HUSQVARNA 701 SUPERMOTO Review
The 701 Supermoto is, simply put, the KTM 690 SMC R. Husky has employed the 690 as a donor bike and made three major tweaks: to its engine maps, suspension and bodywork. Husqvarna claim the changes steer the 701 away from KTM’s ‘ready to race’ mantra and make it more accessible, comfortable and enjoyable for the everyday rider. And Husqvarna have succeeded in their aim. By softening the suspension and making the throttle more predictable, the Supermoto has become more usable, which in turn makes it more fun. It’s the ultimate big boy’s toy.
Ride Quality & Brakes
The Husky inherits the same impressive spec as the KTM including a four-piston Brembo caliper up front. Apply the brakes with the merest stroke of a finger and the mighty Brembo caliper halts with precision, but despite its long travel the front fork does a commendable job of stiffening under hard braking. The brakes are assisted by the latest Bosch 9.1 MP ABS, which can be disabled completely via a button on the dash. The forks are essentially the same with different shimming to give a softer initial stroke, making it plusher and more progressive. Head for a twisty B-roads and this bike really comes to life. The fat forks, which look like two mighty Roman pillars, soak up imperfections and are firm yet plush. And the bodywork has been altered for comfort, with rubber-mounted handlebars, and there’s an extra litre of fuel, taking the tank up to 13 litres. The seat is softer than that on the KTM, but make no mistake it’s still a supermoto seat and is such is hard, unforgiving an uncomfortable. The lack of any wind protection whatsoever makes riding in bad weather quite a chore.
It’s the same potent 690cc single-cylinder motor pumping out 67bhp and 50ftlb. The Husky gets three fuel maps: soft, advanced and standard (there’s also an A2-licence option). The maps are smoother and less aggressive than the 690’s with a less snappy throttle response. Wrap your fingers round the throttle, tighten your knees on the grippy fairings and wind on the throttle – it’s impossible not to grin. The torquey engine is urgent and borderline brutal in such a lightweight chassis. It manically propels you forward, seemingly topping a ton in an instant.
Build Quality & Reliability
The 701 comes with sweet finishing touches such as LED lights and smart branding. It’s cleverly thought out, the build quality looks spot on and overall it’s impressive.
Insurance, running costs & value
This is no everyday bike, it’s an impractical, yet excessively exciting toy. It’s a slightly softer option than the equivalent KTM, but with the same power and torque. So for the same £7999 price as the KTM you get all the rip-roaring, shoulder-tugging fun, except it’s easier to ride and handle, with a bigger fuel tank and the Husqvarna badge.
The 701 has swish extras such as a slipper clutch, supermoto ABS and an endo sensor (to stop it flipping). The clever supermoto/enduro ABS comes in the form of an accessory plug-in dongle that disables the rear wheel ABS while keeping it active on the front if you fancy pulling some immature skids on or off-road.
3 owners have reviewed their HUSQVARNA 701 SUPERMOTO (2015-on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.
|Summary of Owners’ Reviews|
|Ride Quality & Brakes|
|Build Quality & Reliability|
|Value & Running Costs|
It’s the bike you’ve always wanted
16 July 2016 by Andy pig rider
This is the bike I have always wanted it accelerates like a rocket it goes around corners like its on rails and makes me smile every time I take it out Read more
01 May 2016 by Chris Withers
If you like supermotos, this is a beautiful bike. On first inspection I wasn’t sure about the large rear fairings, but now I’m used to them, they fit the style of the 701. The blue yellow and white scheme gives the bike a nice clean look. This… Read more
20 November 2015 by LL
A blue KTM Read more