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.

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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.

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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.


  • Kenneth

    ‘Looks like it would be fun… for about 30 minutes.

  • Old MOron

    Nice one, Dennis!

    • denchung

      Wasn’t me, except for the GIF.

      • Old MOron

        Ha ha, it was the GIF that got me.

  • spiff

    I like the direction they are taking with Husky, but in thisbcase i prefer the SD.

  • Gary

    Monkey humping a football ergos. I had hoped we’d evolved beyond this.

  • spiff

    Husky should put out a line of cafe racers in 390/690/890(?)/1290. They would cover the market from Royal Enfield to Truxton.

    • spiff

      … but modern to a degree. Along the line of what Ducati did with the scrambler. I get what Triumph is going for with all their old throw back looks, but function should still reign over form.

      • Y.A.

        Indeed. Their new twins represent a huge missed opportunity.

        • Starmag

          Their best-selling bikes are a huge missed opportunity? Ohlins, big brakes, 100hp isn’t modernized enough?

          • spiff

            Taking time to make fuel injection look like a carburetor would be an example. Triumph is doing that sort of thing across their line. My guess is Y.A. was commenting on KTM not taking advantage of the opportunity.

          • Starmag

            Like taking the time to design and make fake scoops on any number of non-retro modern bikes? Or taking the time to design the useless beak on the decidedly on road KTM sport tourer? Etc.

          • spiff

            If this is your sermon, I agree. I have hated fake scoops since the Vmax and Fazer. I think a lesson can be learned from Ford with the Mustang. They used reto styling, but no doubt it was a new design. Look at how many followed suit. That would be the type of cafe racer I may consider buying.

          • Y.A.

            Those bikes make more like 50HP. And yea, the only people interested in those bikes are existing Bonneville owners. If they had upped the power they could have broadened this thing’s appeal. The FZ-07 has a similar engine config and makes like 50% more power.

          • Starmag

            Yeah, no. The new Thruxtons make 97HP. Big piston Showa, Ohlins, TC, Brembo monoblocs, ABS, etc. Still not “modern” enough? If not, there’s plenty of “modern” bikes out there to choose from and relatively few retros.
            “If they had upped the power they could have broadened this thing’s appeal.” They did and I agree. Even with 50HP they out sold all of Triumph’s performance bikes. There’s obviously more to motorcycling than “performance”.
            Thruxtons are sold out for now. Odd for a missed opportunity.

  • DickRuble

    From the Nuda 900r to … this… What a shame.. They must be taking cues from the HD Street..

  • Randy Darino

    if thats the future of motorcycling,im gonna take up golf and bore myself to death.

  • nickatnyt

    In what world is that a ‘cruiser’? C’mon man.

  • Auphliam

    Curious about the ‘Muscle Cruiser’ designation, but I don’t really have a beef with that. What I don’t like is the overly styled tendencies of KTM now planting themselves firmly in the Husky facilities.
    Motorcycle designers have talents far above my pay grade, I’ll give them that…but how in the world did they manage to derive so much ugly from those earlier concepts? That tank looks like a plane fuselage with the wings sawed off. Is it a corporate mandate? “Something angular and seemingly out of place must protrude forward from area of the gas tank”

    • spiff

      I think the true shape is hidden under the ugly you mention. Well I hope it is.

  • 2chilled4u

    Great motor, but talk about hitting the ugly bus. A power cruiser looks like a Vrod, a Triumph Rocket, A Ducati Diavel or the Guzzi California. This is not a cruiser, its a butt ugly cafe racer.

  • Starmag

    Its sadly funny that the manufacturers think they will get young riders faces out of their cell phones with insect styling. Even funnier that the “form equals function” guys never notice the bizarre styling gee gaws that are layered on “performance” bikes.

  • Lloyd Garden

    Cruiser? Looks like a mini bike to me

  • TheMarvelous1310

    Can we just create a Muscle or Fighter category for all of these fast and uncomfortable ‘cruisers’? And I mean all of them-everything from the Moto Guzzi Audace to the Victory Octane to the Yamaha V-MAX, all of those kinds of bikes-just so I know what to look for?

  • ColoradoS14

    I dont think the styling has to be be bad in the production version, the overall profile reminds me of the Ronin and in my book that is not a bad thing. If this is let’s say 60% of the way to the production bike I think it can be salvaged for sure. Now, if only they made it comfortable, I dont need sportbike ergos on a non faired bike…

  • DickRuble
  • João Filipe De Cesaro

    Well…. F*ck definitions.