APRILIA continue to grow their 660 platform with the unveiling of the Tuareg 660 adventure bike. With no indication as yet on pricing, the Tuareg is expected to hit dealers showrooms in May/June of 2022.
The 660 platform represents the start of a new era for Aprilia. One defined by lightweight and high-performance motorcycles with an attractive design and unique, unequivocally premium technology.
Following hot on the heels of the popular RS 660 and Tuono 660, dedicated to street sport riding, this is a true off-road bike. It bears a name that was introduced by Aprilia in 1985, and this time raies the bar for off-road adventure bike riding.
At the same time, it places its supreme travelling spirit centre stage thanks to its impeccable performance on asphalt, the capability of its 58.8kW (80hp) twin-cylinder and its reduced weight of just 187kg, without fluids.
The guiding light of its design process was the wholesale elimination of any part that did not have a specific function. Its style was forged in the search for a perfect balance between form and technological/functional features.
A unique and innovative solution was chosen for the top fairing, consisting only of a broad expanse of transparent plexiglass, and paired with a refined support, that also serves as the instrument cluster’s base structure.
For the same reason, there are no classic side panels below the seat. They are replaced by two panels that can be removed when mounting optional side panniers, which therefore remain closer to the vehicle’s body.
The full LED lighting system includes a new, compact headlight unit featuring perimeter DRL. For the first time in this category, the Tuareg 660 introduces the concept of a double fairing, which acts as an aerodynamic appendage.
The parallel configuration of the Aprilia twin-cylinder engine allowed the designers to maintain a contained saddle height and come up with a much lower straddle arch, making it easy for riders of any height to reach the ground.
To combine high rear-wheel travel which is essential in off-road riding, with the ease of mounting the saddle, the subframe area was lowered as much as possible, thereby allowing for the design of a sleek but accessible tail fairing.
Just as much attention was applied to the dimensions in order to achieve an extremely compact and slim bike, especially in the area where the rider’s legs come into contact with the fuel tank, which offers 18-litres capacity, ensuring a range of 450km.
The frame is a new structure, in high-resistance steel tubes and cast plates, and the subframe is welded to the frame in order to achieve a truly solid structure capable of withstanding loads of up to 210kg.
The double-arm aluminium swingarm, significantly longer to ensure maximum traction, is pivoted both in the frame and in the engine, and operates the shock absorber that features progressive linkage.
The Kayaba suspension system, with extremely long travel (240mm), has adjustable hydraulic rebound damping and compression, as well as spring preload (for the shock absorber), using the convenient hydraulic preload handle.
The choice of sizes for the tubeless aluminium wheel rims indicates the Tuareg 660’s clear off-roading vocation, the front rim is 2.5 x 21-inch and the rear rim is 4.5 x 18-inch. Both are shod with Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR tyres.
The Brembo braking system relies on a pair of 300mm discs and double-piston callipers at the front and a single 260mm disc and floating, single-piston calliper at the rear.
Aprilia has always been at the cutting edge of the electronics field (the first to introduce ride-by-wire throttle control on a MotoGP bike in 2002, and on a factory bike in 2007), with this bike boasting its performance ride control package.
The Aprilia Tuareg 660 features the electronic multi-map ride-by-wire accelerator for finely tuned, delicate and progressive throttle control from low engine revs, as well as four riding modes.
Each of those automatically provides the best settings for traction control, engine brake, ABS and a range of managed parameters. Two riding modes are dedicated to street riding, with one specifically for off-road riding, as well as a custom mode.
The 5.0-inch colour digital TFT instrument cluster provides a perfect display of the various settings, and features a twilight sensor that adjusts brightness based on the ambient lighting conditions.
The range of Aprilia Tuareg 660 colours includes Acid Gold, Martian Red, and a third look known as Indaco Tagelmust. It’s iconic scheme is inspired by the 1988 Tuareg Wind 600.
A 35kW (learner-approved) variant has also been mooted but at this time it’s not known what will be offered in Australia. Further information, including final local models, specifications and pricing are expected closer to launch.