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Husqvarna Says 701 SUPERMOTO in North American Dealers February, 2016; Adds Details to 701 Web Site

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Husqvarna has announced the new 701 SUPERMOTO will be in North American dealers in February of 2016. Husky has added a significant amount of new content to the 701 SUPERMOTO web site. Before you check that out, you may want to read the following interviews from Husky Design and R&D representatives concerning the new 701 SUPERMOTO. It sounds like the 701 SUPERMOTO may have the same counterbalanced engine from the new 690 Duke.

MAXIME THOUVENIN, Senior Designer at Kiska:

What inspired you most when designing the 701 Supermoto?

“The contrast between very clean, functional and simple Swedish design that’s applied to lots of products, and the very purposeful and technical approach of objects like Le Mans cars, drones, etc.”

What are the three details you like most about the bike?

“The seat, which is much more than just a seat. It improves the ergonomics and allows such a minimalistic architecture. It’s the key element of the design of the bike and required the development of a new technology of manufacturing. * The integration of the filler cap into the rear fender – the volume creates stiffness for the tail and a totally sleek top surface for the rider to slide on. *The tail light has been reduced to the minimum around the package. It is disconnected to the rear fender and purely designed as a functional/technical part.”

Explain the “forms follow functions” concept in more detail?

“Every detail is thought through. There are no playful features. Everything is purposeful. The design is born from a technical aspect to fulfil.”

The seat is a unique aspect of the bike. Tell us more about how you arrived at the final design?

“Following Husqvarna’s new approach, and the form follows functions approach, we reduced the bike’s architecture to the minimum with a self carrying tank at the back and a cooler protector/air flow guide at the front. The only necessary part still needed is the seat. In order to keep the extremely reduced architecture, with the minimum amount of parts and the sleekest design for the best ergonomics possible, we developed this new seat. The seat became more that just a seat on top of bodywork, it became part of it. This is the reason why it’s a unique piece that required a new technology. Thanks to the new concept of manufacturing we improved the general functionality, designing textures and ribs to provide better grip and ergonomics. Then the colours and graphics bring the last touch to really blend the seat into the bike as a central element.”

Finally, how do you see – from a designer point of view – a supermoto bike in the year 2020?

“We are currently working on the next generation of Supermoto machines so we can’t tell you more about it.”

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MANFRED SCHLAGER, R&D Project Leader

Manfred, what is the secret of a powerful, rider-friendly, single-cylinder motorcycle like the 701 Supermoto?

“It’s not about any one single element – it’s about having an accurate mix of different factors. Firstly, in my opinion, is the quality of every single component used in the engine. Secondly, is the effort you put on the research and development phase – the attention to details from the very beginning of a project. This makes a big difference. Trying to change a person’s behaviour when they’re an adult is difficult, or requires more effort. Personality is developed from a young age. The same principle applies to an engine. Going further, the third point is having the infrastructure and understanding to assemble all the single pieces together to create the final result – the finished engine. The ‘industrialisation processes’ are key factors in this process. Fourth, if we want to go into details… everybody thinks that big, oscillating masses are the main problem of single cylinder engines. But if you have the knowledge and the technology to counterbalance these forces in the right way, then you can get very good results.”

Tell us the top three benefits of a single-cylinder engine?

“Definitely weight, or the distinct lack of it, is the first benefit. Secondly, because of the compact design of the engine, you can play with the dimensions of the bike – ending with very small shapes. Last, but not least, is fuel consumption, which is very good. If I can add a fourth point – a very important point in my eyes – it’s that maintenance and long service intervals are a big benefit as well. Small single-cylinder engines are definitely a “mechanic friendly” structure.”

In the future, what will be the key areas of single-cylinder engine development?

“The great thing about engineering is that things are always moving forward. New materials and new manufacturing processes added to new design ideas means that things never stand still. Perhaps today the main thing is manufacturing even smaller engines. But you never know, technology runs faster and faster each day. Engineers are permanently focused on improving – making bikes lighter, stronger, faster, better handling. It’s difficult to say exactly where the single-cylinder future is headed. Can we go further with that? I promise you we can.”

With unlimited resources, what would be your dream bike to build?

“We could talk about miracles, but I don’t believe in it. Furthermore, I like very different kinds of motorcycles, from MotoGP to motocross, and even more rally machines. Then it’s difficult to have just a single, specific dream bike. I guess my answer would be this – my dream is always a bike that’s able to offer the highest level of technology available today, to our customers. Doesn’t matter which segment.”

Explain simply the ride-by-wire technology to the 701 Supermoto fans.

