2017 Aprilia RSV4 & Tuono Launch at COTA: #bearacer
If you’re going to launch your latest performance motorcycles, why not let the press lay the initial rubber down at a MotoGP circuit?
And why not take it one step further and launch the new bikes following a MotoGP weekend when the two-wheel energy is at its peak?
This is what we decided to do for our latest versions of the RSV4 superbikes and Tuono nakeds at Austin’s Circuit of the Americas (COTA) the Tuesday following the Grand Prix of the Americas.
For 2017, two versions of each model are available. We had the press ride all four models, back-to-back: the RSV4 RR and RSV4 RF, which arrives with upgraded Öhlins suspension, lighter wheels and Superpole graphics, and the Tuono RR and Tuono Factory, which features Öhlins suspension, Superpole graphics and a wider 200/55 tire out back vs. the RR’s 195/55.

 Photo: Patrick Flynn
The 2017 Aprilia RSV4 and Tuono models were revised for more linear power and better handling, and include the latest in Aprilia Performance Ride Control (aPRC) electronics. For the first time, all RSV4 and Tuono models arrive with:
  •       3-level Cornering ABS
  •       Aprilia Quick Shift with clutchless downshifts
  •       8-level Aprilia Traction Control that’s adjustable on the fly, including off
  •       3-level Aprilia Wheelie Control
  •       Aprilia Pit Limiter
  •       Aprilia Launch Control
  •       Aprilia Cruise Control
  •       TFT dash display
After Aprilia Racing Manager Romano Albesiano and Head of the Piaggio Group Advanced Design Center Miguel Galluzzi discussed the specifics of the 2017 Aprilia RSV4 and Tuono, the press was unleashed to test ultimate limits of each refinement on the 2017 RSV4 and Tuono.
The journalists were split into four groups, each getting 30-minutes of riding time aboard each model: RSV4 RF, RSV4 RF, Tuono Factory, and Tuono RR.
The 3.4-mile, 20-corner counter-clockwise COTA circuit provided the perfect layout for each rider to not only experience the RSV4’s 201-horsepower @ 13,000 rpm and 84.8  ft/lbs of torque @ 10,500 rpm, and the Tuono’s 172 horsepower @ 11,000 rpm and 89 ft/lbs of torque @ 9000 rpm, but also the monstrous stopping power of the Brembo M50 front calipers that arrive on all four models.
COTA’s 3/4-mile back straight--the longest in 2017 MotoGP--was the ideal location to crank on the Brembo binders from 180+ mph on the RSV4, and around 168 mph on the Tuono. Each section of the track also presented the optimal opportunities to push the aPRC electronics to the absolute limits, whether performing flawless clutchless downshifts or turning up the traction control with a knee dragging at 135 mph mid-corner.
By day’s end, each of the 20 bikes available witnessed about 30 laps at COTA, equalling to about 100 miles of high-rpm use. The press shredded through 20 sets of tires total: 15 sets of Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa tires on the RSV4s and the Tuono Factory, and five sets of Pirelli Diablo Rosso III tires on the Tuono RR.

Photo: Patrick Flynn
When the track went cold, and the press had some time to regroup, the reviews began pouring in. The response was overwhelming positive from journalists across various print and digital publications.
But don’t listen to us; read what they had to say:

               Tuono Reviews
               RSV4 Reviews
               RSV4 Reviews
               Video Review
               Tuono Review
               Tuono Onboard Video
Asphalt and Rubber
               RSV4 Reviews
               RSV4: Gone Riding
               Two Enthusiasts Podcast
Ultimate Motorcycling
               Tuono Fast Facts
               RSV4 Fast Facts

Gear Patrol
               RSV4 Reviews

Cycle News
               RSV4 First Test
               Tuono First Test

Cycle World
               RSV4 First Ride Review
Revzilla's Common Thread
               RSV4 Reviews

               2017 RSV4 - Ultimate Superbike
               Grab the Bull by the Horns:

               Video review: 2017 RSV4 and Tuono

Meet the team: the Aprilia staff and journalists from the event
Photo above: Andrew Wheeler
Feature photo: Michael Brock