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2012 Husqvarna Nuda 900 and 900R Preview


by Pascal Bastien ,

With its menacing looks, distinct lines and well-known engine, the Nuda 900 will catch the eye of every naked bike fan in a one-kilometre radius. This Husqy is on a warpath in a class that just keeps growing here in Canada, that of the medium-displacement standard street bike.

Husqvarna’s Italian designers were given free rein, and it shows. Style-wise, the Nuda really stands out from the current crop of machines. While the jury is still out on its unique looks, it’s definitely an attention grabber. You have to see the Nuda in person to appreciate it though, as it’s one of those bikes that just aren’t photogenic.

2012 Husqvarna Nuda 900 and 900R side
The new Nuda 900 will launch an assault on the Ducati Hypermotard, KTM Duke, Aprilia Shiver and, obviously, the BMW F800R. (Photo: Husqvarna)

Rotax to the rescue once again
The Nuda’s engine is based on the BMW F800’s Rotax parallel-twin, boosted from 798 to 898 cc. Husqvarna increased the bore and stroke to maintain its linear performance and availability. The compression ratio is up from 12.0:1 in the F800 to 13.0:1 in the Nuda, the connecting rods have been modified and the crankshaft’s angle has been altered from 315 to 360 degrees. We can expect some radical changes in behaviour and sound effects.

The intake and exhaust have also been completely revised, with bigger valves and injectors and a larger exhaust line. The airbox and engine mapping have been modified (offering a choice of Rain or Standard mode) in a bid to improve responsiveness and efficiency. Some things haven’t changed, however, such as the dry sump lubrication, balance shaft and the engine’s 30-degree angle. The Nuda punches out 105 hp at 8,500 rpm (compared to 87 hp for the BMW) and 70 lb-ft of torque at 7,000 rpm.

Long-term lease
The Husqy is built on the latest generation of the F800GS’s steel trellis frame, with a stiffer steering head. It’s fitted with a conventional swing arm and a chain drive. On the suspension front, the Nuda is better equipped than its F800 cousin and boasts 48 mm inverted Sachs forks with adjustable preload and a cantilever Sachs rear shock. Note, however, that the Nuda 900 is more like a tall standard sport bike than a supermotard machine, as the rider is positioned far from the handlebars. But for those who like to skim the ground, its 195 kilos should provide plenty of thrills on sinuous roads and at the track.

2012 Husqvarna Nuda 900R side
The Husqy is built on the latest generation of the F800GS’s steel trellis frame, with a stiffer steering head. (Photo: Husqvarna)
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