MCN Fleet: Saffron displays on what she modified at the Aprilia Tuareg all through their time in combination

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Right through my time with the Tuareg, I added a couple of fine details to make my experience more uncomplicated, and to prep it for the mileage, traveling and its off-road adventures.


I experimented with two various kinds of baggage. First of all I had the SW-Motech legend tools tail bag (£257.95) fitted, which even if suits smartly on my Harley Davidson Heritage Softail, did an similarly excellent task at the Tuareg which had numerous house to mount straps.

Aprilia Tuareg with SW-Motech bag

Later, I attempted out the Aprilia baggage gadget which incorporated panniers and a best field (£1735) which, after all, have compatibility like a glove, and had been nonetheless very roomy. I had those on a tenting shuttle which made gentle paintings of the burden and got here in very helpful at the day by day task.

Aprilia Tuareg with luggage in Wales

The one factor I may just grumble about, simply because it could make me really feel extra relaxed, is the width of the motorcycle with the panniers – they made the motorcycle wider than the handlebars which you needed to stay at the leading edge of your thoughts whilst using. Differently, they had been sturdy, simple to make use of and to take away and the highest field may just have compatibility a helmet in with ease.

Traveling additions

I knew I used to be going to be overlaying numerous miles in a brief house of time with the Tuareg, so concept I’d upload a couple of issues to make it extra at ease, specifically a traveling display (£240).

Aprilia Tuareg with luggage and touring screen

The hand guards come as same old and made moist climate bliss and had been even a convenience on chilly days with much less wind battering them or escaping up my sleeves. The traveling display additionally made a stunning distinction too. It used to be slightly larger and looped across the signs supplying you with additional wind coverage, and once more, made rain that little bit sweeter.

Off-road additions

To lend a hand me out with my off-road tours, some crash bars (£560) had been fitted across the engine. I’ve to mention, I put them to excellent use, they usually did their task successfully, however sadly a couple of scuffs at the plastics had been obvious in addition to at the paintwork, however the form used to be nonetheless intact.

Aprilia Tuareg with crash bars

I must most likely point out {that a} centre stand used to be additionally fitted, however after one lap of the Baja, we got rid of it because it stuck on sharp humps within the floor. However, after doing away with it, there used to be numerous distance between the ground and the frame which used to be nice over tough terrain.


Right through my time with the Tuareg I attempted 3 units of tyres. The OE tyres and did a excellent task at dealing with rocky terrain off-road, however if you happen to had been having a look to do the rest over grass or dust, then it could be sensible to ramp the tread up a bit of. I opted for Bridgestone’s Battlax Adventurecross AX41s for my first Baja at Sweetlamb, and for probably the most section, they coped rather well. The one factor used to be the next day to come after in a single day rain the place the dust proved slightly an excessive amount of for them. However, they had been positive at the street too, so if you happen to’re keen to compromise and do a good quantity of off-roading, then they’re a perfect choice.

For the roads, I attempted out Goodyear’s Trailmax Meridian, and even if they didn’t get me to Germany because of different operational demanding situations, I spent a completely happy two weekends in Wales bedding them in at the nation roads, they usually totally remodeled the dealing with of the Tuareg. It used to be clean, agile and numerous amusing.

Aprilia Tuareg on tour with luggage in Wales

Quad lock

I added a Quad Lock mount (£39.99) to the handlebars so I can have my telephone as SatNav. There used to be numerous room for it and it fixed in reality simply. The most efficient section used to be that you just handiest desire a quick cable to succeed in the USB port close to the clocks, so each and every time I were given to my vacation spot I used to be totally charged too. It’s price noting that there’s Quad Lock wi-fi that you’ll stay plugged in and can rate your telephone with out the wish to pop in a cable, I’m prepared to take a look at that out subsequent.

Printed: 02.11.22

I believed I’d take the Tuareg on a distinct more or less journey this time. It didn’t contain ragging down off-road tracks… ish, and supposed I needed to load up the motorcycle to capability for the primary time.

I took it tenting in Wales.

Aprilia Tuareg in Wales

Ahead of I am getting into the nitty gritty, I can say I’m now not the most efficient camper and the speculation of packing to spend an evening or two in a tent fills me with dread each and every time. However I had not too long ago added Aprilia baggage to the Tuareg, panniers and a best field to be exact, and I used to be pleasantly stunned after I didn’t have any problems loading up. Positive, the latch mechanism used to be a bit of stiff first of all, as you’d be expecting from the rest logo new, however the pannier lids lifted smartly clear of the containers so you must pack comfortably, and there used to be numerous room inside of too. Even supposing I did fob the tent off on my spouse, in order that used to be one much less cumbersome factor to hold.

