I bought my 2022 Tuono V4 Factory (Euro 5) nearly a year ago, trading in my beloved 2017 Street Triple RS toward it. Some of the details during my 11+ months of ownership to follow.
I bought the Factory version because I wanted the electronic semi-active suspension. I’d become enamored with the electronic suspension on my BMW GS and liked the idea of being able to make adjustments to the mode from the handlebars to best suit the surface conditions and/or my riding mood. The Factory over the Standard looks a little better to me with it’s slightly more aggressive ergonomics and slimmer tail section, as well as the color schemes. I did ask the dealership to change out the standard red seat for a black one.
I’ve ridden the bike approximately 4,300 miles at this point. I had intended for it to be 80% street, 20% track but it’s probably been closer to 50/50 this season. Part of that is due to me leaving the Daytona (my primary track bike) in Washington over the summer to ride at the Track Time events. On a couple of the driving trips I had brought the Tuono along and spent several sessions on track with it. I also rode it at some of the Northern California events over the summer while the Daytona was up north. It’s been ridden around the west Sonoma & Marin roads a fair amount as well, though not much further than Fort Ross-Stewart’s Point and Clear Lake/Berryessa. I haven’t quite been able to match pace on track with it compared to the Daytona, but it’s within a couple of seconds in most instances.
- Evo-Tech front axle sliders
- Evo-Tech tail tidy
- Evo-Tech radiator & oil cooler guards
- Evo-Tech front axle sliders
- R&G frame sliders
- Woodcraft shift lever for GP/race shift
- Aprilia USB port
- LED thermometer
- Puig clear windscreen – a bit taller and slightly more wind protection
- Aprilia gel comfort seat – puts you up a little higher but much nicer for street riding
- SW-Motech Sport tank bag with the EVO ring on the tank
- Evo-Tech brake lever guard and matching bar ends
- StompGrip tank grips and center pad
- 3x RAM ball ends for mounting phone holder, lap timer, cameras, etc.
- Spider captive spacers – I didn’t realize the stock wheel spacers were captive, though the Spider spacers are beveled to make it easier to install the wheels
- Lightech chain adjusters with the superbike style lifters
- Bursig stand
- Aprilia Bluetooth interface
- AiM Aprilia harness that plugs into the plug for the Aprilia Bluetooth interface, switched power for the AiM hardware
- Bonamici display enclosure and RF clear film to block signals coming from the unit that impact the GPS receive in the AiM Solo 2 DL
- Malgatech forged wheels
- Brembo Corsa Corta 17 RCS master cylinder – I love the feel of that brake lever shape
- Stahlbus brake bleeders on the front calipers and the master cylinder
- Akarapovic carbon slip-on (cat delete) with Gabro tune and front turn signal eliminating plates from AF1
- 520 ThreeD chain conversion with 44t rear steel Driven sprocket (stock was 42 on the Factory, 40 on the standard)
I’ll break this down with the Pros and Cons in this year of riding and owning it.
- It’s Italian – there is just something passionate, fiery, and fun about Italian bikes
- The power and torque – it’s seriously intense, the pull from 2-3k RPM and then around 5k+, the front wheel just wants to be off the ground on throttle alone well into triple digits.
- Ergonomics – the handlebar position, the foot peg location, everything is right where I want it. Ergonomically, all I did was move the clutch and brake levers down slightly, the bike just fits me so well, and I checked out all its peers; I actually hoped I’d prefer the Ducati Street Fighter but the ergonomics didn’t work well for me and a few other little things. The Speed Triple RR was another contender but I’ve had a few Triumphs now and wanted to try something a little different. The Triumph’s exhaust is actually pretty annoying to me, I don’t like having to remove an exhaust to get the wheel off.
- Sound – V4s call to me, especially ones that sound good. I’ve loved them since the days of yore when I had Honda V4 Interceptors. I had originally planned to leave the stock exhaust but due to a heat issue, I went with a slip-on.
- Shifter/blipper – it has a quickshifter and auto-blipper and they both work great. If you decide to shift using the clutch though, it’s not so great.
- Electronics – I really was looking forward to the granular adjustability of the electronics. My GS has similar electronics but it’s dumbed down quite a bit.
- AF1 – this place knows its Aprilias like no one else. Quick to respond to phone and mail questions, awesome parts and upgrades inventory, this was a real factor in my purchase decision.
- A Special Parts (formerly Aprilia Special Parts) – some pretty amazing deals on OEM and aftermarket bits.
- Stock mirrors – they work great, barely any vibration at any speed, large, and clear.
