The straw vote in the A&R office is that the jury is still out on the recently unveiled Husqvarna Nusa 900R. We like that BMW is setting up Husqvarna to be the more edgy on-street brand in its two-wheeled house, and the maxi-motard is a safe street entry for the otherwise dirt-based company. A narrow, fairly light, and peppy twin should be fun to blast from stoplight to stoplight, lane-split between traffic-packed cars, and generally just hoon about town. Price of course will be an issue for the Nuda 900R, as its components don’t suggest a cheap price tag, of course we don’t think Husqvarna (read BMW) is too concerned with that issue, as they’re likely focusing on the more exclusive side of the market continuum.
Speaking of select target markets, the looks are not the most generally palatable, with our office’s spectrum of reception ranging from drool-worthy praise to motions of people hanging themselves with their belt (and not in that good auto-erotica asphyxiation sort of way). One thing we can agree on, as far as promo videos go…this one doesn’t really achieve any of the goals we’d think Husqvarna would set out for its first street bike.
Imagine a rider lazily riding around (read: hopped-up on enough Valim to kill a small elephant) on what looks like a homey supermoto road course that’s in desperate need of some landscaping. Bored, tired, and perhaps miffed that he can’t take this undulating course at full-tilt, he stuffs the Nuda 900R into third gear and just let’s the bike putt along at the 15 mph or so it looks like this director filmed the sequence at. About ready to off himself, or join Teach for America, our protagonist lofts the front wheel purely for a change of scenery, or perhaps forgetting that this isn’t a KTM commercial. The Husqvarna Nuda 900R obliges with pleasure, which of course only embeds further our rider’s disappointment at what could have been a fast-paced, no-holds-barred, wheel-spinning torque monster of doom video.
If Husqvarna really wants to offer bikes that differ from the BMW code of conduct (and go after a certain Austrian company that’s already about 5-years into this process), it’s going to have to start making videos that break away from the German look and feel. For a Swedish brand that’s owned by a German company with an Italian HQ, we need less Hans and more Luccio…and maybe a little bit more cowbell from Husqvarna.