Newsworthy is our regular news update. Instead of killing your inboxes with re-hashed press releases or junk you don’t need, we’ll pull out a few interesting products, stories and other things we stumbled across from recent times, write our thoughts on them and let you read the info for yourself.
In 2013 KTM purchased the rights to use the legendary Husqvarna motorcycle brand name from BMW. The Germans had made a hash of trying to dip their toes into the off road market’s waters through an Italian back door. The effort was valiant, but they wobbled lots and eventually fell off the proverbial horse. KTM trotted along, cherry picked the brand name and swept the rest under a rug. It was extremely clever.
They key is, KTM know off road bikes. They make incredible dirt scooters and now they can make even more without having to paint them orange. Many people don’t like orange or KTM’s but paint it white and blue, change the model number and shoot all the images in Sweden and you’re onto a winner. Really, we should be mad at KTM group for so blatantly cashing in on the tooling they’ve already made but we’re not, we’re incredibly happy about it. The 690 Enduro R is a good bike, it makes a great hardcore ADV bike and now we have the Husqvarna 701. It’s almost identical, with a different aesthetic and enough changes to be a different bike.
So what are the differences? More fuel, more suspension travel, better looks, a different headlight and a funky LED tail light. The 701 gets 275mm front and rear travel, up from 250mm. That’s going to effect the handling a lot. The fuel capacity has also increased by a litre and a half meaning a little more distance. There are some great aftermarket options for making a KTM 690 into a more long distance, travel friendly machine and these parts will undoubtedly crossover in the near future if they don’t immediately. The last piece of the puzzle is the price. At £7999 it’s not cheap, but it’s a well specced bike designed to munch dirt and miles with great competency. The extra 25mm of travel and extra fuel is only £200 over the KTM cousin too.
What does this all mean? It’s difficult to say until we test it but the Husqvarna 701 on paper looks very promising for the dirt focused amongst us and you should be excited about it.
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For the press release on the Husqvarna 701 Enduro click here.
For the website click here.