Aprilia Tuono, Kawasaki Z1000 and Suzuki SV1000S Road Test & Review…

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Not too long ago, we lump all the standards together and it a …-bike test. Now, as manufacturers jump in with non-fully-faired sportbikes, sub-categories are and lines can be drawn (see page 84). At the … end of the are the true … bikes-no just a big. headlight. are the modest half- or three-quarter-faired and in between are varying degrees of

Conveniently, a sampling of this newly released standards models that fall three of these sub-categories, and three bikes can provide insight into why we like to go

Almost … is the Kawasaki which Kawasaki calls a Naked motorcycle, with a hint of a windscreen mounted to its You may recognize the pumpkin bike’s and running gear as based on the ZX-9R, but the tubular steel and suspension are dedicated pieces. We had a peek at the Z1000 in the Dec.

issue. More covered is the Tuono, which has a frame-mounted fairing (but mirrors mounted to the handlebar) and some bodywork parts tacked on. We impressed with the R-model (Speed Shift, Feb.

and, just as that is based on the upper-spec RSV1000 R, the Tuono is essentially a stripped-down Mille. Displaying even modesty is Suzuki’s SV1000S, a larger frame-mount fairing and pan. We already had a first on the big SV-S (A Good Idea Bigger, June 2003), and on both the SVs can be found there.

this is not a comparison test in the sense, each of these can be considered to represent its respective of undressed sportbikes. The question for you to is: boxers (SV1000S), briefs or a thong (Z1000)?

Singing in the

Any of these three bikes is adequate for bombing around or back and forth to work. All beefy, tractable powerbands make dispensing with traffic easy, and each has low-speed handling. The Z1000, floats to the top of the trio for the daily

Very similar to Honda’s the Z combines a peppy and smooth with a small, lithe that simply makes to work fun. The Ninja-based (overbored 2.2mm from the once past a soft at 3000 rpm, pulls enough in the midrange that than 7000 rpm is rarely The short-throw transmission shifts with the only hiccup when trying to find you have to stop and use the neutral especially when the bike is

Threading through traffic, the handlebar gives plenty of without posing a threat to mirrors, the soft suspension soaks up large pavement and the brakes are strong and predictable. the only fly in the ointment is the forward-sloping which-like the the Z1000’s ZX-6R-based section, though the seats are different-gradually presses you forward the narrow, humped portion. fine for a half-hour or so, but longer have you squirming.

The Tuono, also major fun town with stomping light steering and excellent pays the price for its sportbike-spec with a slightly harsher than the Kawasaki over Los Angeles streets. While the 60-degree V-twin engine is as powerful as the Z1000’s, it doesn’t kindly to using low revs in the gears-you’ll shift more to things running smoothly. though not a problem for non-Californians, the is less user-friendly for lane thanks to its wider handlebar.

The with its clip-ons and sporty position, is quite capable but not as graceful in town as the Tuono and The engine, aside from a resonance right at 3500 is fantastic, pulling from low rpm being snatchy, providing throttle response from the injection setup with the power in the around-town range. the clip-ons are not in an extreme position and the itself is comfortable, it’s the to the bars along with the footpegs that makes riding awkward.

The front end of the (left) is shared with the great Brembo brakes, a inverted fork and sticky D207RR rubber. The Z1000’s fork (middle) has no compression and rebound adjustment for only one Brakes are ZX-9R calipers smaller discs. The Suzuki’s fork (right) is beefy, has all the adjustments and works well.

The look like GSX-R600 and work fantastically with the extra weight.

Fugue On the

You could look at this and make a snap decision which is nicer for a long on the open road, but there is a in the group in the form of the Aprilia. The fairing provides ample protection, the dual-counterbalanced 60-degree is eerily smooth at freeway and the seat and riding position are for easily a tankful of fuel. the Tuono’s fairing is tiny, the between it and the Z1000 is this: on the Kawasaki you are constantly aware you have no wind protection, you even notice the Tuono’s until you go more than 80 mph on the

While the SV1000S provides fairing than the Tuono and the keep you more out of the wind, the riding position puts a weight on your arms. it’s the high, forward that contribute to that arm pressure by forcing you to use your if you want to relieve your While the engine loafs at a low rpm (4500 at 75 mph), there is a surging on the freeway and it’s to keep a steady speed.

The is comfortable for longish periods of (though its slightly humped will have you continuously around for a fresh position) and the is fairly smooth at freeway with only a low-frequency passing through the bars and As you’d expect, the almost Kawasaki is not the greatest on the freeway, the pretend windscreen does some of the wind. Also against the Kawasaki rider are footpegs (while the handlebar is mounted and vibrates only the footpegs are not) and a sloping that has you constantly adjusting rearward.

