When Aprilia unveiled the RS 660 at EICMA 2019, many presumed a middleweight Tuono would follow in its wake. As expected, the House of Noale confirmed suspicions the very next day, revealing the Tuono 660 Concept at the Milan trade show. After successfully launching the RS 660 in October, 2020, and garnering praise for the versatile platform, the brand set its sights on naked bike domination. Luckily, we won’t have to wait long for the second offensive with Aprilia officially announcing an end of Q1 release window for the Tuono 660.
Of course, Aprilia’s formula for turning an RS into a Tuono isn’t exactly a secret: retune the motor, relax the ergonomics, and expose that exquisite engine. The “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” trope generally applies here but the mid-size model gets a few noteworthy changes that make it more than just an RS 660 with handlebars.
The Tuono shares the same liquid-cooled, DOHC 660cc parallel-twin with its fully-faired relative but loses a few ponies in the process. Most likely a result of the shorter final drive (for improved streetability), the naked sportbike still manages to churn out a class-leading 95 horsepower. Aprilia hasn’t listed a torque figure just yet but the wündermill retains the same 270-degree firing order that made the RS so visceral yet agreeable.
Like the RS, the Tuono’s powerplant also acts as a stressed member, helping to preserve the 403-pound curb weight and desirable power-to-weight ratio. Though Aprilia carved away the body panels to put the forward-facing twin on full display, they still implement the RS 660’s double-fairing aerodynamics to pull even more engine heat away from the rider. The windscreen is shortened proportionally but the Tuono keeps the distinct triple LED design that made the RS so attractive.
Aprilia also does away with the yoke-integrated clip-ons for a clamp-mounted high handlebar that pushes the rider more upright. Beyond the bars, the same full-color TFT found on the RS 660 makes the jump along with five ride modes, wheelie control, adjustable engine braking, and traction control.
The “be a racer” brand also carries over the RS 660’s Acid Gold colorway but the Concept Black and Iridium Grey paint schemes are specific to the model. The latter trims will retail for $10,499 while Acid Gold will command a $10,699 price tag. Expect to see Tuono 660s and accessory packages at North American dealerships in late-winter/early-spring 2021.
The junior Tuono was inevitable. It may have been the worst kept secret this side of the iPhone 4. Does that make us any less excited for its arrival? No way. Are we clambering to see Aprilia's 660 take on a crowded middleweight naked class? You betcha. Fortunately, the brand is heeding the call and we can’t wait to see what else is in store for the 660 family.
The new Aprilia Tuono 660 is going to land in the showrooms at the end of March, 2021.