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Topic: Italian Thunder—new Tuono Versus old Tuono  (Read 16771 times)

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MisterSmooth
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« on: September 22, 2012, 02:33:49 am »


http://i152.photobucket.com/albums/s177/raincitysmoothie/IMG_1890_zps5d7edb3f.jpg



Test rides.  It’s a difficult subject.  On the one hand, it seems insane for someone to buy a $12,000 motorcycle without riding it.  On the other hand, riding a motorcycle well requires particular set of skills that take years to develop and for a dealer to hand over the keys to a 160 horsepower superbike to any yob off the street is equally insane.


But there are some dealers who allow test rides.  BMW dealers tend to be fairly accommodating in this regard with demo bikes of various kinds.  Of course BMW clientele tend to be older and wealthier and perhaps less likely to wad a tasty new motorrad into an unrecognizable tangle of alloy and plastic.  Or at least until BMW started selling SS1000RR’s.


Moto International in Seattle, one of the very best motorbike dealers in the country, will give you a test ride.  In the interest of full disclosure, I have absolutely no financial interest in Moto I whatsoever.  I get no kickbacks or commissions or what have you, and more’s the pity.  I just drop in every couple of weeks and soak in the relaxed atmosphere of a bunch of guys doing what they love for a workplace that oozes integrity like Sofia Vergara oozes sex appeal.  


The other day I was hanging around MI and Dave says, “You should try the new Tuono.  I’d be interested in what you think.”  Dave is the Skipper of Moto International.  He is also a guy who believes that if you need more than 100 horsepower to go fast, then you should get advanced riding instruction instead of a Hayabusa.  He’s a Guzzi guy.  “I rode it,” he continued.  “It’s a more complex bike than you might imagine.  It’s not just crazy fast, it’s better than that.”


Well, now, would I like to go out for a test ride on his Tuono factory demo bike?  What do you think?  Damn straight I do and not just around the block, either.  I want to use up a significant amount of the OEM tires and work the traction control like a rented mule.


I didn’t mention that “rented mule” part to Dave.


So last Tuesday I did the back-to-back Tuono versus Tuono comparo.  I rode my 2007 Tuono to work, and then about 11am rode it to Moto International and accepted the keys to its 2012 RSV4 based younger sibling.  The 2012 bike was not brand spanking new; it had about 6,200 miles on it and had been thrashed by various journalists and ne’er do wells for the entirety of its young life.  Yellow as banana pudding it was.



http://i152.photobucket.com/albums/s177/raincitysmoothie/IMG_1879_zpsd107e33b.jpg

2007 Tuono

http://i152.photobucket.com/albums/s177/raincitysmoothie/IMG_1886_zpsabc88122.jpg

2012 Tuono


The new Tuono has a different riding position than the old one; the bars on the new bike are lower and wider.  It’s very comfortable, just different.  The seat is spacious and although firm I thought it was fine.


But it’s not the riding position that dominates one’s impression of this bike.  It’s the motor, which has to be one of the best ever slid between two frame spars.  First of all, it’s loud.  I have no idea by what legerdemain Aprilia obtained the blessing of the EPA but at idle and low speeds the bike sounds like a dragon gargling ball bearings the size of grapefruit.  As the tach needle travels through the midrange there’s more than a hint of Ferrari V8 and at the top end STOP LOOKING AT THE TACH because wherever you’re going you’re getting there awfully fast.


There’s rumbling and vibration from the engine room, but it’s not irritating, it’s more like a warning.  You’re sitting on your own personal volcano whose eruptions are controlled by your right wrist.  It’s just stupid fast and I don’t know how you measure upper midrange power but rolling it on at 70 mph makes everything else feel harmless.  It’s like being fired from the world’s biggest slingshot.


Dave and I set up the electronics with the power set on “sport” (there are “rain” and “race” modes, too) and the traction control adjusted to 6 (out of a possible 8).  At 8 the bike takes the most direction from the traction control, and at 1 the least.


