We jetted off to Melbourne to check out the new Aprilia Tuono 660 Factory. The bottom line is: It's lighter and faster! Check out our review on this little weapon... Photography: Dean Walters.
The new Aprilia Tuono 660 Factory looks to prove it’s the top dog in the mid-sized full-power nakedbike market. Judging by its spec sheet, it’s certainly a serious contender. We headed down to Melbourne to take one for a quick spin at the Australian launch. Check it out…
In my mind, the full power mid capacity roadbike category in Australia is a tough one. It’s almost like it’s part of Australian bike culture to always have the fastest and most powerful machine in the budget…
Check out our full review of the standard Tuono 660 here…
Me? I don’t see a reason to own a bike with 200hp if you’re just going to abide by Australia’s laughable speed limits or need to top up your Opal card as a highway patrol takes far too much joy in cutting up your licence. Sure, they’re smooth, sound absolutely gorgeous and when you crack the throttle there’s enough excitement to almost combat the feeling of red and blue lights behind you, ready to make a contribution to their quota. But, 80 per cent of the time you’re not even nearly using all of that power.
I dreamed of the day when manufacturers start making low-mid capacity motorcycles with premium equipment on them again, like the RS250 and even things like the Honda RVF400. All hail Aprilia as they have answered my prayers; top shelf suspension, electronic assists, spectacular frame and proper sized tyres all combined with an engine that hammers through tight and twisty layouts. The question is, are these machines really worth buying on your full licence?
First look around the bike and it’s that typical stunning Aprilia design, epic LED headlights, stripped back fairing with angry aero fins built in, this spectacular tail design and epic under-slung pipes.
It’s a serious looking bit of kit, packed into a chassis I’d say is about 3/4 the size of the full-sized V4 Tuono. However, throw a leg over the 660 and there’s plenty of room for tall riders. A somewhat relaxed seating position saves the wrists from strain and your lower back from pain.
Letting the clutch out for the first time and I’m met with a seriously easy and forgiving bite point. The beauty of these mid-sized twins over a litre four-cylinder means you get that low-down grunt to propel you smoothly with minimal throttle input. The Factory also has shortened final gearing, meaning a nice boost in acceleration at the expense of top speed and of course a buzzier cruising rpm.
I’ll only touch on the engine slightly as it’s identical to the Tuono 660 we tested besides a remap to grab an extra 5hp, but man is it a spectacular engine. It revs so much harder than fellow parallel-twin 700s on the market and the sound it makes is absolutely spectacular. It’s not even an exhaust note, those throttle-bodies gasp in with an insane noise as it slams air into the head.
The Factory features an up and down quickshifter as standard, a large missing piece on the standard model. The shifts are lightning fast as you keep the throttle pinned and rattle through the gears. The quickshifter adds another element of insanity as the 660 twin does power-wheelies in third gear, top of the tacho and reaching for fourth gear.
The Factory sports fully adjustable forks and shock. Not having enough time to play around with the settings, I didn’t get a chance to extract its full potential over the semi-adjustable KYB setup on the standard Tuono 660 but it sure tackles the bumps and twisties well.
Our route consisted of some tight and dirty roads. The Factory offers plenty of feedback through the front, allowing for split second adjustments as the forks forgive you for hitting a harsh bump mid-corner.
Not only this, the premium forks are super comfortable on the road. The fact that I can commute on them on Australian roads without having to report back that my wrists hurt from the front being too harsh, while singing praises of the bike’s cornering ability, is a testament to KYB.
The fully-adjustable shock is equally good. Bumps mid corner? No worries, it’ll hold your line. Hit a pothole on the freeway? Your spine is safe. Through the narrow sections in Kangaroo Ground, the Tuono 660 Factory didn’t want to buck me off the seat as the road seemed to change elevation six times within a matter of seconds. What an epic setup.
The brakes have an awesome feel to them, those Brembos feel just right as they grip the massive 320mm discs at the front. It does almost feel like overkill, but if the initial bite feels not too aggressive but intuitive, then there’s no such thing as too big. The rear has plenty of feel, perfect bite for getting through some slow traffic.
The factory receives the full six axis IMU, APRC pack: AWC (wheelie control), ATC (traction control), AEB (engine brake control), AEM (power maps), ACC (cruise control) and Cornering ABS, accessed via the quite small TFT dash. Everything is simple to use, rider profiles are easily switchable on the fly while each assist is able to be changed while at a stop.
I set the power mode to the most aggressive throttle response, TCS to a middle setting and wheelie control on. The only real noticeable intervention is the wheelie control, it allows for a little bit of front wheel lift while cranking it but it also allowed for short, proper wheelies in a controlled manner. Perfect for someone like me who’s not the most comfortable on one wheel.
The frame promotes a comfortable seating position. It goes further than that to allow for a seriously rigid setup. Everything about this bike feels quality and planted. The tyres are nice and fat, allowing for a sizeable lean angle which we didn’t get much of a chance to give a go on our quick spin.
