Aprilia Tuono 125 (2017-2020): Review & Buying Guide

 

Sometimes being young can be a frustrating experience and you need to attempt to look bigger and older than you are to get some much-needed attention. This adage also works in the two-wheeled word and that’s why 125s look so much like their bigger capacity siblings. It’s a trick Aprilia worked out years ago and the firm has been making mini reps of their bigger bikes for ages to please young hooligans the world over who want to look like they are on anything but a restricted licence. And none are more fun to ride than the Tuono 125, which arrived in four-stroke form in 2017 (it was previously a two-stroke but that was killed off in 2011). With styling based on the firm’s wild Tuono V4, the Tuono 125 certainly looked the part, even if the single cylinder motor was less than a quarter of the capacity of its namesake’s engine...

 

Aprilia Tuono 125 (2017 – 2020) Price

The Tuono was quite a pricey 125 in 2017 at £4600 and although £100 less than the RS125 (which is basically identical but a race rep) it was a few quid more than Japanese equivalents, mainly as Aprilia liked to push the ‘made in Italy’ heritage of their bikes and use this to up the price tag. Nowadays you are looking at paying around the £3000 mark for an early bike in a dealership with later bikes costing £3800, a private sale chops about £500 off these prices. There are brand new 2021 models going for £4500, which feature a few updates to make them Euro5-compliant, so don’t pay more than £4000 for the older generation.

 

Power and torque

The Tuono is limited in its power by rules and regulations and there is only so much performance you can get out of a 125cc four-stroke without breaking the 15bhp limit. That said, the Tuono can be thrashed to over 70mph and as long as you don’t mind battering that gear lever, progress is reasonably rapid considering its performance is restricted.

 

Engine, gearbox and exhaust

Aprilia’s 125cc motor first arrived in 2011 on the RS4 (which became the RS125 in 2017) and it is quite a well-engineered piece of kit. Some 125s are left lacking and make do with two valves or a single overhead cam but the Tuono’s engine gets twin cams, water-cooling, fuel-injection and a four-valve head – which delivers the most performance you can legally squeeze from a 125. It makes a claimed 14.7bhp with 8.9lb.ft of torque, which isn’t bad at all, but more importantly it does so with a good reliability record and cheap service costs. When it comes to buying used, check with the owner how often they get it serviced or service it themselves (swapping the oil and filter takes minutes) and if they aren’t aware, it is every 4000 miles be a bit concerned. The biggy to watch out for is the 20,000 mile (technically 18,600 as the intervals are in km so most round up) as this is when the timing chain should be changed, but very few bikes are anywhere near this point. The major issue with 125s is owner negligence (thrashing them from cold!!!) as if well looked after, the bikes are fairly reliable. The exhaust is known to hole on the Tuono, which is a cheap fix as new systems are only £250, but the gearbox is more of a concern. Aprilia sold a quickshifter for the Tuono and if this is fitted it can cause some fairly serious gearbox issues as 125s aren’t really meant to have them! Always take the bike for a test ride and see if the gearbox feels healthy and positive and doesn’t jump out of gear under acceleration.

 

Aprilia Tuono 125 2017 Used Review Price Spec_04

 

Aprilia Tuono 125 (2017 – 2020) Economy

The Tuono is a four-stroke 125 and that means no matter how hard you ride it (there is only really one way...) you can expect decent economy figures. Most owners report an average of 75mpg and that means a tank range of just over 200 miles from the 14.4 litre tank is to be expected. That’s way better than the V4....

