With its all-new TR650 Strada and Terra models, Husqvarna makes a play for the increasingly lucrative adventure bike market.
Identifying the strong sales in the adventure bike market - and taking advantage of the resources of its parent company, BMW - Husqvarna has taken the tried and tested G 650 GS Sertao model (itself based on the 650 Dakar, which was discontinued in 2007), added a few of their own "dynamic" touches to suspension, engine and bodywork to produce their all-new TR650 Strada and TR650 Terra models for 2013.
The TR650 Terra is the more serious off-road option of the two. With a 21-inch spoked front wheel for more off-road stability (compared to the Strada's 19-inch cast rim up front), extra travel at both ends and centrally mounted shock, the Terra's overall design allows for a more aggressive riding style for those intending to get off the beaten track.
The Strada comes standard with ABS, while the Terra can have ABS fitted as a factory option. Both versions use an up-specced 46mm USD telescopic fork, compared to the 41mm Marzocchi forks found on the BMW GS models.
For enhanced performance over the BMW, Husqvarna claims to have extensively modified BMW's 652cc double-overhead camshaft powerplant via a tweaked EFI system, more aggressive camshaft profiles, and a higher compression ratio. Combined, power is boosted to 58HP at 7250rpm. Those looking for a LAMS-approved machine can opt for the reduced-power version in each model, which produces 48HP at 7250rpm.
When it comes to bodywork, Husqvarna's style-conscious Italian engineers always seem to come up with something unique. For their first serious foray into the adventure bike market, they rather flamboyantly claim to have created lines that embody "masculine athleticism" and convey a sense of "agility and lightness". In any case, the bodywork certainly achieves the goal of setting the bikes apart from their BMW cousins.
According to Husqvarna Australia's Joerg Hoffmann, "The Husqvarna TR650 should be priced similar if not slightly less than the BMW models" and that there will be "A range of accessories available include rider apparel, panniers and custom seats". Joerg also mentioned that the LAMS approved engine "can later be tuned by your Husqvarna dealer to regain its full horsepower".
The two TR650 models are set to be released in Oz in the latter part of 2012. Prices are yet to be announced, but it'll be interesting to see whether consumers will be paying a premium for this up-specced BMW, or whether Husqvarna Australia's trademark aggressive pricing will make it an obvious choice for those looking to enter the adventure bike market. Click here for a detailed price comparison of the current Adventure bike models on the market. For more technical information on the Husqvarna TR650 models, check out the website.
The 2013 Husqvarna TR650 Strada
The 2013 Husqvarna TR650 Terra