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Top 200 Current Motorcycles: Best Or Worst? - Aprilia RSV & Tuono

Updated on May 31, 2009

 Aprilia RSV 1000 R

It's no news to my habitual Hub readers that although I once raced superbikes I'm not a fan of the current crop of road going super and hyper bikes as I believe that they're just too fast to be ridden safely on public roads. The Aprilia RSV 1000 R is definitely within the category of waaaaaaay to fast for the road, but it is an incredibly attractive motorcycle. The lines are clean and purposeful and every inch of it screams racetrack. Aprilia's stylists could certainly teach their Japanese colleagues a thing or two (especially Yamaha's) as this motorcycle proves that you don't have to buglify your models in order to produce a superbike.

This model is powered by a vigorous 998 cc, liquid cooled, 60° v-twin powerplant set up with a bore and stroke of 97 mm x 67.5 mm and a compression ratio of 11d8:1 which gives the bike an overwhelming 143 horsepower (105.2 kW). When we compute the overall weight of the motorcycle equalling 407 pounds (185 Kg.), and factor that into the top-notch power available to your throttle hand we get a total of 2.85 pounds per horsepower, a figure that is not far off from the power to weight ratio of an Indy Racing car.

Verdict: What all Japanese supersports motorcycles should look like, a tour de force of racing styling where form follows function organically and naturally, very much unlike the Yamahuglies. Great bike, but keep it on the track. BEST!

 Aprilia RSV 1000 R Factory

Where the Aprilia RSV 1000 R is a triumph of harmonious styling, the Factory version of the same motorcycle falls just a bit short of the mark and it is entirely the fault of the awkward paint scheme. The big bronze diagonal frame member is completely out of place, and by combining the matte black with the red on the fairing the result is a jolting aesthetic error. I can't complain too much as even with the atrocious color combination, this bike still looks way better than any similar model to come out of Japan in the last five years.

This bike is driven by a mighty 998 cc, liquid cooled, 60° v-twin motor with a bore and stroke of 97 mm x 67.5 mm and a compression ratio of 11.8:1 which confers upon the model a jet engine 143 horsepower (105.2 kW). When we work out the riderless weight of the bike tallying up to 407 pounds (185 Kg.), and factor it into the absolutely outrageous horsepower the result is 2.85 pounds per horsepower, a total that is fairly close to the power to weight ratio of a Bugatti Veyron.

Verdict: Sure, I know that the Factory version is effectively identical to the standard Aprilia RSV 1000 R but I'm focusing on styling here and the color combination butts heads with the naturally clean lines and makes this bike fall just short of acceptable. WORST!

 Aprilia Tuono 1000 R

The Aprilia Tuono 1000 R is essentially a naked bike version of the glorious RSV 1000 R, but where that bike's fairing brings the entire visual appeal of the model to stratospheric heights, Aprilia seems to fall into Japanese styling cliches here. When the full racing fairing is stripped off, the huge diagonal frame member harkens back just a bit too much to the gone and unlamented Honda BROS, and the front mini fairing looks like an afterthought.

This motorcycle has a highway-devouring 998 cc, liquid cooled, 60° v-twin engine featuring a bore and stroke measuring 97 mm x 67.5 mm and a compression ratio of 11.8:1 which gives the motorcycle a tempting 139 horsepower (102.2 kW). When we consider the basic weight of the motorcycle being 407 pounds (185 Kg.), and factor it into the potent power generated we get a sum of 2.93 pounds per horsepower, a total that approximates the power to weight ratio of an SSC Ultimate Aero.

Verdict: Yes, it's a naked bike version of the far more beautiful RSV 1000 R with just a bit less horsepower, but the bottom line is that it just doesn't look anywhere near as beautiful. WORST!

Aprilia Tuono 1000 R Factory

The Aprilia Tuono 1000 R Factory is a repainted version of the standard model and the color combination chosen by Aprilia (on most of their Factory bikes) is ungainly at best. This version is most certainly not an exception to that rule, as painting the gargantuan diagonal frame member bronzy gold and then combining it with a black and red paint scheme right out of the Eighties is an epic phail.

The bike is driven by a eyeball-flattening 998 cc, liquid cooled, 60° v-twin powerplant engineered with a bore and stroke of 97 mm x 67.5 mm and a compression ratio of 11.8:1 which gives the bike a goodly 139 horsepower (102.2 kW). When we calculate the core weight of the bike being 398 pounds (181 Kg.), and factor that into the powerful horsepower the result is 2.86 pounds per horsepower, a figure that is approximately the power to weight ratio of a Rolex Sports Car Series car.

Verdict: This engine and chassis combination has a lot to recommend it for. It's a supremely powerful (read that as being overpowered for the street) and magnificent handling machine. But unlike the fully faired RSV 1000 R, it's just ugly. WORST!

Read all about each and every Top 200 Current Aprilia, Benelli, Bimota, BMW, Buell, Ducati, Harley Davidson, Honda, Kawasaki, KTM, Moto Guzzi, MV Agusta, Suzuki, Triumph, Victory, and Yamaha Motorcycle Model!

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