Supermotos are usually hard, wafer-thin things that you can’t wait to get off, after a few miles. The Nuda 900 is roomy, comfortable and up to 80-90mph has acceptable wind-protection. The base-model’s basic suspension is set well to deliver comfort and control in the corners. It gives you good feedback for what the standard equipment Metzler Sportec M5 Interact tyres are doing, too. Brembos are well up to the job of anything you can throw at them on the road. The higher-spec R model rides the same but has a slightly taller seat. Suspension and braking is far more suited to track-work. Fit a set of sticky tyres and it would be untouchable on a twisty B-road.
With a bigger bore and stroke, the reworked BMW F800 engine’s capacity is up to 898cc and produces 105bhp and 74ftlb of torque. It has a new cylinder head, camshafts, larger valves, forged pistons and conrods and a triple layer head gasket. It also has a new crankshaft with a new offset, which Husqvarna says gives a throatier engine note, a snappier response and fewer vibes. The Nuda is fast, punchy and smooth and the motor is more than enough for this type of bike. But the big parallel twin-cylinder engine isn’t as exciting, or as involving as an equivalent V-twin.
Husqvarna hasn’t made pure road bikes since back in the 1930s, all of their models have been enduro, motocross and supermotos. They haven’t had to worry about durability or reliability so much, although they’ve always been robust machines. BMW has introduced strict quality control measures into Husky’s factory in Varese and provided a lot of electronic knowhow.
It’s a few hundred quid more than its closest competition: the Ducati Hypermotoard 796 and Aprilia Dorsoduro 750, but a couple of grand cheaper than the KTM 990 SMT. The standard model is better value than the R, but it’s not practical enough to be a strong tourer or sporty enough to sell your sportsbike for.
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Out of the box, the standard Nuda 900 is basic, but you do get a two-stage riding map, adjustable with a button on the dash. An obvious influence of BMW is that you can buy a vast array of optional extras. There’s touring items like heated grips and panniers. Racy bits, like exhausts and carbon fibre panels and clothing, from leathers to casual and all-weather gear.