As the “designer” brand of the KTM empire, Husqvarna has consistently intrigued motorcycle enthusiasts with its neo/industrial models like the Svartpilen and the Vitpilen, both of which are based on the Duke platform.
Its latest product takes aim at the lucrative adventure market with the Norden 901. An adventure bike with strong rally influences (and a heavy dose of KTM technology), the Norden 901 is a middleweight contender with an 899cc parallel-twin engine rated at 105hp, mated to a six-speed, quickshifter-assisted transmission. A light steel trellis frame with Brembo brakes and adjustable WP Apex suspension is utilized. Suspension travel is 220mm at the front and 215mm at the back.
The tubeless 21-inch front and 18-inch rear wheels wear dual-sport Pirelli Scorpion STR rubber. Its electronics package includes Bosch lean-angle sensitive traction control and ABS, with “Street,” “Rain” and “Off-road” modes. A large capacity 19L tank promises respectable endurance for exploring the boondocks. An optional connectivity kit lets the rider access turn-by-turn navigation, calls, and music with the TFT dashboard.
Motorcycle aficionados will note that the spec closely mirrors KTM’s own 890 Adventure (not yet available locally; we have the 790 Adventure). The major difference, of course, is aesthetics. Whereas the Austrian company has remained firm on its insectoid look through the years, Husqvarna’s futuristic theme is vaguely alien-like with its organically shaped fairing and windscreen, highlighted by an LED headlight the size of a dinner plate, and flanked by two smaller auxiliary lights. With Husqvarna’s distinctive silver-and-neon-green color scheme, it all creates a look that wouldn’t be out of place in a science-fiction movie.
We’ve ridden the 790 Adventure R locally and we love how capable and powerful that bike is. So, if the 890 is better, then the Norden should also be an exhilarating ride. Of note is that the front/rear suspension travel is 20mm and 15mm more than the regular 790/890, but is significantly less than the R versions (240mm for the 790 R, and 270mm for the 890 R).
The Norden 901 is officially available in US and European markets this month with an estimated retail price of $13,999 (P707,000), but there is no word yet if or when it will come to the Philippines.