Taming the beast – is a phrase commonly used by motorcycle enthusiasts when they talk about riding a powerful motorcycle. And many of them are indeed a beast – like a ferocious animal – that demands respect and understanding by the rider of what he’s getting into.
Motorcycles are personified all the time as people can relate them to their personalities. It is like they are the extension of our characters and vice versa. Some of them are wild enough to be personified as animals, wild animals, that howl, growl and roar.
Aprilia Tuono V4 is one such motorcycle. If it was a person, it would be brash, arrogant and the one who is proud of it. If you object to it, it would tell you “this is how I am”. It would be all this, but not disrespectful to you because if you’re nice to it, it would take care of you as well. Just don’t try to be overly smart with it!
But the Tuono isn’t a brash person. It comes to life with the roar of a wild animal, a beast, but has the quickness and the agility of a Cheetah. When you press the thumb starter after all the FI checks have been done, the engine rather roars to life than merely comes to life. It produces a relatively high decibel sound as if it’s been disturbed from its sleep and it does that just for a second or so before settling into a steady rhythm.
And this leads us to the most amazing part of the whole motorcycle – the V4 engine – what a gem that is. The 1077cc unit has 4 cylinders put together in a ‘V’ layout which churns out 175.3 PS of power at 11,000 RPM and 121 NM of torque at 9,000 RPM. It is a blast to experience.
The whole motorcycle – the chassis, suspension, engine and the bodywork – are derived from the RSV4 Superbike. And here’s the interesting piece of info about the RSV4 – Aprilia made it specifically for WSBK (Superbike World Championship) so that Max Biaggi could take them to the top, and he did!
So what we get in the Tuono is the same V4 engine but detuned for better street friendliness, of course! But with 175 horsepower, it is still out of the league of many riders to use it to its full potential on the streets or on a racetrack. Its inherent nature is that of generating raw and aggressive power, after all, it is basically a race-spec engine made to primarily run on tracks and win races and championships.
But thanks to the Ride by Wire throttle, it has three riding modes to keep that maniac power delivery under control – T (Track), S (Sport) and R (Race). Out of all three, Race allows you to play with all the power with the least intrusion from the software. What’s also standard is the APRC package which translates to Aprilia Performance Ride Control. It’s a patented system which includes Aprilia Wheelie Control, Aprilia Traction Control, Aprilia Launch Control and Aprilia Quick Shifter.
The Tuono we got our hands on wasn’t the standard one, it was the Tuono V4 1100 Factory and it comes with some perks – first, the Superpole graphics and second, the Ohlins suspension front and back. All things combined, the Tuono V4 1100 Factory is possibly the most track ready naked out there right out of the factory floor.
The riding experience has been tremendous – it is addictive, to say the least. It will spoil you like anything. The beastly exhaust note, acceleration, handling and everything else about the motorcycle, when combined, produce an unmatchable riding experience. And if you’re someone who detests sportbikes for some reason, the Tuono V4 will be your guilty pleasure. It could even be the dark side of your nature which you’d love to sport every now and then.
Even in the typical Indian traffic, it is not terrible to ride which we were really happy to find out. What one needs to be careful about is the immense power, if that can be controlled, the Tuono is a tremendously enjoyable motorcycle to ride even in a city. The response from Ohlins suspensions at their factory settings was equally impressive. The variety of city roads that we rode the Tuono on, it felt comfortable and no unnerving jerks were felt through the shockers. They did a splendid job of keeping the ride smooth and stable throughout.
The Tuono V4 is one of the best motorcycles to buy for anyone looking for maximum performance out of a sportbike and the one which is also comfortable. And unlike a typical streetfighter, the Tuono comes with a half-fairing offering decent amount of wind protection too. It is more than one bike!
Lastly, it doesn’t come cheap, it’s Italian! But then again, you can always try your luck on OLX and see if you can find it affordable as a second hand.