HUSQVARNA is planning to launch the first of a whole range of new road-oriented bikes in late 2011 as part of a corporate plan to expand away from its traditional off-road market.
The first of these machines will use a 900cc parallel twin based on bored-out version the Rotax-made 800cc twin that powers BMW's F800 models. Now owned by BMW, the firm is leaning on its parent company's experience and resources to develop the new machines.
Although details of the new road bikes are still secret, it's likely the first will be a supermoto, giving clear links to Husqvarna's existing off-road range in terms of styling. Intriguingly, it's not the first time the firm has looked at making just such a model, as the STR concept, designed by Massimo Tamburini and shown back in 2006, long before the BMW takeover of the firm, was originally intended to use the F800 engine until problems striking a deal with Rotax for supply of the units led to the prototype being shown with Husvarna's own single-cylinder motor.
The new machine, while using the F800 engine as its base, is unlikely to carry over any of the STR's styling, since Husqvarna's previous owners, MV Agusta, retained the rights to the design when it sold the brand to BMW. Instead, the odd-looking Mille3 concept revealed late last year could point to the styling direction the firm's future road bike range will take.