2022 Motorcycle of the Year

Evans Brasfield
by Evans Brasfield
We’re committed to finding, researching, and recommending the best products. We earn commissions from purchases you make using links in our articles. Learn more here

A great year for riders who like to travel

2022 Motorcycle of the Year: Aprilia Tuareg 660

2022 motorcycle of the year

Each year, we gather as a staff for the task of choosing Motorcycle.com’s Motorcycle of the Year (MOTY). Sometimes the debate can be heated – and lengthy. This year, we reached consensus on the top two choices relatively easily. What caused the debate was the ranking of the two, but we were able to come to an agreement (some possibly reluctantly) as to their final standing. Remember, the MOTY is not about choosing the absolute best motorcycle of 2022. While the bike needs to be one of the best by winning one of our MO Best Of categories (MOBO), the bike needs to be something more; it needs to say something about the current state of motorcycling. The 2022 MOTY is no different. In fact, it was alone in winning two MOBO categories. When you combine the two, the motorcycle says a lot about its current class of motorcycles, in this case adventure-touring and value motorcycles. The 2022 Aprilia Tuareg 660 illustrates the continuing advancement and the maturity of the adventure-touring market.

2022 Aprilia Tuareg 660 Review – First Ride

Showdown: 2022 Aprilia Tuareg 660 vs. Yamaha Ténéré 700

Best Adventure Motorcycle of 2022: Aprilia Tuareg 660

Best Value Motorcycle of 2022: Aprilia Tuareg 660

The Aprilia Tuareg 660 represents the growing importance of the middleweight adventure market. Not only does it come in on the smaller end of the displacement scale, removing some of the barriers to entry to newer ADV riders, but also it comes with features that used to only be the province of heavyweight adventure machinery. Where the Tuareg really makes a statement, though, is how it provides these features for thousands of dollars less than its competitors. So, what we end up with is a lighter, less intimidating, and more flexible platform at a reasonable price. And that’s before we consider how it stacked up in MO’s tests this year.

How does Aprilia pull off this feat? First, the engine, with just minor retuning, is used across three different motorcycle models, helping to keep prices down while showing the versatility of the 660 Parallel-Twin. By virtue of having 75% of its 44.3 lb-ft of torque available at 3,000 for good off-road grunt yet still delivering an exciting top end when revved out, the Tuareg excels in the two most important areas for an ADV bike: crawling around in the dirt and cruising the highways to get there.

2022 motorcycle of the year

Electronics continue to play an increasingly important role in motorcycling, and here, again, the Tuareg 660 excels. For less experienced riders, particularly in the dirt, the electronics can be a real confidence booster, possibly enticing these riders to take more adventurous routes. As their skills improve, the electronic support can be dialed back or even turned off. The capability to dial in the bike you want to ride, played a big role in our 2,000 mile ride from Sturgis to Los Angeles, where both Ryan and I declared the Tuareg to be our pick – even with our wildly different off-road riding abilities. These features used to be the province of flagship model, heavyweight adventure bikes, and it’s good to see them trickling down into the middleweight market where we see the most potential for growth.

2022 motorcycle of the year

Finally, there is the $11,999 starting price. While we’ve heard the howls in the Best Value MOBO comments, we need to stress that value isn’t necessarily represented by a low price rather, value comes from what you actually get for your money. The Tuareg excels in this regard when you consider the cost of similarly-equipped adventure motorcycles.

For these reasons, and more, the MO staff has voted the 2022 Aprilia Tuareg the Motorcycle.com 2022 Motorcycle of the Year!

2022 Motorcycle of the Year Runner-Up: Suzuki GSX-S1000 GT+

2022 motorcycle of the year

In recent years, the sport-touring segment has been languishing in the shadow of adventure bikes, with many of the options listed in the category being streetified ADV bikes. Just look at this year’s sport-touring runner-up MOBO. All of this explains why the MO staff was so excited by the prospect of the Suzuki GSX-S1000GT+.

2022 Suzuki GSX-S1000GT+ Review – First Ride

Showdown: Kawasaki Ninja 1000 SX vs Suzuki GSX-S1000GT+

Best Sport-Touring Motorcycle of 2022: Suzuki GSX-S1000GT+

Even before we rode the GT+, we knew there was a lot to like about it. The K5 GSX-R1000 engine has yet to produce a dud, and giving it an update with what turned out to be perhaps the best up/down quickshifter only sweetened the package. Then there was the handling, which is exactly what we want from a sport-touring mount with bags in place. The brakes deserve a mention, too. And the styling? You’d be hard-pressed to find someone without a strong opinion, on both sides of the spectrum.

2022 motorcycle of the year

Once we had a GT+ in our possession, each ride confirmed our feelings about the bike. It even beat its most direct competitor, the Ninja 1000 SX, in a head-to-head Showdown. This is what we remember the sport-touring class of old being, and hope to see grow back into prominence.

What we’re saying is that when a bike exceeds expectations while simultaneously breathing new life into the seemingly moribund sport-touring class, it deserves accolades. The 2022 Suzuki GSX-S1000GT+ did just that and, as a result, is the Motorcycle.com 2022 Motorcycle of the Year Runner-Up.

Become a Motorcycle.com insider. Get the latest motorcycle news first by subscribing to our newsletter here.

Evans Brasfield
Evans Brasfield

Editor-in-Chief Motorcycle.com

More by Evans Brasfield

Join the conversation
4 of 43 comments
  • Imtoomuch Imtoomuch on Dec 12, 2022

    No CFMoto so that's a win.

    $12,000 for a 600cc bike. Remember when people said this was too much for 600cc sport bikes?

    Very cool to see Suzuki get the runner up position. That is the bike that fits more people and their riding needs though.

  • Obdurate Verity Obdurate Verity on Dec 14, 2022

    Picking esoteric and damn near one off's for the majority of the US does no one any favors.

    • See 1 previous
    • Imtoomuch Imtoomuch on Dec 15, 2022

      I'm guessing he means that almost nobody wants a 660cc "adventure" bike.

      The article claims the 660cc engine removes some "barriers" to riders. I'd argue the biggest barrier between riders and ADV bikes is the seat height. This bike still has a tall seat so that rules out a lot of riders.

      On top of that, you choose a motorcycle from a manufacturer that has 79 dealers in the USA. That is less than 2 per state. So good luck finding one and being within a commutable distance for service, repairs, warranty work, etc.