Right on the heels of yesterday’s 2017 Super Duke R spy photos, we have another surprise apparently based on the same platform. The lucky SOB who was spotted tooling around on KTM’s updated SDR is the same guy aboard this Husqvarna using a version of the same chassis and engine. How similar? Let’s take a looksee…
Powered by a version of the 1301cc Twin that helped elevate the Super Duke R to our choice for 2014 Motorcycle of the year and 2015 Hooligan category winner, this Husky bruiser should have no problem muscling itself to the top of our want-list as soon as it’s launched. Unlike the made-for-two SDR and Super Duke GT, this machine is a solo-fighter devoid of passenger accommodations, at least one version anyway.
The wheelbase of this Husky mystery machine appears to be slightly longer than the SDR with a tad more rake in the front end. At the two ends, a pair of similar wheels are mounted, though we wouldn’t be surprised if that design changed before the production bike is finalized. Similarly, the bodywork appears to be in an early, quite blocky form. Take a look at the chin fairing which is devoid of any character, consisting of nothing but flat sides and a curve joining them. The tail section appears to be at a similar stage – all flat lines. The tank, however, has a combination of flat surfaces and curves, perhaps pointing to more evolved styling directions. The long, flat surfaces running alongside the radiator appear to be a variation of a detail shown on the 401 Svartpilen and Vitpilen concepts and is likely to be a common theme for Husqvarna’s street-only models.
The riding position is decidedly more committed. Having the same rider in the same gear really helps to visualize the difference. (See our gif animation above.) The rider’s upper body is angled significantly further forward with arms more outstretched to clip-ons instead of a tubular bar. The pegs appear to be the same height but slightly rearward. The flatter, longer tank also places the rider’s butt further back on the chassis, enhancing the sporty riding position. We have to wonder if the small, bar end-mounted mirrors will make it through the homologation process, though.
The suspension and brakes look similar those of the SDR. The single-sided swingarm also points to shared DNA. The belly portion of the chin fairing covered enough of the exhaust system to make us unsure if it’s primarily sourced from the SDR. It wouldn’t surprise us to see a bespoke exhaust once the bike reaches its production form.
The instrument cluster looks similar to the previous generation of KTM models, with an information screen on the left and a large tachometer on the center-right. This points to the bike being very early in its development cycle since we’ve seen what looks like updated instruments in the SDR spy photos we published yesterday.
The state of this prototype leads us to believe the Husky power cruiser still requires considerable work to reach its production form, and our source indicates the bike is likely to be introduced for the 2019 season. So, we would expect to see it on the show circuit in autumn 2018, but the possibility exists for a concept version to be shown at this fall’s shows.