Spy photographers have spotted what appears to be a café racer-styled prototype with what looks like the Single-cylinder engine and frame of the KTM 690 Duke. Now, the test rider’s KTM-branded helmet and jacket may foreshadow an orange-clad future for the finished product, but the H-branded gloves and café racer style suggest the new model will instead wear Husqvarna blue, white and yellow once the camouflage is lifted.

While a Duke-based 701 Supermoto isn’t a surprise given Husqvarna’s off-road heritage, a café racer fits into the new direction for the brand, following its acquisition by KTM. In an interview with Australian Motorcycle News, KTM CEO, Stefan Pierer says Husqvarna’s street bikes will differentiate themselves from the Austrian brand by adopting a “New Classic” theme; an old-school style without looking, well, old.

“These will all be distinctly different models badged as Husqvarnas, with a quite different concept than the equivalent KTM,” Pierer tells AMCN. “You will see a real cool-looking power cruiser, you will see modern classics combined with state of the art components which will bring back the kinds of bike you had in the early ’70 into the ’80s, but in a modern context. They won’t be retro like the others – you know, old fashioned, cheap, recycled junk.”

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The Husqvarna 701 Café Racer, following the naming convention established by Husky’s 701 Supermoto concept, will be yet another new Husky model using a KTM powerplant. On the Supermoto, the 690cc Single claims 67 hp and we expect about the same here.

We’ve superimposed the side view of the prototype with an image of the 690 Duke below to highlight some of the differences.

Visually, we see styling hints similar to the 401 Svartpilen and Vitpilen concepts based on the 390 Duke platform that are slated to enter production as 2017 models.


Even accounting for the rider’s load, the prototype’s tail is lower and flatter than on the Duke, which means a new subframe. Rear suspension travel appears to be considerably reduced. The engine appears identical, but the muffler lies under the belly instead of rising up towards the tail. The Duke’s handlebar is replaced by clip-ons mounted at the same level as the upper triple clamp for a more aggressive forward reach.

The frame, engine, radiator, swingarm, wheels and front fender appear to be straight off of the Duke, but some of that may change before the 701 Café Racer is ready for production. The bike being tested here is clearly in unfinished prototype form. Check out the overly large footpeg mounts drilled to accommodate various positions as engineers hone in on the best setup.

It’s likely we’ll see this new Husky – at least in prototype form – at the EICMA show in Milan, Italy, this fall.

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    Looks interesting. I deeply truly love this kind of bike.

    • Old MOron

      I love this kind of bike, too, but this one is not so interesting to me. You see, it really does look like a re-badged Duke. I know Pierer is making some big talk about how these will be “quite different concept than the equivalent KTM,” but Dennis’s GIF speaks truth to power.

      Compare this to what Husky did with BMW’s basic bikes. The TR650’s and especially the Nuda were significantly different from the Beemers. While BMW seemed to give Husqvarna freedom to develop something new, Pierer seems to be keeping Husky under his orange thumb. No wonder Gas Gas told him off.

      • JMDGT

        The hope would be that Husky does the proper enhancements to make it a cafe style bike. It is a great platform to start with. Time will tell.

  • Infadel Macgee

    Looks nothing like a café racer

    • spiff

      It does have the correct stance, we will have to wait and see how the body looks. I like the idea of a super single. Aprilia should play with their sxv and mxv to come up with something like this. They can take what they have learned and make the new one more reliable out of the box. Of course the Ape would be a twin.

  • DickRuble

    “They won’t be retro like the others – you know, old fashioned, cheap, recycled junk.”– indeed, this does look newly fashioned, expensive, brand new poseur junk. With a pregnant or obese test rider to top it off.

  • Reid

    Two thoughts: 1.) This 701 “cafe” whatever is probably destined to be the future of the existing 690 Duke. KTM’s replacement for the mid-sized Duke will be something like an 800cc vtwin machine, which is really what the company needs to be competitive at the price point. I love my 690 Duke but it is simply too expensive to get a fair shake in the mid-displacement naked marked, especially with things like the two- and three-cylinder Yamaha FZs running around. 2.) I would like to purchase these clip-on bars for my 690 Duke, since it seems like nobody in the aftermarket segment wants to try to tackle clip-ons that will fit without smacking the Duke’s tank.

  • Auphliam

    Looks like somebody just crafted a tail section and muffler for a Duke. It may be a good aftermarket Duke appearance package (Make your Duke look like this!), but a Husky it certainly ain’t

  • looks good for me..

  • Greybeard1

    “Even accounting for the rider’s load,”.
    This is like the third or fourth test rider I’ve seen who is a “person of substance”.
    Maybe if retirement gets boring I could pick up a gig!
    What am I saying…..


    I love the looks of a café bike but they really are uncomfortable even for us skinnies.