Up-Close with the Aprilia Tuono 660

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It is easy to peg the Aprilia Tuono 660 as simply the “naked version” of the fully faired Aprilia RS 660 sport bike, but the more and more I think about this Italian middleweight-twin, I feel that distinction is a misleading way to regarding the smaller Tuono.

The better way to think about the Aprilia Tuono 660 is to regard it as Aprilia’s road-focused 660 offering, whereas the RS 660 is geared more towards track enthusiasts.

As one can see, the Aprilia Tuono 660 doesn’t really have a lack of fairing, just more of a bikini approach, in contrast to the RS 660’s one-piece design.

In the United States, the Tuono 660 comes with the same engine tune at the RS 660, which means a quoted 100hp at the crank.

We did learn though that the folks in Noale are shipping the Tuono 660 without an IMU, which means no cornering ABS and no lean angle sensitive traction control.

The Tuono 660 also comes with lower spec suspension than the RS 660, again a nod as the bike being focused more on street riders than track enthusiasts. The more upright seating position only adds further to this notion.

While the driving force behind these decisions is surely to get the Aprilia Tuono 660 to its $10,499 price tag, the trade offs can also be looked at from the lens of what a street rider needs, and doesn’t need, from a bike like the Tuono 660.

What is interesting to me is that with an RS 660 in the arsenal already, Aprilia is able to bifurcate the middleweight-twin market a bit with its 660 offerings, helping cater to the distinct needs and desires to the various riders that make up this category.

For entry level riders, who want a cheap but competent street bike and are willing to pay a little more for it, the Tuono 660 fits the bill quite nicely.

Conversely, for season veterans that are done chasing egos with 600 supersports, the RS 660 offers a level of sophistication that is unseen in the category until now, and is an ideal track weapon.

It might not have made a ton of sense on the outset, but the more I ponder these two machines, the more I think the Tuono 660 is a pretty smart play from the folks in Noale.

Photos: © 2021 Jensen Beeler / Asphalt & Rubber – All Rights Reserved