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Aprilia do the dirt

Updated: May 13

Tuareg has everything that we need

As happy on the trails as the road

The Tuareg name has been around since back in the mid eighties. A few short years ago the company launched a new machine that used the old name; the Tuareg 660. This is a bike with a proven record both on and off the road and lives up to its promise to make the trails more accessible to the traditional road rider.

Taking something like the old R1200GS from BMW which arguably started the modern ‘tall tourer’ genre, these new bikes such as the Tuareg and the Tenere from Yamaha take the game on to a whole new level.

The Aprilia does this by utilising a better power to weight ratio. So while the engine is smaller, at only 659cc, than traditional dual sport machines it’s a whole lot lighter, at only 187 kilos dry, and a whole lot more agile. The seat is a shade under 860mm high, but it’s also narrower. This allows for the best of both worlds. It’s tall enough for the personification of vanity that I share my life with, while I can still get both my feet on the ground.

Our TFT screen could do with a wipe!

Being powered by a parallel-twin that puts out 80bhp along with 70 Nm of torque offers me all I need to put it through its paces. 

As a base the Tuareg shares an engine with the RS 660 as well as the Tuono 660, both machines with their own rich history and machines that have paved the way for the latest member of the family.

Once onboard I find a generous 18 litre tank as well as a host of rider aids. These include an ability to set the engine breaking as well as the mapping. There’s also an option to use cruise control, not something that I’m ever going to get used to seeing on a bike in this class! The traction control levels can be set, or simply turned off. It’s even the same for the ABS. All of this is managed through a selection of four riding modes which are all easy to select via the bikes TFT screen.

Making it easy to ride is the way it delivers its power in the lower end of the rev range. The torque comes in nice and early allowing me to pull away from traffic lights with ease.

Italian, but better

Also at play here is the way that the bikes weight is distributed. The central mass of the machine is all built to sit slightly in front of and below the rider. This works very well when in a seated position. Once I stand up it becomes even better.

Up on the Wicklow bog roads it shows its true colours. The long, 43mm, forks and rear shock allow for an impressive 240mm of travel. Also if, hypothetically speaking, a rider was to drop one off road I’m pretty sure that it wouldn’t be too much for even a smaller framed person, such as myself for instance, to pick up!

A TopBox is worth its weight in gold

The Aprilia Tuareg is retailed in Ireland by Megabikes where one will cost €13,149 including all our nasty taxes. If you’re interested in a test ride, and you should be, give Nicole or Ross a call on 014784200.  



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