After digesting Alan Cathcart’s report on Husqvarna’s new Nudas in MT #252, I was keen to experience the bikes for myself at the models’ Aussie press launch. I wasn’t disappointed – with parent firm BMW’s guidance, Husky’s first modern roadie is a cracker.
The basic recipe is pretty simple: take a modified BMW F 800 GS frame and a heavily revised version of the same bike’s parallel-twin donk, add in a mix of quality componentry and finish it off with some sharp styling. The up-spec 900R gets fully-adjustable suspension front and rear (the Öhlins monoshock also with a ride height adjustor), a 16-tooth front sprocket (as opposed to 17), a flat seat (instead of a stepped seat), a pipe with carbonfibre bling, and the red/white/black paint job.
Over a selection of tight Qld/NSW roads the Nudas were an insane amount of fun – with broad ’bars, an upright ride position and excellent ground clearance they can be chucked around with abandon. The engine is brilliant – boosted by 100cc to 898cc and with a heap of revision, it’s appreciably more potent than the source donk and its punchy, flexible nature delivers bulk, real-world thrills. It’s smooth, too, but with enough of an aggressive edge to add to the experience backed up by a distinctive exhaust note.
The suspension and chassis work well, although the set-up is very firm – on the standard bike in particular. Over some of the harshly-rutted roads we traversed, the bike displayed a tendency to skate over the bumps rather than soak them up, but I’m sure more time to play with settings would pay dividends. Still, on better tarmac the Nudas were a sheer delight – these bikes capture the essence of biking fun, then amplify.
The standard Nuda’s anchors have gobs of power and feel, while for many riders I suspect the 900R’s monobloc Brembos will be overkill. There’s no ABS option yet, but Husky says it’s coming.
Husqvarna has scored a direct hit with its first modern roadie. It looks the goods, it delivers in term of performance, and the pricing is incredibly attractive ($13,995 (plus ORC) for the 900 and $15,995 (plus ORC) for the 900R). If this is the marque’s first modern road-going effort, I can’t wait to see what else it has in store…
– Torquey, flexible engine
– Excellent finish
– Awesome fun
– Super-firm suspension
– Firm seat
Type: 898cc, liquid-cooled, DOHC, eight-valve parallel-twin
Bore x stroke: 84mm x 81mm
Compression ratio: 13.0:1
Fuel system: EFI
CHASSIS AND RUNNING GEAR
Frame type: Tub. steel trellis
Front suspension: 48mm inverted Sachs fork, non-adjustable/48mm inverted Sachs fork, fully adjustable
Rear suspension: Sachs monoshock, adjustable for preload and rebound/Öhlins monoshock, fully adjustable
Front brake: Twin 320mm discs with radial-mount, four-piston Brembo calipers/aluminium monobloc Brembo calipers
Rear brake: Single 265mm disc, single-piston Brembo caliper
DIMENSIONS AND CAPACITIES
Claimed dry weight: 174kg
Seat height: 870mm/875-975mm
Fuel capacity: 13lt
Max power: 77kW (105hp) at 8500rpm
Max torque: 100Nm (73.7ft-lb) at 7000rpm
Colours: White and black/red, white and black
Test bike supplied by: Paul Feeney Group
Warranty: 24 months, unlimited kilometres
*Manufacturer’s list price excl. dealer and statutory costs