- Brakes – The TV4 uses m50 Brembo calipers with 330mm rotors, I’ve installed Vesrah RJL-XX brake pads and it feels great to me, zero complaints. Most recently I also installed the Aprilia carbon brake ducts to push more air at the pads and with those installed I never had to adjust the brake lever for fade once over the course of 3 full days with the same pads. Another bonus is that the m50 caliper uses the same pad shape as the Daytona with Stylema calipers so I don’t need to keep spares in different sizes.
- Thirsty – I knew going into this it would not be great on fuel. On the street, I’ve seen as few as 65 miles before going from full to reserve light. Granted, at reserve, there’s at least a gallon left. On track I usually see the reserve light toward the end of the 2nd 20 minute session.
- Not awesome in town – my Street Triple was much more civilized cruising through town. The TV4 is a bit loud, runs hot, and is kind of lurchy at low RPMs. This is not the bike I take to run to the store with.
- It’s Italian – some parts of this are a pro, some are a con. I’ve had a couple of Ducatis, I knew there would be some Italian stuff to go with it. Body panel fitment is a bit of a mystery at first, there is some oil seepage (not enough to drip, but when it goes for its 6k mile dealer service, I’ll be bringing that to their attention). Metallurgy is a little better than KTM, but not a ton, about par with Ducati. Logic in operating some of the electronics seems counter-intuitive once you’re deep in the menus.
- Runs hot – yeah, it’s just about a superbike with handlebars but the first time I was crawling through traffic, the temperature gauge started flashing and it was around 230° F. I started reviewing forums and nearly everyone said it will cool off noticeably with a slip-on (which eliminates the cat) and a tune. That did help, but I still don’t want to be in stop-and-go traffic with it.
- Ohlins semi-automatic electronic suspension – the adjustments are far more subtle than my GS. I *think* I can feel changes but they are small. It is still very firm on rough roads and not as firm as I’d like on track, even using manual mode with adjustments.
- Heated grips – I’ve had heated grips on nearly all of my street bikes for decades. It’s neigh impossible to find something that works well and is elegant with this bike (no OEM options) without hacking the left grip to clear the TC paddles. I’ve resorted to heated gloves, which I don’t love but they’ll do the job for our short winters.
- Fit and Finish – not as good as Triumph or Ducati, but not bad, this is a minor con.
- Goofy sized oil plug crush washer – this is not one you’ll find readily, I ordered a few from AF1
- Under-slung swingarm looks awesome but it’s tight to clean/lube the chain, not a big deal
- The front fender ever so slightly makes contact with the forks so there’s a little marring there, purely cosmetic but annoying
This is a bike that wants to go–the ergonomics suit it and the motor is so torquey and instantaneous. The electronics suite is very comprehensive, though I can say that the TC and WC are not as transparent as the current Yamaha R1, Speed Triple RR, or the Ducati V4 bikes. In a way, I’m kind of glad for that. I don’t want to be a rider who depends on the electronics to save me, I want to have them and know when they’re working in the moment. Riding the Ducati, the electronics are brilliant, but unless you’re watching the dash, the vast majority of riders won’t be able to tell that the TC is saving you if you’re adding throttle + lean angle (I’ve seen the data and video, the rider didn’t know the TC was running as much as it was). With the Aprilia, you’ll feel the bike move a little before the electronics kick in. For my riding, I feel like I can better build my own skills if I get a feel for those interventions–it’s my goal to build a feel for what limits are and how the bike feels at that point, and because I ride a lot of different bikes on track, I want that sensitivity.
On track, I’m just a little slower with it than I am with my supersport Daytona 765. The Daytona is built as a track bike, even though it makes considerably less power, but I also have 4 years and nearly 7k miles on track with the Daytona. The biggest shortcoming is the Aprilia’s [relatively] soft suspension, namely the rear. I do understand that it’s marketed as a street bike so this is not surprising. I will likely get the shock revalved and possibly re-sprung in the off season. In order to get the bike working as best as possible out of the box, we’ve added some preload and damping, but it is at the edge of the envelope with that. Once done, I’ll adjust the presets to soften up the rear for the street and ideally I should be in the middle for track riding. I did try the RSV4 shock link plates, which are more linear than the Tuono’s. Immediately upon switching to those, I’d lost all sag until I backed off preload and even then I only had ~3mm of static sag. I test rode it and even on street I didn’t like it, it felt too ‘springy.’ I quickly went back to the original link plates.
