Husqvarna’s Norden 901 Concept Is The ADV King Of The North

KTM performance, modish design: job done.

Norden 901 concept
At EICMA 2019, Husqvarna took the wraps off its Norden 901 concept. If the past is any indication of the future, a production model could very much resemble the concept.Husqvarna

Once again, Husqvarna has used EICMA to tease us with a near-production-looking concept that's as modish as anything coming out of the custom scene. It's already given us a tracker and a café racer, now Husky is delving into the adventure-travel world with the Norden 901 concept. Consider our interest very much piqued.

Norden—a Scandinavian word meaning "the north"—seems an appropriate name for an ADV bike from the land of Hygge, even if it does connote Game of Thrones and the (spoiler alert!) untimely demise of Robb Stark, the King in the North. No matter.

Ducati DesertX concept
Husqvarna isn’t alone in searching for new/old ADV silhouettes. Just look at the Ducati DesertX concept.Husqvarna

Details are scant, but it seems obvious that the Norden 901 is based around KTM's punched-out LC8c parallel twin, to debut in Europe as the 890 Duke before migrating (we predict) to the middleweight Adventure and Adventure R.

In a way, the KTM 790 Adventure created a new category of ADV bike: the ADV Supersport. Its light weight and small stature mark it as a bike that could potentially open up the genre to people who are intimidated by the daunting size and weight of typical ADV bikes.

As the ADV category—like the motorcycle world as a whole—gets hyper-focused and increasingly nuanced in an attempt to appeal to seemingly every type of potential customer, the Norden 901 represents the other arm of the outreach. It's the sort of bike that could land customers who want the functionality, performance, and accessibility of the 790 Adventure series but who simply aren't inspired by KTM's middleweight. They want something with a little more style and less sharpness.

Norden 901 concept
Its topo graphics really hit the mark. And blacked-out paint looks like what’s found on countless pocketknives. Or on a stealth fighter plane.Husqvarna

The KTM has all the good stuff, but for some riders, its Creamsicle paint scheme and clove-hooved headlamp don't jive with the Gestalten-inspired adventure playing out in their heads.

The circular headlamp, the simple windscreen, and the rally-inspired silhouette are reinterpretations of classic forms that make the Norden 901 look universal—less representative of a brand and more representative of a holistic aesthetic. It’s the sort of bike that sticks in your head, that you’d set as your desktop image to stare at during boring staff meetings.

low-slung fuel tank
The low-slung fuel tank takes a page from KTMs. In terms of ergos and weight balance, it’s a good page.Husqvarna

Adventure travel holds in balance the opposing forces of dream and reality. The best ADV bikes embody both as well. ADV bikes are about practicality. But they’re also about daydreaming. They’re capable of taking you around the world, but if they don’t ever inspire your own dreams of round-the-world adventure, they may as well be commuter bikes.

Which is why the Husqvarna Norden 901 is the ADV bike we’ve been hoping for. Bring it on, Husqvarna.

Norden 901
Soft luggage looks neat, but hard panniers would help convince consumers that the Norden 901 is a viable alternative to its nearest competition.Husqvarna
tank bag
Tank rack for a possible tank bag?Husqvarna
Bluetooth compatibility
It looks like the upper mount accommodates a smartphone and is designed with the idea of using a matching app. Could this suggest we might expect some Bluetooth compatibility as well?Husqvarna
ADV bike
Is this the ADV bike you’ve been dreaming of?Husqvarna

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