THE naked bike brother, or is that sister, to the more aggressively styled RS variant, the 2021 Aprilia Tuono 660 is far superior to what the numbers on a spec sheet might indicate. It’s got a character all of its own too.
The obvious difference between it, and the RS is the fact the Tuono sports a whole lot less fairing, a slightly more upright seating position, and wider, more relaxed, handlebars. It’s also been ever so slightly detuned over its partner in crime.
Not that the difference between 70kW and 73.5kW is even noticeable on the road. The Tuono also doesn’t come standard with the quick shifter or IMU that the RS receives as standard kit.
That takes nothing away from the 2021 Aprilia Tuono 660, as it’s still a very capable and enjoyable motorcycle, and is a cracking ride. It still boasts that beautiful Italian sound from the standard fitted pipe and has more than enough power on tap to deliver a huge grin.
Powered by a parallel twin-cylinder forward facing four stroke 270-degree eight valve liquid cooled 659cc motor, with twin 48mm throttle bodies, it’s responsive, sharp and engaging, to say the least.
It’s not overwhelming or scary in any regard though, and yet still delivers satisfaction, rider engagement and most of all, heaps of smiles and confidence to throw the bike around enthusiastically, especially in the twisty stuff.
Offering up 70kW of power, as we mentioned, and 67Nm of torque, the Tuono 660 features five ride modes, including rain, commute, dynamic and two individual custom choices. None really affect overall performance, but rather how the power is applied.
As a result, we found ourselves enjoying most of our test period utilising dynamic mode. Fuel is provided via a 15-litre tank and how enthusiastic you are with your right wrist will determine how often you are searching for a fuel stop.
Our test bike came fitted with the optional up and down quick shifter which made the six speed gearbox a breeze to work with, and it would be an add-on we’d choose if we were purchasing the Tuono 660.
With a wet weight of 183kg, a seat height of 820mm and a wheelbase of 1370mm it is easy to see how the Aprilia Tuono 660 feels light, nimble and super user friendly as well. It’s genuinely competent in almost any riding conditions.
Whether its used to navigate the urban sprawl as a commuter, or is your weekend dream machine, the 2021 Aprilia Tuono 660 does it all, with the ability to tug at your emotions with its soulful performance.
The Tuono is upright enough to offer rider comfort and good body position for lane filtering as well, while still being aggressive enough to allow movement when going harder and trying to hit the apex with vigour.
The suspension feels much softer and less aggressive than the RS and this may appeal to riders who wish to use this as a daily ride. Kayaba 41mm USD forks with a top out spring and aluminium radial calliper mounting bracket feature on the front of the Tuono.
This setup allows rebound and spring preload to be adjusted and approximately 110mm of travel. A single shock set up with top out spring and separate reservoir provides the back suspension and again allows for adjustable compression and spring preload.
It gives 130mm of rear wheel travel. Braking is provided by twin 320mm discs with Brembo four piston callipers and cornering ABS up front and a single 320mm disc with an identical setup at the back. It’s a great all round package, and delivers excellent stopping power.
The TFT display is easy to use and all the relevant information is displayed in a clear format. A slightly larger screen would be nice though, and would bring the Tuono 660 in line with its competitors. The cruise control feels a little awkward too, like the RS version.
You can have your 2021 Aprilia Tuono 660 in one of three colours; Concept Black, Iridium Grey and Acid Gold (as tested). It’s priced from $20,430 ride away, and has an optional electronics package, and quick shifter.
Like its RS 660 sibling, the Tuono is a great bike, and well worth a test ride. Because it’s priced at the pointy end of the market, it will do it tough against Yamaha’s YZF-R7, which is a direct competitor. Likewise, the larger BMW S 1000 R isn’t that much dearer.
Regardless, Aprilia have successfully provided a breath of fresh air in this space, and it’s hard not to applaud them for that.
Our test bike was provided by Aprilia Australia. To find out more about the 2021 Aprilia Tuono 660, contact your local Aprilia dealer. Images courtesy of Heather Ware.