Aprilia has certainly proven itself as a very strong player in the middleweight segment. Surprisingly, it managed to strike gold in the 650cc class, despite already being a formidable contender in the liter-and-above segment. It started with the RS 660, a sportbike which employs a rather simple formula. So simple, in fact, that it rivals the likes to the Kawasaki Ninja 650, but undoubtedly puts the Japanese sportbike to shame.
Unsurprisingly, the Noale company has begun developing new models based on the 660 platform. We already have the middlweight Tuono 660 based on the same chassis and engine as the RS 660. Soon, we’ll have the adventure-focused Tuareg 660—a bike that’ll certainly capture the attention of the off-road capable, middleweight ADV segment currently dominated by Yamaha’s MT-07-derived Ténéré 700 and KTM’s 790 and 890 range of adventurers. Reports even suggest that Aprilia is currently developing a middleweight dual-sport in the form of the Pegaso 660.
Now, on the subject of the Tuareg 660, Aprilia is expected to reveal the finished product later this year, quite possibly at EICMA. That being said, the hype surrounding the upcoming adventure bike has certainly fueled creative minds all over the world, one of which is motorcycle designer Oberdan Bezzi. Now, we’ve featured a number of Bezzi’s works in the past, and suffice it to say that the dude has a keen eye when it comes to designing beautiful motorcycles. His latest creation is an homage to Gilera, Aprilia’s sister company which was known for producing small-capacity adventure bikes in the early 90s.
Oberdan Bezzi’s latest concept, the Gilera RC 660 Rally, draws inspiration from the styling of the RC 600C and RC 125 Rally from the early 90s. It is, however, based on Aprilia’s upcoming Tuareg 660, so we can definitely expect quite a punch from this conceptual beauty. As you can see, it’s shod in retro-style bodywork, reminiscent of Dakar racing machines of yesteryears.
Beneath its timeless bodywork, however, it’s clear to see the bike’s modern-day underpinnings consisting of Aprilia’s 659cc, 270-degree, parallel-twin motor. Other touches include long-travel suspension, presumably completely adjustable; as well as a lightweight aluminum swingarm, similar to what we’ll find in the Aprilia Tuareg 660. While Gilera’s glory days of big bikes are long gone, the Italian company, under the Piaggio group, continues to make small scooters in the Italian market. Who knows, though? Maybe we could see a limited-release Tuareg 660 paying tribute to the iconic Italian brand in the not-too-distant future.