Comparison of the Aprilia Tuareg 660 and Tenere 700 from a seasoned rider

The Yamaha Ténéré 700 (T7) continues to be one of the most sought-after adventure bikes in the market today, even here in the Philippines. The T7, though lacking a lot of electronic riding aids common to modern adventure bikes, offers an unadulterated off-road riding experience to its owners and most importantly, Japanese reliability.

One of its contenders in the growing middleweight adventure bike market is offered by Aprilia – the Tuareg 660.

Tuareg

How the Aprilia Tuareg 660 compares with the Yamaha T7 image

The Tuareg badge was resurrected from one of Aprilia’s legendary models that was offered between 1985 and 1994. It’s named after a nomadic tribe found in the Sahara desert.

For its reincarnation, the Tuareg 660 boasts a 660cc parallel-twin engine that is claimed by Aprilia to be derived from the front bank of the RSV's 1100 cc V4 engine. Despite being only half of a V4, it produces about 81 Ps of power and 70 Nm of torque.

By comparison, Yamaha’s T7 produces about 75 Ps of power and 68 Nm of torque.

Pros and cons of the Tuareg 660 from a T7 owner

How the Aprilia Tuareg 660 compares with the Yamaha T7 image

While we can talk all day long about specs comparisons that are published by Aprilia and Yamaha, nothing beats the actual testing and feedback from a seasoned off-road/adventure rider.

Our friends from Bikerbox, Inc. have lent their Tuareg 660 to our good friend and T7 owner, Vic Ochoa, just in time for our “secret practice” for the upcoming FJMOTO Mountaincross 3 in 2024.

Pros: Suspension

How the Aprilia Tuareg 660 compares with the Yamaha T7 image

Along with friends from the BMW Owner’s Society of Saferiders (BOSS), we took our bikes through the backdoor of Doña Remedios Trinidad (DRT) Bulacan and crossed the plains going to Concepcion, Tarlac.

How the Aprilia Tuareg 660 compares with the Yamaha T7 image

BMW Owners Society of Saferiders (BOSS) and their 'pang budol' bikes L-R: Mick Pennisi (1250 GSA), Omid Jafari (390 ADV), Tashia Revave (390 ADV), Chester Alvisse (1250 GSA), Raymond Guevarra (1200 GS), Vic Ochoa (Tuareg 660), Rhomy Santos (890 ADV), Norbert Dizon (790 ADV), Pau Lazareto (T7) and Noy Razote (T7)

 

According to Vic, the first thing that he noticed in the Tuareg 660 is its good stock suspension. The Tuareg’s suspension just eats all the ruts and rocks that the backroads of DRT offered. The T7’s stock suspension, on the other hand, will “throw him away” when ridden on a similar terrain.

Pros: Riding Modes

How the Aprilia Tuareg 660 compares with the Yamaha T7 image

In terms of riding aids, the Tuareg’s riding modes can be flipped on the fly – meaning you don’t have to stop to select Off-Road from Urban and vice versa. Some adventure bikes with riding modes also tend to “default” on manufacturer’s settings when the ignition key is switched off. The last rider’s settings will stay the same with the Aprilia Tuareg 660 even after the ignition key is switched off.

The Yamaha T7 doesn’t have any riding modes or traction control. Just ABS.

Pros: Seat

How the Aprilia Tuareg 660 compares with the Yamaha T7 image

Compared to his T7, the Tuareg 660’s seat is more comfortable. According to Vic, he also feels “more secure” when gripping the Tuareg’s tank with his legs when standing up-riding on the more technical parts of the unpaved barangay roads, including the very powdery lahar trails near Mt. Arayat.

Additionally, the Tuareg 660’s weight distribution feels more balanced compared to his top-heavy T7.

Cons: Consumable Parts

How the Aprilia Tuareg 660 compares with the Yamaha T7 image

There is not much difference in terms of power and torque feel between the Tuareg and the T7, according to Vic. This is also the same as when we talked about stopping power (brakes).

When we use adventure bikes in places that they were “intended” to be ridden, consumables like the clutch lining and brake pads tend to last only for a few rides. As for the Tuareg 660, these consumable parts are 3 or 4 times more expensive than the T7's.

Many of the accessories that are designed and made for the Tuareg 660 are also more expensive than those designed and made for the T7.

Cons: SRP

How the Aprilia Tuareg 660 compares with the Yamaha T7 image

With all the design and technology of a true Italian bike, the Tuareg 660 was introduced in the Philippine market with an SRP of PHP 898,000 (LTO and insurance not included). By comparison, the T7 is currently sold by dealers for PHP 679,000 (LTO and insurance not included).

Just recently, Aprilia had a promo and is offering the Tuareg 660 for 798,000 – PHP 100,000 less than the original SRP.

How the Aprilia Tuareg 660 compares with the Yamaha T7 image

Riding our bikes along with the Tuareg 660 on lahar trails

 

But then again, as Vic mentioned, Italian bikes are Italian bikes and Japanese bikes are Japanese bikes. The Aprilia has long been on the “premium” side of things while the Yamaha can be considered as the “everyman’s bike” of the big bike market.