc, 65-degree V-Four from the RSV4 just puts a smile on our faces.
According to Mercanti, the Tuono V4 will be unveiled at this year’s EICMA motorcycle show in Milan and most likely released next spring as a 2010 model.