Most of the time on track, I’ve set TC to level 4 (out of 8, with 1 being least intervention, 8 the most) and wheelie control doesn’t make that much of a difference to me, it just depends on how frisky I’m feeling with the front end coming up. On the street I pretty much leave WC in level 1 (more small wheelies). ABS–I started track riding in level 2 (out of 3). 2 retains cornering ABS and tries to keep the rear on the ground. 1 turns off cornering ABS and allows the rear to lift/lock. Until I built comfort with hard braking, I left it in level 2 but later in the season I found I wasn’t able to brake as hard as I wanted at Sonoma Raceway so I backed it down to 1 and that’s been fine.
Another track observation is that I feel like I’m having trouble gauging my corner entry speed–I end up over-slowing some of the faster corners frequently. A friend suggested that it might be the fact that you get more wind blast due to it being a semi-naked bike. This is something of which I need to be more conscious. The top speed on the straights is only marginally faster than the Daytona (though it gets there faster).
A recent discovery in riding on track was at Thunderhill Raceway in early October 2023. Another test rider and I both felt like the bike was see-sawing in a high speed area with lean (T7) and a semi-bumpy acceleration zone but mostly upright (exiting T13). After a session we were looking at data and saw that the TC was triggered in those areas. I then tried a session with the TC reduced to 3 (from 4) and that made a world of difference. The rear was still too soft but it was infinitely more stable and far less scary. With the T7, I suspect it’s likely due to the amount of acceleration at a high speed with a good amount of lean (though that corner is less than 90° and opens up so the control usage is sound).
Since I like getting data on everything I ride on track, I attach an AiM Solo 2 DL & SmartyCam 3 Sport to the handlebars of the bike via the RAM balls. I was reviewing data a month or so ago and noticed some curious speed fluctuations in the data. Upon digging in deeper, I saw that the GPS positional accuracy was around 2-3 meters and in looking at the graphical overlay on the track map, it showed that I was in the dirt (I wasn’t). Talking with a couple of friends with RSV4s who had experienced it, I followed their lead and purchased a Bonamici dashboard ‘case.’ This case was originally designed to protect the dash in the event of a crash. It’s a nicely milled aluminum enclosure with a Plexiglas front that screws on. The installation of that part took less than 15 minutes. I also ordered a sheet of very expensive RF blocking clear plastic to shield the front of the enclosure. It’s not the most elegant arrangement but the combination has very effectively shielded whatever RF was coming from the display so that my GPS accuracy is ~0.6 meters on track and I always have a lot of satellite positions being received.
When I first got the bike, I assumed that the previous generation AiM ECU profile would capture everything, but it turned out a lot of stuff changed. I worked with Mitch Minton and AiM and we were able to figure things out so I now have loads of useful information available in the data stream, just using a Solo 2 DL.
From a very capable rider, very quick and technically precise with excellent placement; what I am aspiring to do. To note, this was the second session for him and he had never ridden a Tuono before this day. He also said he never had a moment where he thought, ‘not my bike’ and felt like he had another 3 seconds to go.
Tires – I have the stock cast wheels with a set of Pirelli Angel GT tires (190 rear) and I even rode those on track and that worked fine. I didn’t have the confidence to really keel the bike over on its side but I was still able to run a decent pace. These are my ‘winter’ tires/wheels.
I also have 2 sets of the forged OEM Malgatech RSV4 Factory wheels. I’ve got Pirelli SC3 TD tires that I’ve mostly used on track (with warmers) and then most recently I tried out a set of SC1 125/70 & 200/65 take-offs (1 6-lap race). So the new sized tires fit just fine and while they were used, I still rode 2-1/2 days on them and the rear easily has another 1/2 day in it. While I can’t say that the tires felt a lot different at my pace, I can say I had zero concern about grip. During my most recent Sonoma day, I had an extremely capable test rider take the bike out for two sessions and he was able to go proper quick with the tires being well-worn at that point. I’m a huge fan and bought another rear to go with the front (I usually get 2-3 rears to one front). I think this will be my go-to tire for most track riding. I am very pleasantly surprised with the longevity. Curiously enough, it’s substantially better life than I’m getting out of the Daytona with 180/60 SC1 and SC2 tires. I do wonder how much of this is the TC on the Aprilia whereas it’s the more primitive wheel-speed sensor TC on the Daytona.
Incidentally, if you change aspect ratio or tire size, be sure to run through the calibration process on the dash. It only takes a couple of minutes. Once you’re in the calibration mode, ride at ~25 mph in 2nd gear for a couple hundred yards. The dash will tell you when you’re at the calibration speed and to hold it there. It doesn’t tell you what the speed is or what gear to be in but while it will tell you to hold the speed and when it is complete. If you don’t calibrate, your slip percentages could be off and that’s a huge component of the TC/WC and by not calibrating with different sized tires, your TC could engage too early or too late.