The primary day used to be spent racing down the M6 as rapid as visitors would permit and crossing the border into mid-Wales. As I’ve discussed prior to, the Tuareg laps up dual carriageway miles simply and cruise keep an eye on helped stay my tenting apprehension to a minimal, particularly because the solar used to be shining and the visitors thinned once we made it previous Birmingham.

Aprilia Tuareg camping

The Welsh roads was windier as we went deeper into the rustic, and our campsite used to be hidden among the valleys and up a slim, steep tarmac trail. The Tuareg scampered up them comfortably and the jostle in reality put a grin on my face, although I did omit the turning on the best.

In preparation for the shuttle, I additionally fitted a suite of Dunlop Trailmax Meridian tyres. I’ve been moderately inspired with the OE tyres (Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR) however used to be prepared to take a look at out a suite of street tyres to peer how a lot of a distinction it makes to the Tuareg’s dealing with of the tarmac. And briefly, the variation used to be huge. The graceful Welsh roads didn’t disappoint and the Tuareg scooted round them simply, even if totally loaded.

Aprilia Tuareg Claerwen Dam

The following day we made up our minds to take the scenic B-roads across the house together with Satan’s Bridge (the place we were given a smashing breakfast), Ar Elan Bridge, and numerous roads that have been breathtakingly stunning, although I will be able to’t keep in mind the precise direction. If I had to pick a topic, I guess the one tiny inconvenience I had used to be the dew-wet grass by way of my tent as I left, nevertheless it quickly taken care of itself and used to be virtually in an instant forgotten.

Printed: 28.09.22

After spending the previous 3 weeks overlaying 4500 miles on a Harley in The usa all through a circle of relatives vacation, it felt downright extraordinary to be at the Tuareg once more. However what higher method to ease myself again onto the Aprilia’s saddle than participate in a aggressive rally match in Wales… regardless of the truth I’ve handiest been off-road on a bike 3 times!

Rounds one and two

Aprilia Tuareg at the Baja

We arrived on the Sweetlamb Rally advanced in Wales overdue on Friday to signal on and go the tech inspection. As I unloaded the Tuareg out of the van, heads had been became and a few unsure glances shot my method as I defined the 204kg kerb weight. That response wasn’t nice for my emerging anxiousness ranges… however I’d fitted Bridgestone Battlax Adventurecross 50/50 tyres, hand guards, traveling display and crash bars, so I knew there wasn’t a lot else I may just do to the motorcycle with out taking it too some distance clear of same old.

The Sweetlamb Baja is designed in order that each mavens and entire novices can take on the similar route, so I wasn’t the one first-time racer right here, however on Saturday morning as I waited within the paddock among the hustle and bustle of engines, chatter and mud, my abdomen used to be doing somersaults.

Ahead of the beginning right kind, all of us did a sighting lap which used to be my first style of what used to be to come back. Proper off the road, the route dipped right into a rocky gully which culminated in a muddy ditch. I took my time and stored the Tuareg in first tools and in moderation picked my method thru.

Hiking a steep, muddy and rutted hill put the Tuareg thru its paces, nevertheless it clambered to the highest and fixed it out thru moist grass and muddy puddles with out such a lot as a hiccup.

After the sighting lap, I made up our minds to take off the centre stand which stored catching, after which finished every other two laps of the 15-mile monitor prior to lunch. Sadly, on lap one I parted corporate with the Aprilia on the best of a steep, rocky hill which ended in a unethical handguard, however lap two went by way of with out a hitch as I were given into the swing of items.

Baja crash

After a lunchbreak, fatigue used to be atmosphere in. However with new-found self assurance and the Aprilia nonetheless going robust, we lined every other two laps till my focus began to vanish and the aches in my fingers and again was a hinderance. I ended the day with a damaged handguard and a couple of new scuffs, however the Tuareg had treated itself smartly.

Overall mudbath

Aprilia Tuareg at Sweetlamb Baja

On Sunday there used to be only one spherical of racing, nevertheless it had rained for just about all of the evening and after seeing the volume of dust and grass at the monitor the day prior to, I wasn’t positive if I used to be as much as the task.

It used to be so a lot more slippery than the day prior to. It used to be even a combat to stick at the gravel and I discovered the gullies torture. It doesn’t matter what I did, I couldn’t to find grip.

