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Aprilia Tuareg 660 to enter PH market in third quarter of next year

Taking advantage of the booming demand for adventure bikes

The Tuareg 660 is an Aprilia that can go almost anywhere. PHOTO FROM APRILIA

Named after a nomadic people who live across the Sahara Desert, the Tuareg nameplate started as a series of two- and four-stroke dual-sport Aprilia motorcycles in the 1980s. By 1994, the platform was put to pasture and replaced with the Pegaso, and largely forgotten in the two decades that followed.

With the success of the parallel-twin engine in the RS660 sport bike, it was only inevitable that the house of Noale would also use it for an all-new adventure motorcycle. As this is the category that majority of big-bike buyers keep flocking to year after year, Aprilia has positioned the resurrected Tuareg as a nimble and relatively light adventure machine, brimming with all the technology that its 1980s-era ancestor could only dream of.

The resurrected Tuareg has a retuned version of the RS660's engine. PHOTOS FROM APRILIA

A seat height of 860mm and suspension travel of 240mm give it plenty of ground clearance and trail-ready performance, and the Kayaba fork and rear shock are fully adjustable. The tubeless spoked wheels are fitted with 21-inch front and 19-inch dual-sport rubber. Brembo provides the braking system. The 659cc engine is tuned for a broader torque spread compared to the RS660, and, as such, is rated at 80hp and 70Nm (at 6,500rpm). The six-speed transmission has an available quickshifter. Bolted onto the tubular steel frame, wet weight is just 204kg.

This bike is absolutely brimming with technology. PHOTOS FROM APRILIA

A long, rally-style saddle, aluminum bash plate, raised exhaust, and oversized windshield give the Tuareg some serious off-road cred, and the electronics package is extensive. The LED headlamps peering out through dual slits are a nice touch, and there’s just the barest hint of a beak beneath them.

Traction control, engine braking, and engine mapping can be personalized, and the ABS can be fully disabled. Cruise control is standard, and navigation can be accessed on the five-inch TFT display.

Which of these three colors is your favorite? PHOTOS FROM APRILIA

Three colors will initially be available: Indaco Tagelmust, Acid Gold, and Martian Red. It starts at $11,999 (P609,000) in the US, but Philippine distributor Bikerbox has yet to release local pricing. The Tuareg 660 will be officially unveiled to the public at EICMA (Milan Motorcycle Show) this November, with Philippine units tentatively scheduled to arrive by the third quarter of 2022.

Andy Leuterio

Andy is both an avid cyclist and a car enthusiast who has finally made the shift to motorcycles. You've probably seen him on his bicycle or motorbike overtaking your crawling car. He is our motorcycle editor and the author of the ‘Quickshift’ column.