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Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

2023 Aprilia Tuono 660 Factory: MD Ride Review

 On paper, the 2023 Aprilia Tuono 660 appears to be a great motorcycle that would appeal to novice and experienced riders, alike. For a mid–displacement machine, it makes very good power. Indeed, a claimed 100 hp surpasses the numbers claimed by competitors, such as the Kawasaki Ninja 650 and the Yamaha MT–07.

Just like the standard Tuono, the engine is a 659cc parallel twin, but the Factory version makes a claimed five additional horsepower. The frame consists of an aluminum dual beam with a removable subframe. The transmission is a six speed and the front brakes feature dual 320 mm discs squeezed by Brembo radial-mounted calipers.

The Standard version weighs a claimed 403 pounds wet with the 3.9 gallon fuel tank filled. A standard 17-inch front tire is paired with a relatively large, for the class, rear tire size 180/55/17.

As with other Aprilia models, the Factory version gets some extra goodies. Here, a slight weight reduction of 3 pounds results from the use of a lithium battery and a shorter final drive ratio improves acceleration. Perhaps the biggest upgrade is found in the suspension, which is fully adjustable for compression and rebound damping in the Factory version (the Standard version makes do with rebound adjustments, only).

A distinctive, and powerful LED headlight is found within the attractive mini–fairing. A six–axis IMU works to give the bike lean–sensitive ABS and traction control, wheelie control, and even cornering lights. A quick-shifter is standard. Several different riding modes are available.

Three separate modes for road use and two for track use allow almost infinite adjustability to suit the rider’s needs. Certain modes allow customization of traction control, engine braking and wheelie control. The rider adjusts individual parameters from the handlebar switches, but the system is far from intuitive (a YouTube video helped).

The amazing thing, to MD, at least, is the tiny price difference between the standard bike and the factory version. Just $300. The U.S. MSRP for the Factory version is $10,999.

Wringing 100 hp out of a small twin usually involves a rather pronounced sacrifice of mid-range power in favor of a screaming top end. This bike has the screaming top end, but also makes pretty decent mid–range. The first impression is an extremely refined and smooth power plant.

Another first impression is the refined feeling of the suspension, which provides good bump absorption and enough damping to push the bike pretty hard on the road.

Like most nakeds, the ergonomics are reasonably comfortable and upright. The seat was surprisingly comfortable, even on longer rides.

Handling is precise and direct, although not quite as nimble as I would have expected, given the displacement category and light weight. Like some other Aprilias we have ridden, there is a slight trade-off between stability and nimbleness. This bike tracks very well at high speeds through sweeping corners, for instance, a trait we greatly appreciate.

That is not to say that you can’t toss the bike into a corner with the wide, upright handlebars. It just takes a bit more effort than on some of the other bikes in this category, that, on balance, feel a bit more nervous at higher speeds.

The transmission, and the quick-shifter, worked flawlessly. Rev–matching downshifts, and upshifts were achieved without using the clutch in nearly all instances, although, like most quick-shifter systems, the bike prefers to be on the gas and in taller gears when doing so (upshifting, at least).

The brakes are very strong, and good feel comes from the front binders, which are powered by a radial master cylinder. Consistent with the stability comments made earlier, the bike stays very calm and neutral under heavy braking aiding aggressive corner entry.

We also took the bike to a track day. That stable feeling through fast sweepers was very evident, and the bike cornered well on the tight Buttonwillow track. It did lack the punch to out-accelerate slower riders on larger displacement machinery when exiting corners, but that is really no fault of the motorcycle. There is no doubt this can be a fun track day bike, as well as a more practical road bike.

Speaking of practicality, we achieved roughly 55 mpg, on average, during our test. Not bad for a performance motorcycle.

This is an extremely fun motorcycle to ride. It includes a surprising amount of comfort and practicality in addition to its performance, which is arguably class-leading if you stay under 700cc.

