Tuono Shock Link Plate Install


On the latest generation of Aprilia Tuono's and RSV-R's the shock link plates were reduced in size compared to earlier models.  At least three people have reported on our message board of having had a serious accidents and upon inspecting the bike found these link plates to be broken.  It is not definitely known if the plates' failure caused the accident or vice versa.  Apparently Aprilia is looking into this.  Read about it here.


In the meantime, AF1 has made replacement link plates of their own design.  For $50 I decided it was cheap insurance and purchased a set.  The entire job took 20 minutes and was very easy.  I highly recommend all effected owners consider performing this modification immediately.


What you will need:

-AF1 Racing - Custom Link Plates

-2x Jack stands

-1x Steel rod 1/2" in diameter

-motorcycle rear stand

-13mm socket or wrench

-15mm socket or wrench

-Torque wrench


In order to work on the rear suspension you must first unload it.  That rules out using a standard motorcycle rear stand.  An easy way to accomplish this is by running a steel rod through the center of the swingarm pivot and resting the rod on jackstands.  About the biggest diameter rod I could fit through was 12.7mm or 1/2".  I found a 1/2" by three foot hot-rolled, weldable solid steel rod at my local hardware store for $6.25.  Slide the rod through the swingarm pivot and raise the back of the bike up onto the rear stand.  Now place jack stands under the rod as close to the bike as possible.  Raise the jackstands up to the height of the steel rod.  Ensure both jacks are at the same height.  Then slowly lower the bike off the rear stand.  This should leave the bike on the jackstands with the rear wheel off the ground.  If the bike is good and steady then proceed with the link plate replacement.

Tuono shock link plate install


Tuono shock link plate install


Tuono shock link plate install

Use the 13mm and 15mm wrenches or sockets to remove the three nuts and bolts securing the plates to the rear suspension.  If you want to use sockets you will need some long enxtensions and u-joint sockets to get access to the front bolt as the exhaust system precludes a straight shot.  Otherwise you can use open-ended wrenches but you will need to remove the rear wheel first to give you enough access in there.  As you slide the bolts out you may need to raise the back wheel slightly, removing tension from the plates.  Also, be careful not to slide the center bushes out when you remove and reinstall the two rearward bolts.  Otherwise you might knock out the dust seals or disturb the needle bearings.  They are a pain to replace.Tuono shock link plate install

Here are the new and old plates.  The new design is wider and solid.  Note the arrow on both plates.  Install the new one just like the original.

Tuono shock link plate install

New plate installed.  Be certain to torque the nuts down to 50Nm or 37ft/lb.

Tuono shock link plate install


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