Miguel Galluzzi, the radical designer of the wildly popular Ducati Monster, has been a fixture at Aprilia for nearly two decades. As head of their Advanced Design Center in Pasadena, California, Galluzzi credits his team’s design influences on their location at the heart of American motorcycle culture. The latest CAD and 3D printing technology allow design ideas to flow between Pasadena and the factory in Noale, Italy, and to be readily implemented as tangible concepts, resulting, Galluzzi says, in the most advanced Tuono models yet.

They will need to be. Aprilia's naked V4 is deserving of its veneration, but worthy contenders crowd the wings. The KTM 1290 Super Duke RR and Ducati Streetfighter V4 S are both more powerful. But power isn’t everything and the current Tuono’s reputation owes more to its unprecedented handling.

The 2021 Tuono V4 and Factory gain a raft of incremental updates promising improved handling and ergonomics. Although identical in performance, the new models offer unique characteristics designed to appeal to a wider group of riders and the different attributes they seek from a sportbike. The standard model includes features suited to sport-touring, with an emphasis on sport and the Factory model remains an out-and-out hyper-naked, equally at home at the track or on a twisty mountain road.

2021 Aprilia Tuono V4 / Factory

9.50 / 10
Key Features
  • Semi-Active Electronic Suspension (Factory)
  • Braced Aluminum Swingarm
  • Improved Ergonomics
  • Full Suite of Advanced Electronics
  • Sublime Chassis
Specifications
  • Engine: 1077cc, Liquid Cooled, 65-Degree V4
  • Horsepower: 175 hp (129 kW) at 11,000 rpm
  • Torque: 89 lb-ft (121 Nm) at 9,000 rpm
  • Drivetrain: Sealed X-Chain
  • Transmission: 6-Speed with Aprilia Quick Shift
Pros
  • V4 produces seamless power and monster torque
  • Excellent chassis provides supreme handling
  • Silky smooth quick shifter
  • Possibly the finest exhaust note to emit from a stock can
Cons
  • Not as powerful as some of its competitors

The Tuono V4 Is Race-Bred Fun

2021 Aprilia Tuono V4
Via: Larry Chen Photo

The compact, lightweight, 65-degree V4 engine retains its 1077cc capacity. It is now Euro 5 compliant and optimized to match the outgoing model’s performance. Claimed peak horsepower is still 175 at 11,350 rpm, and torque tops out at 89 lb-ft, arriving at 9,000 rpm.

Aprilia's experience researching and developing their MotoGP bikes has influenced several of the Tuono V4’s updates. A lightweight, underbraced, inverted swingarm increases traction at the rear wheel, and updated geometry promises improved handling at high speeds. The new fairing takes its styling queues from the 2021 Tuono 660 and includes integrated winglets designed to add an element of aero and deflect engine heat away from the rider.RELATED: The New Streetfighter V4 SP Is The Most Adrenaline-Pumping Naked Sports Bike

Style Meets Function

2021 Aprilia Tuono V4 Factory
Via: Larry Chen Photo

The semi-faired Tuono V4 models feature a striking sculpted fuel tank while maintaining their 4.7-gallon capacity. The wings on the Factory’s rear cowling are a bit overboard, but otherwise, their richly Italian aesthetics are faultless.

The new triple LED headlight array and DRL configuration, common across the Tuono lineup, includes cornering lights to illuminate the road ahead through the turns.

Adorned with a larger, 5-inch, color TFT dash and new switchgear, with automatic headlight activation and turn cancellation. Both models get an updated seat, now wider and longer, providing increased room and comfort.

Customizable Electronics

2021 Aprilia Tuono V4 in Tarmac Gray
Via: Larry Chen Photo

The Tuono V4 and Factory use a fly-by-wire system to control fueling and a full suite of electronics. Managed by a new Magneti Marelli ECU, which Aprilia claims is now four times faster, integrates with a six-axis IMU sensor. Traction control, wheelie control, launch control, and cruise control are now joined by advanced modules including, engine mapping, a pit limiter, and adjustable engine braking.