It is somewhat more expensive than the competing bikes mentioned earlier from Kawasaki and Yamaha, but it offers a substantially increased horsepower level, as well as fully adjustable suspension and top-drawer brakes. A pretty good bargain in our opinion. Take a look at a Aprilia’s website for additional details and specifications.


  1. Artem says:

    Time of clowns or what is it?. Vinales tops the sprint in Aprilia. Everything else is OK.

  2. Jonathan S. Justman says:

    I have one of these, but the non-Factory version. It rips! It sounds fantastic, handles great, feels as light as it is, and is perfect for me. I love the ergonomics on this bike too. My second choice would have been a Triumph Street Triple, which has the same ergos and even nicer components (the RS model) but honestly it just made more power than I need. I’m 64 and trying not to die any sooner than I have to.

  3. VFRMANE says:

    I can’t wait to see this go up against the GSX 8R …

  4. todd says:

    I was under the impression (from someone who works as a mechanic at an Aprilia shop) that the 660 engine has been one of the most problematic engines of all times. Is that no longer the case?

    • Silver says:

      A quick search does seem to indicate this is not the engine you want if reliability is important. Get your stuff together aprilia

    • Reno Rider says:

      One would hope journalists would do their research about such things, as reliability is certainly at least as important as ride modes, weight, and horsepower. I did a quick perusal of a 660 forum and owners of early bikes had their fair share of issues, but everyone said the dealership and Aprilia took care of them. Most issues seemed to involve kickstand safety switch shutting off the engine, which was originally interpreted as engine failure. As an owner of weird bikes, my advice is to check the reputation of your local dealership. If you don’t have a local dealership, get a Japanese bike.

      • todd says:

        I was told about multiple engine catastrophic failures where heads were being replaced and then the replacement of heads on new bikes still in the showroom. However, then these bikes came back after being sold with the same failures. Maybe they’re getting to the root of it.

        • Reno Rider says:

          Sounds eerily similar to my 2009 Stelvio, where the DLC coating on the rocker arms comes off and ruins the engine. Or my Toyota T100 where the 3.4 V6 had defective head gaskets that Toyota never seemed to fully remedy. And my Colorado with the 5-cylinder that needed to have the head replaced. That’s gotta really hurt manufacturers, so hopefully Piaggio got it right after a year or so with the 660.

        • Dave says:

          With some interest in the forthcoming 457 I looked into this a little. Apparently the core issue is a recall for faulty rods (bad heat treatment). Other reports of rapid evacuation of fluids (oil, coolant) stem from assembly issues, like major covers not having their bolts torqued correctly. Hopefully they’ve gotten to the bottom of it all. They and KTM are doing a lot of neat stuff. It’d be a shame for them to have their progress delayed over this. Piaggio’s scooters are known to be pretty reliable.

          • Dirck Edge says:

            The motor debuted in 2020. I suspect any major reliability issues have been sorted out. The motor is now featured in several models.

      • TimC says:

        Journos have to “report the facts” about bikes (and cars) without being too negative. New bike piece/ride report, it’s just basically forbidden to go into the whole picture like you suggest.

        Source: A guy I was buddies with a couple jobs ago had been an editor (i.e. road tester) at Automobile for 11 years. He actually did a piece on the first Hyundai that they wouldn’t print because it was so horrible and he would not cut his piece or change its tone to be more favorable to that “total s–tbox” (as he termed it).

    • paquo says:

      the early ones had an engine recall, but have been solid since
      so probably better than the ktm ptwin motor but not as solid as the japanese offerings

  5. DT says:

    Wow, looks like there are a lot of ” glass 1/2 empty”s here.
    Compare this to the vernable Suzuki sv 650 ( I raced one).
    The sv was widely loved for years and years and yet this Aprilia is light years more modern with HP only a fully built sv hand grenade could even dream of.
    The problem is folks are comparing it to the wrong bikes, it’s not a inline 4 super sport.
    You can still buy a Kawaski 636 or a Hoda CBR 600 ( I believe) if that’s what turns your crank.
    For what this bike is, it’s brilliant IMHO.