The Tuono’s gauge package is lifted from the Mille, so you get the Mille has-including the lap timer, read speedometer and the sun’s in the flat lens. You’ll the Z1000’s dash (center) as to that of the new ZX-6R. Because higher and closer to you than on the it’s not nearly as hard to No lap timer for the Z1000, and the fuel is optimistic, then pessimistic. gauges (right) are basic but

Below the tach, the speedo you to look a bit far from the road, Note the handlebar and mirror on each bike.

Cantata In the

After each of our testing in the twisties, it was easy to tell who had stepped off the Aprilia-the person the canary-eating grin on his face. put, the Tuono rails on a road. Top-shelf sportbike grippy Dunlop D207RR and a stable, quick-steering chassis almost effortless handling, and the wide handlebar make it

With standard suspension the Aprilia felt tipsy and ended up lowering the bike as far as (the shock is ride-height and while still on the tall it’s not unmanageably so. With the Tuono, we were initially the Aprilia would suffer the lack of power and rocky that befell the Mille in our sporting twins comparison However, the Tuono’s throttle there’s no double-valved trickery quite smooth, and the spread of is wide enough that you need to row the snickety-snick gearbox turns.

While the Aprilia to effortlessly keep pace, the demands some concessions. The most powerful of the group in the out of breath at the top end and feels busy. response is crisp-much better the previous-generation TLs-but off/on is not as seamless as the Aprilia. The chassis and are obviously not GSX-R-level components, but are limiting factor is the bike’s

The Pilot Sports are a step Aprilia’s D207RRs and Kawasaki’s combination, providing good but lacking feedback. We did notice, that at the end of our test the Kawasaki’s and the Aprilia’s tires looked worn, while the Suzuki’s still looked fresh.

The is every bit as much fun as the Tuono, you keep to approximately 90 percent of normal pace. The inline-four provides a fantastic burst of coming off corners if you use some and the injection delivers that smoothly if you’re gentle the go handle. The short, compact and real handlebar give of confidence, especially in point-and-shoot, canyons. But the Kawasaki comes up in the suspension department.

The second-tier componentry is decidedly on the side, and rolling pavement have the Z1000 wallowing and a moment to compose itself as you set it a turn. The excellent front while not quite as powerful as the or Suzuki binders, are easy to bottom the fork, which set the suspension to chattering if you’re too going into turns. with the rear brake-get it to locking up and it will set off a major

Under where?

Where The Tuono is by far the best performer, and as in the trophy is the best all-around too. You could easily in a track day halfway along summer tour on the Aprilia, it really is one of those if you could have one bike bikes. have the green for the Italian Both the Kawasaki and Suzuki a good bang for the buck, and you can use the saved to make either one own.

The pumpkin bike is the fun the SV seriously sporty and a better for modifications or track days-you If you can’t decide, the standard SV is around the corner. With all diversification going on, the Aprilia can tall as a representative of the frame-mount fairing sub-category. Briefs it is,

The stripped-down sportbike of this offers comfort, fun and performance, the bikes pieced together to do it all up just a bit shy.


Ultimate Track-Day

After waiting longer to a player in the flourishing … segment than either its expected or company boss Beggio surely wanted, scored a bull’s-eye with the sold-out Tuono R when it last year in its 200-bike guise. Now, to satisfy who were too slow on the draw their checkbooks to sign up for a R, Aprilia has come up with a new version just entering which not only satisfies but does so by offering two bikes in Tuono Racing.

The Tuono comes street legal a higher level of spec the original R-bike. That’s it’s based on the 2003-model which itself is specced up the ’02 version on which the Tuono was based. So in streetfighter complete with Euro 1 approval, the Tuono Racing road-ready with lightweight OZ wheels shod with Dragon Super Corsa and fully adjustable Superbike-quality suspension front and rear.

All the Tuono Racing’s bodywork is of carbon fiber, except the fuel tank (and a lightweight rotational nylon ideal for racing since robust and light) mounted the stock RSV-R aluminum charcoal-painted to simulate an anodized finish.

Rather than the new bike exactly as delivered in guise, Aprilia presented the of journalists invited to sample it at the Varano circuit (a tight, track tailor-made for a bike as and grunty as the Tuono) with a of machines equipped with the Kit included in the steep, approximately list price. All the Racing’s and brake system bolts predrilled for wire locking, and an optional reverse-pattern one-up fitment for the six-speed gearbox. also supplies a 16T engine in case you want to change the gearing from the stock and finally, the race kit includes a racing exhaust can and an EPROM to retune the Nippondenso EFI to suit needs.

