- 0.1 Introduction
- 0.2 Design and Aesthetics
- 0.3 Engine Performance Aprilia Tuareg 660 Vs Yamaha Ténéré 700
- 0.4 Evenly-Matched?
- 0.5 The Tech Factor
- 1 Unanimous Decision
The adventure motorcycle market has seen a surge in popularity in recent years, with riders seeking versatile and capable machines to explore both on and off-road. Two notable contenders in this segment are the Aprilia Tuareg 660 Vs Yamaha Ténéré 700. In this spec showdown, we will take a closer look at these two motorcycles, comparing their features, performance, and overall value. Whether you’re an avid adventurer or simply curious about these bikes, read on to discover which one comes out on top.
Yamaha’s Ténéré 700 has surpassed expectations since joining the mid-size ADV class in 2019. Equipped with Iwata’s acclaimed CP2 engine and housed in a double-cradle tubular steel frame, the T7 prioritizes usability and simplicity over sheer performance. This practicality appeals to both novice off-roaders and seasoned riders seeking a no-frills package.
However, the Ténéré 700’s greatest strength is also its biggest weakness, as critics often point out its basic electronics package as a deterrent to purchasing. This is where Aprilia steps in, filling the void with the all-new Tuareg 660. Drawing inspiration from the ‘80s and ‘90s Tuareg 600 Wind, this mid-size adventure bike features Aprilia’s stylish new 660 parallel-twin engine and a modern electronic suite to match.
With both the Ténéré 700 and Tuareg 660 targeting the same customer base, they employ similar strategies to achieve their respective goals. From their neo-retro designs to their rally-inspired ergonomics, these two adventurers share numerous traits. While comparing their specifications may result in many close calls, it is worth scrutinizing the details to determine which one truly has what it takes to excel in this class.
Design and Aesthetics
When it comes to design, both the Aprilia Tuareg 660 and the Yamaha Ténéré 700 showcase their adventure-oriented DNA. The Tuareg 660 exudes a rugged and aggressive look with its dual-sport-inspired fairing, tall windscreen, and high-mounted exhaust. On the other hand, the Ténéré 700 boasts a more minimalist and utilitarian design, featuring a compact front end, slim fuel tank, and a distinctive headlight assembly.
Engine Performance Aprilia Tuareg 660 Vs Yamaha Ténéré 700
Powering the Aprilia Tuareg 660 is a liquid-cooled, 660cc parallel-twin engine that delivers a healthy dose of performance. With its high-revving nature and impressive torque output, this engine is well-suited for both on-road acceleration and off-road maneuverability. On the other hand, the Yamaha Ténéré 700 is equipped with a larger displacement engine – a 689cc parallel-twin. Although it may not rev as high as the Tuareg 660, it offers more low-end torque, making it ideal for off-road adventures where traction is critical.
Most riders don’t need fire-breathing engines to enjoy the trail. In some cases, less power is actually more effective. Aprilia and Yamaha understand this well, as evidenced by their Tuareg and Ténéré bikes. These bikes feature liquid-cooled, DOHC parallel-twin engines, with only a 40cc difference between them. The CP2 engine, originally from the Yamaha MT-07, remains unchanged in the Tuareg, delivering 74 horsepower and 50 lb-ft of torque. On the other hand, Aprilia uses the parallel-twin engine from the RS 660, tuning it to produce 80 horsepower and peak torque of 51.6 lb-ft in the Tuareg 660.
Although the torque numbers are almost identical, the Tuareg’s 6-horsepower advantage and its more oversquare architecture give it an early lead. However, winning a war requires more than just one battle, and conquering the dirt demands more than just a powerful engine. This is where Yamaha and Aprilia focus on the chassis. Aprilia integrates its 660 twin as a stressed member of the tubular steel frame, while Yamaha positions its CP2 engine in a double-cradle frame.
The Ténéré features a fully adjustable 43mm USD fork that provides 8.3 inches of front wheel travel. The rear shock is also adjustable for rebound and preload, resulting in 7.9 inches of travel. Similarly, the Tuareg is equipped with a fully adjustable 43mm USD front suspension and a fully adjustable monoshock. However, the Kayaba suspension on the Tuareg offers 9.4 inches of travel both in the front and rear. Despite its longer suspension travel, the Aprilia still has a lower seat height at 33.9 inches compared to the Yamaha’s 34.4-inch-high seat.
The Rake remains nearly indistinguishable between the Tuareg and the T7, with the Tuareg’s 26.7-degree headstock angle edging out the T7’s 27-degree rake. However, long-distance travelers will enjoy the stability provided by the Ténéré’s 62.8-inch wheelbase, while canyon carvers will prefer the agility of the 660’s 60-inch wheelbase. Both middleweights feature Brembo calipers, but the Aprilia stands out with its dual 300mm discs up front and a 260mm rear rotor, overshadowing the Yamaha’s 282mm front and 245mm rear discs. When examined closely, the Aprilia Tuareg 660 narrowly wins the hardware battle, and it doesn’t skimp on software either.
