When the original Tuono, based on the Rotax-powered Mille superbike, was introduced in the early part of the millennium, it made waves because it was the proverbial “gun in a knife fight” of the naked-bike world. These days, the Tuono (“thunder” in Italian, aptly), now a 1,077cc V-4, is just as gonzo as ever and universally lauded for its beautiful design by Miguel Galluzzi, top-class electronics, race-derived chassis, and thunder-y motor. The Tuono doesn’t, frankly, need much in the way of improvements, but here are a few basic bolt-on mods that do the Tuono proud.
Akrapovic Evolution Full Exhaust System ($2,755): For as long as manufacturers have had to deal with noise regulations and other annoying prohibitions, motorcyclists have been scrapping stock exhausts for something lighter, louder, freer flowing, and prettier. Akrapovic’s Evolution full system fits the bill and features titanium pipes and a carbon-sleeved can.
Dynojet Power Commander V ($535): Akrapovic recommends using its pipe with a Power Commander for optimal performance and throttle response. Preloaded maps to match the pipe ensure the Tuono will run at its best.
Arrow Pro Race Slip-On ($415): Rather than go the full system route, spare some serious coin and opt for a slip-on like this cool GP-style unit from Arrow.
R&G Racing Lever Guards ($51): Race one of the 2000 Road America Superbike round is seared in the memory of all who witnessed it, even 17 years on. Entering turn one on the opening lap, Steve Rapp rammed the rear end of teammate John Kocinski’s Vance & Hines Ducati, jamming the brake lever in the process and instantly sending the bike end over end. It was a violent crash that Rapp was fortunate to walk away from unhurt. If memory serves, he showed up to the next round with dirt bike-style hand guards. That’s a roundabout way of saying that for good reason, it’s common—if not required—for racebikes to feature lever guards, such as this pair from R&G. On a separate note, Nicky Hayden took his very first Superbike victory that day at Elkhart Lake.
Saddlemen Foam And Seat Cover Kit ($151): The Tuono’s upright ergos make it a pretty comfortable ride, but improved cushioning can make it that much better for those long trips to the track. The Saddlemen kit features foam and gel cushioning and a vinyl cover that fits over the stock seat pan. The kit can be installed at home or Saddlemen can fit it to your seat pan for an additional $20.
Woodcraft Rearsets ($400): Woodcraft rearsets—made from aircraft-grade aluminum that will bend, not crack, in the event of a get-off—represent the quality we’ve come to expect from the Massachusetts-based company. The footpegs can be placed in six positions to help the rider find the perfect balance of ground clearance and comfort to suit his/her riding style. The brake and shift levers are jewelry-like billet pieces.
Evotech Frame Sliders ($86): Polymer crash bobbins to spare fairings and sensitive parts in case of an accident.