Aprilia has been testing their new Aprilia Tuareg prototype, specially built for conquering the desert, and things are looking pretty promising. The factory riders, Jacopo Cerutti and Francesco Montanari had some positive feedback after the bike's first test runs.
The public got a sneak peek of the Tuareg during the awesome Aprilia All-Stars celebration on May 27. This beast of a bike is based on the technical platform of the stock model, which has been kicking ass in the Italian Motorally Championship. They chose that terrain to develop the "Back to Africa" project.
Gallery: Guareschi Moto's Aprilia Tuareg For MotoRally 2022
Aprilia Racing, in collaboration with Gcorse (owned by the Guareschi brothers), worked their magic on the Tuareg, making it a beastly machine for the desert. They focused on the chassis in the initial stages, introducing a new modular frame and tweaking the geometries to ensure stability at high speeds and better suspension travel. Over the next few months, they'll be working on engine development and adding a supplementary tank.
The competition version of the Aprilia Tuareg 660 is decked out with Öhlins by Andreani suspension, a titanium SC Project exhaust, and a specific Sprint Filter air filter. Metzeler jumped on board too, as they're keen on the adventure world of twin-cylinder bikes and chose Aprilia to develop products for future rally raids.
Recently, Aprilia Racing and GCorse took part in the fifth and sixth trials of the Italian Motorally Championship in Umbertide. Both Jacopo Cerutti and Francesco Montanari, riding the factory Aprilia Tuareg 660 machines, proved themselves as top contenders in the G-1000 class, which is reserved for multi-cylinder bikes over 600ccs.
As for the feedback from Ceritti and Montanari, this is what they had to say:
“The sensations in the saddle of the first Tuareg prototype for the desert were immediately positive! There is still much work to do, but we are confident in view of the next development steps because the starting base in terms of chassis architecture is outstanding. After the tests in Sardinia, we got back to racing in Umbertide, bringing home results that now allow us to arrive at the final round of the championship leading in the standings. We’ll be in the mix all the way to the end, and this should leave us satisfied and proud. The only disappointment was Saturday. I had struggled a bit in the first special, but in the second, which was cancelled due to inclement weather, I had managed to close the gap and I would have been able to take a win that would have been beneficial to us. I started Sunday on the attack. There were two really short special trials planned for the rally and I knew that there would be a minimum margin for error. It was a question of seconds against Botturi and, in the end, despite a mistake in the second special trial, I managed to snatch it. The feeling with the bike and with the Metzeler tyres was optimum, especially at the rear, the tyre held up well despite the power and I was always able to count on plenty of traction.”
“The first test with the Tuareg for African races was fantastic. You can feel the improvements on the chassis architecture level straight away and they let you force the pace more easily. I think we are headed in the right direction. On the first day of the Umbertide Motorally, unfortunately I didn’t ride well. I made various mistakes in navigation, late in reading the notes and consequently losing ground. On the second day, things went better. Knowing that we would tackle short and fast special trials, I tried to ride more smoothly and it went well in the end, with a good placement on the podium that lets me arrive at the final round in third place overall.”