“Easily done, there are no more cables… It’s a digital wiring, which allows such a smooth throttle response that is unattainable with a cable system.”

The new 701 Supermoto is 145 kg and 67 HP. That’s enough to have some serious fun, right?

“The 701 is an incredible single-cylinder bike. How much fun a rider will have depends on their ability, on the bike’s purpose, and other factors. For a supermoto rider, for fast cornering and easy handling, it’s definitely enough.”

Here is the press release received today by MD from Husqvarna:

701 SUPERMOTO, the first street machine of Husqvarna Motorcycles’ new era, will be available from authorized European dealers in November 2015. In February 2016 this exciting new model will be available in the United States and other major overseas markets, continuing Husqvarna’s long tradition of high performance supermoto bikes.

701 SUPERMOTO embodies the pure essence of supermoto riding by matching clean, contemporary and functional design with outstanding performance. Customers and fans of the latest Husqvarna machines can now enjoy a unique ‘fly around’ view when visiting the bike’s dedicated website. The feature allows visitors to the site to see the motorcycle in a complete 360° perspective.

In addition the 701 website offers a wealth of informative, behind the scenes and full technical information.

To see the new Husqvarna 701 SUPERMOTO from the new “fly around” perspective, go to www.701supermoto.com.

37 Comments

  1. Tommy D says:

    That’s it… I’m getting some 17″ wheels for my 350 EXC-F and putting it back to stock gearing. Just to taste that kool aide once.

  2. Dug says:

    Yes it’s a boldly designed machine that will stick out like a sore thumb in the company of most other bikes. Imagine it punctuating a row of Harleys. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. I love the flashy looks and feel an extra set of rims set up with dirt orientated tires would greatly expand its overall capability. Obviously not a touring setup, but it will be a very fun bike to ride in the right situations.

  3. Lonerider says:

    Really like the idea of a supermoto. I have to say that i start riding motocross when i was a kid. But supermoto are expensive and not practical. It would be a great city bike or a toy as a second bike. When i take time to think and look to my bank account, the idea of buying a supermoto disappear really fast.

    • Stuki Moi says:

      Like the 690, this one is much further towards the street side of things, than a traditional Supermoto. For one, it has a proper street frame, so it doesn’t wobble around virtually anywhere the way “real” Sumos do. People do big, long “Adventure” trips, including plenty of freeway, on 690 Enduros, which have lower gearing, a taller seat, and much less street friendly wheels/tires. It in no way threatens the Gold Wing as far as the touring throne goes, but it’s far, far more refined than some dirt bike/MXer with 17s and a brake kit.

      For those of us who “grew up” on streetbikes, the Duke makes more sense, but for all those who grew up with dirt/MX bikes, this is one bike that makes very few sub 80mph compromises, while still letting you ride it like a dirtbike. That just happens to be glued to the surface.

      • guu says:

        True. Also the relatively high price tag is largely due to high quality components. That might be lost on you don’t know what a difference a cartridge fork makes over a damper-rod one. If you do, then it doesn’t see as such a high price to pay.

      • Matt F says:

        +1

        I had a 2010 690 SM and when it wasn’t at the dealer getting something fixed that bike was the ultimate all arounder. With some Shinko 244 dual purpose tires I did lots of off-road, the 17’s never held me back on the dirt trails I like to ride on.

        It was fun on the street to the trail, fun on the trail, fun in the city/commute and bearable on sub 100 mile highway trips, which makes up 95% of my riding.

        The problem I see will be the price. Those of us getting along enough in years to afford a $12k motorcycle are getting less and less enamored with “The Essence of Riding” and more into “The joy of Exploring” so even if I got one now I would rarely take advantage of its formidable capabilities. An occasional wheelie and sub 4 second sprint to 60 here and there are enough anymore.. And there are lots of excellent sub $12k bikes that can do that. You could buy both a year old FZ07 and used WR for $12k..

        Its unfortunate the there is such a gap between my current $6k WR250X and this $12k 701. An $8k 450 Supermoto from anyone would be the perfect compromise. (sorry DRZ400SM.. need FI and 6-speed to count..)

  4. beasty says:

    They’ll sell about three here in the USA to Euro Nerds who say “Farkle”.

    • iliketoeat says:

      They will sell to people who live in cities and like fun motorcycles. There is really no better bike for city riding.

  5. Flylow says:

    Form follow function? I am all about that but in this case i think the function part of it is a fiction of the designers mind rather than reality.

    • iliketoeat says:

      I guess you’ve never ridden a supermoto or a dirtbike, huh? The “function part of it” is a flat seat that lets you move your weight around on the bike, long-travel suspension, handguards protecting your hands, etc. And designed in such a way that a lowside doesn’t destroy the bike. It looks like most other supermotos and dirtbikes – very functional.