Motorcycles carpeted the ground of the primary muddy hill and it wasn’t lengthy prior to I joined them. Extra gullies had added to the monitor, and it used to be tricky even to stay the motorcycle in a instantly line which had me off more than one occasions, to my horror. I broke the display on a rock all through such a low-speed falls, and I believe part the competition assisted me in pushing it up the hill once I’d buried the again wheel within the dust. However even then, I handiest had one annoyance with the Tuareg: when seeking to rise up steep ascents, even if I used to be in off-road mode, the traction keep an eye on stored seeking to kick in and the revs didn’t select up. I didn’t realise that used to be the problem till I were given again to the pits, however by way of then I used to be achieved, along side a couple of 3rd of the competition.

The quiet after the hurricane

Saffron after the Baja

I believe at slightly little bit of a loss as I write this because the Tuareg has long past in for maintenance to the bar ends and for scratches at the panels. As Aprilia located it as an journey/enduro motorcycle, leaning in opposition to the journey aspect, I ponder whether the little additions I made had been sufficient, just like the crash bars. Don’t get me improper, on the finish of the Baja it used to be a wonderfully rideable motorcycle, nevertheless it had suffered beauty injury. So, if you happen to’re pondering of taking the rest like this up for a interest together with your major street motorcycle, then you definately must be ready for it to take a couple of knocks, and in all probability you must imagine including a couple of extra extras to make it each more practical off street and likewise reinforcing its refined bits. However even simply ensuring you’re acquainted with all its digital options, comparable to figuring out methods to take the traction keep an eye on off totally whilst in off-road mode, will indisputably provide you with a bonus.

However in all, I believe the Tuareg seemed in its part in the market within the tough stuff and will optimistically say that the most important let down for its efficiency all through the Baja used to be the rider on this case!

Printed: 24.08.22

It’s nice to be again within the saddle of the Tuareg.

As it’s possible you’ll or won’t keep in mind, after using again from Kent I discovered myself with a black boot once I’d hopped off the motorcycle and popped it within the storage which might handiest imply something – an oil leak.

Aprilia Tuareg oil leak

Thankfully, I’d had already booked the motorcycle in to get some panniers and best field fitted that week in preparation for an upcoming street shuttle. So I let the workforce at Spyder Bikes know, then tentatively rode the Tuareg on logo new street tyres to Silverstone within the hope that it used to be a handy guide a rough repair and the entirety would align for the excursion. However issues don’t all the time figure out in the best way you need them to.

Maximum folks are conscious about the trouble of having portions these days, and as a result of that, it wasn’t going to be a handy guide a rough repair. As I used to be leaving for Germany that weekend, I used to be sadly left to finish the adventure on a Moto Guzzi V85TT as a substitute. There we no lawsuits from me because it used to be provided with baggage and the seat seemed love it may just take 10 hours at the pass with out a downside, nevertheless it used to be a disgrace I couldn’t get the Tuareg around the continent as deliberate.

Whilst I used to be away, the workforce waited for portions. I used to be with out the Tuareg for round 3 weeks in overall.

Aprilia Tuareg oil leak detail

Aprilia’s tech workforce stated: “There used to be a small oil leak chanced on from the water pump oil seal at the left-hand aspect of the engine, which used to be leaking down into the sump guard. The entire water pump/generator duvet, which comprises the brand new water pump seals used to be changed to unravel the problem. Afterwards, the engine oil used to be crowned again up and the coolant gadget used to be refilled and bleed. Any oil residue used to be wiped clean off. A last street check used to be then performed to verify the restore used to be a hit. The restore took simply over one hour to finish.”

So even if my restore took some time, it sounds as even though it used to be a easy repair and if you happen to had been to have one at the street it must expectantly handiest take a day.

Even supposing I couldn’t check the Tuareg and the brand new Dunlop street tyres at the autobahns, I’ve attempted to make up for it by way of packing it up for a weekend tackling the Welsh valleys and B-roads the day once I were given it again. Now, it used to be entire with panniers and best field which supposed it used to be highest for traveling and I will be able to’t wait to peer the way it handles.

Printed: 06.07.22

Humorous having a look Tuareg, proper?

Sadly, the Aprilia has sprung an oil leak, and it did so simply days prior to a long-planned shuttle to Germany. With the shuttle doubtful, it additionally supposed the entire prep I had achieved to it (becoming new Trailmax Meridians… panniers… the entire shebang) used to be in useless, too. However out of the darkness got here a ray of hope; a courtesy motorcycle used to be supplied by way of Piaggio UK whilst my Tuareg used to be off the street (as getting dangle of portions has been tricky. I’ll replace as soon as the entirety is resolved), which supposed that I’d be tackling my 1800-mile cross-continental undertaking on a Moto Guzzi V85 TT, particular version Guardia d’Onore.

