Husqvarna Nuda 900R review, test ride
23rd May 2012 10:03 pm
Husky off-road madness plus BMW refinement make the Nuda.
Husqvarna is a name most Indian bikers will only have heard of vaguely. Many upheavals in the Swedish brand’s rich history now has their bikes built in Varese, Italy under the tutelage of German automotive powerhouse, BMW Motorrad. ‘Huskies’ as this marque’s products are popularly known are generally focussed, top class off-road motorcycles. The first road-going Husky in many decades has launched only in 2011, the Nuda 900 supermoto. As reported first by Autocar India, the Nuda 900R has almost made it to India via BMW Motorrad’s Indian importer, Navnit Motors and we’ve just had our chance to sling a leg over the Nuda for a few hours to check what it’s about.
Nuda, the name is self explanatory. There are a few scraps of panels and the way they stretch and contort serves to highlight the Nuda’s slim waist, leaving the hardware to bask in the spotlight. A trellis frame and parallel-twin engine sit proudly exposed. Like the chassis even the motor is based on BMW’s F800 GS, but extensive modifications give it a different character and much more punch. The 898cc liquid cooled motor develops 105bhp.
Hop onto the high seat, thumb the starter and you’re greeted by a fantastic exhaust note. Bass, volume and the howl of trapped power waiting to break free all burst through the slashed exhaust in just the right mix. The Nuda 900’s motor is as testy as it looks. It takes more than a few minutes to get used to the way the Nuda pulls away from idle with alarming urgency. Throttle inputs have to be fed in with carefully dialled in millimetre gradations. The ultra quick response and short gearing mean this motor is better always ridden at least a gear higher than required. I even found myself dawdling around at 30kph in fourth gear. However, it’s easier to navigate through slow moving traffic using Map II, a ride mode where the power delivery is softened so even hamfisted riding doesn’t scare you as much as it wants to.
Watch video review here
Being on the Nuda 900 is all about getting up close and personal with adrenalin. Tear ahead of traffic and you find the 900R pulls from anywhere over 2000rpm with gusto. Within the city, we had little chance to push this powerful bike much, but thereafter, we felt a distinct bump up in power over 4000rpm, the bike overwhelming its superb Metzeler rubber on concrete surfaces. Despite the rear wheel wriggling and spinning often, there’s always a sense of confidence that makes this motorcycle more thrilling to ride, than scary. The upright seating position, wide bars and a good steering range let you wind around corners as comfortably as when you’re wriggling your way through slow moving traffic.
Despite the thin, firm seat, the Nuda proved a surprisingly comfortable companion. The top drawer and long travel Sachs upside down forks and Ohlins rear suspension offer a supple, well damped ride.
The Nuda 900R makes for amongst the more exciting street worthy introductions to the Husqvarna brand. At an estimated Rs 14 lakh in India, this however isn’t going to be an affordable motorcycle, but that’s hardly surprising when you consider its European heritage, top-notch BMW derived mechanicals and the ability to deliver raging shots of undiluted adrenalin with every millimetre of throttle input. The Nuda’s tall stance isn’t well suited to shorter riders however, so shorter Indians can give this one a miss. Still, we can’t wait to take it out for a ride into a more conducive environment, where we can really put the Nuda’s supermoto genetics to good use.
Coming soon, so watch this space.