How did I like the traction control/anti wheelie?  I have no idea, because after riding around for a while I started dicking with it and turned it off accidentally.  Then, I couldn’t turn it back on.  Damn digital stuff.  This made absolutely no difference because in order to get the traction control to activate you have to ride like a complete brain-out knob.


I thrashed it around for a couple of hours.  Well, OK, I can no more thrash this motorcycle than I can play the trombone or dunk a basketball.  It is an absurdly competent performance machine and way better than I am.  I have pulled some questionable stunts in the past, and was willing to pull a few on the new T, but the bike requires recalibration of one’s speed sensors.


Funny thing though.  The throttle goes both ways, of course.  The new Tuono is enjoyable to drive at legal speeds.  It’s fun to feel That Engine rumbling and shaking the frame under you and while it’s not as much of a command view of the road as the old Tuono, it’s a comfortable standard.


http://i152.photobucket.com/albums/s177/raincitysmoothie/IMG_1894_zps4cb15dec.jpg


And several manufacturers could take a lesson from the Tuono’s instrument panel.  Big easy to read analog tach, big easy to read digital speedometer (Those big numbers are nice.  By the time you can afford one of these you’re old enough to wear glasses) and the comprehensive information shown on the digital portion of the dash is clearly laid out and easy to parse.

http://i152.photobucket.com/albums/s177/raincitysmoothie/IMG_1901_zps0e3181da.jpg


How do the old and new bikes compare?  The old bike is a 60 degree twin and the new one a V4; the new bike has 30 more horsepower at the rear wheel; they have different riding positions and it would be easy to imagine them as being completely different experiences.  But I sensed shared DNA—both motors are loud (not in a bad way) and transmit a visceral sensation to the rider.  Both bikes are intense like a double shot of espresso or drinking whiskey neat.  They definitely felt like brothers.


It may be unfair to compare a demo bike to my obsessively maintained personal Tuono, but my bike with four times the miles felt more solid than the new one.  For me, the old bike is a better fit.  I can only occasionally use all the power of the 2007 model.  Having another 30 horsepower just makes it even easier to meet members of various law enforcement agencies.


So what question is this bike the answer to?  Beats me.  It has a tiny tank and is has a reputation for being thirsty.  It’s expensive, complicated and rare.  It’s amazingly fast.  Its engine truly gives a visceral thrill that is like nothing else I’ve ridden.  It’s comfortable, but has even less fairing than the 2007 model.  I walked away from it thinking, “I’m really glad that there’s a manufacturer with the stones to build that bike, because it is outrageous.  But I don’t have to have one in my garage.”


http://i152.photobucket.com/albums/s177/raincitysmoothie/IMG_1883_zps0f4f7a60.jpg


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« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2012, 08:38:07 am »


By the time you can afford one of these you’re old enough to wear glasses)

 Lol

Thanks for the usual dose of understated humor.

Nice review Bigok
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« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2012, 08:43:27 am »

I like it - it's yellow.  Thumbsup  Lol
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« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2012, 09:10:10 am »

Sweet. I've always wanted to compare Aprilia's V4 to mine.

 Thumbsup


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« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2012, 10:33:59 am »

That bike is on my short list as a future KTM replacement. I even have an Aprilia dealer 10 miles away. How is the peg-to-seat compared to the previous gen? I recall it being pretty tight (typical sport bike). Your T was on my short list in 2007 when I ended up buying the KTM.  How about the suspension? Did you get to sample less than perfect pavement?

The Triumph Speed Triple R would be the other "sporty naked" contender on the short list along with two adventure-touring bikes (KTM 1190 Adventure, Triumph Explorer XC). Apples vs Oranges, but I can only have one street bike in the stable.
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« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2012, 11:43:34 am »

I did a trackday a few weeks ago. Took my SV out there. With the SV, I get passed like I am standing still on the straights. But then I see this flashy yellow bike with handlebars ALSO just smoke me on the straights. Had to take a look at it in the pits. And then look at the specs. Yep. V4 Tuono.



