Hot on the heels of the new Aprilia Tuono release, we’ve seen photos of another bike based on the same 660 engine. Brit mag Visordown has what it says are exclusive photos of the new Aprilia Tuareg 660 undergoing testing in the desert.
Because of the twists and turns of the murky world of spy photography, we’re not running the snaps here, but you can head over to Visordown and ogle them all day long. The photos show a bike that seems fairly far along in development, with finished bodywork design, a crash cage on the engine, proper spoked wheels, a rack, and so on.
It’s been a few years since Aprilia sold the original Tuareg adventure bike. There’ve been various models in different engine configurations over the years, but the most common models were big-bore thumpers with liquid-cooled Rotax engines, and massive fuel tanks to tackle the long stages at Dakar.
By the 2010s, most of those designs were a bit long in the tooth, and Aprilia decided to double down on its fancy-pants street bikes, leaving the adventure scene behind. The RSV4 engine was certainly not something you’d expect to see in a proper dune-basher.
Now, though, Aprilia’s got the hot new 660 parallel twin, as seen in the RS660 sportbike and Tuono 660 naked. It’s basically half of an RSV4 1000 engine, making 95 horsepower, with 270-degree firing order. On the Tuono and RS660, Aprilia worked at keeping the weight down (the Tuono 660 is 183 kilos at the curb), and also jammed in its latest APRC safety electronics package. The price tag isn’t exactly low; the 660 models tend to be more expensive than other machines in the 650 class, but they’re more advanced, offering top-shelf features for mid-sized motorcycles.
Chances are the Tuareg will follow that path as well. Aprilia hasn’t said a lot about the bike; it first appeared hidden behind a plastic plant at the 2019 EICMA show, and nobody’s said much about it since. Maybe with COVID-19 hopefully in the rear view mirror, we’ll see the bike more-or-less ready to go by the 2021 show season.