Swedish motorcycle marque Husqvarna have got big plans – in fact, by 2020 they to be the 3rd largest manufacturer of sport motorcycles according to product manager Justin Maxwell.
Much of this growth will come from the release of street models, with a full range expected in 2017, which means that for now, we’ve only got a small taste of what they plan to offer with the new 701 Enduro.
In the February 2016 edition of RiDE Magazine Roland Brown got the opportunity to test one, and found out that it’s definitely more that just a re-badged KTM.
Husqvarna themselves state that the 701 Enduro is pitched as a less aggressive alternative to the 690 Enduro R in KTM’s range, ideal for the general everyday rider, with a bit of added comfort, but still all that off-road ability.
On the official launch Roland and a group of other riders were diverted away from a flooded section of their route to what seemed like an impossibly steep, muddy slope. The lead rider made the drop look easy, and then an off-road journalist made it down after a moments deliberation. The following rider decided to take an easier route, but bolstered by the incredible off-road ability of the new Husky, Roland took a deep breath and dropped the 21″ front wheel over the lip. Unfortunately at the bottom of the drop, the front wheel hit a rut which flicked him over the handlebars, but no damage done, and they carried on riding.
In his write up Roland comments “the 701 Enduro won’t always save its rider when enthusiasm exceeds ability, but there aren’t many street-legal bikes that make the impassable seem possible.”
Despite coming off the same production lines as the KTM 690 Enduro R, the 701 Enduro has longer travel suspension, a more generous steering lock, larger fuel tank and new mapping for smoother throttle response. Just like the KTM, it comes fitted with our Continental TKC 80 Twinduro tyres, and at just 145kg it’s very maneuverable.
Roland goes on to say that “the ride-by-wire system is very accurate, contributing to a rider-friendly character. The 66bhp single pulls easily from idle and finds traction on dirt tracks with the aid of the Continental TKC 80 tyres on its wire-spoked wheels.”
The bike also comes with a Bosch ABS system which is ideal for those with less experience riding off-road, although it can be switched off, or set to front wheel only.
RiDE also got a brief opportunity the test the new 701 Supermoto which comes fitted with our grippy Attack SM tyres designed specifically for supermoto machines.
Pick up the latest copy of RiDE Magazine for the full review!
Find out more about the TKC 80 Twinduro here.