2011 Aprilia Tuono V4

Aprilia has released a whole mess of photos of the brand new 167HP Tuono V4. Derived from the RSV4, the Tuono’s V4 engine shaves pounds off the old model, while adding 41 more HP than the old V-Twin. It also puts out 82 ft-lbs of torque, comes with a whole mess of electronic goodies like traction control, wheelie control, and launch control, and has a curb weight of 402 lbs.

I think it may be a fast bike.

This is just a fraction of the pictures Aprilia released today, but if you want to see more, A&R has the whole bunch of them, plus an irritating promotional video.

The most

 

It’s a Photoshop…but it’s a good Photoshop

Aprilia will be revealing a new bike as a successor to the Tuareg, called the Aprilia Caponord 1200. Essentially, it’s a bit of a worked over Dorsoduro 1200. There were some spy shots of the thing floating around yesterday, but..you know spy shots. They suck.
So, Moto-Infos.com got busy with Photoshop and produced this recreation of the bike in the spy shots.

2012 Aprilia Caponord 1200
2012 Aprilia Caponord 1200

It’s probably fairly close to what the bike will look like, but I have to wonder what the actual bike will be like. The big competitor for Aprilia here is the massively wonderful Ducati Multistrada 1200, which not only lays down a cavalry company’s worth of horses at the rear wheel, but also boasts all sorts of electronic goodness like traction control, electronic suspension adjustment, three ride modes, etc.

Details on the Caponord are going to be really sketchy until the EICMA show in Italy this fall, so we’ll have to wait and see if the bike’s electronics and internals will be anywhere near as impressive.

2011 Aprilia Dorsoduro 1200

2011 Aprilia Dorsoduro 1200
2011 Aprilia Dorsoduro 1200

A few weeks ago, some eager beaver at Aprilia posted the owner’s manual for the new Dorsoduro 1200 on Aprilia’s web site, which I reported here.  That was odd, because the existence of the bike hadn’t actually been announced by Aprilia.  That’s all changed now, as Aprilia has announced the bike, and given us the first official picture.

The Dorsoduro is sort of the Aprilia version of the Multistrada, that is to say, kind of a dual sport/megamoto kind of bike that’s considerably more comfortable on road than off. Think streetfighter built along supermotard lines.

The specs from Aprilia say the 1196.63 cc L-Twin spits out 134.5HP at 9,oo0RPM, and 76 ft-lbs of torque at 4,000RPM. Dry weight is 467 pounds, however, so that comes out to something around 520 pounds ready to ride. So, it’ll be quick, but not quite a bike that will leave you slack-jawed with stupefaction is twist the throttle a bit too much. Compression ratio is also 12:1, so get ready to shell out for premium fuel.

The seat height is decently low, though, at 29.5 inches, which means that, unlike some of the taller offerings out there, the average person doesn’t have to worry about tippy-toeing it at a stop sign.

Full tech data follows below, all presented, sadly, in the metric measurements so favored by heathen foreigners.

TECHNICAL DATA

Engine Type 90 ° V-Twin DOHC 8V LC

Bore x stroke 106 x 67.8 mm

Displacement 1196.63 cc

Maximum power 134.5 bhp at 9500 rpm

Maximum torque 10.5 kgm at 4,000 rpm

Compression ratio 12,0:1

Electronic Fuel Injection (Multi)

Electric Start

Digital Electronic Ignition CDI

6-Speed

Multi-plate clutch in oil bath and hydraulic

Chain final drive

Steel and aluminum chassis with high strength bolts and aluminum side plates

Swingarm in cast aluminum

Front suspension fork 43 mm inverted telehydraulic, three-way adjustable

Rear suspension Hydraulic shock absorber adjustable rate. Wheel travel 150 mm.

Front brake Dual discs 320 mm, 4 piston radial calipers

Rear brake 240 mm disc, single piston caliper

Tyres 120/70 x 17 “and 180/55 x 17″

Total length 2248 mm

Maximum height 1205 mm

Maximum width 925 mm

Wheelbase 1528 mm

Seat height 750 mm

Empty weight 212 kg

Fuel tank 15 liters

I think we can call it confirmed: Aprilia Dorsoduro 1200 (Updated)

I suspect that unemployment in Italy’s technology sector is about to rise very slightly.

Via Asphalt & Rubber, it seems that some excitable webmaster has jumped the gun, and put the downloadable service manuals for the Aprilia Dorsoduro 1200 and Dorsoduro 1200 ABS online in the maintenance section of Aprilia’s web site. Since Aprilia hasn’t even announced this bike, other than via rumor, and its release probably wasn’t even scheduled until the EICMA show in Milan in November, this is certainly going to take the wind out of the sails of Aprilia’s PR department.

