For sheer naked fun, nothing short of a frolic with Lucy Pinder can beat the Aprilia Tuono. Launched in 2003, it immediately won an army of fans
As a naked sportsbike the Tuono was the real deal. With other nakeds, such as the Hornet 900 and Fazer Thou', you were getting watered-down engines, chassis and cycle parts, but here were all the benefits of a sportsbike but with higher, comfy bars and no lower fairing.
Well, when we say 'comfy', all things are relative. The pegs were still high, the steering lock poor but you did have a small bikini fairing to protect your top half from the elements, even if the bottom half of the bike and that 60-degree V-twin motor were a little exposed.
Launched at the end of 2002, the Tuono ('Thunder' in Italian) was joined by a 'Racing' version for 2003, effectively a Mille R with the same high bars and missing bodywork. With the launch of the 'new' Mille at the end of 2003, it was only a matter of time before a new version of the Tuono followed. And so it did late last year.
Like its predecessor it was simply a stripped naked sports machine. Dead simple. After all, why fix what ain't broke?
1. Engine A wonderful sports bike mill, the 60-degree motor arguably has more character than a liquid-cooled Ducati of similar vintage. Unlike the normally linear feel of a twin, the Tuono would give a characterful and noticeable punt up the posterior after the traditional 5000rpm mid-range dip, before climbing up the rev range to post a peak of around 120bhp at the back wheel. Servicing generally takes place every 6000 miles.
2. Maps/chips Many owners change these, so ask if the work's been done and why. If the chip has been replaced, ask for the original.
3. Engine cutting out Owners have reported engine backfires or the engine actually cutting out when rolling off the throttle. Lots of reasons why the fueling seems so poor at low revs. Solutions offered include a trapped or perished vacuum pipe, or the need to cut the blue wire and green wire on the chip to richen up the fueling. Other prognoses include air leaks around the airbox.
4. Oil leaks In general the 60-degree twin-balancer shaft motor is pretty reliable, but some small problems do occur. Some owners complain of small oil leaks - these can be relatively common to all of the Mille/Tuono family. Sometimes after a valve check it is common for the rubber seal under the front cylinder valve cover to get trapped and kinked, leading to a small amount of oil weeping from the problem area. Another common problem is a leaky oil pressure switch, which is located on the front right-hand side near the bottom of the engine. These can let go and cause a full-on oil leak.
5. Gearing Tuonos have 17-tooth front sprockets with 42 teeth at the rear. Many owners go the route of lowering the gearing, with 16- or even 15-tooth front sprockets popular, or 44-tooth rears. A new front sprocket costs around £20 and takes just over an hour to fit.
6. Coolant leaks A few cases have been reported of leaking coolant header caps. Apparently this was traced to the incorrect tank cap being fitted at the factory.
7. Clutch/neutral light woes Neutral can be hard to find on the Tuono (and Milles) as the clutch can drag. Gently rolling the bike forward can help 'snick' it into neutral. Sometimes the hydraulic clutch itself may need bleeding.
8. Suspension Basic Tuonos had Showa forks, but if you have the …hlins-equipped 'Racing' version, do look out for any weeping from the fork seals. Sometimes dirt can get trapped in the seals and cause a small leak. Check with a clean, dry rag after pumping up and down on the suspension.
Continue the Aprilia Tuono Used Review 2/2
Hi, Does anybody know a reliable mechanic in the Preston area who can work on Aprilia RSV R engines and ohlins forks?
Posted: 07/08/2009 at 16:27
Posted: 15/09/2010 at 10:48
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