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« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2012, 01:38:28 pm »

I've always found the old Tuono attractive in a certain fashion, but the new one is to me a bit aesthetically challenged.  I wish they'd dome more to differentiate it from an RSV with slightly less plastic.
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« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2012, 02:08:58 pm »


I've always found the old Tuono attractive in a certain fashion, but the new one is to me a bit aesthetically challenged.  I wish they'd dome more to differentiate it from an RSV with slightly less plastic.


The irony is strong... Lol

Aprilia has always gone with a "sport bike sans plastics" approach with the Tuono. That's a great write up. I love the Tuono in all forms  Inlove

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« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2012, 07:01:22 pm »

I too demo'd one just a little while back.  No real, serious intent to purchase until I started the engine.  I was in the market for a bike and, while the $$$$$ was a bit rich, I immediately decided upon the first combustion event that once in life I should buy something out of pure emotion/passion.  I actually came back a week later to ride the bike again as if it were mine.  

Anyway, I have absolutely no idea how the OP could not have run into the TC/Wheelie control because I had the stupid light flashing nearly constantly during my entire demo ride.  At anything more than half throttle the light comes on.  I never trust the nannie, but by the end of the ride I was laughing hysterically at the realization that I could leave a light and immediately nail WOT and not even bother with the clutch thanks to the quick-shift.  I have ridden a lot of miles on a lot of bikes, but I don't think I'd feel comfortable riding the new Tuono with any anger without either the TCS on or the stickiest tires made.

I also sat at lights and just revved it to hear it.  I don't do that.  Never have.  But I couldn't stop myself.  I thought...these people around me must think...who cares what these people think...this thing is like one long orgasm of sound.   Then the light would turn green, I'd take off, and the light would come on again 5 times as I toed through the gearbox without the clutch.  

Sadly, reason won out.  I got home and read the reviews.  29mpg.  Italian.  Ended up with a Super Tenere.  Sad, really.  
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« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2012, 11:09:50 pm »


I too demo'd one just a little while back.  No real, serious intent to purchase until I started the engine.  I was in the market for a bike and, while the $$$$$ was a bit rich, I immediately decided upon the first combustion event that once in life I should buy something out of pure emotion/passion.  I actually came back a week later to ride the bike again as if it were mine.  

Anyway, I have absolutely no idea how the OP could not have run into the TC/Wheelie control because I had the stupid light flashing nearly constantly during my entire demo ride.  At anything more than half throttle the light comes on.  I never trust the nannie, but by the end of the ride I was laughing hysterically at the realization that I could leave a light and immediately nail WOT and not even bother with the clutch thanks to the quick-shift.  I have ridden a lot of miles on a lot of bikes, but I don't think I'd feel comfortable riding the new Tuono with any anger without either the TCS on or the stickiest tires made.

I also sat at lights and just revved it to hear it.  I don't do that.  Never have.  But I couldn't stop myself.  I thought...these people around me must think...who cares what these people think...this thing is like one long orgasm of sound.   Then the light would turn green, I'd take off, and the light would come on again 5 times as I toed through the gearbox without the clutch.  

Sadly, reason won out.  I got home and read the reviews.  29mpg.  Italian.  Ended up with a Super Tenere.  Sad, really.  


And then the next thing you know, you're dead.  Sounds like you made a mistake.  The good news is they still make them so you can rectify it  Bigok
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« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2012, 12:02:36 am »

Thanks for this. Just spent a week watching, listening and oogling Croak's Tuono on the best roads in N Cal. Amazing machine but the lack of fuel range is a killer for my kind of riding. Ppplease Aprilia,  put one of these marvellous engines in the new Futura ll. ! !




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« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2012, 01:01:04 am »


That bike is on my short list as a future KTM replacement. I even have an Aprilia dealer 10 miles away. How is the peg-to-seat compared to the previous gen? I recall it being pretty tight (typical sport bike). Your T was on my short list in 2007 when I ended up buying the KTM.  How about the suspension? Did you get to sample less than perfect pavement?



