The Husqvarna Norden 901 concept revealed at last year’s EICMA show promised to be more than just another bike—it would be a machine that brought the Husqvarna brand into a new mainstream market, appealing to riders who’d never considered the company’s products before.
Now it’s clear that the Norden is following in the footsteps of the firm’s Vitpilen and Svartpilen models, making the leap from concept to production with a minimum of changes compared to the show version and bringing with it an innovative style that’s instantly recognizable as one of Husqvarna’s growing range of road-focused bikes.
The Norden in these spy pictures is clearly close to production-ready, featuring many of the components that we’d expect to be missing from a prototype that’s earlier in its development cycle. The headlight and windshield, for instance, are usually among the last parts to appear on test bikes
, but they’re present and finished-looking on this model, as are elements like the metalized skid plates under and to either side of the engine and even the two auxiliary lamps that were a key element of the concept’s look.
Have there been changes compared to last year’s show bike? Sure. Those lights are all different—the Norden concept’s aux lamps were yellow-tinted units with four LEDs behind each lens, and here they’re replaced with a single LED white units, while the main headlight is also distinctly different. Onboard, the show bike featured an unusual dash with two stacked color LCD displays that could show a single image across both screens. Here we see a much more sensible single screen that appears to be borrowed from KTM’s latest 1290 Super Duke R. And that’s far from the only KTM component on view here; in fact, the Norden is rather like a Husky-shaped veneer over an existing KTM. The frame is pure KTM 890 Adventure, as is the 889cc parallel-twin engine. It’s KTM’s LC8c unit in its biggest-capacity form, and depending on the final state of tune power is sure to be somewhere between the KTM 890 Duke R’s 121 hp and the 890 Adventure’s 105 hp.Like the 890 Adventure and the 790 Adventure before it, the Norden uses an unusual plastic fuel tank that’s wrapped over and around the engine, doubling as much of the bodywork. The bulk of the gas is held in two side-mounted sections—seen on either side of the engine with aluminum panels on them on this prototype—but the tank also arcs up and over the top of the bike, providing a conventionally placed fuel filler in front of the rider. While similar in concept to the KTM 890 Adventure’s tank, it’s a different unit as the rear sections of the radiator cooling vents are molded into it, and needed to be shaped to suit the Norden’s distinctive, neo-retro look.