As we reach the third quarter of 2021 and start thinking about the idea of the annual motorcycle shows (EICMA, Motorcycle Live, and all that) – this year for real, not virtual – then equally the manufacturers are kicking into life their marketing campaigns.
Husqvarna’s Norden 901 – their take/adaptation on the KTM 890 Adventure – first seen (as a prototype) at EICMA in 2019 is one new model that’s getting the big push, and looking set to make its debut as a production machine this season, readying for a 2022 market release. Husky have been ramping up the expectation with a series of promo videos, the latest being something of a travel-mood piece featuring Cyril Despres and pro-explorer/adventurer Mike Horn riding what look to be pre-production models through a dark and mysterious Icelandic landscape.
Notably, the pair are riding mostly at an adventure-touring speed, not rally pace, enjoying the scenery, camping, even abseiling (bikes too!), which something echoed in the narrative of this and Husky’s earlier Norden teasers – indicating Husky are going for the travel bike, not rally bike market.
This follows on from the line of development they took with their 701 LR, which took the KTM 690 platform and added double the fuel capacity together with, er, more compliant suspension and softer brakes (and seat!). While KTM continue with their action-oriented ‘Ready to Race’ bias it’s looking like Husqvarna is focussing on making more complete travel machines. A good choice in our opinion.
We note Lyndon Poskitt is the third Norden rider ambassador – and all-action-tourist-racer if there ever was one – and we look forward to seeing what his film will reveal.