Remember the Husqvarna 901 Norden? This concept bike arguably stole the show at EICMA in 2019, but we haven’t seen much of the machine since. There was a peek at the bike testing last month, but that’s it. No mass marking campaign, no round-the-world tour like the Yamaha Tenere 700 got. Nothing.
However, Husqvarna does seem very determined to keep close to the original development program, with release in early 2021. For evidence, check out the photos running in Motorrad Online. They’ve got eight new snaps of the bike testing, and it sure looks like it’s pretty much ready to hit the assembly line.
Compared to November’s photos, we see the latest photos of the bike have a more showroom-ready windscreen assembly. Just guessing, from the amount of wiring still wrapped around the bike’s exterior along the left sidepanel, the machine in the picture is out for some sort of test run. Note the tailbag—a lot of times, when you see under-development machines, they’ve got some sort of sensor mounted in a topbox. Perhaps that tailbag is hiding electronics?
When is it coming?
Husqvarna has always gone its own way with motorcycle releases. On a micro scale, the company has been known to shun the show circuits, or run very scaled-down displays, focusing on its own individual marketing efforts.
All that’s said to point out that Husqvarna didn’t release any new models this fall, when all the other OEMs did, but that doesn’t mean we won’t see something soon.
If COVID-19 hadn’t happened, we probably would have seen the Norden debut at Intermot in October, or more likely, EICMA in November. KTM’s already brought the 890 Adventure to market, which is basically the same platform. However, with the coronavirus pandemic throwing a wrench in the works, Husky’s engineers likely ended up having to move the whole program back a bit, with a plan to launch the bike in early 2021, instead of bringing it to showrooms then.
When it gets here, expect a machine with engine and electronics package very similar to the new KTM 890 Adventure series, but maybe a different suspension setup, or minor differences with the features. The KTM and Husqvarna street lines are getting very Chevy/Pontiac in their closeness, so maybe the real differences will only be skin-deep.