Aprilia's new Tuono V4R

For years the Tuono has been Aprilia’s best-seller. Inevitably then, here’s the V4 version

These spy shots show what is almost certainly a developmental new Aprilia Tuono based on the firm’s recent RSV4 Factory superbike engine and chassis. The bike was snapped lapping the Misano circuit, the circuit at which Aprilia launched the RSV4, and the photos published in Italian magazine Motociclismo.

Perhaps understandably an Aprilia UK spokesman told Visordown: “We’ve seen the pictures and we’re as intrigued as you are. Currently the earliest a Tuono V4 model could be produced would be for a January 2011 delivery. The Tuono 1000R [V-twin] will remain the sole Tuono model on sale in 2009 and 2010. The focus for the V4 production line is to launch the RSV4-R (a lower-spec version of the RSV4 Factory) in October/November 2009. Launching the R and implementing any changes to the current RSV4 Factory will take up the entire capacity of the production line for the most part of the 2010 season.”

Should Aprilia produce a V4 Tuono we think it won’t look much like the bike pictured here, an early development machine with a Dorsoduro front cowl and some pretty rough and ready finishes. The final model, should it reach production, will almost certainly wear the distinctive sharp lines and smart detailing of Aprilia design head man Miguel Galuzzi.

Aprilia’s UK importer won’t speculate on specifications and prices but, looking at the RSV4’s details, expect a dry weight of around 175kg, 160bhp to better Ducati’s mighty Streetfighter and a list price of the order of £11,000 for the R model. In time-honoured Aprilia tradition expect a high-spec Factory model pitched at around £13,500.

Garry McKay, salesman at DK Motorcycles, Europe’s largest bike dealer and a main Aprilia agent, told Visordown: “It should be a great bike but how it’ll sell will depend on the price. The RSV4 Factory is an awesome machine but at around £15,000 it’s a bit dear. We’ve only sold five of them and we’ve had Aprilia UK on the phone offering us more. Compared to the Japanese 1000cc superbikes the Factory is expensive. Aprilia have either built too many of them, which I find hard to believe, or it’s just unlucky timing, launching an exotic and expensive superbike with the economy currently on its backside.

“Most people who want a naked bike will take a pillion so I hope the finished version has a useable passenger seat. I imagine it’ll get a style makeover too as this doesn’t look like a finished bike at all – far from it.”