Husqvarna Nuda 900R Street Bike First Look

July 1, 2011
Bart Madson
By Bart Madson
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Bashing away at the MotoUSA keyboard for nine years now, Madson lends his scribbling and editorial input on everything from bike reviews to industry analysis and motorcycle racing reports.

Husqvarna Nuda 900  Husqvarna Nuda 900  Husqvarna Nuda 900 The Husqvarna Nuda 900 will make use of the BMW-developed F800 Parallel Twin, but put out a claimed 100 horsepower and dry weight of 386 pounds.

Husqvarna has finally revealed its 900cc Twin-powered street bike, which it dubs the Nuda 900R. The former-Swedish/turned-Italian/German-owned (whew..) brand confirmed the 900 Twin Project back in March, followed up a month later by concept sketches and the obligatory orchestrated spy photos! (snore). Now in July we get a name, photos and PR talking points.

No details yet on how the Husqvarna engine arrives at the extra 100cc it gains over the BMW F800 Parallel Twin upon which it’s based. We do, however, get claims of more than 100 horsepower and 100 Nm torque (73.8 lb-ft). Factoring a 10% loss to the rear wheel, the Husky Twin still shows significant gains over the F800R we dyno’d for our 2011 2-3-4 Middleweight Street Bike Comparison (F800R rear wheel power stats: 81.07 horsepower / 57 lb-ft torque).

This improved power pushes less weight, with Husqvarna listing dry weight of 386 pounds (175 kilos). Not only is the Husky lighter than its Beemer cousin, it sports a higher-performance chassis. The tubular steel trellis frame, which displays the innards of the Twin and the red valve covers, mates with up-spec suspension and braking components.

An inverted Sachs fork improves on the F800R’s non-adjustable conventional sticks, one of our biggest complaints for that model. The rear shock the high-spec fully-adjustable treatment via Ohlins. Completing the improved componentry highlights are radial-mount Brembo monobloc calipers up front.

The Nuda retains some of the quirks form the original BMW, like the right-side chain drive and it appears the underseat fuel tank returns too (though the fuel cap is located to the front left of the seat, where the F800R fueled up at the back rear of the seat).

Style-wise the Nuda can’t escape the hanging radiator and diagonal left-to-ring angle of the twin headers that define the F800R. Beyond that Husqvarna has torqued the styling into its own creation. The sharp, angular bodywork teams with the red/white/black colorways for a look more reminiscent, it seems, of a KTM than a BMW.

Husqvarna Nuda 900 Husqvarna Nuda 900 Husqvarna Nuda 900

So what does this new model mean for Husqvarna? Company designer Raffaele Zaccagninni said in a promotional video that it “represents a starting point for the future of Husqvarna.” The Nuda PR hype pitches the supermoto/naked ride as model aimed at the younger market, stating “Husqvarna is the newcomer to the BMW Group and we aspire to attract and engage young motorcyclists with our innovative and thrilling concept of the road motorcycle as a means of achieving pure riding pleasure.”

Good concept, but one huge question mark for its youthful appeal will be pricing. The base version of the F800R retails for just shy of 10K, so how much will a lighter, more powerful Nuda, with its up-rated chassis components cost? Stay tuned for further updates.