Aprilia’s latest offering from its capable 660 engine range is a refreshing alternative in the middleweight class
A supersport machine that’s more usable, is significantly cheaper to own and run, and is arguably just as much fun as the big V4 beast - that’s what.
Aprilia’s Tuono 660 will appeal to both those looking to their first mid-sized bike and more experienced riders who are looking for a focused and able supersport naked that will more than hold its own on track but will also perform well on the twisties.
And thanks to its flat bars and upright seating position, compared to its fully-faired RS 660 sibling, the Tuono 660 is also surprisingly easy to live with on the daily urban commute.
At €11,795, it’s priced €700 less than the RS but comes without a slipper clutch and cornering ABS as standard. But all the other tech you’d expect is present, including riding modes, traction control, wheelie control, cruise control and Aprilia Engine Brake.
Peak power is 94hp, reached at 10,500rpm. Maximum torque is 67Nm at 8,500rpm. The RS engine has been retuned for the baby Tuono, and the gearing altered, to produce more instant grunt. The trade-off for this is there’s a slight flat spot between 5,000 and 6,000rpm – but the speed off the line more than makes up for the slight dip in power at that point in the range.
I’m no wheelie monster but the Tuono 660 just begs to pop up on its back wheel. And because the bike weighs in at just 183kg fully fuelled and has all that power from low down, it’s surprisingly easy to point the front skywards when pulling off from a standing start, or even accelerating hard in second gear.
For those who prefer a more subdued ride, or for when you want to tame the little beast to suit bad road conditions, an impressive electronics package comes into play.
Five riding modes – three for road use and two for track – change the traction control, wheelie control, engine brake and ABS settings to suit conditions or simply your mood, and you can also choose a tailored pre-set that matches your individual needs.
All of these settings and more are viewable through a TFT digital display, complete with a twilight sensor and allowing for connection to your phone via the Aprilia MIA multimedia platform.
For my test ride, I turned off all of the rider aids to get a sense of the bike’s capability – and I was blown away with my reward.
The parallel twin engine, with a 270-degree firing order, has a beautiful tone that is similar to that of the Tuono V4.
The significant power and torque on offer is aided by an electronic multimap ride-by-wire throttle, for precise acceleration from low to high revs, save for that flat spot.
The light alluminium frame, nicely positioned pegs and high and wide bars make for a very agile machine. It’s even more flickable thanks to dedicated yokes that change the fork offset.
Stoppers are top notch, with no fade noticeable from a Brembo set-up that at the front features a pair of 320 mm steel discs, a pair of radial callipers and a radial master cylinder.
Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa II tyres do the sticky honours and keep everything grippy.
The Tuono 660’s chassis simply never skips a beat despite everything the road throws at you – it feels planted and provides buckets of feedback no matter the surface.
Writing this has put a smile on my face just thinking about the fun I had on the Tuono 660. Tempted? Give the Megabikes team a call.
ENGINE: 659cc, parallel twin-cylinder, four stroke liquid-cooled, DOHC, four valves per cylinder
PERFORMANCE: 94hp @ 10,500rpm; 67Nm @ 8,500rpm
SEAT HEIGHT: 820mm
TANK CAPACITY: 15 litres
WEIGHT: 183kg (wet)
FRAME: Aluminium dual beam chassis with with removable seat-supporting subframe
www.megabikes.ie or phone 01 478 4200