Aprilia Relaxes the RS With the Naked 2021 Tuono 660
Sportbikes make for excellent fun, but these motorcycles are sometimes too extreme for every-day riding. More to the point, some aren’t approachable enough for newer riders. However, some bike companies are solving this by turning their sportbikes into less-hardcore naked bikes. The Ducati Streetfighter V4, for example, is a naked, slightly toned-down version of the Panigale. And now, Aprilia has done something similar with the RS 660 to make the 2021 Tuono 660.
The 2021 Aprilia Tuono 660 removes some RS 660 bodywork…
The most obvious differences between the 2021 Aprilia Tuono 660 and its RS 660 sportbike sibling are their looks. Admittedly, the Tuono 660 isn’t quite as stripped-down as some other naked bikes. However, it does have a smaller fairing and windscreen than the RS, RideApart reports. And the ‘semi fairing’ that remains helps pull engine heat away from the rider, RideApart reports.
Under the skin, the 2021 Aprilia Tuono 660 and RS 660 are almost identical, Bennetts reports. However, Aprilia tweaked a few things in making a naked-bike version of the RS 660.
The Tuono has a wide handlebar instead of clip-ons, for example, Cycle World reports. And its footpegs have rubber inserts and are positioned differently. Plus, some of the RS 660’s standard features, such as the quickshifter and six-axis inertial measurement unit (IMU), are optional on the Tuono.
…but keeps (most of) the tech
The Aprilia RS 660’s aluminum frame and swingarm carry over essentially unchanged onto the 2021 Tuono 660, Rider reports. The Tuono has a slightly shorter wheelbase, though, and a slightly steeper fork angle. Both bikes come with preload- and rebound-adjustable KYB suspension and ABS-equipped Brembo brakes, RevZilla reports. However, the Tuono’s forks have slightly less adjustability and travel, Cycle World reports.
As for the engine, it’s still a 659cc liquid-cooled parallel-twin that acts as a stressed member. However, it’s slightly detuned compared to the version in the RS 660. Rather than 100 hp and 49 lb-ft, the Aprilia Tuono 660 has 94 hp and 49 lb-ft. But while both bikes have a six-speed manual transmission with a slipper clutch, the Tuono has a lower final-drive ratio, MCN reports. The RS and Tuono 660 do have the same 403-lb curb weight, though.
On the technology front, the 2021 Aprilia Tuono 660 is fairly well-equipped, with standard LED lighting and a color 5” TFT display. And even without the optional IMU, the naked bike has cruise control, five riding modes, traction control, wheelie control, and engine-braking control. But if you do get the IMU, it comes with cornering ABS and increased adjustability for all those various controls.
The 2021 Aprilia Tuono 660 is “something pretty special,” Roadshow says
Although the extra adjustability is helpful, you don’t necessarily need them to enjoy riding the 2021 Aprilia Tuono 660, Autoweek reports. Even in ‘base’ form, the naked bike “brings a lot to the party,” Rider reports.
The footpegs and handlebar mean the Aprilia Tuono 660 has a more upright riding position than the 660. Combined with a comfortable seat and those rubber inserts, and it’s an all-day machine, Cycle World reports, for both commuting and carving corners. And the Tuono 660 can certainly handle itself when the road starts curving.
It “feels light and very nimble,” Roadshow reports, and “hugely confidence-inspiring.” Working the transmission, even without the quickshifter, “is a pleasure,” Rider reports. The brakes are excellent and fade-resistant, Cycle World reports, the clutch is light, and the engine pulls hard even at low RPMs. The lower final-drive ratio also means it accelerates slightly faster. And the bike blends a comfortable ride with composed handling. Basically, everything praise-worthy about the RS 660 applies to the Tuono, RevZilla reports, just combined with more every-day comfort.
Admittedly, the Aprilia Tuono 660 isn’t perfect. The 659cc engine has a slight dead spot around 4000-6000 RPM, Rider reports. And once you get out of that zone, the mirrors start to blur, Cycle World reports. Plus, some of the rear shock’s adjustability controls are hard to access, RevZilla reports.
But none of these are deal-breakers by any means. The Tuono 660 has something for everyone, and it’s well worth a test ride.
How much is the 2021 Aprilia Tuono 660 compared to the RS 660?
Pre-orders for the 2021 Aprilia Tuono 660 are currently open, and the first bikes should hit dealers in mid-April, Roadshow reports. The naked bike starts at $10,499 before options or extra fees. And if you want the IMU and/or quickshifter, they’re each $200 extra.
Even with both those options, the Tuono is cheaper than the RS 660. The sportbike starts at $11,299 before options and fees. And if you’re serious about slicing up back-country roads and racetracks, it will likely be the one to buy. But for everyone else, the Tuono 660 offers just as much fun in an easier-to-access package.
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