    • Artem says:

      I’ll name all Vs like SV “luxury” to inlines. Strangely SV is rather cheap motorcycle. I mean engine block is technologicaly more complicated. Tooling, etc.

    • Dave says:

      I share the same sentiment. Many SV fans have wished for a premium expression of the type and the RS 660 is almost exactly what they describe. If they’d wanted a 4-cyl 600cc SS bike, they’d have bought that and moved on.

  6. Stuki Moi says:

    “How long ago were there 600cc spot bikes that were around 400 pounds?”

    It’s called law of diminishing returns.

    Neither bikes nor cars have gotten meaningfully “better” since the CBR600, the early GS’, the LC80 ‘Cruiser, the 993 911, the E36, the NSX, the LC400…..

    Marketing people, and magazines dependent on their advertising money, keep falling over themselves chanting “progress!” But they do that, because doing so is their respective jobs. Any correlation with actual, observable reality, is merely coincidental.

    • TimC says:

      Asserting the 993 is the peak of 911s is just silly. While I am uninterested in the current Panorama-style cars, the 996/997 GT2 and GT3 cars stomp the 993 AND are real driver’s cars (by all reports, I have never had opportunity to drive such).

      • Mick says:

        Priced a nice old air cooled Porsche lately?

        I’ve never been a car guy. But I am every inch a motorcycle guy. I understand that the thing about anything that you use on public roads is all about how well it works as a piece of sports equipment in the venue in which it is operated. Not how some magazine stacks it up against something they don’t have to buy nor own that they tested at a race track.

        Unfortunately the buying public is not made up of people who understand this simple concept.

        The problem with road going hardware is the people who buy it want an image. I see a motorcycle as a golf club or a tennis racket. I want a perfect balance of everything that needs to be there and nothing more.

        Ask a real car guy what the best car deal on the market is and they will tell you about a Miata. The image people will look down their noses at them. But they are as close as you can get to a tennis racket for street us the market will provide.

        My front line bike is a well modified supermoto built from an XR650R. It has enough power, stellar brakes, weighs under 290 pounds and can literally be hammered around a motocross track repeatedly without damage. It’s twenty years old. Does it need a nanny system or a TFT dash? Nope! It has a 41mm FCR flat slide that is cable operated. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

        • TimC says:

          “Priced a nice old air cooled Porsche lately?”

          Xxxx, I have followed Porsche values closely since around 2000. They are priced this high for reasons almost entirely exclusive of their dynamic capabilities (if opposite, the 944 Turbo S would be at the Classic Porsche Peak).

          Grow up.

          • Dave says:

            Ironically, when the 944S/944 Turbo were current, they were considered some of the best handling cars ever made and full of innovations (3.0L I4 engine, transaxle w/front-mid mounted engine). I think the air-cooled Porsche values are mostly nostalgia driven. They are simply the maximum expression of “Porsche-ness”.

    • Artem says:

      I also thought about CBR600F my frield had. But this one is two cylinder. Cheaper to produce.

  7. RyYYZ says:

    This is not a freaking “naked” bike – it’s got a frame-mounted fairing, ferchrisakes. How can you call it a “naked” bike? Makes no sense.

  8. Gary in NJ says:

    Dirck, how is the wind protection from the fairing? My experience with these small fairing is that they tend to drive the wind just below the helmet which can create a lot of uncomfortable buffeting. And speaking of comfort, your legs seem to have a lot of bend at the knee? How did you find the rider triangle?

  9. Mick says:

    The company that made a 550cc twin back in 2008 is back with a 600cc twin that makes more power and weighs about 100 pounds more. Progress? The power over everything people seem to think so. Me? Nah.

    Congratulations box builders. Aprilia has well and truly joined the inside.

    The parallel twin has promise. The industry that makes them does not. How sad.

