Last year Aprilia's Tuono and Triumph's Speed Triple topped the street bike sales charts in the UK. What makes these bikes catch rider's imaginations
For all their might and development budgets there’s something the Japanese manufacturers are unable to pump into their bikes at will, and that’s soul.
It doesn’t matter if it has toe-curling bhp, suspension that can be adjusted in a multitude of directions or mind-bending futuristic design, if it lacks that certain X-factor it will leave the public cold. Sure, in certain classes you can negate the whole soul thing and sell on performance alone, but for some bikes this simply isn’t enough, which is where the Japanese struggle.
Last year in the UK despite Kawasaki launching the new Z1000, Suzuki the B-King and Yamaha refreshing the look of the FZ1 with more aggressive colours, the top selling street bikes were Triumph’s Speed Triple and Aprilia’s Tuono. Two old warhorses of the street bike class. So what is it that these bikes have that makes them so special?
To be fair describing the Triumph as a warhorse is a bit harsh. The Speed Triple itself dates back to almost the beginning of time (well, 1994) but the latest look, with stubby twin pipes, was debuted in 2005. It’s just that it feels like it’s been around for ages because it’s not that radical.
Look at the current, slightly modified with new wheels and subtle tweaks ‘08 bike and it’s instantly recognisable as a Speed Triple thanks to its twin headlights and chunky, rounded styling. A far cry from the likes of the Z1000 or Honda’s new CB1000R with their almost desperate-to-be-different style.
Then there is Aprilia’s Tuono, a bike that has steadfastly refused to change its look unless absolutely necessary. The only time this bike has been given a facelift was when its donor bike, the RSV-R, changed in 2003.
For 2004 we saw a new sharper Tuono, but that was the last time anything major happened. Well, if you take the sensible step of forgetting about the hideous gold frames of the Factory bikes. So what is the key to these bike’s success in the UK?
The simple fact is that both of them come brimming with soul and character, and in a tough financial climate where buying a bike is such a major decision to most riders it’s this factor that is enough to sway a decision. Both the Tuono and Speed Triple feel like bikes that will be a part of your life for longer than just a few years, something that can’t be said about the slightly disposable feeling you get with the Japanese competition. But they do it in very different ways.
Continue Aprilia Tuono vs. Triumph Speed Triple
Posted: 19/12/2008 at 21:19
[quote]I always get the feeling that to ride a Tuono you have to be a real man, prepared to fight it every step of the way[/quote]
This made the Missus laugh, she doesn't seem to have any of the issues listed above while riding her Tuono about. She didn't seem to be struggling riding round Cadwell, or over the Alps in the snow, or along the Riviera in baking heat, or bimbling round the local b-roads, or hacking along on a ride out with our mates where ever really.
Posted: 21/12/2008 at 15:49
Posted: 28/12/2008 at 21:48
Posted: 15/05/2009 at 18:19
Posted: 02/03/2013 at 07:10
Become a fan of Visordown
Follow us on twitter
Other Immediate Media Sites
Our eCommerce Platform
© Immediate Media Company Ltd 2012. This website is owned and published by Immediate Media Company Limited. www.immediatemedia.co.uk