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Husqvarna Strada: Paris Concept Signals New Production Street Single

Those of you clamoring for a powerful, but lightweight and simple single-cylinder street bike should get ready to rejoice. Quickly on the heels of the Nuda 900 and 900R (which MD has already tested here), BMW has unveiled in Paris this week a single-cylinder “concept” that is almost certainly headed for production next year.

The Strada incorporates a version of the BMW 650cc single-cylinder engine found in the BMW G 650 GS.  Similar to the process Husqvarna undertook with the BMW-based engine found in the Nuda 900 and 900R, Husqvarna will increase the power output of the 650 with its own tweaking and tuning of the reliable BMW single.  At this stage, Husqvarna will only say that the bike will weigh “less than 170 kg.”  That means less than 374 pounds.  Husqvarna is also expected to introduce several accessories, which more than likely will include saddlebags and enhanced wind protection in the form of larger screen and hand guards. We expect additional information to trickle out from Husqvarna just as it did with the Nuda prior to announcement of production specifications.  We would be surprised if this concept did not evolve into at least one production version featuring lightweight cast wheels and modern tubeless rubber.    Stay tuned.

54 Comments

  1. Mitch says:

    Looks like I’m gonna keep on riding my updated 1973 SL350K-2. I just can’t get past the look and feel of the 1970′s common sense bikes. I aggree with RD350 on the 1970′s Husky Retro look. Man what a beautiful run of bikes those were!

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  2. fazer6 says:

    It’s basically identical to my old X-Country–Jack of all trades, Master of None.
    Give me the MOAB!

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  3. Leo says:

    Cool they dropped that stupid front fender thing! Nice looking Husky!

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  4. PeteN95 says:

    I have a similarly set up Honda XR650R (19″ front and streetish tires), but it weighs about 90lbs less!?! It’s a nice looking bike, but way overweight!

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  5. Hot Dog says:

    Another Redhead that I lust for but, alas, to no avail. What a beautiful machine! I think the styling is spot on. The purists on this site will pick the meat off of any carcass but this one is an exception. I don’t know how they’d sell in the U.S. as we seem to be very narrow minded.

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  6. John says:

    I’d be more interested if it were the 450cc engine and about 50 less lbs.

    What’s the point of a “lightweight single” if it’s nearly 400 lbs?!?

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  7. allan says:

    i rode a bmw 650 at the dirt riding skill school. at home I have husky 630.
    The 650 engine was really hard to track with the throttle (much harder than the 630, bwm 800 or others).

    I need to rev it up, and then modulate with clutch a lot.
    So for trail/dirt riding I would not prefer it.

    on the other hand, the 650 engine is much smoother feeling than the husky’s (TE 630 is a 600cc)
    when riding on asphalt.

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  8. patrick o says:

    75 pounds overweight, Chinese engine, no thanks.

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  9. Morris Bethoven says:

    That seat is good for about 20 minutes on the highway. The 370# dry weight and unusual looks are going to hurt sales, as will the price they will expect us to pay. I think buying a used DP bike for a couple thousand will give you all the capability of this bike and leave your wallet smiling.

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  10. ziggy says:

    At first blush, I’d say that’s the greatest motorcyle ever invested (for me at least).

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  11. Neil says:

    I like it. I would like a retro 70s dirt bike look but…this is fine. Would like the seat more long distance like and maybe flatter. But I am fine with the modern look too and the weight is also fine. I can buy a Husky moto crosser if I want light! Street bikes need a little weight. The exhausts are fine too, though for me a low one side exhaust is fine. All said and done I do not need the back end so high since I am not jumping onto the highway from an overpass! Flatten the back of these things.

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  12. Vroooom says:

    Lose one of those cans and that will save 10 lbs., but there’s another 40 lbs somewhere we’d have to get rid of.

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    • Southerner says:

      I agree. Why does a single need two pipes? This is clearly cosmetic.

      Nevertheless, it should sell because it doesn’t exude “weenie” like the Beemer.

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      • MGNorge says:

        My thought is twin mufflers are utilized because having just one to control sound and emissions would be very hard to design into this. Instead of two somewhat smaller cans with catalyzers there’d be one considerable larger one. Two’s fine by me and I like the symmetry.

