Aprilia has unveiled its latest dual sport bike, the Tuareg 660. The name’s got a Volkswagen vibe, though Aprilia rocked the nameplate way before any VW crossover did. This bike marks a return to the Tuareg line, which dates from the mid-’80s and ran through the mid-’90s, but it marks an even more important return to lighter, middleweight bikes in the ADV segment.
Bike makers have lately realized that less is sometimes more and that more displacement doesn’t universally translate to more capability. That goes double for the dual sport segment, where mass will hinder performance. This is where middleweight tourers like the new Yamaha Ténéré and this new Aprilia come in.
This new Tuareg joins the RS 660 and the Tuono 660 as the third bike being built on Aprilia’s 660 platform. Its engine is tuned differently for better off road performance, according to Autocar India. The Tuareg 660 makes less peak power but more torque than its road-focused stablemates, which is what you want on the trail.
The 660cc parallel-twin in the new Tuareg makes makes 80 horsepower and about 52 lb-ft of torque. That power gets to the rear wheel via a tried and tested (and lightweight) chain final drive. The bike has a dry weight of 187 kg, or 412 pounds, all told.
That’s not bad for a modern dual sport with adjustable front and rear suspension. Travel is 240mm, or 9.4 inches both front and rear. There’s no exact saddle height yet, which is the first thing I check for.
Aprilia says it will be less than 34 inches, which is not really short-rider friendly, but on a lightweight and possibly narrow bike like this, even shorter riders like me could have a shot at ripping up the trail confidently.
There are ABS brakes, which riders can turn off on both tires or only the rear. There are four customizable riding modes, traction control, cruise control. The gas tank will hold nearly 5 gallons. There’s also a nice TFT screen in the cockpit. The Tuareg’s got everything you’d expect to find on a modern ADV bike. The only thing you’re getting less of, practically speaking, is weight. And, hopefully, cost, too.