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 16-52 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 any of the right areas. It’s good for short distances, but that’s about it. Thankfully, the 1100 has a MUCH improved seat and it 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. The Akra without a doubt gives the best performance but unless you get a good deal it can be quite expensive. If you don’t like the looks of the Akra, it’s very common to cut 100mm or so off to smarten up the looks. You can do this at home or get an exhaust specialist to do it.
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. I find these exhausts look and sound amazing, but there is a performance drop in the mid range compared to the Akrapovic. The Arrow GP2 is a good compromise in sound and performance and can be picked up for a very respectable $580AUD online.
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 method. I also recommend a performance air filter from the likes of BMC or K&N too.
The stock Sachs set up is pretty good, but as soon as you hit a B-road or bumps, you quickly find its limitations. The forks are pretty good, but the rear shock pogo’s and every day it bounces me off the seat. The front fork has a lack of dampening and people are getting big gains from a re-valve, I’d recommend this. If you aren’t happy with the shock you can also get it re-valved or replace it altogether with an Ohlin’s shock. Last I checked they were $650 from Aprilia, that’s a bloody good deal and mighty tempting. If you were to do these suspension mods, you’d have a ripper poor man’s 1100 Factory.
And 1100 owners?
What about if you own an 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).
So there you have it. These aren’t the be all and end all of mods, but if you have a Tuono you should definitely start with these!
Alright, until next time, keep that bike OnTheBackWheel…