Hey, Garry.  The peg to seat distance on the 2012 bike is a little tighter than my previous generation Tuono.  My bike has Acculign rearsets on it, though, set in the maximum low position (which is not all that low).   I'm not a big guy--5"-9" and 155 lbs., so the high pegs are no big.   For someone six feet tall I bet a set of aftermarket rearsets are an important add.

The suspension is taut, but it suits the bike very much.  

If you have a dealer close, see if they will let you ride one.   Thumbsup Thumbsup



Morgan, I so hear you in regards to that V4 motor.   Cool   It's special.    Inlove  As for the TC, I spose if I hadn't turned the damn thing off I might have shared your experience.  Lol Rolleyes   However, riding it without TC showed me just how competent it is.   It's an animal.   EEK!  Wheelies when you want to--and when you don't.   Lol



One nit I forgot to pick was in regards to the gearing.  First gear is too tall and makes for a reluctant spot accelerating from, say, 20 mph.  I found myself trying to shift down.  Which is sort of bizarre because once through that spot the powerband is...everywhere.  And sixth gear was completely superfluous.  So dropping the front sprocket one tooth seems like a brilliant mod.

Both of my Aprilias are set up that way (in 2007, Tuonos came from the factory with a 15 tooth sprocket in a plastic bag under the seat.  The 16 tooth on the bike was just to pass emissions, apparently).

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« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2012, 10:32:37 am »

The one I rode the suspension was beyond taut.  It was like riding a hardtail.  That said.....that engine  

I can't see this one as much of a touring/distance bike.  It's one hell of a hooligan machine though.
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« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2012, 01:12:55 pm »

MS,

I saw the title and wondered, "Will I get to ride it for a hundred or so miles in the Oregon Outback?"  Alas, I will not. Sad

If you change your mind though, I can make a push with "The Boss" when she joins us for brunch this morning.  

On second thought, I will make a push anyway. What bike do you want next?  Twofinger

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« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2012, 02:51:14 pm »


MS,

I saw the title and wondered, "Will I get to try ride it for a hundred or so miles in the Oregon Outback?"  Alas, I will not. Sad

If you change your mind though, I can make a push with "The Boss" when she joins us for brunch this morning.  

On second thought, I will make a push anyway. What bike do you want next?  Twofinger

Flip  



It's good to know that you, sir, have my back.  Bigok  There's easy room for another bike in the garage....    Headscratch

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« Reply #15 on: September 24, 2012, 08:25:46 am »

Nice write-up, thanks.   Thumbsup
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« Reply #16 on: September 24, 2012, 01:42:41 pm »


.. I immediately decided upon the first combustion event that once in life I should buy something out of pure emotion/passion. ..

Sadly, reason won out.  I got home and read the reviews.  29mpg.  Italian.  Ended up with a Super Tenere.  Sad, really.  


Reason did not win out.

Motos are about passion.

Reason makes you drive a Camry M-F.

What an unfortunate choice.
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« Reply #17 on: September 24, 2012, 02:55:41 pm »

Reason won out for me as well.

After the tenth or so trip to the shop with my Multistrada, I traded it in for a Tuono.

I loves it!  Inlove

total hooligan bike... tons of fun to ride... absolutely not for touring although I'm sure some out there are crazy enough to do so. I'm not one.

I'm currently figuring out just how much ramen I'll have to eat to buy a touring bike and keep the tuono in the garage.




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« Reply #18 on: September 26, 2012, 12:29:20 am »

The 2007 is not the old Tuono. It's the 2nd generation.  The '03's were the old ones and I miss mine. I'm also closer to actually using the bike properly now. Sold it before I learned to ride a bike on a track.

That new Tuono is like sex on 2 wheels. A dragon gargling grapefruit size ball bearings? Nice write up.  Thumbsup
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« Reply #19 on: November 30, 2012, 06:29:22 pm »

Ended up buying another 1st Gen Tuono.  Love the bike.  This one is stock, and far less angry than my old T (airbox mod, chip, full titanium exhaust...miss that puppy).

Can't see needing more power though...

Again, great write up.

- Dan
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