Sportbike lovers rejoice! The Aprilia RSV4 and Tuono V4 have received significant updates for 2021. As is usually the case for Aprilia, the updates follow the mantra of evolution rather than revolution, so we don’t get ‘all-new’ machines this time. However, the big A has given us the most significant alteration to the V4 family seen in years. It’s still early days (therefore images are scarce) but read on to find out what we know of the changes so far.
RSV4 AND RSV4 FACTORY SUPERBIKE
- Two versions
The base and Factory versions remain. The Factory version receives forged aluminium wheels, Öhlins Smart EC.2.0 suspension, and Brembo Stylema brake calipers. The base model continues with cast wheels, conventional suspension and Brembo M50 calipers.
Beyond that, all of the changes relating to engine, chassis, electronics, looks and ergonomics are shared between the two models. The RSV4 comes in Dark Losail, while the Factory version is available in Aprilia Black and Lava Red.
2. Increased displacement engine and revised exhaust
The now Euro5 V4 engine increases in displacement from 1,077cc to 1,099cc, thus further differentiating it from the Tuono 1,077cc version. Aprilia claims more torque (figure not published by Aprilia at the time of writing) and the same 217hp as the previous version; the increased displacement and new exhaust undoubtedly help maintain power levels in Euro5 tune.
3. Revised styling and redesigned aerodynamics
The RSV4 now takes on the styling language recently introduced on the RS 660. This includes the headlight, side and tail fairing designs. The massive stuck on downforce generating fairing pods are gone, replaced by an integrated wing design.
Aprilia claims the shapes have been modelled in the wind tunnel allowing for an extremely low aerodynamic resistance coefficient and increased airbox pressure. With wings built into the double-walled fairings, the new aero package claims to offer a solution that optimises stability at high speeds, airflow for engine cooling, rider protection and downforce.
A new triple LED lighting package featuring perimeter DRL lights combined with supplementary cornering lights (‘bending lights’ function illuminates the inside of the turn when cornering) completes the visual changes.
4. All new swingarm
The chassis receives a tweak in the form of a new swingarm with a reinforced lower brace claimed to be lighter and offer increase stability. It’s inspired by the Aprilia RS-GP MotoGP racer and is reminiscent of racing versions seen on RSV4’s over the years.
The underslung design is similar in concept to what BMW introduced on its latest S1000RR. At the time BMW claimed this design offered more room to position the rear shock optimally, something Aprilia can’t do with the RSV due to the positioning of the rear cylinders and exhaust headers of the V4. It will be interesting to examine how Aprilia has managed to package the V4 engine and Euro5 exhaust now that there is less room under the bike to fit collector boxes thanks to the underslung design.
Handling wise, the RSV4 had already mastered corner entry. On the other hand, corner exit drive grip has traditionally suffered compared to rivals like the Panigale V4 and R1. Could the new swingarm be an attempt by Aprilia to match and surpass its competitors? Already an incredibly handling bike, it will be interesting to see what effect the new swingarm has on overall handling balance.
5. Revised ergonomics
Aprilia claims the riding ergonomics are entirely new. A new fuel tank and saddle combine to give the rider more space, and interestingly, a more natural and relaxed riding position. The RSV4 has always been known to be a ‘compact’ motorcycle ergonomically. Is this Aprilia’s attempt to make more shapes and sizes fit the bike?
It is noteworthy that while Honda went with ‘racier’ ergonomics on the new Fireblade, Aprilia has done the opposite. Interesting times.
6. Updated electronics
Finally, a new electronic package rounds out the update. A new larger TFT instrument panel, new Marelli 11MP ECU and six-axis inertial platform and revised Ride-By-Wire throttle and APRC operating logic underpin the changes. Six riding modes with three for the track (two customisable) and three for the road (one customisable) give the rider freedom to adjust many parameters including traction control, wheelie control, and ABS. Also, Aprilia has added a multi-level engine brake control to the mix.
PRICING AND AVAILABILITY
Pricing is set at $18,999 ($20,995 in Canada) for the 2021 Aprilia RSV4 and $25,999 ($27,495 in Canada) for the Aprilia RSV4 Factory.
Both bikes will be available at the end of March in the USA and April in Canada. Details for other markets are not available at the time of writing.
TUONO V4 AND TUONO V4 FACTORY
The changes to the Tuono V4 broadly follow that of the RSV4 above. There are some differences, however.
- Two versions
Two versions will continue to be offered, a base and Factory version. All components are shared between the two except for the Öhlins Smart EC.2.0 suspension and RSV4 style tail unit on the Tuono Factory (the base will continue with the more pillion friendly tail).
Unlike the RSV4 Factory, the Tuono Factory does not receive the Brembo Stylema brake calipers and forged rims. Both models continue with cast wheels and Brembo M50 calipers. A pair of dedicated asymmetrical panniers will be offered as an accessory on the base model,.
Beyond that, all of the changes relating to engine, chassis, electronics, looks and ergonomics are shared between the two models. The base Tuono comes in Tarmac Grey and Glacier White, while the Factory version is available in Aprilia Black.
Unlike the RSV4, the Tuono V4 is powered by the carry-over 1,077cc version of the V4 in Euro 5 form. Claimed power and torque remain the same at 175 HP and 121 Nm. A new exhaust system contributes significantly to maintaining power levels at Euro 4 levels.
The Tuono receives its own version of the new RS 660 derived design language. As before, the ‘naked’ moniker applied to the Tuono is loosely applicable as it is equipped with a significant bikini fairing incorporating the new integrated wing design.
It is designed to give even more protection for the rider than before. Perfect for your 250 kph trip to the corner store for milk.
PRICING AND AVAILABILITY
Pricing for the 2021 Aprilia Tuono V4 is set at $15,999 in the USA ($18,595 in Canada), while the 2021 Aprilia Tuono V4 Factory will go for $19,499 in the USA ($21,495 in Canada).
Both bikes will be in US dealerships at the end of June 2021, and in Canada at the end of July 2021. Details for other markets are not available at the time of writing.
GIVE ME MORE
I am eagerly awaiting more details on the new 2021 Aprilia RSV4 and Tuono V4, not to mention more photographs! How does it come to pass that a new motorcycle is released onto the world without a plethora of high definition images (and maybe a little video)? Come on, Aprilia; you can do better than that. Now please give me one to ride as compensation. Only then will I forgive you! 😉
What do you think? Would you take this or the new 2021 Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RS?
Visit the Aprilia website for more.