The Tech Factor
To make the T7 affordable, Yamaha cut back on electronic rider aids. Without traction control or ride modes, the Ténéré 700 relies solely on the rider’s skill. However, switchable ABS prevents wheel lock-ups on the road while still allowing the rear wheel to slide in off-road conditions. The Ténéré’s LCD display is also minimalistic, showing only speed, gear, range, revs, and time.
On the other hand, the Tuareg features Aprilia’s APRC Suite, which includes four-level traction control, three engine-braking settings, three engine maps, and cruise control. Additionally, the new ADV offers ride modes such as Urban, Explore, Off-road, and Individual. The Multimap ABS adjusts the Tuareg 660 to current conditions and available traction. Users can conveniently adjust all the settings through the five-inch TFT full-color display. The Bluetooth connectivity also allows riders to connect their smartphones, enabling access to media, GPS navigation display, and hands-free phone calls while on the move.
At first glance, the new rivalry between the Yamaha Ténéré 700 and the Aprilia Tuareg 660 seems evenly matched. The models have a similar neo-Dakar styling, long suspension, and comparable power output, making them direct competitors. While Yamaha prioritizes a budget-friendly build and MSRP, Aprilia focuses on performance and technology. Consequently, the Tuareg comes with a price tag of $11,999.
With a price of $9,999, the Ténéré remains an incredible value. Although it may lack the bells and whistles of the Aprilia, the T7 still strikes an excellent balance between price and performance. However, the Ténéré 700 may have finally met its match in terms of bang-for-buck with the Tuareg. Aprilia matches its higher price with higher-spec components, instantly making the 660 a contender in the mid-size ADV market.
The Yamaha caters to back-to-basics riders, while the Aprilia suits tech-savvy riders who expect more control and flexibility. Despite being direct competitors, these two models serve very different riding styles, which is a win-win for Yamaha, Aprilia, and the customers.
Suspension and Handling
Adventure motorcycles require capable suspension systems to tackle a variety of terrains, and both the Tuareg 660 and the Ténéré 700 deliver in this aspect. The Aprilia features fully adjustable suspension components on both ends, allowing riders to fine-tune their setup based on riding conditions. The Yamaha, on the other hand, comes with a long-travel suspension that provides ample ground clearance and a plush ride over rough surfaces. In terms of handling, both bikes offer nimble and responsive characteristics, making them suitable for both twisty roads and off-road trails.
Electronics and Technology
Modern adventure motorcycles are equipped with advanced electronics and technology to enhance the riding experience, and the Tuareg 660 and Ténéré 700 are no exceptions. The Aprilia boasts a comprehensive electronics suite, including multiple riding modes, traction control, cornering ABS, and a TFT display. It also offers smartphone connectivity for navigation and media playback. The Yamaha, although not as feature-rich as the Tuareg 660, still offers essentials such as ABS, rider modes, and a basic LCD instrument cluster. Both bikes provide the necessary tools for riders to stay connected and enjoy a safe and enjoyable journey.
Ergonomics and Comfort
Long-distance comfort is paramount for adventure motorcycles, as riders often spend hours in the saddle exploring remote locations. The Tuareg 660 comes with a spacious and comfortable riding position, thanks to its tall seat height, upright handlebars, and well-placed footpegs. Additionally, the windscreen offers good wind protection at higher speeds. The Ténéré 700 also prioritizes rider comfort, with its ergonomic seating position and well-designed controls. However, some riders may find the wind protection to be slightly lacking compared to the Aprilia.
Both the Aprilia Tuareg 660 and the Yamaha Ténéré 700 are built to excel in off-road conditions. The Tuareg 660 features wire-spoke wheels, knobby tires, and skid plates for enhanced off-road protection. Its lightweight construction and agile handling make it a capable off-road performer. The Ténéré 700, on the other hand, offers a balanced combination of on-road and off-road capability. With its long-travel suspension, durable chassis, and robust tires, it can handle challenging terrain with ease. Ultimately, your choice between these two bikes may depend on the level of off-road prowess you require.
Price and Value
When it comes to purchasing a motorcycle, price and value play a significant role in the decision-making process. The Aprilia Tuareg 660 is expected to be priced competitively in its segment, offering a good balance of performance, features, and brand exclusivity. On the other hand, the Yamaha Ténéré 700 has already gained a reputation for being an affordable and reliable adventure bike. Its price tag is notably lower than many of its competitors in the mid-size adventure segment, making it an attractive option for budget-conscious riders.
In this spec showdown between the Aprilia Tuareg 660 and the Yamaha Ténéré 700, both motorcycles showcase their strengths in various aspects. The Tuareg 660 impresses with its aggressive design, high-revving engine, and comprehensive electronics package. On the other hand, the Ténéré 700 offers a more utilitarian design, strong low-end torque, and excellent value for money. Ultimately, your choice will depend on your personal preferences, riding style, and intended use of the motorcycle. Whichever you choose, both bikes are capable adventure machines that will take you on unforgettable journeys both on and off the beaten path.