ADV Pulse

NEWSLETTER
Get ADV Pulse delivered by email
Sign up for ADV Pulse Weekly

Newsletter

Get ADV Pulse delivered by email
Sign up for ADV Pulse Weekly

Connect With Us

Follow On Facebook:

ADV NewsAprilia To Return To Off-Road Racing With Rally Version of Tuareg 660

Aprilia To Return To Off-Road Racing With Rally Version of Tuareg 660

The Italian brand goes back to its roots with new project “Back to Africa”.

Published on 02.02.2023

Aprilia opens a new chapter in its storied history as it prepares to compete in the world’s top Rally Raids in 2024. This might sound strange for a brand that is mostly known today for their sport bikes but this is not Aprilia’s first rodeo racing off-road. In 1978, the Italian company won its first Cross World Championship and made its Paris-Dakar debut in 1989 with the Tuareg. Aprilia went on to win third place at Dakar in 2010 with their RXV 450 Rally machine that participated in three consecutive editions of the race, until 2012.

Now the Noale-based manufacturer wants to go back to its off-road racing roots with the Tuareg 660 at the center of the project they call “Back to Africa.” The racing version of the bike will be developed with the technical collaboration of GCorse’s Gianfranco and Vittoriano Guareschi, who previously prepped the new Tuareg for competition in the 2022 Italian Motorally Championship. 

“We are picking up the baton of a great success story,” says Aprilia Racing Technical Director, Romano Albesiano. “Aprilia is the last Italian brand to have won a stage in the Dakar and the last podium in the general classification dates back to 2010.” 


ADVERTISEMENT

Marking the beginning stages of the racing project, 2023 will see two Tuareg 660’s at the Italian Motorally piloted by Dakar vet Jacopo Cerutti and pro enduro rider Francesco Montanari. Cerutti will also be in charge of development of the rally bike this year. “Now we are only taking the first steps of a totally new project and the 2023 season will serve precisely to start the path that will have to take us back to the great races in the desert,” added Albesiano.

Dakar vet Jacopo Cerutti and pro enduro rider Francesco Montanari.

In addition to competing in this year’s Italian Motorally, Aprilia Racing will also be present providing support to all those who will participate on the saddle of the Tuareg 660 in the newly created “entry level” GPX class.

With the Dakar Rally only accepting 450 enduro bikes, Aprilia’s only option is to compete in other Rally venues with the Tuareg 660 platform – at least for now. Nonetheless, their return to the world of off-road competition is a great thing and we are excited to see what they have in store to conquer the desert.

Photos by Guareschi Moto and Aprilia

Author: ADV Pulse Staff
ADVERTISEMENT

Related Stories

Related Stories

Notify me of new posts via email

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

8 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Bob
Bob
February 2, 2023 1:46 pm

Good things will come of this. Congratulations Aprilla!

joe john
joe john
February 2, 2023 3:22 pm

Cool looking bike.

Joe John
Joe John
February 2, 2023 3:24 pm

I understand it’s cool to have these big twins but honestly, aren’t you better off with like a lighter 690 or 701 thumper when you’re racing? Just wondering.

Wolfgang
Wolfgang
February 3, 2023 12:28 pm
Reply to  Joe John

Sure, but that’s not where the money is in sales. People want mid-sized ADV bikes so that’s what you have to promote.

Grendel99D
Grendel99
September 16, 2023 9:30 am
Reply to  Joe John

That is like saying, “It’s cool to have these modified pickup trucks (competing in off-road races) but honestly, aren’t you better off with a lighter Baja Buggy when you’re racing?”

That misses three points –
1) People want to see those ‘big twins’ (or pickup trucks) compete and pushed to their limits because they are more likely to own, or aspire to own, a stock version of one of those vehicles. People are able to identify with the vehicle that they see out on the race course. More importantly, it draws attention to the motorcycle and drives sales. It helps to grow brand identity and brand loyalty.

2) Taking a production motorcycle and developing it to compete successfully is a challenge in its own right. It can result in continuous product refinement and development and what is learned from competition is applied to the production bikes.

3) The article is about APRILIA returning to off-road racing now that they are producing an off-road motorcycle again. It isn’t about what the fastest off-road form factor is for motorcycles. Aprilia doesn’t make a thumper! That is a rather good reason why they aren’t developing the thumper (that they don’t make) for racing. (Duh …)

(I look forward to watching Aprilia’s success in competing in rallies with the Toureg 660. I admit to being biased, having bought a Tuareg 660 two months ago; but my points are still valid.)

Tad
Tad
February 2, 2023 7:31 pm

Glad to see Aprilia back in the off-road game! Will stand to make the Tourag 660 even better than it is.

Ryan Vallieu
Ryan Vallieu
February 15, 2023 11:14 am

Nice. I really want one if these. I think it’s the best mid sized ADV our

Jeff
Jeff
February 15, 2023 3:10 pm

Looks much better in this black color scheme.

ADVERTISEMENT

Watch: 2024 Triumph Tiger 900 Rally Pro Tested

For 2024, Triumph's dirt-focused Tiger 900 — the Rally Pro — has received...

My First Time Riding Enduro, How Hard Could It Be?

Nestled between the Sierra Nevada and Inyo Mountains of California lies a l...

DoubleTake’s Popular Off-Road Mirrors Get Major Upgrade For 2024

Life always looks clearer in the rear view, that is, until you’re looking int...