The Tuono V4 is an amazing bike, but still not perfect. There are some mods that really bring the bike to life and improve on an already great package. These mods are aimed at the 2011-2015 1000cc model but some can be applied to the new 1100 model.
Change the Gearing
I’ve only just done this mod recently, but I wish I had done it earlier! This should without a
doubt be the first mod you do. From the factory, the Tuono has tall 16-42 gearing and can be hard to get off the line. By taking one tooth off the front sprocket (or adding 2 to the rear), it gives the bike significantly more acceleration and punch. Cruising speed doesn’t seem to be affected and fuel economy is not changed. You don’t have to get a new chain, simply change the sprocket, adjust the chain and you’re good to go. Get ready for more wheelies!
Buy the Tuono 1100 Seat
The stock 1000 seat is hard as a rock and on top of that, there isn’t enough cushion in several areas. It’s good for short distances, but that’s about it. Thankfully, the 1100 has a MUCH improved seat and fits straight on. At $190 straight from Aprilia, the price is pretty reasonable too. Your ass will thank you on long rides and it adds another dimension to the bike.
Install a radial master cylinder
The brakes on the Tuono are good, but not great. The stock master cylinder is the culprit here. If you replace the stock unit with a radial master cylinder, it makes a huge difference and gives the bike awesome stopping power (and improved lever feel). I recommend the Brembo RCS 19 for non-ABS models and the RCS 17 for ABS models. Expect to spend roughly $500.
Install an Exhaust and Race ECU
The bike sounds fantastic out of the showroom, but is still choked up stock. You need to let that bad boy breath! Replace the stock pipe with an aftermarket exhaust, a de-cat link pipe (most good exhausts come with this pipe) and the genuine Aprilia race ECU. Not only does it improve the note, the race ECU gives the bike more guts in the mid-range and smooth’s out the throttle response across the whole rev range.
Which exhaust should you get? Aprilia and Akrapovic have a deal where if you purchase an approved Akra exhaust you will get the corresponding ECU unlock codes. Unless you get a good deal though, this can be quite expensive and it’s a bit of an eye sore. If you want to get a different exhaust there are tons of good options out there. Some of my favorites include Austin Racing, SC Project, Arrow GP2 and the Competition Werkes exhaust. The Arrow GP2 can be picked up for a very respectable $580AUD online and looks great. The race ECU is $462AUD straight from Aprilia. You can install the exhaust and ECU easy enough, but you still have to take your bike to the dealer to have the throttle learning procedures done. If you are feeling really keen, some guys on the Aprilia forums have discovered a DIY way to do this. I also recommend a performance air filter from the likes of BMC or K&N too.
And what if you own the 1100? Well, don’t worry about changing the gearing as the new model rolls out of the showroom with a 15 tooth front sprocket. And the seat, well that’s pretty self-explanatory. Definitely look into changing the master cylinder, exhaust and ECU. The 1100 race ECU is more expansive on its own though ($700+ last I checked).
I think a lot of people are going to comment on suspension being a necessary modification, but I think the stock Sachs set up is pretty damn good. Let’s consider this something I highly recommend, but IMO not essential. By all accounts, people are getting big gains out of a re-valve, especially from the forks. If you aren’t happy with the shock, Aprilia are selling the Ohlin’s rear for $650, that’s a bloody good deal and mighty tempting. If you were to do this, you’d have a bloody good, poor man’s 1100 Factory.
So there you have it. Do these mods to your Tuono and turn what is an awesome bike into something awesome…r.
In the mean time, keep that bike OnTheBackWheel people!