I've been in love with the Husqvarna 701 Supermoto since the day I first laid eyes on it. Husky announced it as a new model in the fall of 2015, basically a rebadged KTM 690 SMC R, and the pics and video they released tugged at my heart strings.
It took five months for me to swing a leg over one for a review, but my time with the bike didn’t end the love affair. I wrote my review, proclaiming my love for the hooligan machine.
While that week on the 2016 701 Supermoto was one of the most fun I'd had on a bike on my home turf, it still wasn't perfect. At least not perfect enough to get me to plunk down my hard-earned cash, given that my job provides an almost endless supply for loaners to ride (and half of my paycheck comes in the form of free OEM and gear company t-shirts).
“The 2017 is a different beast though. The new motor does an incredible job at cancelling out vibration and the motor pulls hard into triple digit speeds.”
But then Husqvarna did a smart thing. Instead of letting the 701 sit untouched for a few years as it was already selling well—given the small number of units brought into the US—Husqvarna updated the bike for 2017 with the new motor from the KTM 690 Duke. This motor added a second counter balancer and raised revs, which made the ride much more smooth and added a noticeable power bump.
The 2016 model was heaps of fun, but didn’t fit my lifestyle as well with all the freeway commuting I do. I loved the bike, but would have needed a much higher salary and more bikes in my garage before I would have made a purchase.
The 2017 is a different beast though. The new motor does an incredible job at cancelling out vibrations and the motor pulls hard into triple digit speeds. I kept finding reasons to extend the loaner we had as my wheelies got better and lap times at Adams dropped.
I dreamt about the 701 for weeks after I gave the bike back. The NuViz guys planned a route I'd never ridden for their launch and the road was maybe one of the best supermoto roads I've ever ridden—the RSV4 I was on didn't help the matter. I was continually reminded of how much better my life would be if the bike was still in my life.
So I put my money where my big, fat, loud, opinionated mouth is and I bought one.
Thanks to the updates to the bike and reviews from guys like yours truly (12 of you sent me messages that your purchase of one was heavily influenced by my thoughts), the Husqvarna 701 Supermoto is pretty much sold out until next year’s models come in. Fortunately, I knew that Husqvarna had just gotten in a press loaner that had only been dropped once—because I was the one who dropped it.
I’m now the proud owner of a 2017 Husqvarna 701 Supermoto; the first bike I’ve owned in almost five years and the first bike (and actual unit) I’ve crashed at a racetrack.
Get ready for dank woolies, obnoxious riding kits, and the most Sean-like project bike I can imagine. I'm even contemplating putting a rally fairing on it, because it would be awesome and because I can.
Own a 701? Leave me feedback in the comments below on what you’ve done that you’ve liked. The rest of you? Tell me what you think I should do to it!