 

Handling, suspension, chassis and weight

The first thing to mention are the truly awful OE tyres, which by now hopefully will be a thing of the past. If you look and see Mitas on the tyre wall, swap them immediately for a quality known brand as they offer basically nothing in the way of grip or feel and are terrible in the wet. These out of the way and the Tuono 125 is a pleasant surprise when it comes to handling. With a chassis based (well, identical...) to that used on the firm’s sporty RS125, the Tuono isn’t afraid of bends and the basic suspension is good enough to allow you to have a good laugh. The high bars and upright seating position the Tuono has over the RS allows you to hurl it into bend, not that 134kg of Tuono needs much hurling, and the end result is a good handling bike. In town it is easy to manoeuvre through traffic and overall it is a joy to ride and very easy to get on with. When buying used, your major worry is crash damage or bent bits so look for twisted or bent forks, scuffs on the frame and bodywork and dinged wheels. There is a fair chance the bike will have been dropped, the worry is how hard it hit the floor...

 

Aprilia Tuono 125 (2017 – 2020) Brakes

The Tuono packs a single four-piston front caliper and has ABS as standard, which even includes an anti-stoppie function! The great news is, however, that it doesn’t activate on the rear so you can pull skids until your heart is content – or you realise how much a new rear tyre will cost you... As the Tuono only weighs 134kg wet, the single stopper with its braided line as standard has more than enough power.

 

Aprilia Tuono 125 2017 Used Review Price Spec_05

 

Comfort over distance and touring

Touring isn’t really something that owners of a 125 look to do but the Tuono’s upright riding position and ability to hold 70mph sees it able to cover reasonable distances if required. The screen is fairly useless but that is easily sorted.

 

Rider aids and extra equipment / accessories

Alongside ABS and the option of a quickshifter (up only) the Tuono can also run Aprilia’s connectivity system, allowing you to link to a smartphone while on the go. It’s a touch basic but does the job. Comically, there is also a lap timer function with 20 laps memory in the dash – which isn’t really necessary... When it comes to extras, you are basically looking at maybe a loud exhaust, hopefully crash protection, possibly a bigger screen and probably a few dents or scratches that are covered up with stickers. Tuono 125 owners tend to save their cash for the important thing in life – like fuel and mobile phone bills...

 

Aprilia Tuono 125 (2017 – 2020) verdict

While grown-ups with their rose-tinted glasses on will lament the lack of two-stroke smoke, modern yoof will love the fact that Aprilia’s four-stroke engine is reliable, the Tuono is nice and roomy and it is a very frugal bike to run. Yes, the price tag is still quite high but the Tuono 125 looks really cool and with a loud pipe on even sounds pretty impressive.

 

Three things we love about the Tuono 125…

  • Economy figures
  • Amazing looks
  • Solid reliability

 

Three things that we don’t…

  • Finish can suffer
  • Previous owner’s mechanical sympathy is always a worry
  • It isn’t as engaging as a two-stroke...

 

Aprilia Tuono 125 2017 Used Review Price Spec_06

 

Aprilia Tuono 125 (2017 – 2020) spec

Original price

£4600

Current price range

£2600-£3800

Capacity

124.2cc

Bore x Stroke

58x47mm

Engine layout

Single cylinder

Engine details

DOHC, 4v, liquid-cooled

Power

14.7bhp @ 10,750rpm

Torque

8.9lb-ft @ 8000rpm

Top speed

80mph

Transmission

6 speed, chain final drive

Average fuel consumption

80mpg

Tank size

14.5 litres

Max range to empty (theoretical)

220 miles

Reserve capacity

35 miles

Rider aids

ABS

Frame

Aluminium beam

Front suspension

Inverted 41mm forks

Front suspension adjustment

Non-adjustable

Rear suspension

Monoshock

Rear suspension adjustment

Adjustable preload

Front brake

1 x 300mm disc, four-piston radial caliper. ABS

Rear brake

1 x 218mm disc, one-piston caliper

Front tyre

100/80 - 17

Rear tyre

130/70 - 17

Rake/Trail

n/a

Dimensions

1955mm x 740mm x n/a (LxWxH)

Wheelbase

1353mm

Ground clearance

n/a

Seat height

810mm

Kerb weight

134kg (wet)

 

Looking for motorbike insurance? Get a quote for this bike with Bennetts motorcycle insurance

 

Aprilia Tuono 125 2017 Used Review Price Spec_07
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