    How long ago were there 600cc spot bikes that were around 400 pounds? I suppose the booger machines of today have no clue. So they’ll buy some of these things. But lord knows the kids can use the internet. Those kids will stay home. And the industry erodes more future base. Good luck when the fashion types get tired of trying to keep up with the next street bike fad. What’s next? The street bike industry’s take on the gravel bike? How are they going to differentiate the “gravel bikes” from the ADV bikes? I have seen just how susceptible these people are to advertising. So I suppose they can limp along getting the susceptible to swap out their motorcycles to stay in fashion every few years. But that will never build long term value for the industry.

    Expect contraction or simply a market exit here and there.

    • Bob says:


      That 550cc twin you love so much back in the day came standard with motocrosser levels of maintenance. Pistons and rings were regular service items.

      If you want that shit for a road bike, enjoy.

      • xLaYN says:

        Bob for president.

        • ORT says:

          If not President then at least Bob for Kang of Kangs!

          Mick has to be the weakest being on the planet. Once more, with feeeewing: Mick, you ride the bike, not the other way around.


          • todd says:

            Ort, for those of us that spend more time riding through corners than we spend riding in a straight line, light-weight is the most important attribute for performance. So much so that adding power to a motorcycle does not improve performance and adding weight reduces performance. There is a fine line tradeoff with adding strength and precision to the chassis helps but you don’t need much. Case in point; the 1290 Super Duke’s extra 105 hp over the 690 Duke doesn’t make up for the extra 142 pounds of weight. The big SD is actually slower through any stretch of road and I can vouch for that, first hand. That extra weight and tire width slows everything down and is so much more tiring to control.

          • Tim C says:

            ORT I am on record so I admit I’ve called you out/disagreed with you a few times for sure. Including the “ORT” sig.


            “…with feeeewing”

            unexpectedly wins the internet today, against tons of pretty stiff competition.

            OH and then “Mick has to be the weakest being on the planet.” – I’m so ded it’s not even funny. Well by that I mean it’s farging hilarious. This really isn’t even fair at this point.

            TIM C

          • TimC says:

            ORT for something!

            TIM C

      • Mick says:

        And 15 years and a boat load of new manufacturing techniques have gone by to what end?

        While you’re at is perhaps you could hold court on the weight difference between the 550 and this 600 engine. I think that most of the weight difference between the two motorcycles comes from the chassis.

        How much motocrosser levels of maintenance does a chassis take?

        I’m all ears. Please enlighten this motley fool with your vast wealth of brilliance.

        Yeah, that’ll happen.

        • Gary in NJ says:

          It just happened.

          What makes you think that all 550 & 600cc class engines have the same weight? That’s like assuming all lengths of rope are the same – it’s just preposterous.

          An engine designed for racing (lets say 1,000 hours of use) can certainly be designed lighter than en engine that needs to last 100,000 miles (millions of hours). This very decision drives everything from the weight of the crank, conrods, bearings, clutch assembly – literally every decision. It effects the cooling system, the electrical system, the starting system. Racing bikes are designed with minimal margin outside the environment for which they are designed, whereas a street bike has to be designed for every conceivable environment.

          Are you really this dense? You like to make statements about design, however you apparently do not understand basic design elements and criteria? Have you ever undertaken a SWAP analysis? Your straw-man arguments are complete nonsense.

          I’m not pushing my “vast wealth of brilliance”, merely just pointing out your lack thereof.

      • Mick says:

        So the engine is what maybe? 25 pounds heavier tops. That’s over 75 pounds of chassis blubber. How much maintenance does a motocross chassis require?

        How much repair would this bike require if you pounded out a few hundred laps on a motocross track with it?

        You guys should really hang up your leathers. I really feel that you are mentally insufficient to safely operate a motorcycle. Buy a car or take up knitting or something more your speed.

        Well, maybe knitting would be pushing it a bit.

