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First ride: Husqvarna 701 Supermoto and Enduro

Published: 04 November 2015

Husqvarna is back in business with the 701 Supermoto and Enduro. The firm, now owned by KTM, has made its first move under new management towards the street bike market. And they’ve done that by using the KTM 690 SMC R as a donor bike. 

The 701 Supermoto is basically the KTM 690 SMC R and the 701 Enduro is the KTM 690 Enduro R, but with three main differences; suspension, bodywork and engine maps.

Husqvarna say that they’ve taken a different approach to KTM by straying from the ‘Ready to Race’ mantra and making the Husky easier to use for the ‘everyday rider’. So, the suspension is softer, the engine maps more user friendly and the bodywork and seat more ergonomic. The Husky also gets a larger 13 litre tank. 

The Supermoto is otherwise the same as the KTM so it gets the powerful four-pot Brembo caliper up front, ride-by-wire throttle and the same potent liquid-cooled 690cc single-cylinder, pumping out 67bhp (the most powerful single on the market) and 49ftlbs of torque. All of that, coupled with swish extras like the slipper clutch, and totalling a super-light 145kg (dry) makes the 701 seriously lustrous. 

And they’ve done a good job with the changes, as the Supermoto’s fully adjustable WP suspension set-up is brilliant, very well balanced and plush. And the engine map in standard mode makes the throttle response smooth and predictable. 

Despite the trick spec sheet, the 701 is pretty easy to ride, yet more than up for a push. Wind on the throttle and as your fingers clasp the grips you’ll quickly forget you’re on a single. The 701 blasts forward so hard its impossible not to grin from ear to ear. Throw it into corner after corner and the chassis handles impeccably, inspiring you to go harder. It’s agile, turns sharply, brakes with the merest stroke of the lever and is incredibly fun.

The Enduro model gets a 21 inch front and 18 inch rear. The front fork is still produced by WP, but is enduro competition spec and softer for off-road riding. It also swaps out the four-pot front for a twin-pot. Husqvarna are also developing adventure accessories for the Enduro bike, such as a bolt on tank, increasing the capacity to 20 litres (which Husqvarna claim should return 250 miles) and a taller screen.  

Both the Supermoto and Enduro models are priced at £7999 and will be in dealers late November 2015. 

To read the full report on the 701 Supermoto and Enduro catch next week’s MCN.  

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