was fortunate enough to ride Aprilia ’ s new RS660 late last year and had a terrific time putting it through its paces at Hampton Downs racetrack , on one of their HD Moto days . So , when Jock from KiwiRider texted me and said he had its brother , the Tuono 660 , sitting in his garage ready for me to take it for a spin , my first question was ... “ Can I take it to the track ?” Permission from the New Zealand Aprilia distributor to take it to the track was sought and granted , I was soon making the journey South to Hampton Downs .
STUNNING ITALIAN STYLING Looks-wise , I think the bike turns heads . The styling is stunning and , for a naked bike , it ’ s sure got a lot of fairing , only a little bit less than the RS – so it ’ s really an upright sports bike . The most notable visual differences are that the windscreen is more upright , as are the handlebars . That all adds up to a more comfortable riding experience , especially on the road , but on the track it makes it a little harder to tuck out of the wind , but not impossibly so . The rest of the bike shares most of the same
equipment , with the same brilliant engine and frame as the RS660 , although the engine is tuned differently , delivering less peak horsepower , but more than enough to have you grinning . The electronics are almost identical too and offer more than enough options and adjustability , which are all changeable from the handlebars whilst riding . The only disappointing feature for me was that the forks are a lower spec than the more sports-oriented RS and offer 10mm less travel , more on that later . The first task was to let resident suspension technician , Leroy Rich from KSS , tune the suspension to make the bike a bit more track friendly . The front has adjustable preload and rebound in one leg and to be honest we struggled to get enough rebound damping to keep me happy on track , so if you were serious about using the Tuono regularly on track , a few dollars spent on some new fork internals would make a big difference . The rear has adjustable preload and rebound , which are a little hard to access , necessitating the removal of the seat and a side panel . However , the rear shock was a lot more at home on the track than the front .
32 KIWI RIDER