  6. bad Chad says:

    Hurts the eyes to even squint at it! It might be super fun, but why must it look like that?

  7. cyclemotorist says:

    Does one corner on a supermoto bike differently than a standard or sportbike? I have never even thrown a leg over one.

  8. I get the light weight and great performance, but why does it have to be so ugly, I mean “really” ugly!
    Give us a light weight beautiful street single and people would beat a path to your door. Nobodys gonna ride that thing in the dirt with those tires, so lose the mx bike pretense and make it a pretty streetbike like the KTM RC390 only faster.

    • Gary says:

      That’s right, nobody is likely to ride it in the dirt with those tires… because it is a SUPERMOTO, not a dirtbike. Supermotos have traditionally been dirtbike styling intended for the street.

      • TF says:

        Or, you can spend less than a grand for an extra set of wheels and you’ll have an awesome dual sport bike to go with your super moto bike.

        • Half Baked says:

          This would need more then just wheels to make it a dual sport. The stock fork has just 215mm of travel and at just under 3.5 gallons the stock tank is just barely adequate and it would need a skid plate.

          • Dom says:

            Or you can have Avon Distancias type tire and do both, I did track days with supersports and then rode in the dirt with dirt bikes with those tires.

    • Kent says:

      I see a fair number of people riding supermotos in the Bay Area. The bike being tall, and having sticky 17″ tires, makes for a good city bike.
      Torque. Ability to see over cars, and be more visible. Upright riding position. Suspension that can absorb the terrible pavement of the Bay Area. Narrow, for easier lane splitting. On the weekends, you can go embarrass sportbikes in the twisty bits.
      Yeah it’s ugly, but it’s not a dirt bike. It’s a city bike.

  9. Brinskee says:

    I LOVE the color scheme, but that weird rear fender/cover thing… I’m not so sure about. It is… odd… need to see it in person to make a full assessment. Colors and rims look amazing though.

    Anyone else with me about that farty weird rear barn/fairing thingy? What is that all about anyway? I don’t get it. Is that what the kids like these days? Weird… heat shields?

    • Gary says:

      The rear fender/cover thing is to cover the fuel tank I would imagine. This bike displays some real different thinking on where things need to be such as the gas cap filler and tank. Whether it is a great idea remains to be seen after the bike is released to the public.

      • Half Baked says:

        The gas cap and tank arrangement are virtually identical to the current KTM 690 Enduro R and SMC R and the frame and engine are the same.

        • Gary says:

          Yes, there are several like items on both these machines, but the Husky has a completely different rear fender and light, and the seat covers the radiator cover where on the KTM it does not. They ARE a whole lot the same, but a little different I suppose so as not to look identical.

  10. Alex says:

    It’s a very desirable bike to many riders, myself included. I enjoyed my Husqvarna sm450r—it was cheap, light, fast and easy to work on. I’ve moved on to other bikes however. I’m not the wheelie/stoppie hooligan type, and track riding requires time that I don’t have. I would buy something like it again, as a second bike, and in a different format such as the Husqvarna concept cafe racers we’ve been teased with recently. I’m hearing the price will be quite high for the 701. That is a monumental shame. You want to pay $11,500 MSRP for a supermoto when so many other sweet bikes can be found for that much? That’s going FULL MOTARD! Wouldnt blame you though:)

    • iliketoeat says:

      Different people like different things. I would never buy a cafe racer of any kind, but I would buy this one (not sure if new or if I’ll wait a couple years for used ones to show up). I can’t think of any new bike for $11,500 that I’d choose over a 319 lb supermoto with 67 HP.

  11. Grover says:

    That is the ugliest motorcycle I’ve ever looked at. Period.

  12. ed says:

    Lots or marketing blah blah for basically being 1:1 a KTM 690 SMC with a different paintjob and some MINIMAL cosmetic changes.

    Hopefully they finally managed to change the old speedo/instrument panel for 2016.

    • iliketoeat says:

      There is one HUGE difference between this Husky and the KTM 690 SMC: it will be available in the US.

  13. y0rt says:

    #randy then I guess you wont own one 🙁 No chance @ 8500

  14. randy says:

    Looks like a fun machine.hopefully it will have a decent price and low maintenence(valve adjustment).Having had a DRZ400SM a few years ago, I dont understand why these bikes havent gotten more popular.Not good on the highway,but outstanding commuters,great on gas and fun as hell.The 701 should be a BLAST with all that HP.If they can keep it around $8500 I may get one.