As far as the bike itself, we can’t tell much about its power output, but we now know it sports an 1197cc v-twin engine, and weighs 492lbs wet.

Oh, and, since I suspect that Aprilia will probably yank this off the Internet in due course, here’s my personal copy of the  2011 Aprilia Dorsoduro 1200 & 1200ABS User Manual, in English and Dutch.  Enjoy.

Oh, and I think we can confirm that there will, in fact, be a Dorsoduro 1200 for 2011.

UPDATE (8/12/10): Sadly, it won’t be a Dorsoduro that we see on this side of the pond. Aprilia says: “We are extremely pleased with the sales of the Dorsoduro 750 and do not plan on importing the 1200 at this time.”

So, none for the US market at all for 2011.

Another Literbike Shootout

Motorcycle USA Motorcycle.Com has posted their 2010 Literbike shootout, comparing the newest European bikes to the top Japanese 1,000cc rockets.  From Europe, they test the Aprilia RSV4 R, and the BMW S1000RR.  From the Land of the Rising Sun comes the Honda CBR1000RR and the Kawasaki ZX-10R.  Like nearly everyone else who’s riddewn it, they give the top marks to the BMW.

BMW S1000RR. If you want the literbike with the most power, best brakes, a wonderfully compliant chassis and best available options in 2010, these are the only letters and numbers you need to know.

Everybody loves this bike, it seems, in the sportbike set.

And yet, in World Superbike, where the S1000RR is in its second season of competition, its riders have been on the podium…um…not a single time.

Aprilia Recalls RSV4s

The Aprilia RSV4 has been one of this year’s most eagerly awaited motorcycles.  It seems like it’s only just hit the showroom, however, and Aprilia is already issuing a serious recall.  Apparently, the problem–which hasn’t yet actually occurred in any of their motorcycles–requires replacing the entire engine.

Following extensive testing and verification, the Italian manufacturer assessed that one component in a small group of engines assembled during a specific time period had failed to meet stringent factory quality standards, resulting in an unacceptable risk of future engine failures. To-date, there have been no warranty claims related to this potential issue in the U.S. market. However, in line with the premium quality standards of Aprilia motorcycles and potential safety implications, the manufacturer and its dealerships are committed to immediate action to ensure complete Aprilia owner satisfaction.

Kudos to Aprilia for recognizing and immediately fixing the problem.  Unlike some manufacturers, for instance, one that hasn’t admitted their bikes have a final drive problem (cough–BMW–cough).

EICMA Leaks Like A Sieve

Somehow, official photos of new motorcycles have been leaking out prior to the officially scheduled release at the EICMA motorcycle show in Milan.

Here’s a photo gallery of what we’ve gotten so far

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2010 Aprilia RSV4 R Unleashed, Collapses

Aprilia introduced the slightly lower-spec street version of its V-4 RSV4 race bike, the RSV4 R, to the press at the Mugello Race Track in Italy.   According to Hell For Leather:

The RSV4 R is not Japanese. It will not make a beginning rider feel like Superman.  it will make them feel like a meek nerd who gets sand kicked in their face.

In other words, if you don’t know how to ride–and well–it’s not a “fun” bike.  Hard to steer, stubborn handling, etc.  If you push it to the limit, however, it’s apparently a blast.  As long as you know what you’re doing.

Unfortunately, it seems that if you push it to the limit, other problems arise.  The press launch of the new bike had to be cut short when “five of the bikes suffered terminal con rod failures” out of the 30 pre-production models present.  This now gives Aprilia the number one spot in press launch fiascos, pushing ahead of Buell’s 2007 1125R press launch, where all the pre-production bikes had fuel mapping problems.  At least the Buells didn’t have to be deadlined, causing the event to be shut down.

Aprilia says they’ve traced it to a manufacturing fault, and that the production bikes will be just spiffy.

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EICMA 2009

The big motorcycle show, Italy’s EICMA, will be happening in 20 days. Traditionally, this is a show that always brings some surprises for the new year.  So, what’s up this year?

Obviously, Aprilia will be rolling out the RSV4 and RSV4-R.  That’s a no-brainer.

BMW might be an interesting presence this year.  The rumors of what is going to happen with the R-Series bikes has been rampant, with everything from a new 1300cc boxer, to the 1200cc boxer getting an update with the 130HP DOHC motor ported from the HP2.  I’ve written about the GS getting that motor, but there are rumors that the whole R-series will be getting that upgrade as well, which would make both the GS and RT extremely attractive.  And with 130HP, the lighter-weight RT would approach the performance of the FJR, making it a true sport-tourer.  The 1300cc K bikes and the S1000RR are old news already, so the only conceivable surprise would come from a revamping of the R Bikes.

