Aprilia 2022 Aprilia Tuono 660 Factory review | Road and track test

The Tuono 660 Factory wheelies over the mountain at Cadwell Park

Visordown has spent the last month getting to grips with the Aprilia Tuono 660 Factory for this road and track review

Details
Manufacturer:
Aprilia
Category:
Naked
Price:
£ 10000
Overall
3.5
Average: 3.5 (1 vote)
A feisty little naked bike on road and track
Classy chassis, useable engine, massive grin factor
fiddly menus, buzzy handlebars, no multi-level wheelie control

EVER since the pretty little RS660 landed in 2020, the world was waiting patiently for a naked, Tuono version. That arrived in early 2021, and was quickly followed up by this bike, the 2022 Aprilia Tuono 660 Factory.

Like the standard Tuono 660, it shares most of its DNA with the fully-faired RS660 sports bike, and it cuts a familiar silhouette out on the road. In fact, as I’m walking up and down the line of assembled bikes at the Aprilia UK Cadwell Park track day, you are hard pushed to tell it apart from its bigger sibling.

Aprilia Tuono 660 Review 2021 | Is This The Best Naked Middleweight Motorcycle of 2021 | Visordown

2022 Aprilia Tuono 660 Factory features and price

The shared DNA doesn’t mean the two Tuonos are the same though, there is a smattering of upgrades that make the Factory version that little bit more spesh.

For starters, power is up over the standard version, with the bike producing a claimed 100bhp – the same amount as its RS660 cousin. Torque remains the same, 49lb-ft and Aprilia have hacked a tooth off the front sprocket to aid acceleration.

The 2022 Aprilia Tuono 660 also gains a boost in the chassis department, as it’s graced with slightly higher spec Kayaba forks with full adjustability, and a Sachs rear shock – also fully adjustable. It’s not quite the same upgrade the Tuono V4 Factory gets – gaining Öhlins Smart EC 2.0 electronic suspension over the stock bike’s manual kit – although it’s a sizeable enough jump in spec all the same.

The Tuono 660 Factory comes equipped with a six-axis IMU that allows for lean-sensitive ABS and traction control, wheelie control and corner lights – which I think are a first in this class. On top of that, there is a quickshifter and blipper as standard, which rounds out the Factory’s full-factory credentials.

Styling-wise, the Factory version of the Tuono 660 is only available in this Factory Black paint scheme, with red accents highlighting the pillion cover and aero fairing. Stealthy!

At £10,000 new in the UK, the Tuono 660 Factory is just £300 more than the stock machine. Taking its fairly sizeable increase in spec over the stocker into account, you’d have to say it looks like good value. Cast your net further east though, and Japanese competitors to the Tuono undercut it on price significantly – although none quite have the looks, kudos, or tech of the little Italian.

2022 Aprilia Tuono 660 Factory ridden on UK roads

Before we got to the heavenly circuit that is Cadwell Park, Aprilia gave me the chance to get acquainted to the new bike in a more natural setting – the UK in the heart of a glorious summer. It’s fair to say that with so much good weather, myself and the Tuono got to know each other very quickly. It’s the kind of bike that brings out the inner child in me, taunting me from the garage in a way that has me reaching for the keys at any available moment. It’s also one of those bikes that makes you question why we ride around on 200bhp sports bikes and nakeds when on the road, 100bhp and a slick chassis deliver just as many smiles per hour.

2022 Aprilia Tuono 660 handling

For the entirety of my time with the Tuono, I kept the bike on its stock settings without tweaking a thing. It’s firm enough to push hard on the road without worrying the top-out springs, yet supple enough to deal with the UK's maze of potholes. I’d be hard pushed to tell if the suspension is any plusher, or sportier than the stock Tuono we rode last year, although I think this bike is more about giving the rider a platform they can manipulate for road and track riding.

Out on the roads, the bike feels extremely lively and very direct. The lightest of steering inputs on the wide bars translates to the bike darting across the road like an excited kitten. Crack open the throttle mid-corner and bumps will have the bike writhing about beneath you, something that adds to the grin factor of a fast road ride on the diminutive machine. The Tuono 660 Factory is fitted with mid-spec radially-mounted Brembo stoppers front and rear and it even gets a fancy-pants radial master cylinder too. On the road the brakes feel nicely progressive, they don’t have the razor-sharp initial bite of the bigger Tuono, but get into the meat of the lever and there is bags of stopping power to be found.

As mentioned up top, the IMU fitted to the Factory feeds a steady stream of zeros and ones into the bike's cornering ABS system. On dry roads, you’ll rarely feel the system intervene and should you want to, you can always back the ABS level down and turn it off completely. Like the front stoppers, the rear brake is fairly soft yet surprisingly powerful. Flick the bike into the dedicated track riding modes (called Challenge and Time Attack) and the rear ABS will switch off, allowing you to screech your way up to every junction like some tyre-smoking hooligan!

2022 Aprilia Tuono 660 engine character

With it’s shortened final driver over the stock Tuono 660, the Factory version is no slouch off the line. You have to keep up with the engine though, as the rev-limiter gets walloped sooner than you expect. The first two gears were already short on the stocker and losing a tooth on the front has only increased that feeling, with the gap to third gear feeling more pronounced than I remember. All things considered; it still feels super racy. It’s not quite as arm-wrenchingly visceral as the KTM 890 Duke R, although the refinement level is strong with this one – not something you could say about the bonkers Austrian.