Wheels – Cast versus forged, it’s not as dramatic as I might have hoped, neither in weight savings nor in feel. I *think* I briefly noticed lighter steering and easier turn in but after 2 laps, I completely forgot about it. I always like having spare wheels and if I can get a good price on forged aluminum wheels, I’ll do it but I’m not spending $3k on a pair of wheels.
Future upgrades – I recently added a quick change rear to the Daytona and would love that for the Tuono, as well as a pull cup front axle that deletes a nut. I’m a big fan of things that reduce wrenching time in the pits. These are expensive upgrades and being that this is supposed to be a *mostly* street bike, I won’t do these changes unless I’m feeling pretty flush. I still have to pay for the upcoming bill to put the Daytona back together. As stated earlier, some suspension work on the back is likely in order. Otherwise, I feel like it’s pretty dialed in.
Current Track Settings
I’ve got the Track 1 mode set with the following:
Engine Braking (AEB) – 2 (level 1, less engine braking, has a more abrupt initial throttle, though I liked having less engine braking)
ABS – 1 (no cornering ABS, may lift/lock rear wheel), I initially had it set at level 2 until I found that to be a limiting factor
Engine Map (AEM) – 2
Launch Control (ALC) – 2 I’ve never tried it out so this doesn’t really matter, I might play with it if I’m feeling spicy, I’m a little nervous about trusting electronics on a race launch but lots of racers use it
Traction Control (ATC) – 3 (4 was getting in the way on fast straights and resulted in a see-saw sensation)
Wheelie Control (AWC) – 2 or 1
Suspension (ASC) – M1, doesn’t matter M1 or M2 as long as it points to your suspension preset
Suspension (I used preset M1)
Front compression – 18
Front rebound – 19
Rear compression – 1
Rear rebound – 8
Steering damping – 11
Front preload – 7.25 turns in from full out
Rear preload – 13 turns in from full out
Stock rear link plates
When I find some more pace, I may firm up the front a bit more, but I prefer a softer fork, particularly since I’m working on building my ability to manipulate the front geometry on turn-in.
In case you’re interested, Ed from AF1 provided me with the details on the Ohlins suspension in the Euro 5 models (2021+) for both the Tuono V4 Factory and the RSV4 Factory:
2021 E5 Tuono V4 Factory (Ohlins Smart EC 2.0)
Spring rate (front): 10 N/mm
Spring rate (rear): 0.95
Rear shock information:Electronic shocks
AP3212 19+ RSV4 e-TTX runs C47 / R7 valving (with red link plates)
AP3304 18+ Tuono e-TTX runs C44 / R5 valving (with silver link plates, more progressive)
On the Ohlins std TTX GP line (non electronic), they are running a little different valving inside
18-24 Tuonos run C44 / R5 valving in the AP330 shock
19-24 RSV4 Factories run C46/ R6 valving in the AP466 shock
17-18 RSV4 AP468 ran C45 / R5
Fork information:Forks are more different, and they do list the E-Ohlins specs on those
19-24 RSV4 Factories runs C4 / R4 valving in their FL9630 forks
18-24 Tuonos run C1 / R2 FL9350 forks
I really enjoy the Tuono, it’s fun having an Italian near-superbike to ride on street and track, though it’s happier away from in-town speed limits and stop signs. It’s very track-capable though at A group pace, it’s pretty soft in the back but the front end feels great with a fairly soft setup. It’s thirsty (I think most near 200 hp bikes probably are), it’s a little shouty in sound and appearance for my taste, fit and finish are good, but not quite Ducati level and definitely not Triumph level. There’s no clearcoat over some of the graphics so some of those have suffered nicks from rocks, tire chunks, etc. being kicked up. Reliability has been great so far (particularly once I did the exhaust and tune). I miss the Triumph’s light weight and easy city riding but passing with the Tuono doesn’t require downshifts or much thought. Aftermarket support for parts and upgrades is great. I am a bit afraid of the 12k mile valve check service cost, but I have a year or two before I get there and will build up a small savings to cover that. I really enjoy the power delivery and the way it sounds, V4s are my favorite engine configuration. Now that I’ve got a better understanding of the electronics, I feel like I have a lot more to explore with the Tuono. I’ll be taking it to the last three track events for the season and hopefully the Daytona will be finished in time to go along with it. If I could have only one bike though, one that did both track and street duty, I think I’d go with a Street Triple RS, particularly the latest that now has an IMU. It’s better mannered around town, my experience with reliability has been great, they’re super flexible. It’s nowhere as exciting as the Tuono V4 but it’s more versatile and, at least for me, nearly as quick on track. The Tuono really shines as being a passionate bike though.