Ducati’s new 1200cc Multistrada and Hypermotard 796 will be there.  We’ve already seen the Hypermotard.  And we’ve seen the new Multistrada, too, except with lots of duct tape hiding the fairing.  The removal of the duct tape will be Ducati’s big event.

MV Agusta has had the same model lineup of two bikes–the F4 and Brutale–for the last decade.  This year looks to be a little different, however.  We’ve already seen the two new Brutale models, so, while they’ll no doubt be there, no one will care.  What we haven’t seen is the revamped F4, other than the teaser image MV released several days ago, So I expect that to be unveiled.  But what we really haven’t seen are the two entirely new models that have been rumored over the last month or so.  The 675cc triple that has shown up is spy shots, and the company’s new Superbike, which is expected to lead MV Agusta back to participation in WSS or WSBK racing.  We don’t even know if it’s a completely new model, or WSBK-compliant F4 model.  But, after a decade with the same old line-up, MV might be the surprise of the show this year.

Neither Honda now Yamaha will be there, which, in Honda’s case seems a bit odd, since their new VFR1200F has just debuted, and it’s supposed to be the basis for a whole new line of motorcycles from Big Red.  So, it seems strange that they won’t be at EICMA so show it off.

Triumph will be there, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see the new Street Triple R show up, with its new black and gold paint scheme, reminiscent of the John Player Special motorsports paint scheme of beloved memory.

But, surprises aside, with thingsas bad in the motorcycle manufacturing and sales world as they are, it seems that this year will mostly be a low-key affair, which the absence of two of the Big Four won’t help.

BTW, I wonder if Harley-Davidson will be pulling the Buell 1125R from the show?

2009 Streetfighter Comparo

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Motorcycle USA has their comparison of 2009 streetfighter motorcycles online.  In this comparo, they put the Ducati Streetfighter, Buell 1125CR, and the Aprilia Tuono 1000R head to head, both on the track, and on the street.

You’d probably think that the Ducati Streetfighter would be a shoo-in to win this comparo, but surprisingly, they though it was too track-oriented to be a good daily ride.  They liked the Tuono, but thought it was just a tad too light in the torque/acceleration department.  The Buell, on the other hand, had a significant horsepower deficit.  When all the pluses and minuses were added up, Motorcycle USA concluded:

Never in a million years did I think the 1125CR could best the Ducati. But it did. And it isn’t because it’s the fastest or prettiest – because it’s not. Not even close. It’s top dog because it delivers the most important intangible sensation when riding: Fun. It handles so perfectly that you feel like the bike is an extension of one’s being. Its ergonomics are well thought out and while its engine isn’t the fastest, it still has character and delivers all the right sensations, albeit at a tad slower speed. In fact, our only real complaints are some very minor styling and fit-and-finish issues. So, if it’s the best handling, most fun, easiest-to-use Streetfighter that you’re looking for, look no further. Say hello to the 2009 Buell 1125CR.

It really is interesting how often the Buell 1125R comes out on top in these comparison tests.

Motorcycle.Com’s Best of 2009

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The annual march of media bike choices continues, with Motorcycle.com weighing in with thir top picks of the year.  Their choices are interesting, and a bit different than I would have expected.

Triumph Street Triple R: Motorcycle.Com's Bike of the year for 2009.
Triumph Street Triple R: Motorcycle.Com's Bike of the year for 2009.

For the overall bike of the year, they picked the Triumph Street Triple R.

Best Sportbike honors go to the Kawasaki ZX-6R, with the runner-up being the Honda CBR1000RR.

The Ducati Monster 1100 gets the nod for best standard motorcycle, with second place going to the Harley-Davidson XR1200.

The best cruiser pick is the all new Triumph Thunderbird 1600, with the Suzuki Boulevard M90 taking an honorable mention.

The award for best touring bike goes to the BMW R1200RT, closely followed by the Honda Gold Wing.

BMW also take both first and second place spots for sport-touring, with the K1300GT winning, and the F800ST getting the honorable mention.

BMW stays in the winner’s circle for best off-road bike, with the top honors going to the F800GS, and the second spot going to the Aprilia SXV/RXV 5.5.

They also have picks for best eccentrics, scooters, technology, and more, so why not go there and read them?

Europe’s Top Bikes

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Our cousins in The Old Country love motorcycles as much as we do, but they don’t love the same motorcycles, apparently.  The French automotive magazine MotoRevue has released their list of top five motorcycles in Europe, and, as you might imagine, they’re quite different from the Motorcyclist picks of the year I wrote about a few days ago.

Three Italians–the Ducati Streetfighter and 1198, and the Aprilia RSV4–head the roster.  One Brit bike, the Triuph Speed Triple, makes the list. And the 2009 Yamaha Star V-Max rounds it off.

Apparently, our European cousins are speed freaks.  But then, they tend to have speed limits that are a bit less stodgy than those on this side of The Pond.