Aprilia Tuono V4 Factory Review

by Jeremy Webb

The Naked Bike market is growing both in sales and models from all manufacturers. It reflects the demand from bikers for visceral and thoroughly engaging machines and a return to motorcycling that puts the rider at the heart of the riding experience.

Aprilia Tuono V4 Factory left side view

I felt this when riding the fantastic Aprilia Tuono V4 Factory and got huge adrenaline fix every time I climbed on it. The machine has the beauty you expect from an Italian bike, along with a superb engine. The Tuono V4 Factory is the complete package with fantastic looks, pure performance and sublime handling.

The Aprilia Tuono range includes a 125, which is an ideal learner bike full of character. The Tuono 660 has a record-setting power/weight ratio and is super light. Then there is the Apex machine, the Tuono V4. Two Tuono V4 models are available; the V4 has been designed more for road use and set up for sports touring. The V4 Factory is the more exclusive version, dedicated to extremely demanding, more track-focused owners.

Aprilia Tuono V4 Factory from the front on stand

The Italian firm always looks to reduce weight where it can, and one area they have managed; is the front end—accomplished by fixing the top fairing to the frame. Using the dual fairing concept from the RSV4, the bike benefits aerodynamically, so you do too. The machine is more stable at high speeds, and there is better protection against airflow.

A newly designed fuel tank narrower on the sides keeps the same 18.5-litre capacity but improves your position and fit on the bike. It aims to provide better support for your arms when braking and a better resting position for your external leg when cornering. I didn’t particularly notice any benefit, although I only had the bike for a few days, so I did not clock up many miles. Aprilia says the Tuono V4 Factory has raised handlebars to provide a more upright and relaxed riding position. Sadly not for me, as I am less agile than I was, I could not ride the bike for long periods. The riding position for my requirements is not upright enough, and I was getting aches in my back and neck after about an hour of riding. 

The V4 Factory looks gorgeous with that Italian flair that captivates. The look is recognisable with an LED headlight in the top fairing and perimeter DRL around the two main lights. Indicators are built into the two DRL profiles, reducing the size of the front section. Aprilia has put in a few other features with a twilight sensor automatically activating the low beam lights, and if you brake in an emergency, the indicator lights come on. Another safety feature is the bending lights system which improves visibility when cornering through a pair of auxiliary lights illuminating the inside of the turn.

A superb five-inch colour TFT digital instrument cluster has exceptional display options. Two screens are available for selection, Road or Track (both with automatic night or day backlighting, thanks to the presence of a twilight sensor),  Aprilia MIA, is the new multimedia platform allowing a smartphone to be connected to the bike, further extending instrument functions, but it is optional. 

The system reduces smartphone battery drain to a minimum and includes the infotainment system to manage the voice assistant, telephone calls and music using the intuitive handlebar controls and the navigation function. Directions can be displayed on the TFT screen once set on your smartphone, which is an excellent function.

Aprilia Tuono V4 Factory digital dash

APRC (Aprilia Performance Ride Control) is derived from racing and combines with the ride-by-wire throttle for precise performance and control. The V4 Factory includes 

  • ATC: Aprilia Traction Control, adjustable on the fly, without closing the throttle, to 8 levels, boasts higher performance operating logic.
  • AWC: Aprilia Wheelie Control, the wheelie control system adjusted to 5 levels, has more precise operating strategies. Thanks to the practical left-hand electronic block, wheelie control can be adjusted on the fly without closing the throttle, like the ATC.
  • AEM: Aprilia Engine Map, three different mappings available to change the character of the engine and the way it delivers power.
  • AEB: Aprilia Engine Brake, the engine brake system that can be adjusted to 3 levels, with a specific algorithm that optimises operation, taking the lean angle into consideration.
  • ALC: Aprilia Launch Control, for use on the track only, with three settings, uses highly effective operating strategies.
  • AQS: Aprilia Quick Shift, the electronic gearbox, which includes a new operating strategy, allows rapid shifting without closing the throttle or using the clutch. It is also equipped with the downshift function to allow for clutchless downshifting. It also allows you to downshift with the throttle open.
  • APL: Aprilia Pit Limiter, the system that lets you select and limit the top speed allowed in the pit lane at the track or make it easier to comply with posted speed limits on the road.
  • ACC: Aprilia Cruise Control. Electronic management has allowed cruise control to be introduced, very convenient on longer trips because it lets you maintain the set speed without touching the throttle.
Aprilia Tuono V4 Factory right side against The Solent

Six Riding Modes allow you to set precisely for the conditions and your requirements. Each mode determines the amount of Traction Control, Wheelie Control, engine brake, ABS and the other managed parameters.

Six Riding Modes allow you to set precisely for the conditions and your requirements. Each mode determines the amount of Traction Control, Wheelie Control, engine brake, ABS and the other managed parameters.
There are three Riding Modes for road use:
Tour, for daily riding;
Sport, for sporty riding on the road and
User, that lets you fully personalise the electronic controls.

Three Riding Modes for track use:
Race, fine-tuned by the Aprilia development team’s experience and ideal for supporting the rider during track sessions, taking advantage of the Tuono V4 and Tuono V4 Factory’s full potential;
Track 1 and 2 allow more expert riders to fully customise the electronic setup, storing the memorised parameters for their two reference tracks.
Managing the electronic settings is easy and intuitive using electrical handlebar controls: the one on the left-hand electrical block has four buttons, and the quick-management cruise control and traction control commands.

Aprilia Tuono V4 Factory front right view

I loved riding the Tuono V4 factory; it is an exciting bike and gives much pleasure. Excellent performance you can take to the track with maybe just a change of rubber for added protection; I can see why it is highly desirable. But I wouldn’t buy one because it doesn’t meet my requirements at this stage of my biking journey. I am also slightly too large, i.e. heavy, to get comfortable on the machine over an extended ride. It is acceptable for an hour blast somewhere and then the return, but with my shot knees and chubby backside, I need a bike that allows for a more upright riding position and wider seat.

However, I would recommend it for those that carry less weight, have smaller posteriors and are without dodgy knees. You will love it, and I am lucky that Dearden motorcycles will allow me a ride on one to get a rush now and again.

With thanks to Road Tests & Reviews