2022 Aprilia Tuono 660 comfort

Over shorter journeys the Aprilia feels extremely comfortable, with a nicely contoured seat, relaxed footpegs and a neutral riding position. I did notice on longer journeys that the handlebars would buzz a bit at motorway speeds, nothing outrageous but tingling fingers were the norm for me after an hour or more in the saddle. Even taking that into account though, I still found it a more comfortable place to be than my previous year’s long-termer, the venerable Yamaha MT-09. It’s a more natural bike to schlep up the country on, with a much comfier seat and a more relaxed riding position.

2022 Aprilia Tuono 660 economy

One of the biggest compliments I can give the Tuono 660 Factory is just how bloody frugal it is. Cruising at an easy 75mph will return an economy of around 60 to 65mpg, and during my seven 20-minute track sessions at Cadwell, I only managed to get through one and a half tanks of fuel. So far I’ve racked up an average economy of 54mpg, meaning we have a theoretical range of 150 miles or more.

2022 Aprilia Tuono 660 track review from Cadwell Park

Having already had one failed attempt at a track ride on the Tuono earlier this year - long story, don’t ask - it’s fair to say I was keen as mustard to swing my leg over it. And what a venue Aprilia had lined up for me, as Cadwell Park set the scene for the day. The Lincolnshire circuit is one of the greatest on the planet, and it’s not all about the mountain either. Fast and flowing in parts, tight and narrow in others… it really is the venue that has it all. Luckily it wasn’t my first time at the track, although I’m not sure riding a 2016 Yamaha Tracer a few months after passing my test actually counts! Either way, I was relishing the chance to get back onto the circuit to try out the new Tuono.

Heading out for session one I was mid-pack, meaning I spent most of my time getting past slower riders and not much getting to grips with the bike. I did notice the short gearing more on the track than I did on road, banging into the rev-limiter on a few occasions. Pulling into the paddock after my ride and the tyres were barely scrubbed in and going by my Insta360 footage I was just sneaking below a two-minute lap time. The main thing I took away from session one though was that I needed to start nearer the front, and not in the middle of the pack!

With my bike first in line to head out onto the track, session two begins and the beautiful Cadwell Park circuit has gone from gloomy and overcast to warm and sunny. With standard Pirelli Diablo Rosso II hoops fitted to the Tuono, I take a chance and push from the off, only getting overtaken by a couple of RSVs on the opening lap, I then spend much of the sessions circulating on my own and getting to know the new bike.

With a claimed kerb weight of 183kg, the quick direction changes of Cadwell really play to the 660’s strengths as it flicks from side to side through the Gooseneck with telepathic ease. The fast downhill left of Mansfield represents the hardest braking zone on the track, and it’s the only time that I’ve experienced the ABS on the Aprilia chiming in. The session ends and my camera footage tells me I’ve hacked three seconds off my best lap time from session one, getting down to a 1:57.

To try and get a bit more composure on the brakes I have a crack at dialling out the ABS intervention level from the 660; it’s here that my main complaint arrives. The menu system on the Tuono and RS660 is a fiddly thing to use. You have two main riding modes, Road and Race (track). Within the Road modes, there are three settings to choose from, Commute, Dynamic, and Individual – with Individual being the only one you can alter. In the Race setting, you have two modes to pick, Challenge, and Time Attack – with Time Attack being the one that you can tweak. You select whether you want Road or Race on the left-hand handlebar, and then switch between the modes within each on the right-hand handlebar – confused? I was.

Once the Aprilia tech had talked me through it, we dialled out the ABS to its lowest setting and he talked me through the other parameters you can adjust. Gripe number two coming up… The Tuono 660 Factory does indeed have wheelie control, although you can only turn it on or off. It’s the only system on the bike that works in this way, with the ABS, engine braking control, throttle maps and so on all having multiple levels to choose from.

Back out on the track and the Tuono is performing much better with its lower levels of intrusion. Previously the bike was stuttering coming over the mountain, almost like the traction control was mistaking a wheelie for rear-wheel slip. That is now fixed, and the bike is moving more through the fast right-hander of Charlies 2. I’m still seeing the Tuono V4s and RSVs come sailing past on the straights, although on occasion I am able to sneak past them on the brakes into either Park (end of the back straight) or Mansfield. Rounding out the day I review all my footage and have managed to get my lap time around Cadwell down to a best lap of 1:52sec, posted on the penultimate lap of the final session.

2022 Aprilia Tuono 660 verdict

With so many high-class bikes in this middleweight naked class, the little Aprilia has picked a fight with some seriously capable machines. At the head of the table, we have bikes like the Triumph Street Triple, KTM 890 Duke R, and the new Ducati Monster 937. At the other end of the scale, we have the Yamaha MT-07, Kawasaki Z650, Triumph Trident 660 and Honda CB650R. On the performance front, it splits the group perfectly, with a level of tech that only a couple of bikes can match. The question mark for most people when they talk about the Tuono 660 Factory is the price. At £10,000 on the nose, it’s only £895 less than the Monster, and £1,050 less than the KTM. Both of those offer slightly more power, and almost all the toys you’d need for road riding high-jinks.

Take price out of the equation through, and the Aprilia Tuono 660 Factory is a cracking little bike. It’s fast, comfortable, easy to ride, and extremely frugal. Its also got a serious ‘big bike’ look and feel to it, not something that all the bikes in the segment have.

For more information on the 2022 Aprilia Tuono 660 Factory, head over to: www.aprilia.com

Classy chassis, useable engine, massive grin factor
fiddly menus, buzzy handlebars, no multi-level wheelie control