Husqvarna looks set to make its mark on the road. First came the Nuda 900 and 900R
; now, here's the all-new 2013 TR650 Strada, a lightweight dual-purpose bike motivated by a fuel-injected, single-cylinder engine producing 58 horsepower.
Unlike the Europeans, Canadians still crave big singles -- and why not? They make machines like this Husqvarna quite nimble and rider-friendly, not to mention versatile and cheap on gas, yet with solid all-around performance. Consider the Suzuki DR650SE, Honda XR650L, KTM 690 Enduro, Kawasaki KLR 650
, and BMW G650GS
The 2013 Husqvarna TR650 Strada is styled after the brand's enduro and dirt bikes. The ultra-aggressive lines seem to embody a true street warrior, while the 19'' front and 17'' rear wheels add a touch of supermoto attitude. One quick glance is enough to recognize this model's DNA as pure Husqvarna.
In a lesson learned from BMW, the tank rests under the long seat in order to lower the centre of gravity. What's more, there are two large grab rails for the passenger, along with a small cargo rack hanging over a pair of square-tipped tailpipes.
The 2013 Husqvarna TR650 Strada inherits a few components from the Bavarian manufacturer and also its larger sibling, the Nuda. One of them is the 652cc single-cylinder engine, which got an extra dose of vitamins to deliver 10 more horsepower.
A higher compression ratio, lighter forged pistons, and bigger valves with extended lift have helped revitalize this engine which keeps going strong after more than 10 years of dependable service. A revised crankshaft, three-way catalytic system, and larger-capacity airbox are other notable upgrades to the powerplant.
The 2013 Husqvarna TR650 Strada is said to burn 3.2L/100km on the highway despite the increased output. With a 14L tank (five more than the G650GS), range won't be a problem.
The instrument panel is identical to the Nuda's and includes an analog tachometer that's easy to read, as well as a digital display with two trip meters and a speedometer. Alas, there is no selected gear indicator.
The 2013 Husqvarna TR650 Strada is built on an improved version of the G650GS frame, one that features a detachable rear section. The wheelbase is 24mm longer and the trail is 11mm shorter, while front fork beefs up from 41 to 46mm -- all in the name of superior agility and precision, without sacrificing too much stability. In the braking department, look for the same Brembo system with on-demand ABS that can be found on the BMW.
Furthermore, a number of optional accessories are available with the 2013 Husqvarna TR650 Strada: anti-theft device, heated grips, soft tank bags, aluminum skid plate, hand guards, high windshield, etc.
With a reasonable weight and seat height, generous ground clearance, ABS, and most importantly, a single-cylinder engine that promises top-tier performance, the new 2013 Husqvarna TR650 Strada appears much more modern and sophisticated than the current crop of competitors.