Husqvarna Strada – Do We Need A Single-Cylinder Nuda?

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Husqvarna apparently didn’t show all it had to offer at the 2011 EICMA show in Milan, Italy several weeks ago. Debuting the Husqvarna Strada concept at the Paris Motor Show today, the Swedish brand continues its expansion into the on-road market. While the business case is strong for why Husky is currently on a street-bike tear, excitement over the Strada might pale in comparison to the hype that surrounded the 2012 Husqvarna Nuda 900.

Based on BMW’s 650cc single-cylinder motor found in the G650GS, the Husqvarna Strada has allegedly been “breathed” on by the Italian engineers at Husqvarna. Details are still under lock and key, though Husqvarna says the Strada will tip the scales at less than 170kg dry (375 lbs). While the bike being unveiled in Paris is a concept, Husqvarna plans to go into production with the Husqvarna Strada in 2012, meaning what we’ll see on dealer showroom floors will look very similar to what we see here now.

“Targeted at youthful on-road motorcyclists,” we can expect the Husqvarna Strada to come in at a cheaper price point than the Husqvarna Nuda 900, and to be more of a starting point for street riders looking to get on the Swedish brand’s bikes. Looking every bit like the rest of the Husqvarna line, our biggest concern is that the Strada doesn’t have enough differentiation from the Nuda 900 to truly merit a place on the product range.

While price and overall tune will likely be used to set the Husqvarna Strada apart from its larger compatriot, at its core, the Strada has the same face melting maxi-motard ethos as the Nuda. While that’s fine and dandy for brand management, the product differentiation may not be as great in the eyes of the consumer. Bringing out one niche motorcycle, especially as a first offering in the street segment, was a well-played move, but Husqvarna may have made a misstep by rolling out a second bike that overlaps so heavily, and competes for exactly the same riders as its previously released model.

Hopefully the BMW subsidiary will truly expand its product range with the likeable Moab street-tracker/scrambler concept, and we can always hope that the BMW S1000RR motor gets tapped for Husqvarna’s next science fair project.

Source: BMW Group