There are six riding modes easily accessed via the switchgear. Three for street riding, include Tour and Sport presets with a customizable User mode, and three for track riding, with two customizable, and a single Race preset which, should be called pant-soiling mode. The updated quick shifter software has improved what was already one of the best gearboxes out there. Silky smooth, regardless of revs, as you smash through the gears, living out your Rossi dreams in real-time. Harnessing the Tuono’s power (and unchanged for 2021), Brembo M50 calipers clamp dual, superbike sized, 330mm discs at the front and a 220mm disc at the rear. All-around Cornering ABS is customizable over three maps.

RELATED: 5 Naked Bikes That Are Perfect For Beginners (5 That Should Only Be Ridden By Experienced Riders)

The Phenomenal Tuono V4 Factory

2021 Aprilia Tuono V4
Via: Larry Chen Photo

Sitting astride the Factory, it feels more compact than expected from a liter bike. Wide bars take the edge off the aggressively sporty body position and the roomy seat accommodates my six-foot-two stature with my knees nicely pocketed in the indented tank. It’s when you ride the more expensive, track-focused of the Tuonos that you begin to appreciate their incredible engine and chassis. The V4 develops an ocean of torque across the rev range, producing one of the most fantastic, raspy exhaust notes ever to emit from a stock can.

The twin-spar aluminum frame combines with 24.7 degrees of rake and a 57.1-inch wheelbase to provide immediate steering. The handling is sublime, and although superbike fast, the Tuono remains composed, and manageable as the Öhlins Smart EC 2.0 semi-active suspension invites you to test your nerve and the sticky Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SPs. The semi-active system manages an Öhlins NIX 43mm fork and a TTX rear shock, and is customizable in both semi-active and non-active suspension setups.

2021 Aprilia Tuono V4
Via: Larry Chen Photo

With Tour mode selected, and the suspension set to A3 (street), the ride out on the highway feels firm and assured. As we climbed into the cracked and uneven mountain roads, the feeling of assurance never faded.

Even as you throw the Tuono ever faster into the turns, the chassis and suspension combine to conceal any clumsy inputs, providing undiminished traction and a tendency to induce delusions of grandeur, at least partly to blame on the operatic performance emanating from the V4’s exhaust on every exit.

Instantaneous throttle response provides vision warping acceleration, and I find myself wondering what Sport mode must be like. It's ballistic, and I find I can barely open the throttle before running out of road.

RELATED: Here's Why The Aprilia Tuareg 660 Is The Most Exciting New Adventure Bike For 2022

A New Direction For The Tuono

2021 Aprilia Tuono V4 with Soft Luggage
Via: Author

Unsurprisingly, the standard Tuono V4 feels very similar to the Factory. Slightly raised handlebars make for a less aggressive, more comfortable stance, and although Aprilia lowered the pillion footpegs, the rider’s are identically placed on both models, providing plenty of clearance, but a potential source of fatigue over long distances. A slightly larger fly screen and upper fairing provide more protection from the elements, and a practical pillion seat with grab handles is more accommodating to passengers.

Our test bikes were also equipped with optional soft luggage; asymmetrical saddlebags and a tank bag. Basically, a hyper-naked for riders who want to travel further with more than just their phone and wallet. The soft luggage is plenty big enough for a toothbrush and week's worth of smalls.

On the road, the standard V4 is still a fantastic motorcycle, and all the bike that most of us will ever need. Fully adjustable Sachs suspension, front, and rear, ensure on-street handling stands up to that of the Factory, and the ride is every bit as rewarding. There is no question the standard model would be great fun on a track, but if the track is where you’re heading, the Factory’s tucked-in ergonomics, advanced suspension, and shorter gearing will make a difference in the right hands. As for the rest of us, the standard V4 will provide all the adrenaline pumping, head-turning, pant-soiling thrills you could wish for, and then some. And while on paper it has less power than some of its keenest rivals, the Tuono V4 is magically more than the sum of its parts, setting a high bar in a class crowded with quality.

How Much The Tuono V4 And V4 Factory Costs

2021 Aprilia Tuono V4 and Factory
Via: Aprilia

The Tuono V4 has an MSRP of $15,999 and is available in two color schemes, Tarmac Gray, and Glacier White. The Factory has an MSRP of $19,499 and comes in the Aprilia Black color scheme. Expect models to arrive in North American dealerships in June 2022.

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