Husqvarna 701 Supermoto Test & Review

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  • The Husqvarna 701 Supermoto brings the excitement of supermoto racing to the streets.

  • Supermoto combines dirt riding with road racing styles, meaning a bike that’s super agile.

  • Riding it is the best fun one could have.

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Uncle next door smiled and nodded his head. “So, what are you riding today?” as he walks closer while scanning the white, blue and yellow Husqvarna 701 Supermoto. He looks like he was leaving to meet his buddies at the coffee shop to discuss the ways on how the country should be run.

“It’s a supermoto, a Husqvarna 701 Supermoto,” I answered.

“Looks like it to a plantation for durian kampung, I suppose” he replied, obviously oblivious to what’s termed as a supermoto.

“Oh… How much is this thing?”

I told him the price and cringed as soon as I did. Because I knew what was coming next.

“WAHLAO EH! You might as well get a mini-SUV!”

“Yeah, but bikes are more fun.”

“Fun? What kind of fun?”

And that opens up the question. How does one define “fun”?

We’ve been salivating over the Husqvarna 701 Supermoto ever since it was unveiled to the public at the end of 2015. Although looks like a rebadged KTM 690 SMC R (KTM owns Husqvarna now), the bike was originally designed by Husky. It looked better in Husky’s white, blue and yellow livery, definitely.

But for 2017/2018, Husqvrna did the right thing to upgrade the engine like the one in this durian bike.

 

The engine is sourced not from the 690 Duke as most would believe but from the 690 SMC R

I first rode it around on the streets like I would on dirt-bikes: Gingerly. But it all changed as soon as I hit the first roundabout. But my road ridings habits took over subconsciously and I leaned into the corner. The Husky snapped over like a bicycle! I almost ran over the roundabout’s curb.

Now I let loose. For the next corner, I sat up on the outside, stuck my leg out and steered the bike. It responded immediately to the command, but the sole of my boot was still a long way from skimming the road surface.

While there are bikes on which you have to mind the throttle unless you want to discover how a Vellfire’s rear door feels like, the 701 Supermoto encourages to open up. And opening up on the throttle of the 701 Supermoto enriches your life.

That’s because the engine is incredibly smooth, regardless if you’re just trotting or on a last lap type charge. Speeds picks up quickly too but you are far from being intimidated and use it to blow away traffic like the bow waves behind a boat.

I’m sorry, did I say, “trotting”?

My bad, because the 701 Supermoto isn’t about trotting. It’s about summoning all your street, worries, grudges, and general unhappiness into one spot and blasting them away on this bike.

It’s not just about medium to long corners on the bike as you can readily chuck it into that pesky, off-camber corner at the intersection or even a decreasing radius corner, because changing lean angle is done without needing (too) much analysing.

In other words, it’s almost impossible to be a good boy on this bike. In fact, I got so guilty I handed the bike over to Sep and Oh Kah Beng for their turn of the fun.

“Man, it was so difficult to ride responsibly on this bike,” gushed Sep, “and it’s fast too. I grabbed some big throttle and it was off to more than almost twice the speed limit.”

Our MX-guru, “Foreman” Oh Kah Beng rode the bike at his Most Fun Gym facility on the standard road tyres. “We use road tyres in supermoto racing anyway,” he said.

“The Husky 701 Supermoto is just so much fun!” he exclaimed. “I could just do anything with the bike, whether it’s on the road of off.”

The fun factor also came from the engine which isn’t intimidating, which means you could ride the bike to its full potential. Sure a 160 bhp is faster but reaching its potential is often fraught with danger. The 701’s one bike which transcends the type of riding one would normally do, which needs lots of concentration. It allows you to ride any way you’d like, even sometimes pulling off impossible tricks like mad lean angles and the ability to square off any sharp corner.

In conclusion, the Husqvarna 701 Supermoto is just a wonderfully fun bike. Sure, it’s expensive but all that money is worth it.

So, how to define fun? Fun is when you don’t have to worry about the bike and riding to your heart’s content. It’s just you and the bike. Everyone else are in the weeds.

Oh Kah Beng, Sunny, William, Jack, Dato’ Eric, Dino, Marcus, Gabit, now I know why you guys are so happy all the time!

I wished Uncle Neighbour rides, because if he does, he’d ride the bike down to the coffee shop to meet his buddies and tell them what “fun” means over cups of kopi ‘o’ and half-boiled kampung eggs.

For more information, please follow Husqvarna Motorcycles Malaysia’s Facebook page, or pay them a visit at the location below.

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