Should the Aprilia Tuareg 660 have won Motorcycle.com's 2022 Motorcycle Of The Year award?
Choosing Motorcycle.coms Motorcycle of the Year can be a heated and lengthy debate. This year, we reached consensus relatively easily.
The 2022 Aprilia Tuareg 660 illustrates the continuing advancement and the maturity of the adventure-touring market.
The Aprilia Tuareg 660 represents the growing importance of the middleweight adventure market. Not only does it come in on the smaller end of the displacement scale, removing some of the barriers to entry to newer ADV riders, but also it comes with features that used to only be the province of heavyweight adventure machinery. Where the Tuareg really makes a statement, though, is how it provides these features for thousands of dollars less than its competitors. So, what we end up with is a lighter, less intimidating, and more flexible platform at a reasonable price. And that’s before we consider how it stacked up in MO’s tests this year.
How does Aprilia pull off this feat? First, the engine, with just minor retuning, is used across three different motorcycle models, helping to keep prices down while showing the versatility of the 660 Parallel-Twin. By virtue of having 75% of its 44.3 lb-ft of torque available at 3,000 for good off-road grunt yet still delivering an exciting top end when revved out, the Tuareg excels in the two most important areas for an ADV bike: crawling around in the dirt and cruising the highways to get there.
Electronics continue to play an increasingly important role in motorcycling, and here, again, the Tuareg 660 excels. For less experienced riders, particularly in the dirt, the electronics can be a real confidence booster, possibly enticing these riders to take more adventurous routes. As their skills improve, the electronic support can be dialed back or even turned off. The capability to dial in the bike you want to ride, played a big role in our 2,000 mile ride from Sturgis to Los Angeles, where both Ryan and I declared the Tuareg to be our pick – even with our wildly different off-road riding abilities. These features used to be the province of flagship model, heavyweight adventure bikes, and it’s good to see them trickling down into the middleweight market where we see the most potential for growth.
Finally, there is the $11,999 starting price. While we’ve heard the howls in the Best Value MOBO comments, we need to stress that value isn’t necessarily represented by a low price rather, value comes from what you actually get for your money. The Tuareg excels in this regard when you consider the cost of similarly-equipped adventure motorcycles.