QUICK FANG: Husqvarna Nuda 900/900R – Knockout Punch

03 August 2012
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 paralleltwin donk, add in a mix of quality componentry and finish it off with somesharp 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 terms of performance, and the pricing is incredibly attractive. If this is the marque’s first modern road-going effort, I can’t wait to see what else it has in store…
SPEX - Husqvarna Nuda 900/900R
Type: 898cc, liquid-cooled, DOHC, eight-valve parallel-twin
Bore and stroke: 84mm x 81mm
Compression ratio: 13.0:1
Fuel system: EFI
Type: Six-speed
Frame type: Tub. steel trellis
Front suspension: 48mm inverted Sachs fork, nonadjustable/ 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, fourpiston Brembo calipers/aluminium monobloc Brembo calipers
Rear brake: Single 265mm disc, single-piston Brembo caliper
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