Marco Melandri and Eugene Laverty split a pair of victories at Portugal’s Portimao circuit while Sylvain Guintoli took advantage of some misfortune to his championship rivals to increase his lead in the 2013 World Superbike Championship standings. Guintoli has been leading or sharing the lead in the championship since winning the first race of Round […]
2014 Aprilia Tuono V4R ABS – First Impressions
We’re in the process of testing Aprilia’s upgraded-for-2014 Tuono V4R ABS, but our European correspondent, Tor Sagen, beat us to the punch with the following impressions of the revised Tuono from “V4 day” at the fairly new Italian circuit San Martino del Lago near Cremona (home to Stradivarius). Look for our street-focused review in the next weeks. Ed.
There isn’t an actual lake near the circuit, but rainfall during the night had developed several puddles around the course and it never dried completely for us, so we tested on a wet circuit using racing rain tires from Pirelli.
I started off with the RSV4 Factory followed by two sessions on the new Tuono V4R ABS. If you’ve forgotten what the 2013 RSV4 Factory was like, read the street and track portions of our 2013 Exotic Literbike Shootout. On this day all the Aprilia safety programs in the APRC package came to good use. The traction control and new racing ABS came in particularly handy, even if the racing rain tires provided plenty of grip. Eventually I went fast enough for wet knee-downs, but it took some time getting used to this.
The 2014 Tuono V4R ABS gets the latest Bosch 9MP racing ABS with RLM (Rear-wheel Lift Mitigation). On a wet circuit, I wasn’t able to actually test this feature, but it would also benefit the not-so-hard brakers out there by settling the rear wheel more. The 2014 Tuono also gets a larger 18.5-liter (4.9-gallon) fuel tank and a more powerful 170 horsepower version of the V4, produced at reduced rpm, which made for a more responsive motorcycle at lower rpm than the previous model. It will be particularly good for road usage. Another road upgrade is softer standard suspension set-up and a better padded seat.
On a wet circuit I much preferred the Tuono with its upright position to the RSV4 Factory, which is pretty much a full-blooded racing bike. The RSV4 Factory has a 184 horsepower version of the V-4, but it was only on the nearly one-kilometer (0.62-mile) straight I could use this extra power on this day. But the Factory is definitely more stable at high speed than the Tuono V4R ABS on rain tires.
Both bikes are fantastic on the circuit, but on a rainy day I had the best time in the Tuono V4R seat.