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        • Morris Bethoven says:

          Who keeps the stock exhaust on their bike anyways? It’s the first part to get removed, especially as you’ll probably lose 20# changing to a single exhaust (and one that will probably look better!)

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  13. chris says:

    If that’s what they’re bringing to the table, it’s too heavy and doesn’t have enough power to compete with the Katoom 690. BUT, the one thing the 690 lacked (IMO) is the “pulse” of a single. The 690 had some good power but the engine lacked for low down sack, and it had none of that thumper feeling. The Husky would be more interesting to me if it sheds some weight, has a very competetive price, and provides that good ol’ thumper feeling. That could get me to chose it over the 690.

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  14. GPokluda says:

    WooooHooooo! Where do I sign!

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  15. RD350 says:

    I like this concept and welcome almost any new single, BUT .. in order for it to sell, it will have to bring a lot to the table.

    First, as others have mentioned, light weight is of utmost importance to singles buyers. Being much closer to 300lbs than 400lbs is first and foremost.

    Second, KTM has really set the bar with their 690 motor. Any competitor must make close to 70 HP and do so with little vibration. The KTM counter balancer is the best part of their new motor. The Husky must be at least as smooth as the 690 to get me interested.

    Third, the price must be realistic .. under $9 grand perhaps?

    Lastly, while I don’t mind the styling of this concept bike but I would love to see some more retro styling cues beyond the paint scheme. In my opinion, the 1970 Husqvarna 400 Cross should be the starting point for all Husky styling inspiration. That recent “Scrambler” concept was closer to my ideal, but not close enough. Also, Husky should display the company name proudly on the gas tanks of these new bikes, not hide it in small letters below.

    That said, as a current ’86 SRX600 owner, former Duke owner, former Ducati 250 racer and over-all single cylinder enthusiast, I must say, these are good days for the thumper brigade!

    Now if only they would import them .. and Americans would buy them :-{

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    • Jeremy in TX says:

      I don’t know about that… The KTM 690 Duke brings lots to the table, and it doesn’t sell. There just isn’t a big market here in the US for super high-performance slow bikes. I think the 690 Duke is one of the best bikes made, but I wouldn’t buy one because it is too expensive as a second bike and not versatile enough for a primary bike. It doesn’t meet my needs well enough despite how much I desire it. Others must agree because I have only seen one on the road it the past 15 years.

      I love the looks of this Husky, but if it has the same top-of-the-line components as the Nuda, I would not expect it to be cheap. Just because it has one cylinder doesn’t mean it is that much cheaper to build. They would have to dumb it down a lot to get to a price point low enough for a good chunck of the market to take notice. I personally don’t think $8 – 9K is low enough for the US market to give this bike a good run.

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      • RD350 says:

        Jeremy, you and I agree.

        The last line of my post is meant to be read, “if only they imported the bike to the States and if only Americans would buy them” The sad face at the end is meant to indicate my doubts that they would. Perhaps I could have made it more clear.

        My point was that to sell here in the States, first they have to build a bike that beats the KTM 690s on paper. After that they have to sell to a population that, by and large, only ride Harleys or Super-Sports. KTM, despite producing great bikes like the latest Duke, could not accomplish this feat. In fact, they are no longer importing the Duke or any of the 690 singles as far as I know.

        Americans just dont buy singles in any great numbers .. never have, never will. But I think it has less to do with practicality (as in your case) than it does with most American’s bigger (and faster) is better mentality. Single cylinder bikes could and would be very practical for many Americans .. city riders, back road riders, track day riders, mountain road riders etc etc. But most of those riders, whether through ego problems, peer pressure, magazine hype or male member issues, will instead buy bikes whose potential can only be fully realized on a race track in the hands of skilled rider. Bikes that are set up to race, not to ride down to the store or even to ride back roads. Bikes that are too stiff, geared too high and that place the rider in a very uncomfortable riding position. I cannot think of a less practical street bike than a GSXR600, an R1, an 1198 or any of the like.

        Yet, it is those impractical bikes that drive half of the American motorcycle market?

  16. paul246 says:

    I agree, two cans are pointless, most likely just for asthetics. This bike needs to lose some weight and that is a good place to start.

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  17. kentucky red says:

    Holy cow. I want one!!!

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  18. clasqm says:

    The styling doesn’t do it for me. But the world needs more big singles. I remember my SR500 with great fondness.

