Aprilia’s “Thunder” bike, the Tuono is based on the RSV Mille Superbike, with a bikini fairing and adapted for tubular handlebars. Introduced in 2002, the model was made in modest quantities until it was succeeded by the V4 1100 in 2011. The “Racing” special edition offered here has several mechanical upgrades from the base model and a lot of gorgeous carbon fiber details.
As many Aprilias have done, the Tuono uses the very successful Rotax 998 cc V-twin, dry-sumped this time, with Aprilia’s own intake, fuel injection system and exhaust resulting in 126 hp and 74 ft-lbs. torque. The aluminum frame has formed twin spars welded to the steering head and frame connectors, and an aluminum seat sub-frame. The aluminum swingarm is supported by a fully adjustable Boge shock with progressive linkage. Up front the 43 mm inverted forks are Ohlins fully adjustable. An Ohlins steering damper helps keep the adjustable bars from over-reacting to acceleration. Clutch action is aided by Aprilia’s Pneumatic Power Clutch, which uses engine vacuum to provide a slipper clutch-like response when downshifting. Brakes are radially mounted Brembo front calipers on 320 mm disks, with 220 mm rear.
Almost everything that isn’t aluminum on the Racing edition must be carbon fiber, including the fenders, belly pan, seat fairing, bikini, ram air scoops, radiator shrouds, and oil tank. All that carbon helps the “transformer” looks of the Tuono, at least for me. In this case the accent is the black painted nylon fuel tank, and the colorful graphics on the seat fairing and belly pan. The gold anodizing on the brake carriers, forks, and handlebars adds a nice highlight.
Showing 17,500 miles, this Tuono looks great and appears undamaged. Some customization has been done – a Remus exhaust, Corbin seat, and Rizoma signals and mirrors. The Illinois dealer says this in the eBay auction:
Remus Revolution Exhaust
Ohlins Rear Mono Shock
Ohlins Adjustable Steering Damper
Anti vibration Double Countershaft
Dynojet Power Commander Tuner
Rizoma LED Turn Signals
Our 2003 Aprilia Tuono is in pristine condition inside and out. It has a clean Carfax and Autocheck and has been very well maintained.
Free of the bronze anodizing on the base Tuono, this Aprilia street fighter is very high tech and looks it. Not much about maintenance in the auction, but the Rotax double overhead cams are gear and chain driven, and with any luck the valves have been looked after. The close relation to the RSV Mille has rewarded the Tuono with great handling, without too much arm and shoulder pain. A naked bike running an 11-second quarter mile and a 157 mph top speed is a bit of a head scratcher, but as a the saying goes, too much of a good thing – is wonderful…