Italian motorcycle manufacturer Aprilia unveiled an adventure-focused motorcycle named Tuareg 660 (not to be confused with a certain Volkswagen) that’s smaller and lighter than many of the models currently on the market. It will compete in an increasingly crowded segment.
What’s popular in the automotive industry often seeps into the motorcycle world, and off-roading is no exception; the number of riders who want to explore what’s far away from the beaten path seemingly grows annually. Aprilia’s long-awaited entry into a segment dominated by the Yamaha Ténéré 700 is consequently fitted with aggressive-looking tires and an adjustable suspension system with over nine inches of travel. There’s a skid plate to protect the engine, and the exhaust system is mounted relatively high to avoid expensive and inconvenient impacts with low obstacles.
Aprilia chose to power the 412-pound Tuareg with the same basic 659cc straight-twin used by the RS 660 and the Tuono 660. It develops 80 horsepower and 52 pound-feet of torque, and it has been modified to deliver more low- and mid-range power at the expense of top-end grunt. The thinking is that, since the bike was built for off-pavement use, riders are more likely to require brisk acceleration in less-than-ideal conditions than a triple-digit top speed.
The traditional analog instrument cluster is replaced by a five-inch thin-film-transistor (TFT) screen that provides key data about the Tuareg and its surroundings. It’s also used to adjust a variety of parameters (such as the traction control system and the engine braking control), set the cruise control, and select one of the four available driving modes. And, riders reportedly have the option of selecting different engine maps and deactivating the ABS system.
Pricing and availability for the Aprilia Tuareg 660 haven’t been announced. For context, the aforementioned RS 660 starts at $11,299 and the Tuono 660 carries a base price of $10,499. Yamaha charges $9,999 for the Ténéré.