Aprilia Tuono V4R: Road Test


Like the RSV4, from which it’s derived, the Tuono V4R ABS is a seriously rapid superbike, with a top speed of over 260 km/h, and in naked bike fashion it’s often all the more fun for emphasising rather than disguising that speed. The Tuono V4R was always brilliant — one of the top bikes of the last few years for me — but touched by madness too. By essentially removing the fairing from an RSV4 super-sports bike and bolting on a wide one-piece handlebar in place of its clip-ons, Aprilia created a naked V4 that was fast, loud, agile and fantastic fun on track or the right road.

However, although there was actually a lot more to the Tuono V4R than appearances suggested — including a slightly de-tuned 999-cc engine and a re-jigged frame — there’s no doubt that Aprilia’s naked weapon was too hardcore for many. It was an absolute blast in the right situation — but harsh, loud, thirsty and ill-suited to the real world that most riders inhabit most of the time.

Now Aprilia have tweaked the naked V4 to make it, in their words, “more incisive, sophisticated and safe” for 2014. Softened suspension, a larger tank, re-designed seat and the addition of an ABS brake system are all designed to make the Tuono more rider-friendly and easy to live with. In the words of Marco Zuliani, Aprilia’s Product Manager, “Naked bikes spend most of their time on the road, so we have listened to customers and improved the Tuono’s attitude for road use.”

And, fortunately, they haven’t forgotten that its attitude is what made the V4R special. With the Tuono’s status as the ultimate naked weapon seemingly about to be challenged by rival big-bore naked models of unprecedented viciousness — including KTM’s Super Duke R, BMW’s long-rumoured S1000RR derivative and Kawasaki’s revamped Z1000 — the Italian company couldn’t resist giving their contestant a bit more firepower too.

Glasgow museum’s special BMW R1200GS

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There is a new main attraction on display at the Glasgow Museum’s adventure section: Hollywood actor Ewan McGregor’s BMW R1200GS adventure tourer. The bike, ridden by the actor while filming the critically acclaimed documentary, Long Way Round, will be the centre-piece of the ‘Adventurers’ exhibition at the musuem.

McGregor, along with his friend and Hollywood director Charley Boorman, travelled 35,960 km through 18 countries on two BMW R 1150 GS motorcycles for the 2004 documentary, ‘Long Way Round’, and 30,896 km on R 1200 GS bikes for the 2007 documentary ‘Long Way Down’. The bike will be the focal point of the exhibition when the museum opens on March 10.

Apart from McGregor’s motorcycle, the adventure section will also display Scottish cyclist Mark Beaumont’s bicycle which completed a 20,921 km journey from Alaska to Argentina in 2010.

Story: Sayem Parvez Syed

Lights, Vespa and Action!

Vespa Camera web1Vespa have unveiled their new prototype offering for the global market. Well, before you get down to assumptions regarding an all new scooter from the Italians, guess what, you are certainly in for a surprise!

Vespa, in association with acclaimed industrial design gurus Rotimi Solola and Cait Miklasz have unveiled the all-new Vespa Camera Prototype. In simple words, it is a full functional camera which is themed on Vespa scooters.

Now, with an idea as cool as this, we expect the Vespa Camera to go into production very soon as has been the case with other two-wheel manufacturer merchandise like those of KTM, Ducati and BMW. All said and done, the Vespa Camera will not be a bad option for those who want to indulge in some Italian flair.

We know that though there may only be a few people who will shell out big bucks for essentially a camera bearing the Vespa badge, it is one of those definitely sweet concepts.

Story: Sayem Parvez Syed
Photography: Vespa

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