Husqvarna 701 Supermoto - FIRST LOOK REVIEW

Production version of this Big Thumping Supermoto is poised to go on sale in Europe soon; US buyers will have to wait until March.

Husqvarna 701 Supermoto studio 3/4 front view

Husqvarna, owned by KTM, is about to start deliveries in Europe of the very impressive 701 Supermoto, the ultimate street-legal supermoto-style bike first seen as a concept at the EICMA show in 2013.

The Husqvarna 701 Supermoto is powered by KTM’s mighty 690cc liquid-cooled SOHC 4-valve engine, the most powerful single in production today. It delivers a claimed 69 horsepower at 7,000 rpm and 49.5 pound-feet of torque at 6, 500 rpm. This powerplant features a 102mm bore and a 84.5mm stroke, together with 40mm inlet and 34mm exhaust valves. The twin-sparkplug ignition system has staggered timing to obtain the most efficient combustion, and the engine breathes through a 46mm Keihin throttle body. What’s more, the ride-by-wire throttle has three response modes: Soft, Standard, and Advanced.

Husqvarna says the engine in the new 701 Supermoto is strong but delivers power in a smooth fashion, perfect for easily controlled power slides on both tarmac and dirt, aided by a hydraulically actuated slipper clutch.

Husqvarna 701 Supermoto studio rear view

The new Husqvarna 701 Supermoto looks lean and mean, tipping the scales at 319 pounds dry and standing tall on its long travel (8.5 in.) 48mm inverted WP fork and even longer travel (9.8 in.) rear, which features an aluminum swingarm and a WP shock absorber. Traditional Husky style enhances the tough essence of this bike, a does a heavily triangulated chrome-moly steel tubing trellis frame. More massive is the rear section, with substantial body panels protecting the rear-mounted 3.7-gallon polyamide fuel tank, which is made with a rotational molding process and is bolted to the rear subframe that also supports the seat.

Besides a relatively compact 58.2-in. wheelbase and a tall 35-in. seat, the new Husqvarna 701 Supermoto has 27 degrees of steering rake (no trail measurements were released) and spoked 17-in. wheels shod with a 120/70-17 front and a 160/60-17 rear radial. Disc brakes are by Brembo; a single front 320mm rotor is teamed with a radial-mount four-piston caliper in front, while a 240mm rotor and a single-piston floating caliper are employed out back, the whole system managed by two-channel Bosch 9M+ ABS.

Lastly, starting this big new thumper is made easier by a starter motor and an adequately strong battery. The price of the new Husqvarna 701 Supermoto is expected to be around 8,000 euros in Europe, which equates to around $9,000 in the US. While we don’t know what the 2016 Husqvarna 701 Supermoto actually will cost in the US, we can tell you this: It arrives in the US in March.

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Husqvarna 701 Supermoto studio.Husqvarna Photo

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Husqvarna 701 Supermoto studio.Husqvarna Photo