        • Dave says:

          Mick, you need to go out and find these answers for yourself. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. Lightweight is desirable for all sporting performance oriented vehicles. If it were possible to make these motorcycles lighter at a cost the market would bear, then they would but they are not.

          A dirt bike is not a street bike.

          What you say you want is not possible achieve. If you’d like to continue to assert that it is then you need to go out and prove it or find it for yourself.

    • Gary in NJ says:

      Is it fair to compare the weight of a dirt-bike/dual-sport to a lightly faired street bike that is designed for comfort? No, it’s not. The Tuono has 25% to 50% more fuel capacity. Also, the Tuono has features (6-axis IMU, ABS, passenger accommodations) that the RXV/SXV doesn’t – not to mention that it makes 30 more horsepower which of course requires a heavier crank, castings, higher capacity cooling and oil system, more electronics so a heavier stator and starter – and the associated weight of the wire harness to power…everything. The wheels are a different design as are the mirrors, tail light, you get the idea…they have different weights because THEY ARE DESIGNED FOR DIFFERENT PURPOSES.

      So your comparison is baseless and dishonest. Perhaps it would make sense to compare the weight (and features) with bikes which the Tuono competes – where the Tuono has a weight advantage.

      • Tom R says:

        When Mick was a kid he would probably light a batch of firecrackers, throw them into the middle of a group of kids playing marbles, then back off and watch the chaos.

    • Stuki Moi says:

      “How long ago were there 600cc spot bikes that were around 400 pounds?”

      It’s called law of diminishing returns.

      Neither bikes nor cars have gotten meaningfully “better” since the CBR600, the early GS’, the LC80 ‘Cruiser, the 993 911, the E36, the NSX, the LC400…..

      Marketing people, and magazines dependent on their advertising money, keep falling over themselves chanting “progress!” But they do that, because doing so is their respective jobs. Any correlation with actual, observable reality, is merely coincidental.

      • Gary in NJ says:

        So you are saying what us stupid consumers perceive as progress is just a disinformation campaign by “marketing people and magazines”? So when I’m sitting in traffic in my car, and I engage the self-driving features that allow the car to manage the traffic with limited input from me, I’m just falling for the marketing hype? I’m not really more relaxed? Or a motorcyclist that is leaned over in a corner doing 60 mph when the bike suddenly loses traction due to dirt/sand/oil – and the IMU makes adjustments to the power and braking to keep the motorcycle from low-siding – it’s just a corporate scam? This is amazing information, please tell me more. I’ll bet theres nothing but sand in those computer chips…wait…

        • Tom R says:

          When Mick was a kid he would probably light a batch of firecrackers, throw them into the middle of a group of kids playing marbles, then back off and watch the chaos.

          • Mick says:

            Meh, typical industry shills.

            How does expecting excellence equate with wantonly endangering people or being weak?

            Attacking the messenger is a sure sign of weak individuals.

          • Dave says:

            Mick, you are not seeking excellence, you’re seeking excuses to avoid it.

            The market is full of excellent options, some very close to what you claim to want but you keep moving the goal posts.

            I don’t think we know what message you’re attempting to deliver anymore.

      • TimC says:

        Oh, you asserted this crud more than once? You really think the 993, E36, the (presumably 1st-gen) NSX represent a farging pinnacle? Are you crazy?

        Vehicles of one of the golden ages still are … of that time period.

        I had a 944 which is one of the greatest driving cars of all time, but objectively my (FWD!) Mk 7 GTI is faster (and we are talking in the twisties where the power doesn’t matter).

        I still ride my ’07 FZ6 with similar power to this bike (probably even peakier, actually, it cracked me up when they said the usual problem with twins) and there is no way I’m going to assert it’s “meaningfully just as good” as this Aprilia, even if it still suits my purposes and is likely to remain as far-more-reliable as it has already proven to be.

  10. Roadrash1 says:

    Don’t forget about the cruise control!

  11. TP says:

    25-30 more hp is a lot:)

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