Settling within the saddle

The 5 days around the continent had been going to be a check of dual carriageway staying power, principally as a result of the mileage and my time frame. Day one wasn’t off to the most efficient get started as I’d spent the weekend at Obtain Competition, however I hopped at the Guzzi within the early hours of Monday morning and rode with one eye open right down to Folkstone to catch the Channel Tunnel. The fig rolls in my best field stored me going as I waited at the teach by myself, even if the Guzzi wiggled greater than I’d was hoping on its sidestand so I spent the adventure propped up in opposition to it.

I’d deliberate to spend the evening in Dusseldorf. So after the 3 hours I spent on English motorways, it used to be time to change lanes, sit down within the saddle and let the miles roll previous. Every time I crossed a border my radio needed to reboot, and I ended for a carrier station lunch which used to be a sandwich within the shadow of the motorcycle.

The one factor got here when I used to be looking ahead to the double-barrier gadget to kind itself out on the lodge. The primary went up, and whilst looking ahead to the second one, made up our minds to drop on me and the Guzzi. I’m satisfied to mention we received the combat, however I will be able to’t say my temper used to be the entire higher for it.

Blast to Berlin

It used to be every other six-hour slog within the saddle for day two. When the nav app on my telephone informed me to enroll in the dual carriageway and keep on it for 300 miles my middle sunk slightly, however the climate used to be heat, the visitors used to be shifting, and the Guzzi may just deal with maintained top velocity like a trooper. I driven it to 120mph at the autobahn, however with the bags, the shakes had been slightly an excessive amount of for me and I slowed it right down to a constant 90 and let Lambos and alike zoom previous.

Coming into Berlin wasn’t a lot of a trouble, apart from the new Guzzi wasn’t partial to slow-moving visitors and its gears clunked in protest. However at 30 levels, I’d be clunking too. When we arrived, we went right into a car elevator and the Guzzi spent the evening underground as I explored town, chanced on a zoo, and a lager or two.

Cruising the cobbles

Now not as many miles had been lined on day 3, even if greater than meant as lots of the roads I wanted in Berlin had been close for and upcoming match. Consequently, we persevered heavy visitors, wobbled down cobbled streets, and bounced up 1000000000 kerbs to test the map and alter the direction, all of which the Guzzi treated like a champ. The benefit of Berlin is that bikes can park just about any place (is reasonably) so when I’d navigated my method throughout the town for an hour, we arrived at Brandenburg Gate prior to heading to Magdeburg for my subsequent in a single day prevent.

Homeward certain

I didn’t thoughts being at the street on how you can Rotterdam port. The solar used to be shining, it used to be heat, and the Guzzi used to be nonetheless at ease even after doing 400-mile days for the previous 4. Plus, my hand used to be not going numb… in all probability because of my stepped forward use of the cruise keep an eye on.

Right through a temporary prevent in Arnhem, a Dutch fellow biker requested how I felt in regards to the V85’s top, because it looks as if a moderately implementing beast. In honesty, even though, the Guzzi is that a lot shorter than the Tuareg that it in truth felt moderately low, albeit that bit heavier. Upon achieving the ferry, clicking off the panniers to move to my cabin wasn’t a chore, and loading again up the following morning when we’d docked at Felixstowe wasn’t both – and I used to be able for my subsequent journey, onwards the Farmyard Rally.

Printed: 15.06.22

Even with my restricted off-road wisdom, I do know the Aprilia Tuareg craves to be in grassy verges and stony gullies fairly than sit down at the M1 the place it whines if you happen to rev an excessive amount of, and an stressful pink gentle begins to blink at you…

So, I believed it handiest honest to take it the place it belongs.

Sweetlamb coaching academy

Since I’ve handiest been off-road on a bike as soon as, I’ve been hesitant to take on the byways close to me. However after listening to that Sweetlamb had started some {couples} off-road coaching, I couldn’t suppose of a higher excuse to get slightly extra tuition and in the end put the Tuareg thru its paces.

Aprilia Tuareg at Sweetlamb's training centre

I must point out that I used to be not able to switch the Tuareg’s tyres to one thing extra catered for harsh off roading prior to I ventured to Wales – principally because of provide problems.

