Coming Soon: 2011 Aprilia Tuareg

New mid-size adventure-tourer confirmed for 2011

By Aaron Frank, Photography by Jean-Marie Guerin

Piaggio USA representatives have now confirmed one of the most poorly kept secrets in motor-cycling: Aprilia's forthcoming mid-size dual-sport, to be called the Tuareg. Named after the nomadic tribe that roams North Africa's Sahara Desert, the new adventure-tourer will feature a 21-inch front wheel and longer-travel suspension to provide ample off-road ability. It will be revealed to the public at November's Milan Show, and followed by a more street-oriented, 1200cc sibling (shown here in a digital rendering) the following season.

Built on the same basic platform as the current Shiver and Dorsoduro streetbikes, the new super-enduro will utilize the existing 750cc V-twin mounted in a similar frame constructed from cast-aluminum and tubular-steel sections, with an easy-to-access, side-mounted rear shock. Aprilia claims the bike will weigh less than 440 pounds and accommodate luggage, a mid-size windscreen, plenty of fuel capacity and the usual adventure-oriented options. It sounds like stiff competition-on paper at least-for BMW's similarly dirt-worthy F800GS.

Next, Aprilia will enter the big-bore enduro market segment with a larger-capacity Tuareg, to be powered by the 1200cc, liquid-cooled V-twin that's presently under development. This larger, heavier machine will be more road-oriented, with a 19-inch front wheel and a shorter, sportier suspension configuration. This will be an obvious competitor for the BMW R1200GS and Ducati Multistrada 1200, not to mention Yamaha's Euro-market Super Ténéré. The 1200cc version should appear at the same time as Triumph's Tiger replacement, making 2012 a year for adventure-bike fans to look forward to.

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