New model takes on the rough stuff

Aprilia will soon have a middle-weight adventure bike, and to whet appetites for the new model, they're giving a peek of it taking on some tough trails. Aprilia hasn't missed a bit, joining the trend of videos showing large adventure bikes being ridden like they were light enduro bikes.

Some months ago, Honda handed over the keys of their big and heavy CRF1100L Africa Twin to Trials bike champion, Toni Bou, the 220+ kilogram adventure bike seemed like it was just a 90-kilo dirtbike jumping on large obstacles and boulders. Then just recently, Triumph Motorcycles tapped the services of Motocross’ GOAT, Ricky Carmichael, to see what the upcoming Tiger 1200 is capable of.

In the video below, Aprilia teases fans with the upcoming Tuareg 660 adventure bike ridden in the same fashion. We see an unnamed Aprilia test rider tearing the off-road trail with the middle-weight adventure bike.

According to Aprilia’s brand manager, Cristian Romeo Barelli, the name Tuareg reminds us of the values from the golden age of rally racing, particularly the Paris-Dakar Rally of the 80s and 90s.

“The name Tuareg comes with strong values that include adventure, and even [with] a bit of daring desire to explore [a] new ground,” added Barelli. It's also the name of a nomadic tribe of people who live in the Sahara Desert who have no trouble surviving the area's harsh climate and sparse resources.

Tuareg 660

The Tuareg name is not new to Aprilia. In fact, it's a revival. News of Aprilia reviving the Tuareg has been going around as early as when the brand launched the 660 Tuono and RS bikes. As with many motorcycle manufacturers, platform sharing across models is quite the norm, and the Tuareg shares the engine and platform from the Tuono 660 and RS 660.

Like its stablemates, the Tuareg is powered by a 660cc parallel-twin engine, derived from the front bank of the RSV's 1100 cc V4 engine. Despite being only half of a V4, it produces 80 HP of power and 70 Nm of torque.

It’s built on a tubular steel frame that supports the 660cc engine as a stressed member. It rides on a 43mm USD front fork with progressive linkage rear suspension (both adjustable) that offers 240 mm of travel. It rides on 21-inch wheels in front and 18-inch wheels in the rear.

Naturally, it’s wrapped in bodywork with red, white and blue livery in the style of the old Tuareg. Lighting has been modernized, thanks to a triple LED headlight and LED tailight. It comes with a clear rally-style windscreen and big front air scoops. It boasts of a massive 18-liter fuel tank to offer truly long adventures with each top-up. All this tips the scales at 187 kg, which is significantly lighter than most adventure bikes with higher displacements.