Driving with the OE tyres (Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR) to Wales and again with some off-roading in between wasn’t a hardship in any respect as they’re labelled 50/50 they usually coped beautifully smartly. However as they’re 50/50 my teacher concept it perfect to not pass complete on with harsh dust or moist grass, so we tackled the entirety however… and I had an out of this world time.

Aprilia Tuareg at Sweetlamb water crossing

At first, because it were a yr since I’d closing been, we spent a while so I may just turn out to be reacquainted with the fundamentals. We revisited stance, methods to flip and the place your body weight must be in addition to methods to skid with keep an eye on of the again brake. However along 3 KTMs which had noticed the terrain 1000 occasions prior to, the Aprilia didn’t smash a sweat, apart from for the again brake being a bit of softer in all probability, however we were given a excellent skid in the end.

In spite of being a heavier motorcycle than the KTM 390 Journey I first of all educated on, the additional weight and tool didn’t faze me with the Aprilia. Since I’d been residing with it, it used to be simple to deal with with the precise ways and had no qualms when examined with tight turns and water crossings. It used to be receptive on asymmetric floor and rugged gravel paths and after I ventured right into a sodden gully with free stones, it ignored them comfortably – even with my loss of talent.

Sweetlamb training academy Wales Aprilia

Subsequent up

I don’t suppose any new tyres are coming my method prior to I’m going off-road once more, however with plans in September, I will be able to handiest hope that I am getting a supply prior to then. Finally, the Tuareg is able to hunker down and do a little off the street.

Printed: 22.05.25

As my closing longer term check motorcycle (Moto Guzzi V7 Stone) used to be a unfashionable run-around, extra suited for town streets than lengthy distances, I used to be excited to have one thing that, let’s be fair, is all the polar reverse.

Plus, once you have my first style of path using closing yr, I’m hoping my time with the Tuareg would possibly flip me directly to a lifetime of weekend off-roading adventures… however I’m most likely getting forward of myself there. Watch this house…

Yorkshire Dales

My first shuttle at the Tuareg used to be a four-hour slog up the dual carriageway prior to tackling the twisties of the Yorkshire Dales – all all through that freak two days of snowstorms we had again in March.

Aprilia Tuareg 660 in the snow

We battled a minimum of 11 blizzards at the first day and because my in a single day prevent used to be the best pub in England, Tan Hill, there used to be no respite at the freezing temperatures or deficient climate till I were given to the security of the inn.

Ahead of I left, I did slightly spannering and connected my Keis heated jacket charger to the Aprilia, as I knew I used to be going to be in for a chilly couple of days, and that made a global of distinction.

I used to be additionally pleasantly stunned at how at ease the motorcycle used to be on lengthy days within the saddle (to start with impressions, I first of all concept I used to be going to have a sore posterior part an hour in) and the display did a excellent task of maintaining the wind and snow at bay, actually I used to be moderately entertained staring at the snow building up at the A1 whilst I used to be comfortable and at ease on board.

Aprilia Tuareg 660 screen in the snow

However again to the motorcycle. At 5ft 9in, I used to be a bit of fearful I used to be going to combat with the moderately tall 860mm seat top however, even if I don’t have any probability of having my toes flat at the flooring all sides, I used to be pleasantly stunned with how smartly balanced and manageable the motorcycle feels.

Even supposing, after I put the sidestand down on a camber I to find that I’m not able to get the motorcycle upright with out pushing it to a flatter floor, however that’s simply one thing I wish to get the knack of, I’m positive.

That feeling of stability and manageability sticks round whilst it’s shifting, too, and even if I didn’t push any velocity limits within the Dales for worry of slipping on ice, the motorcycle’s dealing with gave me the boldness to press on regardless.

Aprilia Tuareg 660 in the sunshine on the Yorkshire Dales

A fleeting advent

My adventures with the Tuareg were stifled fairly as I exceeded the primary carrier mileage in my first weekend with it, so it’s returned to Aprilia to be serviced. However as there aren’t many fashions within the nation, Aprilia are conserving directly to it for slightly longer in order that it may be used at an match. I’m lacking it already.

Within the intervening time, I’ve were given my palms on a Moto Guzzi V85TT Shuttle, so even if it could be every week or two till I’m reunited with the Tuareg, a minimum of I’ll have one thing to check it to – and I couldn’t be extra excited for each!

Touch: [email protected]

After attempting off-roading for the primary time not too long ago, I’m prepared to fortify my abilities and put the Tuareg thru its paces in all way of environments. However, I’m additionally prepared to take it on longer street journeys to peer if it’s efficient as a traveling device.

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