My 2003 Tuono has just short of 16k miles and the valves are still in spec. On the same clutch plates too. Reliability is sweet. No problems with the engine. The only real issue I've had was with the rear clutch slave cylinder which I eventually replaced with an aftermarket solution (three bolts and a bleed, done).
The valve adjustment on an Aprilia shouldn't cost much more than on a Japanese V-Twin. The desmo Ducatis tend to have expenisve valve adjustments because they are more complicated than the bucket shim system that tat Aprilia uses.
Why not find your local Aprilia dealer and ask how much your regular maintenance will cost?
If all you want to know is whether the prilller will work all the time the answer is yes.
if you want to know if will it be a better bike than your f4, the answer is more complicated. I would say the f4 is easier to for most people to ride fast, does not wear you out just from the ride and is generally a better bike. but the f4 is a better all around bike than almost everything.
if you like 60degree twins and all that comes with it and want a poser bike then the mille is your ticket to bliss.
i predict aprila gets rid of the 60 degre motor very soon and goes to 90. that lump is something you love or hate. i hate it.
I think the Aprilia motor is a great motor. I only had 1 complaint; Parts availability. And I only needed a part because a service guy screwed it up. The motors have proven to be reliable and my Aprilia service was less than any Duc service (3 ducs).
I have a 2003 Tuono with 30000 km and there has been nothing wrong. just start and go. super engine with BIG fun factor. Have had many different bike like Honda VFR, VTR, supermagna, magna,goldwing all great bikes but cant match the Italian superbike. Swedish magazine wrote that Aprilia had done what none ever had done before: made a complete new bike, all new, and with no fault just working all the time.
i wondered if anybody would ask. its the balance i think. or lack of it. i get an upset stomach from the motor. i admit i have not ridden a tuono though. just one falco and 3 or 4 mille's from different years. two were race bikes.
maybe a more upright position would be better, but i doubt it. i don't mean to disparage the bike. but for me its like buying a guzzi. ride one first because it takes some gettin used to. i wanted to love it for sure. the spec, the looks and the idea all appealed to me. but the thump did not.
i do not doubt for an instant that the tuono kicks ass. it sure should given what it is.
From the rumors I've heard, Aprilia will soon be replacing the 60 degree with a 90.
I've owned an RC51, and I always lusted after the Mille's. Truth is, the RC51 outperformed the Mille at the time, and also had a much nicer sounding motor... due mainly to the 90 degree set up, and chain driven cams. Best sounding twin, IMO.
The new RSV 1000's though are awesome! Fit and finish is second to none, and they're not nearly as common as a japanese sportbike.
Just make sure you put those aftermarkey Akrapovic made Aprilia pipes on it if you get it. They're fantastic.
I owned a 2003 Mille, and loved it. Very reliable, handled well, and had lots of steam. Parts availability was a problem, as was finding Aprilia dealers who still wanted to deal with the company. I sold her over the winter to buy one of those souless Japanese bikes. What I can tell you is don't buy one if you like to keep bikes for a year or two and then move on. Me, I needed less of a payment to afford a new house, and soon discovered there is little to no resale value for used Aprilias. If you are going to keep her for a long time though, you will not be sorry.
I have an 04 Tuono. The motor in Rsv is as bullet proof as anything on the market. Maintance is easy to do yourself or about the same as most jap bikes (money wise) to have done. The bad things about the bike are; 1. If the battery gets low the speedo resets from MPH to KPH. It will take you about 60 sec. to reset it after you done it 3 or 4 times. 2. The rear brake what rear brake. At best it's ok. Some days it just isn't there. 3. Some of the older cluth slaves leak. I've never had this problem. 4. Aprilia dealers have been dropping off 1 by 1. Not because of the product, but Aprilia only takes orders for bikes once a year. You order around Nov. maybe get them in April and if you sale out, good luck until next year. 5. Part from Italy can be slow, real slow. 6. Starter relay is also a weak point. 7. The forks are sprung for someone 200 lb. and the shock is sprung for someone 140 lb.
Don't get me wrong. I just wanted to inform you of the bad things. I love the brand and love my bike. If you like attention you'll love this bike. People seem to flock to them. You'll even get Harley guy's asking,"How you like your Buel?". Before you make up your mind go to www.apriliaforum.com the guy's there can be a real asset.
I have not heard any complaints about reliability problems, and I know quite a few RSV owners at work (very large campus) and off work.
IMHO: The good thing for somebody who rode i-4 is RSV engine is much less V-tweeny than 90 degrees Hondas. It has less grunt in low to midrange (not on paper, but by feel) but have still nice top-end comparing to 90 degrees. That was my impression when I rode 2003 and 2004 Mille. So - it is easier to go from i-4 to RSV than from say i-4 to 90 degrees twin.
RSV can be a bit nasty on handling - suspension is great, it's just a bit less predictable and need careful dialing in.
Big V-twins are love or hate thing. IMO - without offending Duc owner who posted above - Jap V-twins such as Superhawk and TL-S vs. 900ss or RC51 vs RSV are not any less soulfull than Italian breed, it is more about big V-twins in sport chassis that makes it fun. Deffo more fun that i-4s in exchange for less speed etc.