EICMA: Husqvarna concept bike excites some, disappoints others

Here's the Husqvarna 701 prototype. Could the company's future have more than dirt bikes to offer?
Here’s the Husqvarna 701 prototype. Could the company’s future have more than dirt bikes to offer?

Since Husqvarna hitched its wagon to KTM, there have been all sorts of questions about its future – especially about the future of its street lineup. A concept bike they unveiled at EICMA seems to drop some clues for Husky fans.

Sadly, that's a four-stroke motor. Photo: Jensen Beeler/Asphalt and Rubber
Sadly, that’s a four-stroke motor. Photo: Jensen Beeler/Asphalt and Rubber

The Husqvarna 701 supermoto is sort of what you’d expect from the company. For years, their only street-going motorcycles were supermoto versions of their dirt bikes. This bike follows familiar lines – a big single-cylinder motor (690 cc, with 75 hp), trick suspension (from WP), powerful brakes (from Brembo) and sticky tires on street rims. The trellis frame is made from chromoly steel.

Frankly, this bike looks like a lot of fun. If it makes it to production, it’ll certainly be less exciting, but we’re guessing speed limits and anti-wheelie laws would be flouted shortly after purchase. Very, very shortly.

Alas, this bike is missing one piece. Everyone knows Husqvarna was teasing a direct injection two-stroke motor on the show circuit in the past years, and everyone thought that would be the powerplant in this new bike. Nope! That single-cylinder is another four-stroke. Guess you’ll just have to go dust off the RD350 and ride it for another summer …

Check out the gallery below for a few detail shots provided by Asphalt and Rubber, who were lucky enough to actually attend the Milan show.


Check out all the pics that go with this story! Click on the main sized pic to transition to the next or just press play to show in a slideshow.


    • Put down that haggis and give your head a shake. RD350 was a 2T, and they sold a heck of a lot more of them than they did the RZ. I have never seen an RZ for sale locally (either they all blew up or the original owners won’t sell) but I have seen many RD350s, and RD400s as well. Personally, I’d prefer an NSR250.

      I had a chance to buy a RZ250 this spring for $1200 and foolishly passed on it.

      • Mine is an Rz350N (1990).
        (Hence, the wee joke about voices in my head).

        Have owned an RD350, RD400, RZ500V, RG500, Ns400R and a few other Rz350’s (3, I think).

      • “sold a heck of a lot more of them than they did the RZ”.
        I doubt it. If we are talking Canada, the LC was ’81 and ’82.
        The Rz350N was ’83 through ’90.

        The air-cooled RD’s were ’73 through ’75 (I think). Then, it
        was the 400’s.

        Every market had different names, so lets just think of them
        as AC, LC (Elsie!) and YPVS. Discount the 400’s (Daytona
        and regular) and the 250’s that were for specific markets to
        beat regulatory, insurance and age classifications, and we
        are left with the three main versions. I think one shall find
        that Canadian sales ranked as YPVS (RzN), Elsie (RD-LC),
        and the early 70’s AC (air-cooled) RD’s.

        • Need an edit here! Forgot to ask; was that RZ250 in NB? (Or NS. Can’t remember).
          If so, I saw that on Auto-Trader. It was sweet, and a good price, but I would
          avoid it. Look for a RG250 Gamma, instead. Slightly better for parts and stuff,
          and an all-round better bike.

  1. Wow! I like it.
    I assume that lump on the back right side is the gas tank? That is very thoughtful of husky, since it would be so hard to wheelie this thing if the weight of the gas was at the front.
    I also love the fact that Valentino Rossi snuck into the husky booth with a paint brush the night before.

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