Recently, Pommie attended the Metzeler KAROO 4 launch. He rode a heap of new adventure machines, but one stood out above the rest... The Husqvarna Norden 901. Photography: Metzeler Aus.
The Husqvarna Norden 901 is heavily based on the KTM 890, which isn’t a bad thing. I was lucky enough to be able to have a quick ride on one during the Metzeler KAROO 4 launch. Sadly, only in an off-road capacity, but it was enough to fall in love with the Norden 901.
Husqvarna have certainly put their own mark on the Norden, visually you’re not going to mistake it for the KTM 890, I personally like the quirky design of the bike and the quality of finish, plus it does set it apart from the other adventure bikes in the market. The price of the Husqy is on par with the KTM 890R, but you get a whole load of standard features such as quickshifter, cruise control and MSR (motor slip regulation).
Read Tony’s KAROO4 tyre test here…
Riding the Norden is a real pleasure and it’s a great off-road bike, it does weigh in at 204kg (dry), yet it feels nowhere near that weight and is easy to control in all the conditions I encountered on the test. Jumping off the BMW 1250 and Mulitstrada, the Norden feels like a dirt bike in comparison.
The Norden 901 is fitted out with WP Apex suspension as standard and coped well with every surface on our test loop, which was mainly state forest dirt tracks in the wet and dry with some water crossings and muddy conditions. However, I must say that we didn’t do any hard single track gnarly stuff, but I never had any issue with bottoming out and the Norden felt complaint and comfy as it soaked up everything I encountered.
The Norden offers a load of tech such as different ride modes, traction control and cornering ABS options, which allow the rider to have some serious fun depending on your skill level, or you could just leave every safety aid on and potter around if you were new to the off-road scene or big adventure bikes. Every function is easily visible through the crystal clear TFT dash and all the functions are fairly simple to navigate through and adjust.
The Norden’s parallel twin 71kW and 100Nm engine performance is all you’d ever need off road and pulls hard and smoothly pretty much anywhere in the rev-range. I remember the bikes of old when the traction control was primitive to say the least, but the Norden’s adjustable system only enhanced the fun and basically allows you to set the length of the drifting you want to do. The ABS is the same and works flawlessly so as not hinder your off-road fun when you’ve selected the correct mode.
The brakes offer good power and feel combined with a slipper clutch help out with reducing rear wheel lockup, but like I said earlier I didn’t get a chance to ride on the road so I couldn’t test the brakes to their full extent. The gearbox in conjunction with the quickshifter, works great and after riding modern dirt/adventure bikes off-road with quickshifters, it’s almost annoying to have to go back to a regular gear shift like I have on my own bikes.
So what’s my verdict? Well, I loved my short time aboard the Norden and had more fun on it than any of the other bikes I rode over the two days on the tyre launch. It felt light and nimble off-road, had ample performance and just the right amount of tech and at around 25k, when compared to the competition, I think it’s good value, especially considering the overall quality of the bike – but come on Husqvarna, you should have heated handlebar grips as standard on any adventure bike.
2022 Husqvarna Norden 901 Specifications
Price: From $25,050 rideaway
Warranty: six-month on dual-sport vehicles
Claimed Power: 77kW@8000rpm
Claimed Torque: 100Nm@6500rpm
Wet Weight: 218kg
Fuel capacity: 19L
Engine:Four stroke, parallel twin cylinder, DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder, 889cc, 90.7 x 68.8mm bore x stroke, 13.5:1 compression ratio, DKK Del’Orto with 46mm throttle body, Bosch EMS with RBW, Stainless steel primary with secondary silencer exhaust
Gearbox: Six-speed, Primary drive 39.77
Clutch: Cable operated PASC Slipper
Chassis: Chromoly steel frame with engine as stress element
Rake: 25.8° Trail: 106.9mm
Suspension: 43mm WP-APEX USD, adjustable for compression, rebound and preload, 220mm travel (f) WP-APEX monoshock, adjustable for rebound and preload, 215mm travel(r)
Brakes: 2 x 320mm discs with 4 piston radially mounted calipers (f) single 260mm disc with 2 piston floating caliper
Wheels & Tyres: Aluminium spoked wheels, 90/90r21 (f) 150/70r18 (r)
Ground clearance: 252mm
Seat height: 854 – 874mm
Instruments: 5in full-colour TFT dash
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The Verdict | Quick Test: Husqvarna Norden 901