Aprilia Tuono Factory 1000 (2004 – 2010) review – Naked – Motorcycles…

29 Jan 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Aprilia Tuono Factory 1000 (2004 – 2010) review – Naked – Motorcycles…
Aprilia Tuono 1000 R
Aprilia Tuono 1000 R

Aprilia Tuono Factory 1000 (2004 – 2010)

Bullock, for those who aren’t from farming stock, is a cow that has its balls cut off at birth. This causes the poor animal to become gentler in temperament, grow beefier (if you excuse the pun) and moo in soprano. A bull, on the other hand, still has its dangly bits in place and with it a raging temper, big muscles, a willingness to hump anything in sight and an aversion to anything red.

A Japanese naked bike is a bullock. It has the same structure as a bull, but its performance has been neutered and it now has weight issues. Aprilia’s Tuono is a bull, full of beefy testosterone (or the bovine equivalent), brimming with aggression and ready for a fight.

And the new Tuono Factory? This beast is an angry bull on steroids.

Like the previous high spec Tuono – the Racing – the new Factory is basically a stock Tuono with a few trick bits on it. The suspension is hlins front and rear, wheels are lightweight OZ units and there’s a smattering of carbonfibre. The engine is a 2007 RSV-R unit, which has bigger exhaust valves and makes 6bhp more than before. The net result is a claimed 139bhp and a weight of 181kg, a saving of 4kg.

Oh, it also gets a bronze coloured frame.

As with the RSV-R and Factory the actual differences between the hlins suspension and stock bike’s Showa forks and Sachs shock isn’t that apparent on the road. The rear is certainly more compliant over bumps and consistent in feel, which isn’t that surprising as the Sachs unit on Aprilias is notoriously poor performing, but there is little to split the front ends. What has made the most significant difference is the combination of the lightweight wheels and a new rear tyre choice.

In the UK Tuonos were sold with 190-section rear tyres as standard and optional 180-section; the Factory comes with standard 180-section Pirelli Supercorsa Pro tyres. Okay, on the face of it this may not sound like a hell of a difference, but this small change has a big effect on the handling, and especially when combined with the lighter wheels.

According to Aprilia the OZ wheels are 2.5kg lighter than the stock Tuono’s, and with the taller profile rear tyre the Factory certainly drops into corners faster. Which is both a blessing and curse. Through higher speed bends the new tyre/wheel set-up makes the Tuono Factory far more willing to change direction, but come the slower bends it can be an issue.

The test route that Aprilia chose for us to ride involved a series of low speed, first gear hairpins. Although the Tuono Factory was more than happy to drop onto its side for these corners, it did so with a bit of an unnerving flop. As anyone who has ridden a Tuono will tell you, it’s quite a top heavy bike and always has a slight tendency to fall into slow corners, so this wasn’t too much of a surprise, but nonetheless it did unnerve slightly.

On more than one occasion I had to pick the bike up slightly because it felt like the front had let go. To be fair to Aprilia there aren’t that many occasions when your average rider will find themselves knee down in first gear, especially on the road, and I’d rather have the faster high speed response that the tyres give.

As with the 2006 RSV-R the changes Aprilia has made to the Tuono Factory’s engine are basically to meet new emissions restrictions. Compared to the old motor the new one feels slightly smoother through the rev range (highlighted by it being easier to hold a wheelie), but the fuel injection isn’t perfect. Again, this was most noticeable on the low speed hairpins, but going from a closed to slightly open throttle did result in a slight snatch as opposed to smooth power delivery.

It seems that almost every new bike comes with this snatch, such is the effect of emissions laws on fuel injection, but Aprilia has had the sense to include a second fuel map on the Tuono’s ECU. Like the RSV-R if you put a set of race cans on the Tuono there is no need to get it re programmed, just get your dealer to swap to Aprilia’s race map. The whole concept behind the Tuono is an aggressive street fighter that thrills riders.

Tuonos aren’t easy to live with; it’s a full-on naked sports bike with few compromises. Aprilia refuse to de-tune the RSV-R engine, soften the chassis or even give it a decent steering lock. That’s the call you make as a buyer.

Gentle practicality? Go Japanese. High speed thrills? Go Aprilia.

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