“I’m pretty bloody hooked on this bike, the amount of fun you can have throwing a torquey lightweight machine through the corners far outweighs larger litre bikes…”
I’m pretty bloody hooked on this bike, the amount of fun you can have throwing a torquey lightweight machine through the corners far outweighs larger litre bikes for me. So the answer to my question, is it worth buying on your full licence? Absolutely, don’t let the fact that they sell a LAMS version sway your opinion, the full-powered Tuono 660 feels so far from a LAMS bike you’d think there’s absolutely no way they could restrict the power down to just 35kW for learner riders.
The Tuono 660 Factory starts at $22,690 rideaway, it’s not cheap but man is it worth the money. It wouldn’t be fair comparing it to a Yamaha MT-07HO (maybe if there was an SP version) and certainly wouldn’t be fair comparing it to a Kawasaki Z650 which are both considerably cheaper than the Tuono 660 Factory. The truth is, the Aprilia is in a class of its own, closer to a Triumph 765 Moto2 edition in terms of equipment, minus a few thousand and a cylinder.
The Factory now replaces the full powered standard Tuono 660 here in Australia. It’s an awesome ride, looks sweet and sounds even better. I can’t wait to do a proper test on one of these to see how it handles a good dry weather thrashing through the twisties and a track test….
The Kayaba 41mm forks are fully adjustable for compression, rebound damping and spring pre-load, while the Sachs shock with separate reservoir is also adjustable for compression, rebound and preload. There is now an even better weight/power ratio, thanks to the adoption of a light lithium battery that contributes to reducing the overall weight by roughly 2kg (kerb weight is 181kg).
Sporting a compact and lightweight latest-generation engine, the 660cc forward-facing twin with DOHC and four-valves per-cylinder. Combustion is asymmetric and offset by 270° to obtain irregular combustion which translates into performance and a sound similar to a V-twin. The maximum power is upped from 95hp with the Tuono 660 to 100hp with the Tuono 660 Factory. The engine boasts even more drive in acceleration, thanks to the use of a shorter final drive, with a 16-tooth pinion gear, one less than Tuono 660. The maximum torque remains unchanged, with 67Nm@8500rpm.
The Tuono 660 Factory offers a full suite of APRC electronic controls with a Ride-by-Wire electronic accelerator and six-axis inertial platform as standard. Thanks to the accelerometers and gyroscopes, it’s able to recognise the bike’s condition with respect to the road, recording and processing the inputs and sending the data to a control unit that intervenes to optimise the control parameters.
The Tuono 660 Factory APRC includes ATC (Aprilia Traction Control), adjustable traction control, AWC (Aprilia Wheelie Control), ACC (Aprilia Cruise Control), AQS (Aprilia Quick Shift). It is also equipped with the downshift function, to allow for clutchless downshifting; AEB (Aprilia Engine Brake), the adjustable system to control engine braking when closing the throttle; AEM (Aprilia Engine Map), with different mappings via which to alter the engine’s character and delivery. Tuono 660 Factory also benefits from multi-map Cornering ABS.
2023 Aprilia Tuono 660 Factory Specifications
Price: $22,690 rideaway
Claimed Power: 73.5kW[100hp]@10,500rpm
Claimed Torque: 67Nm[50lbs-ft]@8,500rpm
Wet Weight: 181kg
Fuel capacity: 15L
Engine: Parallel twin-cylinder forward facing, four-stroke, 270-degree, eight-valve DOHC, liquid-cooled, chain driven cams, 81 x 63.9mm bore x stroke, 659cc, 13.5:1 compression, two-into-one exhaust, ram air, twin 48mm throttle-bodies, RbW throttle and EMS.
Gearbox: Six-speed with AQS up and down. Clutch: Wet multi-plate with mechanical slipper, cable.
Chassis: Dual beam alloy frame with removable alloy sub-frame
Rake: 24.1° Trail: 104.7mm
Suspension: Kayaba 41mm upside down fork with top out spring, aluminium pins to fasten radial callipers. Both stanchions allow for rebound, compression and spring pre-load adjustment. Wheel travel: 110 mm (f), Asymmetric aluminium swingarm. Single shock with top out spring and separate reservoir, adjustable in rebound, compression and spring preload. Wheel travel: 130mm
Brakes: 320mm rotors (f), Brembo radial-mount four 32mm piston calipers and radial pump master-cylinder, stainless braided lines, ABS, 220mm rotor (r), Brembo twin 34mm piston caliper, ABS
Wheels & Tyres: Aluminium alloy, 17 x 3.50in (f), 17 x 5.50in (r)
Seat height: 820mm
Overall width: 805mm
Overall Length: 1995mm
Instruments & Electronics: TFT display, Six axis IMU, APRC pack: AWC (wheelie control), ATC (traction control), AEB (engine brake control), AEM (power maps), ACC (cruise control), Cornering ABS.
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The Verdict | Launch: 2023 Aprilia Tuono 660 Factory Edition