The Tuareg in its natural habitat
The tests we usually perform are of various kinds. Sometimes we have the possibility of going to official presentationswhere we can talk to representatives of the brand, find out all the details about the motorcycles and travel prepared routes, generally for one or two days.
At other times, we pick up a unit to make longer tests of about a weekwhere we check consumption, explore electronics in depth and look for the limits of intended uses for depending on which models.
This time We took an Aprilia Tuareg to Morocco. A trip that includes: a trip by highway from Madrid to Almería, to take a ferry to Nador; travel 7 stages crossing the Atlas from north to south through places like the badlands of Al Hoceima, the remote towns of the Atlas and its hidden gorgesmountain passes of 3,000, meters reaching the sea of Erg Chebbi dunes near Merzouga; Return via Tangier and again by ferry to Algeciras plus return by highway to Madrid.
A tour of 10 days with luggage and in a groupwhich represents a real situation which fits the ideal use that many of its users will give to a motorcycle with these characteristics.
The route presents a 30% off-road route, mostly on medium-difficulty tracks and I don’t consider myself an overly experienced driver in off-road driving either. That’s why I want to think that many potential buyers of an Aprilia Tuareg can identify with me in this article.
My facet as road leader in GR11 (who from here we thank for their collaboration) allow us to bring you a long and real test, with an extensive video lasting almost an hour, through incredible landscapes and with many minutes of on-board opinion plus an exhaustive commentary on the behavior of the motorcycle in different situations. We hope that this format is to your liking.
A mixed route for the most versatile Aprilia
Stage 0: Almería – Nador, 20 km.
We meet in the port of Algeciras early in the morning to board and head to Nador. Are 7 hours of navigation in which we take the opportunity to get together and review the trip briefing. After disembarking in Morocco and doing all the paperwork and exchanging currency, we arrived at the hotel.
Stage 1: Nador – Fez, 367 km.
We leave towards Alhucemas, a coastal town where we will stop to rest and have coffee with views of the rock of Al Hoceima. Then we delve into the Rif mountains and we enjoyed very twisty roads in different states of conservation. It is one of the wildest areas of the country and receives little tourism. After a long day 100% asphaltwe arrived at the hotel in Fez.
Stage 2: Fez – Midelt, 353 km.
One of the largest stages of the tour, we leave Fez heading south. In the morning we do the first off-road section, already reaching the Atlas Mountains: a tbranch of track between farms and forests which serves as a “warm-up” for the days that would follow. We also visited the forest monkey colony. We continue for the Middle Atlaspassing through Aguelmame Sidi Ali to eat and after that we arrived at Midelt.
Stage 3: Midelt – Merzouga, 349.
We left heading south and during the morning we carried out a off-road section that is much more complicated than it should be due to the torrential rains that had occurred shortly before our arrival. The paths have sections with landslides, pebbles and complicated steps in some sections. From Gourramanow on asphalt we head to Errachidia and the Ziz Valley with its wonderful viewpoints, to arrive tired and at sunset to our hotel at the foot of the dunes.
Stage 4: Merzouga – Dades, 267 kms.
Shortly after leaving, we visited Gara Medouar, known as the “Portuguese fortress”. A circular mountain with a single entrance that has been the setting for several films and is said to have been used as a warehouse by Portuguese slave traders. After lunch in Alnif we take a mountain track of about 65 km crossing the Saghro mountains to Dades. The bulk of the onboard off-road videos were recorded on this day, in a terrain with spectacular views of the mountains and roads that are a true joy for off-road lovers.
Stage 5: Dades – Afourer, 284 km
One of the most beautiful stages of the trip, crossing the Atlas along routes little traveled by tourists. We go out through the track from Dades to Bou Tahrar and from there alternating asphalt and tracks until the incredible Amejgag gorges A sight to behold! After that, we crossed the High Atlas from south to north through two impressive pmountain ports of more than 3,000 meters.
On this day, the part of the onboard that talks about electronics was recorded. We arrive at the Tabant Valley with a beautiful evening light and follow impressive tracks through forests passing through the Bin el Ouidane reservoir until we finally reach Afourer.
