Husqvarna SMQ 450 First Look

November 18, 2008
JC Hilderbrand
JC Hilderbrand
Off-Road Editor|Articles|Articles RSS|Blog |Blog Posts |Blog RSS

Hilde is holding down the fort at MotoUSA's Southern Oregon HQ. With world-class dirt bike and ATV trails just minutes away, the hardest part is getting him to focus on the keyboard. Two wheels or four, it doesn't matter to our Off-Road Editor so long as it goes like hell in the dirt.

Husqvarna SMQ 450
Husqvarna’s new SMQ was revealed at Milan. The entire purpose of the machine is supposed to be something that’s easy to ride, maneuver and have fun with.

Husqvarna has recently released a concept machine at the EICMA show in Milan, Italy. The SMQ is a street-oriented bike with a very unique stance. A tubular steel frame uses the single-cylinder motor as a stressed member with its minimalist, cradle-less design. A radiator isn’t visible, but cooling tubes emerge from the cylinder and travel up towards the steering head. The left-side engine case is stamped with “450” which could be fairly potent if the bike’s weight is as small as it appears.

Chain driven on the left side, the countershaft sprocket is centered on the swingarm pivot similar to the BMW G 450 X. The exhaust exits from the front of the motor and bends around the right side where it mates to a megaphone muffler, a complete eyesore in our opinion. The bulbous can contrasts the minimalist design and aftermarket companies would have a heyday with titanium and carbon fiber mini versions to clean it up.

Husqvarna SMQ 450
Husky calls the look “vintech” for a mix of vintage and modern technology. It looks sort of like a dirt tracker to to us, but whatever it is, we like it.

Wave style rotors and Brembo calipers are mounted front and rear on wire-spoked wheels which are likely 17-inchers. A lack of fenders is compensated for by a small mud guard on the front and a stinger license plate holder on the rear, vaguely similar to one from Yamaha’s R6. There is really a lack of any significant bodywork. A tiny fairing is built into the front of the fuel cell and a goofy windshield houses a single headlight and miniscule turn signals.

Suspension is in the form of an inverted fork on the front end. Though it’s hard to tell from photos, if our pictorial snooping is accurate then the monoshock is mounted directly to the steel swingarm.

We’ll have to keep our eyes peeled for more info on the Husqvarna SMQ. Maybe our European connection can round something up for a future Euro Gossip, but if anything else crops up, we’ll let you know.

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