At the 2019 EICMA motorcycle show in Milan, the biggest news for adventure bike junkies was almost certainly the Husqvarna Norden 901 (we were expecting new Triumphs as well, but we haven’t seen them … yet). Now, it’s been spotted testing.
At its unveiling, Husky made it clear the Norden 901 (as seen in the handout photo above) is just a concept bike for now—there was no promise of future production. Having said that, anybody who’s paying attention knows Husqvarna hasn’t teased a concept bike, then not built it, since KTM took over the company back in 2013.
So, most insiders figured it was just a matter of time until we saw photos of the new bike testing. Lo and behold, that’s exactly what we’re getting now, with snaps of the Norden 901 out bombing around in the woods somewhere.
The test bike (see it here at Motorcyclist) appears to be pretty much the same as the unit that was on display at EICMA. The gas tank and its crash bars appear slightly different, there’s what appears to be heat-reflective material, or maybe gaffer’s tape, applied to the inside of the fairing. Gaffer’s tape is also applied to some of the bodywork seams. It’s got a different exhaust, different handguards, and it doesn’t have the same crash bars with auxiliary lights mounted over the fairing.
But generally speaking, it’s the same bike, and shows we can likely expect a production version in the next year or two. Considering that it’s all recycled KTM technology (the 901 engine appears to be based on KTM’s new-for-2020 890 design, which is in turn based on the 790), the R&D needed is much less than you’d require for a ground-up launch.