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  19. zrx4me says:

    looks good,but like you said it needs cast wheels and 17″ street rubber.I have a DRZ-400SM that I commute on and love it,but I would like more power.Too bad supermotos havent cought on here in the USA,they make great commuter bikes for zipping in and out of traffic.I wish there would be a DRZ 700SM.

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  20. Jay says:

    I like. We’ll have to see how the specs look, but I’m in favor of a lighter bike than BMW’s G650 GS and the Husky looks like it wears much better suspension. I don’t need or want a more powerful engine than the G650 already has. I’d much rather have it’s great gas mileage and good reliability without any performance tweaks that would hurt both.

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  21. George Krpan says:

    Love it. Love the wire wheels and bash guard. Overall the bike just looks so right.

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  22. JDoe says:

    … vs my BMW XMoto. Husky is more powerful, but heavier than the XM. Mine has ABS, does this bike? Very similar looking bikes. Same market segment. Not sure if BMW is calling the 650X series a success, but I applaud them for sticking with the thumpers.

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  23. falcodoug says:

    So deos Rotax make the motor?

  24. S Calwell says:

    If you have not ridden a big thumper lately, you don’t know what you are missing. This bike could come in as the perfect street weapon. On the advice of a friend (owns about 15 rideable bikes) I selected a F650GS for an Edelweiss Alps Tour. It worked much better in the tight twisties than a bigger heavier bike would have. The short stretches of Autobahn were tolerable and a fair trade for the flickability in the fun stuff.

    One of my favorite bikes is a 1998 Suzuki DR650 I picked up for $2400 and then spent about $400 on carb and suspension mods. It’s the cheapest and best all-round bike I own. I hope this Husky turns out better than the KTM 650 I test rode, I prefer the DR.

  25. Rocky V says:

    I always wanted a 750cc single

    i just might need to settle for a bit less——–nice

  26. mugwump says:

    This could be just what I’ve been looking for and trying to make other things into. Next problem may be the same as with KTM, where to find one.

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  27. Matt says:

    It’s a Whale! 374 lbs.? That’s not too far off from
    todays modern 600 supersports. Come on Husqvarna, shave
    some weight.

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  28. G Mac says:

    I like it. It is similar to my Aprilia Pegaso Trail which is a great commuter/light tourer. Comfy low seat suits shorter riders ( I raised my seat though)

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  29. Mark says:

    WTF! 2 exhaust cans on a single??? They could save a few kg removing one of those suckers. I also concur, It is ugly….

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    • Ruefus says:

      You mean like the 690 Supermoto KTM built 4 years ago? Or the dual exhaust on the CRF250R circa 2007?

      Sometimes it actually suits a purpose.

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    • Dave says:

      It’s probably really hard to make a big single quiet without choking it. Many V-twins wear two mufflers. Could also be a style thing which is hit or miss. Overall a pretty cool bike but if I were going single, I’d still get the KTooM 690.

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  30. Beaufort says:

    MCN reports that this is not just a concept.
    Production is scheduled for 2nd half of 2012.

    I dig it.
    It will have a tough time measuring up to KTM’s Duke 690 – on paper anyway.

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  31. Bruce says:

    +1 what John said about seat height. I am starting to think about what might work for my wife. She’s 5’2 and is in the market for a fairly low seat, light, yet powerful bike, that won’t break the bank.

    I like the idea of possible factory luggage. It looks like it can be fitted for a trunk, which would be nice.

    Why is there TWO cans on this? Other singles have one AFAIK. That is my only critique so far. It just seems like it’d be extra weight.

    It’d be nice to see what instrumentation is offered.

    I am so glad to see an expansion of this class of bike.

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  32. Geo. Duncan says:

    Yeah, but it’s still ugly…like all this other stupid stuff coming out now…

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  33. mxs says:

    What do you mean when you say powerful? This will not be a different power/weight than let say DRZ400.

    I am puzzled by this announcement. They already have SM630 ….

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  34. John Bryan says:

    This only works if (one of) the production versions is acutally comfortable. An actual seat you can sit on for more than a short trip and is a reasonable height. Under 33″ inches would be great. And decent range – closer to 200 miles than 150 would work.

    Do that and my old SRX600 might go into semi-retirement!

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