Husqvarna just released official specs for the Nuda 900. “More than 100bhp” and “less than 175kg” is now, officially, 105bhp and 175kg (dry) for the 900, with that weight edging to some slightly lower, unspecified amount for the 900R. Those non-R/R models are differentiated not just by a smattering of carbon components and suspension adjustments, but also by ride height; the R is an inch taller. Reading BMW’s Italian-by-way-of-Sweden dirt bike brand’s marketing spiel, it seems like that’s been done in an effort to blur established class lines between supermoto and naked. Ignoring that, let’s compare this 900cc naked bike to its competitors based on price and purpose.
We’ve created this list of competitors based on similar intentions at similar price points. Husky hasn’t yet released a price for the bike, but it will probably be a point of contention for the tiny brand. Sharing parts of its frame and engine with the $11,455 BMW F800GS and competing in a similar category to the $9,950 BMW F800R, it stands to reason that the lower volume and higher spec of the Nuda will lead to a higher price. For the purposes of this comparison, we’ve estimated a similar price to that GS for the non-R model, but wouldn’t be surprised to see the R model come in closer to $13k, or even more. Small numbers and pricey pieces do not a bargain make.
The R (red) is distinguished by fully-adjustable Sachs forks and ride height adjustment on the Ohlins rear shock. The plain 900 (black) gets a two-height seat for increased pillion comfort. The R has one-inch more ride height than the non-R.
That predicted price and Husqvarna’s attempt to pitch a naked roadster on its connection to dirt creates a somewhat odd conundrum when it comes to drawing up a list of competitors. Not ones to succumb to marketing bullshit, we’ve included naked performance bikes of similar capacity and similar purpose. For example, we think the Husky is more a competitor for the Ducati Monster than it is the Hypermotard. That model also serves to illustrate the stiff competition this new bike is going to face. That bike has pedigree, capacity, a dealer network and a light weight over the bored-and-stroke engine and modified chassis of the F800GS. With near identical power-to-weight figures and an odd engine configuration, can the Husqvarna really hope to compete, or will it merely be an oddball also ran next to mainstream nakeds like the far-cheaper Yamaha FZ8?
Included here is also the press release with all the official details on the difference between the Husqvarna Nuda 900 and Husqvarna Nuda 900R. Sorry, it’s all a bit pedantic for us to bother rehashing.
The big question hanging over the bike, of course, isn’t power-to-weight or competitiveness, it’s how successful BMW has been at translating a fairly boring parallel-twin into the kind of thing that’ll feel appropriate in a quasi-exotic naked. That change from a 0 to 315-degree firing order will make it feel more like a V, boosting low-down torque at the expense of top-end power. All we’re praying for is character, something sadly lacking from 800cc versions of this motor.
If you had $11,500 to $13,500 to spend on a naked roadster, would it be the Husqvarna or one of the other bikes listed here?