Aprilia’s Tuareg 660 will hit dealer floors next year, with the manufacturer introducing an adventure offering that looks pretty hard-nosed and is built around the 660 powerplant already seen in the RS 660 and Tuono 660 machines.
In some ways the Tuareg 660 could be considered a competitor for the Tenere 700, although being an Aprilia the fairly extensive APRC package adds a host of rider aids, with pricing also expected to push up as a result of what’s on offer.
Australian pricing hasn’t been released at this stage, with a May or June release date, but based on the US pricing that is available, the Tuareg 660 sits squarely between the Tenere 700 on price and the 890 Adventure R – although obviously Australian pricing isn’t always a direct reflection of what we see elsewhere.
The ‘660’ or 659 cc powerplant is the DOHC four-stroke twin-cylinder with 270 degree firing order from the previously mentioned models, but producing a more modest 80 horsepower and 70 Nm of torque. Down 20 hp and up 3 Nm from the RS 660 for comparison.
Specific to the Tuareg is a new exhaust system, optimising low to mid-range performance, including an ignition advance management algorithm specifically for this model.
Final gearing is also shorter, running a 15 tooth front sprocket, two down on the RS 660, ensuring maximum drive from down low, while a new oil sump sits higher ensuring 240 mm of ground clearance.
Further tweaks were made ensuring adequate lubrication under any conditions with a new rose pipe and intake mouth, with new oil circuit channel in the semi-crankcase to prevent stagnation in the gearbox. In other words tweaks designed for a bike that might see more heavy duty off-road use and the accompanying greater range of conditions that ensues.
The Tuareg 660 chassis also receives attention in various ways, with a new high resistance steel tube design with cast plates and the sub-frame is welded to the main unit to allow for a 210 kg load capacity in total, with double the frame anchor points to the engine, compared to the RS 660. As such as the bike uses the engine as a stressed element, with the cylinder bank more vertical for boosted agility in tight turns.
The aluminium swingarm is also longer for traction and stability, and pivots in the frame and engine, while running a progressive linkage to the rear Kayaba shock. The Kayaba system, front and rear, offers 240 mm of travel and is fully adjustable, with rebound, compression and preload, with the latter on the shock a convenient preload handle.
The 18 L fuel tank is also kept narrow where the rider grips it and is protected by the frame, with weight centralisation and the CoG a concern, along with ensuring fuel is accessible even in the steepest conditions.
Wheel and tyre options are obviously very important, especially as we’re talking a ‘proper’ adventure machine, not just a tourer with some dual purpose tyres and we’re seeing a 2.50 x 21 inch front and 4.50 x 18 inch rear, which will be clad in Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR tyres in a 90/90 and 150/70 as standard fitment. Those are tubeless aluminium rims too.
Brembo provides a top notch braking system with an obvious off-road bent, running dual 300 mm front rotors and dual-piston calipers, while the rear is a 260 mm unit with single-piston caliper. ABS is also fitted, linked to the ride modes, with various levels of intervention including off-road which disables the rear and allows the front to be disabled too.
Naturally as an Aprilia, the APRC system makes an appearance, offering a host of rider aids, with ATC – Aprilia Traction Control; ACC – Aprilia Cruise Control; AEB – Aprilia Engine Brake; and AEM – Aprilia Engine Map. The AEB basically controls off-throttle response and AEM or modes differs the throttle response without changing peak performance.
Ride modes include two road specific options, an off-road option and a fully customisable option, those are Urban and Explore, Off-Road and Individual for the custom mode, which is fairly self explanatory. Urban is calibrated for maximum electronic intervention.
Aprilia promise intuitive switches, with the right side allowing easy mode selection, which with presents should largely negate the need to switch through individual settings on the run.
A 5 inch TFT meanwhile offers a clear view of what mode you’re in, speed and other important information. The Aprilia MIA or multimedia platform is an accessory, which can sync with a smartphone and save completed trip data, including geo-referenced telemetry, while a quick shift is also an accessory rather than standard fitment.
The wet weight figure, or kerb figure claimed by Aprilia is also 204 kg, or 187 kg dry, and aligns closely with the official Tenere 700 figure as a point of comparison, with seat height 860 mm and the 18 L fuel tank accompanied by a 4 L/100 km consumption figure, giving the Tuareg 660 an easy 400 km range starting to dip into the 3 L reserve with some room to play. Lighting is also all LED.
Colour options are the Martian Red or Acid Gold, with Indaco Tagelmust, as shown in the pictures carrying a premium in other markets and certainly standing out. The 2022 Aprilia Tuareg 660 is expected to arrive in Australian dealers in May or June of 2022, however we haven’t got local pricing at this stage.
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