Posh Scandi version of KTM’s 890 Adventure should be alright on the night
Husqvarna is a curious brand. Originally set up as a gun maker in Sweden in the 17th century, it’s since gone on to produce stoves, sewing machines, bicycles, lawnmowers, chainsaws and, of course, motorbikes. The bike division specialised in angry off-road machines to suit the wild Viking bikers of the north in earlier times, but it’s had a more chequered past of late.
It was first sold to Cagiva, of all people, in 1986, though the addition of some typically Italian oversight didn’t seem to help matters very much. Then, in 2007, the brand was sold again, to BMW, which was dabbling in proper offroad machinery, at the tim. The 2008 global financial crash then struck, scotching much of BMW’s plans. Not much happened from then till 2013 when BMW offloaded its blonde-headed Nordic stepchild to KTM – a brand which knows a lot about breaking out from the offroad sector.
In the years since, Husqvarna has been a beast of two parts: first, the high-performance offroad and competition machinery range which generally follows KTM’s engine and chassis technology. Then, there’s a boutique roadbike range, again using KTM’s bikes as a foundation but with radically different styling, premium materials and finish, and the highest-tuned versions of the orange brand’s engines.
And now there’s a new road bike to join the Svartpilen and Vitpilen lineup of naked roadsters – the Husqvarna Norden 901 middleweight adventure bike. And doesn’t it look like a cracker?
On paper, it’s a variant of the KTM Adventure 890, which is most definitely no bad thing. We have the Austrian firm’s latest 889cc parallel twin motor, which replaced the older 790 version last year, making the same 105bhp peak power and 100Nm of torque, and the trusty chrome-moly steel tube frame with a hefty alloy sump guard, and cast open-ribbed swingarm design.
Suspension is by in-house firm WP, with fully adjustable Apex 43mm USD forks and a preload/rebound adjustable rear monoshock. Wheels are 21” front and 18” rear, wire spoked with tubeless Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR tyres fitted, and the four-piston radial-mount front brake calipers are by Spanish firm J.Juan. Weight is a smidgeon more than on the base KTM 890 ADV – up 5kg to 204kg dry.
The Norden comes with a solid electronics package: standard up/down quickshifter, cruise control, optional Bluetooth connectivity and switchable offroad cornering ABS. There’s also IMU-assisted traction control, plus three standard power modes and an optional ‘Explorer’ mode which gives full customisation over all the rider aids. It’s all controlled via a large 5” full-colour TFT LCD dash.
So far so 890 Adventure. But the styling is the big change: typically Scandinavian minimalist bodywork from the side, with the firm’s signature black grey white and yellow-green paintscheme. There’s a large round LED headlight up front, with auxiliary LED fog lights either side, and a very tall upwards-swept fairing and 19-litre fuel tank. The looks are pretty hardcore: though the conventional road-type front mudguard rather than an ‘R’ type ‘beak’ mudguard is going to limit any intentions in the dirt you’d imagine.
The seat is two-way height adjustable, and the Norden has unique forged aluminium top yoke, handlebars and footrest designs. Official Husqvarna accessories include special Touratech aluminium hard luggage, heated grips, Akrapovic end can, tyre pressure monitoring system, taller windscreen and Bluetooth connection. There’s also a range of bespoke riding kit including boots, helmet and textile gear.
The new Husqvarna 901 Norden will be available from November, UK pricing is still tbc. More info: www.husqvarna-motorcycles.com