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Husqvarna Concept Baja Recalls Malcolm Smith Glory

As a kid, I dreamt of racing across the desert like Malcolm Smith on a Swedish Husqvarna motorcycle . . . just like the bike Malcolm rode in the movie On Any Sunday.  After spending some time in Italian hands, the grand old marque now belongs to BMW.  The Concept Baja shown here recalls those earlier desert bikes with its design cues and relatively unique wheel sizes (19″ front and 17″ rear).

If the Concept Baja is anything like other Husqvarna concepts we’ve seen lately, (including the Nuda) it will be headed for production soon.  It appears to use the same 650cc BMW engine as the recent Strada concept.

The Concept Baja boasts a modest seat height for a dual sport, as well as unique headlight and instrument treatments.  Not much detail at this point, but here is the full press release from Husqvarna.

January 20, 2012 – New York, NY – The distinct retro flair of the golden age of motorcycling is one that only Husqvarna can genuinely embody. The Husky marque is the definitive emblem of an era, and one that continues to symbolize bold innovation, classic design and timeless passion. Husqvarna’s distinctive 1970’s vibe is revisited in the Concept Baja – where vintage meets technology, and legendary style is redefined.

Vintage allure isn’t all this trek-touring design has to offer; performance is what makes the Concept Baja truly exceptional. Ideal for the casual rider as well as the committed enthusiast, The Baja will continue the trek well after the pavement ends.

Husqvarna Concept Baja

  • 650cc single-cylinder, liquid-cooled, four-stroke engine
  • Five-speed wide-ration transmission
  • Electronic fuel-injection
  • Brembo disc brakes
  • Perimeter frame with progressive linkage swingarm
  • Wheels: 19-inch front, 17-inch rear with intermediate-knobby tires
  • Innovative LED crossbar instrument display
  • Approachable seat height and layout suits wide spectrum of riders


  1. GG says:

    I want one too. But I will not buy one. They know it and will not put it to production!

  2. RAD says:

    This I Want .

  3. Kjazz says:

    chunk the air “wings”, get a round (functional) airbox on it, offer it in low or mid height sizes (hey, we’re not all dwarves), and put a regular head light on it, round but with the metal bar protector around it for protection and looks baja style. Oh, that silencer is gonna take a beating, tuck it in and make it outa something tough looking. The Oberbezzi designs was also dynomite!!!!

  4. Crim says:

    Steveski said: I don’t think this will cut it in the dirt other than a fire road… but it does look cool!

    Crim replies: You obviously weren’t riding off road in the 60s or 70s!

  5. GP says:

    I love the 17/19 wheel combo, and the amount of wheel travel looks just about right (8-10″?) for a mellow dual sport bike. These two things should keep the seat height reasonable for those of us under 6′ tall. I do agree with Eric, though. A simple single chrome headlight would look much better than that fancy LED number plate thing.
    BMW – Bring this bike to the US, and *I promise* I will buy one,… as long as it weighs under 300lbs…

  6. Southerner says:

    I thought I was looking at the Moab. This is a nice looking bike. With these and the Nuda, HuskaBeemer has hit the ground running.

    I would hope for two things, and this applies to all European bikes:
    (1) Don’t get silly with the pricing.
    (2) Get a decent dealer network and parts distribution network set up.

    As it stands now, nobody can get these things unless one is a rich city boy.

    Oh, and maybe a (3), Sell a stepladder with the Nuda.

  7. Reinhart says:

    Us old f@rts would line up in droves if they made this bike street legal! I would definitely consider this as my next dual-sport.

  8. TigerTim says:

    The second bike I ever owned was a Bengt Aberg ’70 replica (in ’72) world motocross Champion Husqvarna 450. Mine was a Wide Ratio transmission for desert racing. I was a 32 year old novice/beginner in 72 and attempted competing with younger guys in motocross and got my ass handed to me but loved it nevertheless. It was one great motorcycle. You easily accelerate to 100+ mph on dirt roads and it would wheelie by roll on in the first 3 gears. I’m an old fart now but the thought of the old 450 Husky or something similar brings tears to my eyes. Husky was the gold standard of off-road motorcycles back in the day.
    I wish I still had that old bike. 3 divorces and many moves and it’s gone to never-never land.

  9. brinskee says:

    Droooool… I’m not quite an old timer, but think this styling is superb!! Make it street legal and make it, Husky!

  10. Eric says:

    I’ll take one with a simple chrome, round headlight please…

  11. Geoff says:

    Like Tim says,
    “If only it came standard with a big ol’ box of Mr. Smith’s off-road riding skills”.
    I’m 66 and I’d buy it in a heartbeat.

  12. Steveski says:

    I don’t think this will cut it in the dirt other than a fire road… but it does look cool!
    I’d like to see the street legal, motard version of this…

  13. Ken says:

    This is a great looking bike for the old guys! I have a 1974 Penton 250 that looks really cool but every time i ride it the short suspension, poor brakes remind how far technology has come, with all of the retro cars such as the mustang selling so well the bike companies need to get these kind of bikes to market before the boomers get to old.
    Make it street legal and it will sell!

  14. SicSemper says:

    While unofficially a BMW fan, HalfBaked officially has it right.

  15. Rod says:

    As a former owner of both the BMW XChallenge and XMoto I see a pretty good amount of DNA from that series I this Husky. Triple clamps and chain guard look to be straight off the older bikes. Lower looking seat height is welcome. A lower price point than the X series had would help, although at BMW close out prices the X bikes were a great deal.

  16. xs2 says:

    Lights and turnsignals, might make it an interesting street dual, all by itself?

  17. Tim says:

    Very cool looking bike. I think they nailed it as far as the modern tech:retro styling ratio.

    If only it came standard with a big ol’ box of Mr. Smith’s off-road riding skills.

  18. D.J. says:

    OMG, that is so cool. I want one!!!
    BMW has NOT ruined Husky
    The big question will be price???
    How about $7999.00

  19. HalfBaked says:

    BMW has officially ruined Husqvarna as we know it.

    • Stinky says:

      Husqvarna as I know it was DOA without BMW. I (like most) was a fan and watched them go away thanks to the Japanese. It’s tough market to crack without a dealer network. If BMW will help in that regard they stand a better chance. They had no chance with the Italians. Who can we report the recapcha crap to?

  20. Beaufort says:

    Hmm, I guess this is the dualsport version of the Moab street tracker.
    I like both!