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Review – Aprilia Tuareg 660 (2022)

July 7, 2022

When you think of Aprilia, you think of road racing rather than enduro or cross. Most of the palmares were amassed on asphalted circuits. Right? Wrong, because Aprilia made its presence felt in the Dakar Rally as early as 1989, especially with the Tuareg Wind 600.

Seed for Tuareg laid much earlier

So for the current Tuareg 660, the first seed was laid decades ago. If you look closely at the bike from the side, you can see quite clearly the contours of that Dakar bike of yesteryear. Look closely at the upright window and the higher cockpit. Surely this is typical of the style of desert racers!

High and yet accessible

The seat height is a tight 86 centimeters, which is quite high. Thanks to an ultra-slim saddle, you can still easily reach the ground with your toes if you don’t have overly long stilts. At least with my height of 1.80 meters, it worked out fine.

Tuareg with low weight

The pretty low weight helps make it easy to balance while stationary. Roadworthy, it weighs 204 kg and that’s the same as for its peer Yamaha Ténéré 700. It is also almost stunning how stable and also agile the Aprilia Tuareg 660 rides and feels like its Japanese counterpart.

Power at lower speeds

The Tuareg’s parallel-twin engine stands out for its snappy throttle response at lower rpm. 80 hp delivers the twin and 70 Nm of torque. While the same 660 cc block in the Aprilia RS 660 supersporter produces 100 hp. So here is a case of downtuning to give the block a character suitable for off-road work. Then you want power at the bottom and especially a lot of it, and with that the Tuareg scores points.

Nice engine sound

You can hear the twin cylinder clearly when you open the throttle. The intake sound in particular is emphatic and ear-catching. You hear it strongly as a rider, while exhaust noise is well damped. You disturb the environment less as a result. Great solution!

Comfortably long suspension travel

The spring travel of 240 mm belongs to an enduro. As soon as you sit down he sinks into the feathers. High thresholds and bumps the chassis parries smoothly. These don’t get a hold of the balance and your body and members. The Tuareg’s suspension is cut out for big bumps and pockmarked ground.

Large front wheel

A large 19-inch front wheel provides stability on and off the road. The large circumference provides peace of mind at the front, the smaller 17-inch rear wheel for traction on unstable surfaces. Provided, of course, that the right tire is chosen, like the Michelin Macadam’s on the test bike. By the way, these tires with a coarse tread also offer good grip on asphalt.

Variety of driving modes

Lovers of tuning and setting will be well served. First of all, you can choose from 4 riding modes; urban, explorer and two individual in which you can completely set all the parameters yourself in steps. Traction control, abs, engine mapping (throttle response) and the degree of engine braking when closing the throttle are then completely customizable. Oh yes, cruise control is standard by the way!

Small display but easy to read

All information about engine and settings is easy to read on a 5-inch color display. The display is sharp and clear. The display is high up in the cockpit and thus well within your field of vision, behind the windshield. The bracket at the top of the screen suggests that it is height adjustable but it is not.


With its price of 13,799 euros (current price level), the Aprilia Tuareg is a bit more expensive than the road bike Tuono 660 (12,999 euros). You get the same block, but with less power. You also get a completely different bike with a totally different frame and off-road-oriented suspension. The Tuareg’s strength and also its gain are in its all-round capabilities. Great for commuting, wonderfully agile in the urban jungle and equipped for riding on the dirt. Equip it with side cases and you’ll race effortlessly to the Alps. On a motorcycle that appears to be particularly solidly put together with solid plastic cladding that can take a beating. And fun: with the 18-liter tank, you easily cover 400 km. We recorded a consumption of 1 liter in 24.4 kilometers. In the Acid Gold color scheme like the test bike, the Tuareg is a distinct appearance, though keeping the yellow saddle neat will be quite an art.