In an uncharacteristic display of cruelty, Lance ordered me to report upon the updates and changes Aprilia made to their RSV4 and sister bike Tuono.
Lance calls it "expanding my horizons." I call it "not being able to take off early today." The RSV4 and Tuono are both a bit more refined and technologically sophisticated than I am, but I'll do my best to see if I can convey the pertinent pieces of the press release into manageable chunks, punctuated with poor jokes.
Big news: If you were hoping Honda was about to use Intermot to cough up a new V4, well, that didn't happen. The truth is there is no big V4 news. The Aprilias are still your only option in the superbike category. The little news is that the RSV4 RF and RR, along with the naked-ish Tuono, both got some tiny updates.
Aprilia made the traction control logic in both bikes a bit better, and wheelie control has “more precise operating strategies thanks to the repositioning of the inertial platform.” I thought "repositioning the inertial platform" was what I did when I moved my ass around to bring the front end back down, but clearly, I am wrong. Wheelie control and traction control are now both adjustable on the fly, even if the throttle is in use. I guess this must have been something customers asked for. Hell, I kind of want to see someone making these adjustments mid-wheelie, to be honest. For science.
Launch control was made more effective, and the quickshifter now permits clutchless downshifts as well as clutchless upshifts. There is also a new “pit limiter,” as well, which “lets you select and limit the top speed allowed in pit lane at the track or simply to make it easier to comply with posted speed limits on the road.” That's good, Aprilia. Old Lem-lem runs into problems with that latter issue.
The final addition, which probably was not difficult to incorporate given all the electronics work this bike received, is cruise control. This kind of makes me giggle, because it's perverse. I'm packing 201 horsepower if I'm on this hot-rod, I've got every electronic aid known to man, and I’m expected to get on the highway and bumble along at 64 mph in sixth gear? I... I... Words fail me. Every bike has a feature or two I don’t care about or need, and I’m betting this is mine. I might not be alone, though. Bucky didn’t mention wanting cruise control in his review of the 2016 Tuono. Cruise control. Sheesh.
Pricing has not yet been announced. Which kind of doesn't matter, because if you want a low-production crazy race-rep exotic Italian superbike, you're going to buy one, by God, cost be damned.
Well, the joke’s on Lance, I guess. I got this story done with time to spare. I’m off to go see if I can scare up an RS125 to review. I’ll borrow plates off another bike.