Stage 6: Afourer – Rabat, 273 km.
We leave in the direction of Rabat on secondary roads with a lot of traffic in this area of central Morocco. You have to pay close attention and do a lot of overtaking work and cross many towns. Upon arriving at Rabatwe walked through the medina and had dinner at a wonderful restaurant with typical Moroccan food.
Stage 7: Rabat – Assilah – Algeciras, 291 km.
Heading north to find our ferry back to Spain. Before we visited the picturesque town of Assilah, one of the most beautiful and quiet in the north of Morocco. After eating we took the highway to the port of Tanger Med to board back.
Behavior of the Aprilia Tuareg on this trip
Ideally, all of you who are really interested in a deep commentary can see the Complete video or at least the parts that interest you the most, since it is a fairly long video. But if you prefer to read it, here I tell you my most important conclusions.
In general terms, The bike has responded exactly as expected of it. on this tour. The first day, going to Almería, he already showed the character of his engine and his good performance. But also his main disadvantage as a route, which for long runs, is a little uncomfortable.
Mainly due to its lack of aerodynamic protection, since it has a rather scarce screen, but also due to its narrow and hard seat, which takes its toll as days are added to the trip. At least has cruise controlwhich comes in handy on these journeys.
The biggest drawback that I personally have about the Aprilia Touareg is its size, at least For me, as I am 186 cm tall, it is a little small.. Although the truth is that beyond appearances, I find the driving position very comfortable.
The bike is very designed to stand and the only thing I have had to do to comfortably ride long runs on the footpegs is to remove the rubber bands so that they grip the boots well and lower the levers a little so as not to strain the wrists. He handlebar is high and wide and it is easy to leave it in a position that It works for both road and off-road.
The Tuareg is very clean in design and has a couple of bars under the seat where I have been able to anchor the luggage in a couple of soft bagsone of 30 liters and a smaller one of 20. Once in Morocco I was able to leave the large bag in the support vehicle and carry tools and essential objects in the smaller one to have on hand.
The more asphalt stages, with very twisty roads, have not been any problems for the bike. On the contrary, it shows that it has a agility and magnificent poise especially thanks to its suspensionswhich on the road maintain sufficient firmness but at the beginning of the journey they are softer and faster, filtering out potholes and undulations in the asphalt very effectively.
The fork does not sink much when braking, or at least it doesn’t sink after a first step where it feels softer. The road in Morocco is not always in good condition and the ability of the fork to stay in a curve is very reassuring and that helps us have a lot of fun.
On very bumpy roads there is no lack of power at all (80 HP) and The engine revs very quickly and sounds incredibly good.. It responds in all regimes, but pushes quite a bit around the 6,000 turnsoffering very forceful recoveries and corner exits.
I really like how the power is delivered, because it is a bike that has a lot of bottom and that can certainly be stretched and turns quickly. But where else it is enjoyed in low and medium.
Second gear is very useful on tracks, because it is almost impossible to stall and third is ideal for going a little faster. The third continues to maintain the torque and when you pick up some speed it is very manageable, it does not jerk and recovers very well thanks to the power in the low and medium ranges.
Between second and third, we can calmly overcome the technical areas and happily enjoy the faster areas. The truth is that the bike goes great on tracks and is very comfortable on unpaved terrain.
This Aprilia Tuareg has made me a better driver, put it in some way. He has given me a lot safety and ease of use. It is a very motorcycle light and very reactive to the inputs you apply to the handlebars. It is also very narrow, especially in the center, and it is easy to put your knees in to make direction changes when standing.
Another thing that has helped me a lot is the electronic systems that the bike comes with. I think you have exactly the right measure of electronic aid and adjustments: 4 driving modes, two modes for asphalt, one for off-road and another fully configurable from scratch (power delivery, engine braking, traction control).
Some of the tracks we have traveled were very deteriorated due to torrential rains that had taken place shortly before we arrived. In those hot spots with large piled stones and slopes with little traction, hI am very grateful not to have a maxitrail who have had it a little worse.