For years, Aprilia’s RSV4 and Tuono 1100 platforms have been major contenders in the superbike and hypernaked segments, respectively. Despite its powerful presence in the liter bike category, the House of Noale hasn’t rested on its laurels. In 2021, the RSV4 and Tuono 1100 earned updated aerodynamics, new DRL running lights, a lighter swingarm, and a displacement bump from 1,077cc to 1,099cc.
Despite the heavyweight designation, the RSV4 tips the scales at just 445 pounds while the Tuono 1100 weighs in at 460 pounds. That may seem like favorable figures for most, but some Aprilia riders are always looking for a performance edge. Enter ThyssenKrupp’s braided carbon wheels, a lightweight alternative to the OE aluminum forged wheels.
While most carbon fiber wheelsets come from specialized aftermarket brands, ThyssenKrupp is a German industrial engineering and steel production conglomerate. The company leverages its research and development in other fields to produce its braided carbon fiber wheels, and the high level of technology clearly separates them from the pack.
Totaling only 10.6 pounds, the ThyssenKrupp wheelset drastically reduces unsprung weight, which improves acceleration, braking, and cornering. The carbon fiber wheels may be lightweight but that doesn’t make them fragile. Constructed of aviation-grade carbon fiber, the hoops also benefit from a braided configuration. The result is a durable wheelset that meets worldwide road approval (DOT, JWL, etc.).
Considering the material and lightweight properties, many may assume that the braided carbon fiber wheels are harsh on public roads. However, ThyssenKrupp injects foam into each spoke to mitigate vibration while increasing stiffness. The undercut spoke connections along the rim wall also reinforces the wheelsets’ damage tolerance.
For the Aprilia models, ThyssenKrupp offers the front wheel in 3.5 x 17 inches and 6.0 x 17 inches for the rear. The set retails for €3,999 ($4,850) and the brand offers a new matte finish for an additional €289 ($350 USD). Customers can also purchase wheels individually, with the front carrying an €1899 ($2,303 USD) price tag and the rear going for €2299 ($2,789 USD). No, the ThyssenKrupp braided carbon fiber wheels aren’t a cheap upgrade, but they will definitely give RSV4 and Tuono 1100 riders a performance edge.