With the Harley-Davidson Pan America’s arrival, the adventure bike segment gained a compelling new competitor. However, the competitive pressure is only going to increase, because Aprilia is launching an ADV of its own. Following on the heels of the RS 660 and Tuono 660 is the 2022 Aprilia Tuareg 660. And if the name is any indication, middleweight adventure bike buyers might be in for an Italian treat.
The 2022 Aprilia Tuareg 660 brings the Italian brand back to adventuring
While it’s a brand-new motorcycle, the 2022 Aprilia Tuareg 660 isn’t the Italian company’s first adventure bike. Up until a few years ago, it offered the Caponord 1200, a rival for the Ducati Multistrada. Plus, the 2022 Tuareg 660 isn’t even the first Aprilia Tuareg. The brand was heavily involved in the Paris-Dakar in the 1980s and 1990s. And one of its most iconic models from the period is the Tuareg Wind 600, ADVPulse explains.
The motorcycle industry first learned of the Tuareg’s potential return in 2019, RideApart says. But barring a heavily disguised display in 2020, it wasn’t until early 2021 that the first spy shots of the development mules rolled in. It was all but certain that the adventure bike would use the same engine as the RS 660 and Tuono 660. However, apart from that, few concrete technical details were known.
Now, though, the 2022 Aprilia Tuareg 660 is fully unwrapped. And with that come all the relevant specs (sourced from Cycle World) and features.
|Spec||2022 Aprilia Tuareg 660|
|Engine||659cc liquid-cooled parallel-twin|
|Front suspension and travel||Fully-adjustable Kayaba upside-down fork; 9.4”|
|Rear suspension and travel||Fully-adjustable Kayaba piggyback shock; 9.4”|
|Fuel tank capacity||4.8 gal|
As of this writing, Aprilia hasn’t released the 2022 Tuareg 660’s official curb weight. But the company does say it has a dry weight of 412 lbs. Cycle World pegs the read-to-ride weight at 455-460 lbs.
In terms of features, the 2022 Aprilia Tuareg 660 comes standard with a metal skid plate, windscreen, spoked wheels with Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR tires, 5” color TFT display, and LED lighting. It also has traction control, engine-braking control, cruise control, and Brembo brakes with switchable ABS, Bennetts reports. And it has multiple riding modes, including customizable and off-road ones.
Can it handle paved roads and off-road trails?
While the 2022 Aprilia Tuareg 660 has the same basic engine as the RS 660 and Tuono 660, it’s been tweaked slightly, Cycle World notes. In the adventure bike it makes less horsepower but more torque, which is better for off-roading. The company also redesigned the oil pan for more ground clearance. Plus, in another nod towards off-road riding, the Tuareg 660 has a steel frame rather than the RS’s and Tuono’s aluminum one.
As of this writing, the Aprilia Tuareg 660 is still in pre-production. However, Cycle World scored some seat time with the ADV both on paved and dirt roads. And overall, the Tuareg “has the power, chassis, and ergonomics needed for a worthy adventure mount.”
On the street, the adventure bike is easy to turn in and adjust mid-corner. And despite its 21” front wheel and all-terrain tires, the Tuareg 660 has plenty of front-end feeling and grip. “It just works,” Cycle World says. Plus, the handlebars are comfortably wide, the windscreen provides good wind protection, and the metal footpegs have removable rubber inserts for extra grip.
The Aprilia Tuareg 660 is just as fun to ride when the pavement ends and the gravel starts, Cycle World reports. With a balanced chassis, low center of gravity, narrow seat and fuel tank, the ADV feels light and nimble. And whether you’re sliding or accelerating, the throttle’s connection to what’s happening at the rear tire is excellent, Cycle World says. On “fairly tame dirt roads,” the adventure bike is “a joy.”
That being said, Cycle World noticed a few issues with its pre-production tester. The power delivery could be improved in some of the on-road riding modes, which Aprilia claimed it’s working on. And at low speeds on hot days, riders’ legs will feel the heat from the radiators. But even so, the Tuareg 660 is shaping up to be a serious rival for bikes like the Yamaha Ténéré 700, Cycle World reports.
How much does the 2022 Aprilia Tuareg 660 adventure bike cost?
As of this writing, Aprilia hasn’t released pricing details for the 2022 Tuareg 660. But Cycle World estimates it should start at $11,500-$12,000. That would make it $1500-$2000 more than the Yamaha, which is less powerful and has fewer electronics as well as a taller seat.
Properly comparing the Tuareg 660 will have to wait until it arrives in dealers, though. But that wait won’t be long; Aprilia says the ADV should arrive here in Q1 2022.
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