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Original Hooligan: 2005 Aprilia Tuono Factory for Sale

“Necessity is the mother of invention” or so the saying goes. You’re out riding your brand-new GSX-R750 in the canyons, hit a patch of oil, and low-side into a ditch. You limp home and realize what new bodywork will cost, but no worries: you just rip it off, and fit a set of motocross bars to help you do sick wheelies! The irony of the modern supernaked is that the trend started with owners actually improving the power-to-weight ratio of their sportbikes, but when the factories got involved, they almost always detuned their bikes to make the performance more “road-oriented,” and fitted lower-spec brakes and suspension to keep costs down. The Japanese usually went even further, using last-generation engines and building new, heavier frames to house them. But not Aprilia: their Tuono Factory was just an RSV Mille with the fairings removed and a set of handlebars added. Just like dad used to make…

All the good stuff from the Mille is still there: the sculptural aluminum beam frame is more visible in this application, a big plus in my book. Lightweight wheels and quality suspension. The compact, powerful, and reliable 60° Rotax v-twin… the weird 90s Aprilia styling, here with added weirdness. Given the already questionable styling of the RSV Mille, the results were less than cohesive, a jumble of angles, odd shapes, futuristic details, and random mesh vents. Luckily, it somehow swings around past “ugly” on the dial and back towards “cool” as a result of all the quality kit on display. The first-generation Tuono is by no means a pretty bike, but it looks sinister and brutal, dangerous to the rider and to anyone nearby. Like a chainsaw with a rusty knife blade for a handle…

The 60° Tuono unit had balance shafts to offset the vibrations caused by the narrower angle between the cylinders. Like the Ducati superbikes of the era, it displaced 998cc, had four valves per cylinder, and liquid cooling. Unlike the Ducati, the twin featured a “Pneumatic Power Clutch” or PPC that took the place of a more conventional slipper clutch. On the overrun, engine vacuum is used to disengage the clutch and prevent the rear wheel from locking during downshifts. Fully-adjustable Öhlins suspension, including a steering damper not found on the Mille, Brembo radial calipers, and lightweight forged wheels rounded out the very trick package.

The Factory produced a claimed 127hp, up a few from the less carbon-adorned and more basic Racing version. Which is a bit ironic, don’t you think? You might be under the impression that all v-twin sportbikes share a similar character, but large power-pulses aside, they can have vastly different feel. The Aprilia is supposed to rev harder but be a bit more “agricultural” than the Ducati, perhaps owing to the additional shafts spinning in the crank cases. Handling was excellent for both the Tuono and the Mille on which it was based, with a much more “Japanese” feel to the handling, compared to the slow-steering but hugely stable Ducatis.

From the original eBay listing: 2005 Aprilia Tuono Factory for Sale

This is a rare opportunity to buy a very nice Gen 1 Tuono Factory model. 

They don’t come up for sale very often so you will want to take advantage of this opportunity to snag a very clean example!

These were built with all the right parts straight from the factory, Ohlins front & rear, Brembo (radial front) brakes, lightweight OZ wheels, Titanium pipe, carbon fiber bodywork, great V twin torque 🙂

This example has been upgraded for comfort, performance & aesthetics with the following…

  • Sargent seat, 
  • Throttlemeister bar ends, 
  • Rizoma clutch & brake reservoirs, 
  • Pazzo adjustable levers, 
  • Zero Gravity & stock wind screens, 
  • Carbon rear cowl on bike with Pillion seat and pegs also included, 
  • Evo air box mod and Chip, 
  • Leo Vince SBK Titanium exhaust with removable silencer insert

I have owned this bike for a number of years and it spends most of its time indoors on a battery tender, but I do take it out for a ride now and then to keep it running right. Only flaw is a scratch on the top of the front fender, see pic.

It’s not absolutely perfect, but it’s obviously been cared for and enjoyed: note the horseshoe-shaped bit surrounding the fuel filler that is likely a tank-bag mount. It has a bit north of 20,000 miles on it, but the Rotax twin is famously unburstable when properly cared for. $6,500 asking price represents a premium over an equivalent RSV, but that’s par for the course these days.

-tad

7 Comments

  • A minor point; this is a Gen2 bike. 2004 was the last Gen1. I have a 2001 MIlle. The indentations in the side of the frame are not present in the Gen1 bikes. Due to the factory difficulties at the time, “year” was not always singular. My USA 2001 has parts from European 2000, 2001, and 2002 versions. These are great bikes and a great value. A lot more comfortable than the Ducatis of that era.

    • Interesting. I was basing my observations off the bodywork and didn’t even think to check the model year, but I know the Italians don’t always play by the rules. So maybe it’s a Gen 1.5? Also, thanks for not taking my good-natured comments on their looks the wrong way. I’ve heard they’re great bikes to own, and I like the in-your-face styling.

  • I had a first gen Tuono and got a 2007 to replace it. Slightly livelier, a tiny bit more nimble, but still goofy looking and a little portly. Not to be outdone, my son just bought a low milage, very clean Racing with the track body parts and assorted extra race bits. They are, indeed, really great bikes and are crazy inexpensive compared to most. As my son said, you can get an SV 650 or a Tuono! This is not to speak ill of the SV, but…

  • Totally agree, great bikes for so little cash. I picked up a 2007 for the cost of a decent SV650. I put a lot of miles on SVs, good bikes, but not nearly in the same league as the Tuono. AF1 in Texas is an excellent Aprilia dealer and resource for parts etc.

    I can’t get behind the styling of the Gen 1 bikes (which this one looks like) but the Gen 2 look good to me and are close to the same money, so get whichever one floats your boat.

    I’ll unload mine if I find a deal on a V4 Tuono, but those still bring decent money. No hurry, heck the twin is probably a better road bike anyhow.

  • I’ve come close to owning any one of the twin cylinder Tuono’s, but have had a hard time getting past the having to squint and turn my head looks. In addition, although I’ve heard great things about AF1, I have to think new and used parts availability is less plentiful than it’s been for the two 05-10 Speed triples I’ve owned. Plus, I can sit in the driveway and honestly admire it’s beauty!

  • I’m a fan of the Speed Cripples also, and like the looks of them better than the Tuono (especially the orange or green Triumphs). Tuonos seem a better deal though for a rider, based on prices I see.

    Can’t go wrong either way for a sensible naked bike.

    Good luck to this seller but that price seems a stretch. These aren’t collector bikes.

  • I agree, they each have their strong points, in my mind if you took the strong points of both, (speed looks and motor, tuono handling) you’d have something without any compromises. Both bikes seem to be incredibly hard to sell. I see both models consistently listed for weeks and then months while the seller continues to reduce the price far below what they deserve to be. I gave up selling my Roullette green 30k mile 07′ Speed after about three months. Ended up having a collision with a deer a few months later. Fortunately for me, the gauges got ripped off, ended up getting about $1500 or so more than I ever could have sold it for!

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