Zeus’ Thunderbolt: The Horizon Defined Aprilia Tuono

Written by bmc

Argyris’ 2001 Aprilia Tuono

Sometimes there are instances when a bike and a person will simply be a perfect match. They might not have the same character when apart, but as one they are ridden and will ride exactly the way they were supposed to. The Argyris you see everyday is not the same one you experience on a Tuono, who rides through traffic like it wasn’t even there, pops wheelies at every opportunity, takes racing slicks on public roads and considers the speed limits to be the punishment. The bike is what makes him untamed.

The Tuono laying before you has been a slow evolution over years of ownership and track racing, with performance being the primary goal. What started out as a stock Aprilia Tuono, has now turned out to be quite a unique machine, while still looking relatively lightly tuned. The truth is there aren’t many areas that have been left unturned. The bike went through a thorough rebuild before summer began to clean the engine and repaint the frame and swing-arm.

Most of the modifications have been inspired from the Tuono 1000R Racing version, most notably the fully adjustable Ohlins front forks and now radial Brembo calipers. The original wheels have been retained, which means custom spacers have been made to offset the discs for the radial setup.
Special sleeves where also made for the upper triple clamp to house the now thinner Ohlins forks.

In track day guise it normally runs with street legal semi-slick tires but at the latest track outing Argyris decided to give slicks a go, providing him with the highest levels of grip he’s experienced on this bike. The tires are Pirelli Diablo Superbike slicks, with a 200 width tire gracing the rear wheel.

The rear braking system has remained unchanged, except for Aprilia Performance rearsets which reorients the rear master cylinder. The reservoir has been ditched for a clear tube. The rearsets also provide a vast range of adjustment for optimal foot-peg position.

Powertrain wise the basics such as intake and exhaust have been upgraded with a Renegade airbox (without filter) and an Arrow titanium can and link tube. Larger Edwards special edition throttle bodies increase flow into the ports and a Dynojet Power Commander 3 adjusts the map. At the moment a standard tune is installed but future plans are to have it properly tuned to this setup.

The sound provided by the Arrow “silencer” of the Rotax V-twin is simply orgasmic; it’s the bike equivalent of the rawest muscle car sound out there. Have a listen:

New final drive of 15/44 shortens up the gearing slightly for shorter tracks, carried out by a Renthal sprocket. A 42 tooth rear sprocket is chosen for faster tracks such as Hockenheim.

For the bodywork only two pieces have been left unchanged; the fuel tank and the front mask. With the fuel tank being plastic from the factory there isn’t much weight saving opportunity. The rest of the bike has been shod with carbon fibre: fender, intake scoops, side covers, under seat cover and rear tail have all been replaced.

The belly pan has been replaced for a carbon 1000R Racing version, which is considerably larger and more aerodynamic than the original.

Argyris still has many parts & modifications on his list for this bike and I’m sure we will see some great things come out of it. Stay tuned.

Modifications
Engine & Drivetrain:
Dynojet Power Commander 3
Edwards 57mm throttle bodies
Renegade airbox
Arrow titanium can and link pipe
Renthal sprockets 15/44

Suspension:
Ohlins fully adjustable front forks

Wheels & Tyres:
Pirelli Diablo Superbike SC1 Compound
Front: 120/70 17″, Rear: 200/60 17″

Brakes:
Brembo radial front calipers

Chassis:
Aprilia Performance rearsets
Renthal medium grips

Bodywork:
Double-bubble clear screen
Carbon front fender
Carbon air intake scoops
Carbon side covers
Carbon underseat covers
Carbon tail
Carbon passenger seat cover
Carbon 1000R belly pan

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