Kiwi Rider May 2022 Vol.1 - Page 39

SECOND OPINION

power to weight ratio and ease of turning let it handle everything in its stride . Playing with the different modes was fun , I ’ m sure the Commuter mode has its place on urban streets and in traffic , but flicking it into Dynamic made the throttle response more immediate and urgent and is perfect for spirited back roads rides . I played with the cruise control a few times and it worked a treat , but I think that feature is more suited for wide-open American Highways on a large cruiser . If you ’ re looking for a middleweight bike that ’ s light , sounds amazing , is easy to ride with some excellent Italian pedigree and performance , and has a great electronics package , both the RS and the Tuono are hard to look past . I ’ d happily have either one in my garage . For touring and general riding / commuting , the Tuono would get my nod due to the more upright ergonomics .
While not enjoying more than a few spirited tight and twisty runs on my local backroads , so our intrepid cameraman could collect some suitable imagery , I did gain a first impression of the new middleweight Aprilia Tuono 660 . First off , with fairing winglets , air ducting , Iridium Grey finish , red seat , wheels and body accents , this little Tuono looks the absolute bees ! It looks every bit a part of the Aprilia # bearacer brigade . The seat doesn ’ t look like it ’ d offer any comfort beyond a half hour ride , but jumping aboard it felt more plush than it looks and after an hour or so of cornering fun it felt great . The bike also handles very well , being well balanced and a pleasure to haul around country roads . I ’ m picking it ’ d be great on the commute on busier city roads as it ’ s so manoeuvrable and the riding position is semi-upright ( the Tuono having flat-ish handlebars vs the dropped clip-ons of its racier RS660 sibling ). The engine , which has been developed from the front half of the big V4 Tuono mill , is a real peach ! It ’ s been slightly de-tuned from the RS level , but at 95hp there is more than enough on tap for some serious fun . The sound is also fantastic and would be enlivened with the fitting of an aftermarket can . Brakes are Brembo and excellent , suspension is Kayaba all round . I did initially find the front quite soft but there ’ s adjustment in the right fork to sort that out . There ’ s a large , easy to read and navigate colour TFT dash and five rider modes to choose from . One allows personalisation of settings including the switching off of inhibiting brake and traction controls in preparation for hooligan activities at a track day . I tried out Commute and Dynamic , the former offering a smooth and predictable power delivery perfectly suited to traffic-busy city streets while the latter gives the engine noticeably more urgency and punch , much more suited to backroad blasting ! The Tuono comes standard with ABS , TC and Wheelie and Cruise Control . Also available as options are a Quick-Shifter and Cornering ABS , both likely box-ticks for potential buyers of this bike . Now I ’ ve had a small taste of the Aprilia Tuono 660 I ’ m keen to head out for a longer ride and enjoy a bit more of the grin-factor this feisty middleweight offers . NOEL PRIESTLEY
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