When it comes to mid-weight adventure motorcycles, the Aprilia Tuareg 660 and KTM 890 Adventure R are among the top contenders in the market. Here’s a first-hand account of a rider who has experienced both bikes for 600 miles, examining the performance, comfort, and distinct features of each.
Engine and Performance
The KTM 890 Adventure R boasts a bigger engine than the Aprilia Tuareg 660. The former’s engine undoubtedly packs more punch, and according to the rider, the KTM has a bit more “get up and go”. The Aprilia, however, is no slouch; its torque is good down low, but there’s a small lag from first to second gear which is not the case in KTM 890. Once the Aprilia is in second gear and beyond, it’s smooth sailing and performs well.
Comfort and Riding Position
When it comes to ride comfort, the Aprilia Tuareg 660 seems to have an edge. The seat is more comfortable than that of the KTM 890 Adventure R. The Aprilia’s riding position is akin to the Africa Twin; you sit more ‘into’ the bike and can be flat-footed, which is not quite possible with the KTM due to its higher stance.
The windshield on the Aprilia is also larger, which contributes to lesser wind buffeting compared to the KTM. However, the 2023 KTM 890 Adventure R has wider fairings that help in deflecting wind away from the rider’s legs.
Off-road and Touring Capabilities
The KTM 890 Adventure R is more off-road focused with touring capabilities, whereas the Aprilia Tuareg 660 balances between touring and off-road use. The KTM’s fuel tanks are positioned lower, which helps in handling, especially during off-road adventures. The Aprilia, on the other hand, is a bit top-heavy compared to the KTM but excels in comfort for longer hauls.
For riders who are vertically challenged, the Aprilia might be a more suitable choice due to its lower seating position.
Additional Features and Customizations
The Aprilia Tuareg 660 has a button that easily allows riders to switch between different ride modes. This feature is particularly handy and is surprisingly missing from the KTM 890 Adventure R, which requires a more cumbersome combination of buttons to change modes.
The KTM comes with a quick shifter as standard, while it needs to be added separately to the Aprilia. Once the quick shifter is added to the Aprilia, it operates super smoothly.
Heated grips were added to the Aprilia, but not to the KTM, as the latter is primarily used for off-road purposes where heated grips aren’t essential.
Both the Aprilia Tuareg 660 and KTM 890 Adventure R are excellent mid-weight adventure motorcycles, each with its own strengths.
If off-road prowess is your top priority with some touring, the KTM 890 Adventure R is a robust choice. However, if you seek a comfortable ride for long hauls with the ability to handle off-road trails, the Aprilia Tuareg 660 seems to offer a better balance.
The choice ultimately boils down to your riding preferences and priorities.