Our bikes: Husky Su­per­moto 701

4208 MILES An ex­per­i­men­tal year on the Husky has left Liam with a clearly de­fined con­clu­sion and a slightly sore rear end

Motorcycle News (UK) - - THIS WEEK - liam.mars­den@mo­tor­cy­cle­news.com LIAM MARS­DEN

HUSQ­VARNA 701 SU­PER­MOTO

The Husq­varna 701 Su­per­moto was a bit of an ex­per­i­ment and I’m not sure it worked! I was a spotty teenager when the su­per­moto scene ex­ploded in the UK 10 years ago and I wanted one, badly. The ex­plo­sion was short-lived, but when Husq­varna launched the 701 I knew I had to go for it to keep my in­ner child happy. Well, it turns out there’s a rea­son the su­per­moto scene was so short-lived...

The Husq­varna is not a bad bike – far from it. The sin­gle-cylin­der 690cc en­gine is a peach and never failed to bring a smile to my face no mat­ter where I was rid­ing. The Brembo brakes are equally ca­pa­ble, bring­ing the 145kg Husky to a stop with­out break­ing a sweat. The han­dling was pin­point ac­cu­rate, as I ex­pected from such a light bike. To the ex­tent that there was al­ways a pe­riod of re­cal­i­bra­tion af­ter rid­ing other, heav­ier, bikes.

While the in­di­vid­ual parts of the Husq­varna are all bloody good it didn’t take me long to fig­ure out the rea­son su­per­mo­tos never caught on; their com­plete sin­gle-mind­ed­ness. Want to go for a blast down your favourite back roads? Great, the Husky will lap it up. Want to spend more than 30 min­utes in the sad­dle with­out walk­ing like John Wayne? For­get it.

This re­sulted in a bit of a roller­coaster year for the Husky and me. The high­light was un­doubt­edly the af­ter­noon we spent at an empty Rock­ing­ham. The Husq­varna ex­celled on track right from the first laps and my con­fi­dence only grew through­out the day. It would be easy to say the low­light was a 500-mile week­end that took in York­shire and Swansea, but the Husq­varna wasn’t as bad as I ex­pected. The wind pro­tec­tion at speeds above 75mph is com­pletely non-ex­is­tent, so for the ma­jor­ity of Wales I stuck to back roads.

My arse was on fire less than an hour af­ter I left home on Satur­day morn­ing, and although I was back home late Mon­day night, it was still on fire for a cou­ple of days. But it’s a su­per­moto, nowhere in the brochure is the word com­fort men­tioned.

So in the ab­sence of sad­ness, what did I feel about parting with the Husky? Re­lief would be too strong a word, but I was slightly pleased I wouldn’t be rid­ing a mo­tor­cy­cle with zero wind pro­tec­tion through the dark­est depths of win­ter. The Husky is bril­liant at short, sharp blasts or tak­ing on a tight and twisty track. Be­yond that, it’s com­pro­mised.

The Su­per­moto 701 ex­per­i­ment may not have turned out quite how I had hoped, but it has helped me reach a con­clu­sion – su­per­mo­tos def­i­nitely aren’t for me.

‘The en­gine is a peach and never failed to bring a smile to my face ’

Liam lists what he loves about the Husky. It didn’t take that long

All-weather com­muter; happy on any type of bike HEIGHT 6ft 1in WEIGHT 75kg

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