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Super Naked: 2004 Aprilia Tuono R for Sale

The first-generation Aprilia Tuono is the odd Italian bike notable more for what it does than for how it looks. It’s relatively practical, with a comfortable, upright seating position, is powered by a reliable v-twin developed by Austrian firm Rotax, and offers bonkers, uncompromising performance. Suspension is high-quality, handling is excellent, and it apparently is great for pulling wheelies. And those looks? Well, it’s… distinctive, at least. Basically, it’s a bike for riders, not poseurs.

The market has finally found a name for bikes in this class: “supernakeds.” They used to be called “streetfighters” since these naked sportbikes were originally exactly that: Japanese sportbikes that had their fairings removed and upright bars fitted to maximize road comfort and hooligan potential. This was obviously done for practical reasons, not because the owners crashed their bikes and didn’t want to pay for pricey replacement plastic panels… Even the Speed Triple and Ducati Monster used that formula, and were basically parts-bin machines based on fully-faired sportbikes.

Significantly the Tuono, unlike more practical nakeds from Japan and even most European competitors, didn’t use a last-generation powerplant, detuned with milder cams more suited to everyday riding. It’s pretty much exactly the Mille engine, with the same claimed power output. Part of that decision is obviously rooted in pragmatism: Aprilia didn’t have an older engine they could slot in on the cheap. And using the same engine, frame, and other components certainly simplified production for a company producing their first big-bore sportbikes. But it was also the “right” thing to do, and the bike has a serious cult following: with less being more in this case, the Tuono actually a bit lighter that the RSV on which it’s based and makes for a serious canyon weapon.

The second-generation Tuono is generally considered to be better looking than the original. The styling was more refined, or maybe just slightly more coherent, but it still isn’t exactly a pretty bike. And if you’re going to build a bike with intentionally outrageous styling, you might as well lean all the way into it. What I’m saying is: I much prefer the original, far funkier Tuono seen here. It just looks nuts, and should be a blast to ride.

From the original eBay listing: 2004 Aprilia Tuono R for Sale

First full naked Superbike. 998cc 138hp tuned for street use this was the Aprilia RSV Superbike with the fairings off and handlebars instead of clip ons. It’s a beast will eat Monsters easily, for experienced riders. Before traction control or ABS this beast will spit you off it you don’t handle it properly.  

Second owner. No accidents. Clean and clear title. Always garaged. Its my third bike I always end up riding my zx14r so it might go to someone more appreciative. Only have done routine maintenance like fluids, filters, tires and chains. 

  • Tires are Michelin Pilot Power 3s
  • Aprilia Racing twin pipes 
  • Eprom Chip 
  • Handlebar guards (keeps hands warm)
  • Heated Grips
  • Aftermarket rear sets
  • aftermarket adjustable brake and clutch levers
  • crash bobbins on axles and frames
  • Electic outlet on dash
  • Zero Gravity smoked windshield
  • Neutral finder mod completed

Bike is all day comfortable. Toured it with side bags for weekends. Or will do track days. Bike is in Oklahoma. Buyer to arrange local pickup I will assist your driver and shipping company when buyer makes arrangements. Cash only or bank wire. No checks of any kind. No paypal beyond the deposit. Clean and clear title in hand ready to go. 

Miles aren’t all that low, but these are hard to find in any condition. The seller is asking $4,499 for this one, and it looks like it’s been well maintained and looks really sharp in this all red scheme. Sure, there are a few dings and cosmetic imperfections, but for that price, you get a cool bit of budget exotica that goes even better than it looks: there’s a reason you can find low-mile Ducatis all day long, but every single Aprilia I find for sale seems to have 25k+ miles on it.

-tad

10 Comments

  • Simply the most fun raw hooligan motorcycle on the planet! Don’t buy it if you care about your license! More fun than my MV Brutale was. More fun than an array of Ducati’s and Bimota’s in my past! Oh, you want to do a 400 mile day (or two or three), no problem (although an aftermarket seat helps here). No ABS, no launch control, no traction control, no wheelie control (thank you!), it’s all on you and your right wrist. Just bulletproof raw performance and great handling! And get that damn smile wiped off your face! – so says my wife every time I come back from riding mine! And yes, it’s ugly as hell. Get used to it!

    • I like stuff that makes a statement, a style that looks like the designer had a particular vision in mind. And if you can’t reach “beautiful,” at least you can be distinctive. I’ll take weirdly distinctive over blandly good-looking any day of the week. See: Alfa Romeo Milano, Lancia Fulvia Sport Zagato, and just about every TVR ever made…

  • I’m not sure if I agree with the statement that gen 2 bikes look better than the first. I have both, and I think they are both pretty ugly!

    • Oh that’s my point. They revised the styling, but I prefer the original! And I honestly think of them as “striking” instead of “ugly.”

  • And my son has the Gen 1 Tuono Racing. THAT is a cool bike.

  • Sorry to keep posting, but you might like this story. When he was about 10 I took him up to a Ducati/Aprilia dealer in Wisconsin. We got there very early and had hot chocolate (it was snowy). We stared in the window until they opened and they had the new 999 and the Limited Tuono on the stands. Those, to this day, are his favorite bikes. Warms the heart of his dad!

    • The Racing is a very cool bike! And by all means, share stories like that. It’s one of the reasons we have a comments section!

  • Ive come really close to buying one of these several times. Almost bought a 2005 Factory version last spring. I dig the funky styling and have lusted over Aprilia since the early 2000’s. My one hangup I could not get over is the dash out of a 1980’s Firebird. It’s so bad I wish they kept the first gen Rs250 cluster which you could also argue is 80’s.

  • Get a second gen Tuono if you don’t like the old school dash (I also think this dash design looks crappy). The second gen has a ‘normal’ looking dash and to me overall is a better looking bike. I have one and love it, have toured on one, daily driver, sporty riding in the mountains, it does it all and sounds great doing it.

  • I have a 2004 Tuono Factory, and previously owned a 2007 (second gen) Tuono Factory. While the newer dash is perhaps more visually appealing, the earlier one is functionally equivalent–if not a bit more cumbersome to operate, with several more buttons to try in the hopes of achieving a desired function. The non-intuitive interface, along with the dated/clunky appearance, reminds me of a typical “instrument cluster” from the European cars I grew up working on in my father’s repair garage.

    On that note, I thoroughly enjoy the sentimental character of the early dash. I’m an oddball however, who loves the looks of the Tuono, and also thinks Aprilia absolutely “nailed it” with the styling of the Falco. 😀

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