This is unquestionably bit as addictive and as capable a bike to hard and fast as the original R and then some, because compared to that paragon of the Racing sets new dynamic for the streetrod class. I can think of circuits-and Varano is one of them-where be ready to bet a competent rider consistently lap faster on the upright nose-fairing Tuono than he on a fully faired Mille R or any of its competitors. That’s thanks to leverage from the one-piece handlebar which, together the stock RSV-R footrests, a fantastic riding position, not upright but with the grips back to deliver extra in tight hairpins or when fast from one side to through the fourth-gear Varano

Correcting a slide is easy those high bars, and the holds the line you choose well, so even with the stiff suspension settings in for the racetrack, it didn’t deflect the chosen line when I hit one of the bumps in the Varano tarmac cranked over. The Tuono’s a thunderbike: It’s been sorted, and perhaps the only I’d have would be to the handlebars 1.0 to 1.5 inches on the risers for use, so as to put more of the rider’s over the front wheel and it from popping up quite so especially on the angle if you get hard on the gas out of a

Aprilia has managed to create the fun package as the original Tuono R, but in race-ready form-a mean-looking, streetfighting superbike that is distinctive, with no obvious and a huge amount of fun. I said-the ultimate track-day

-Alan Cathcart

Naked Spotter’s Guide

Overwhelmed by the of … and semi-… bikes in the now?

So were we. Here’s the rundown on how our fits in with the rest of the

Buck Naked

At the completely end of the scale are the true … such as BMW’s R1150R, the Lightning, Ducati’s Monsters, 919, Moto Guzzi’s V11 Suzuki’s … SV and Bandit and Triumph’s Speed Triple. they obviously offer the wind protection and most riding position, these canvases are great for making own version of the perfect motorcycle.

Bikini Fairings

Another sub-category, we grouped the Tuono and R along with the Buell Each has enough fairing to a reasonable amount of wind with the fairing mounted to the rather than the fork. has called its entry a Sport and that sums it up nicely.


Here’s where the of the standards reside-bikes that to do it all, and some that can. Here we include the Falco, BMW’s R1100S the Kawasaki ZR-7S, Moto Le Mans, Suzuki’s SV and Bandit S and the Yamaha FZ1. With of fairing for sport touring and lots of engine for the purists, is a lot to choose from, whatever budget and tastes.


Yes, there’s more. Two with not-quite-full fairings have lately been in the standard-bike resurgence-the Honda Hawk and Triumph’s Sprint RS. The comes in a lovely blue year, if you hadn’t noticed, and the RS is a budget Sprint ST.

Three and three categories. I call Super-Standard (SV1000S), Super-Steetfighter and Superbike-Standard (Tuono). First I’ve logged my share of on the SV650, and knowing how capable affordable twin is, I felt let by the new 1000. To me, the Suzuki seems together, rather than with a purpose. Don’t this wrong; the SV-S is a full of potential, but it’s to need a few mods to make it a

I guess I’ll have to forward to the nonfaired version due midyear.

Then there’s the or should I say a Mille D (D stands for The Mille is a ripper and the Tuono its roots magnificently-stable, powerful and The buyer gets his or her money’s with this bike, if it comes up a bit short in the eye-candy I scratched my head on this mainly because I’m a big fan of category. What do I want and do I expect?

For the money and in stock I’d opt for the Kawi. The Z1000 is having a concept bike in own garage; brutish looks with great inline now that’s a Sunday ride for me!


Permit me to jump to the conclusion: The is by far the best motorcycle here, the Kawasaki provides nearly the performance for a lot less money. If the is in fact pricier, at least it expensive, with well-controlled and seamless urge from an silky chuffmonster of a V-twin. the Aprilia, you get what you pay for.

I I could say that for the SV1000S. its performance is fine, but the build is several strokes past What am I to make of a regulator/rectifier bolted to the side of the engine in view, or a tangle of cheap-looking brackets holding the oil cooler in

Ride the bike and the sense of it designed and developed by Suzuki’s B continues: The suspension, though than the price-point 650’s, in, say, an FZ1’s league. The strong though it may be, is coarse and by inconsistent injection. The ergonomics are Why does this bike a near hard-core riding when it emphatically is not a serious

Had the SV been given the kind of and devotion-or even clarity of upon the GSX-R series, it have been a worldbeater.


Like the saying you get what you pay for. The Aprilia is a bit pricey, but the quality of its suspension and overall superior refinement that higher price The Tuono just feels and like a motorcycle that had thought put into its design if it is basically a stripped Mille higher bars).

It’s a big-bore motocross bike lights.

As nice as the Kawasaki is, you take it out of the urban street it loses its appeal fast. The is buzzy on the highway, definitely you know when you’re its 7/10ths-pace limit in the twisties, and the are set too far back in relation to the bar rise. And I the circular LCD bar-graph tach.

I the Suzuki shows some that’s held back by its design approach. The suspension the well-sorted feel of the Aprilia, and the fine for its intended market-runs out of too quickly for my taste. Some with the suspension, however, change my mind.


This article originally in the August, 2003, issue of Rider.

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