New Husqvarna big singles break cover

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IOL mot pic jul16 Husqvarna 650 Terra 1

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The Husqvarna TR650 Terra wears full-on hiking boots

Here we go with two new street-legal bikes from Husqvarna. Well, sort of.

To start with, they're the same bike with different wheels - even the suspension of the supermoto TR650 Strada (street in Italian) and dual-purpose TR650 Terra (Italian for land) is the same.

And the engine isn't new at all - it's the incredibly robust Rotax 652cc single that's been used in parent company BMW's F650 since 1993 and still current in the BMW G650 Sertao.

Only in this application it's had a serious kick up the kezorst, in the shape of a new cylinder-head casting with reworked porting and a 10mm spark plug instead the F650's 12mm ignitor, to make space for bigger valves.

Bore and stroke are the same at 100x83mm but compression ratio is up from 11.5 to 12.3:1, the cams are considerably more radical and the fuel-injection system is all new, delivering a quoted 43kW at 7250rpm (compared to the Sertao's 35) and 60Nm at 5750rpm.

SERIOUS PERFORMANCE

IOL mot pic jul16 Husqvarna 650 Strada 2

TR650 Strada is set up for the street.

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Given that the maker quotes kerb weights (with a full load of fuel) of 186kg for the Strada and 183kg for the Terra (without ABS), their performance should be impressive by big-single standards.

The rest of the drivetrain is standard, well-proven Rotax issue, with a cable-operated clutch, five-speed 'box and chain final drive.

The frame is also BMW-derived, a dual-backbone open cradle in rectangular steel tubing with a bolted-on rear sub-frame. The forks, however, are sophisticated 46mm upside-downies and the rear monoshock uses a progressive linkage to modulate the movement of an unusual swing-arm fabricated from special five-sided steel tubing.

PURE HUSQVARNA

The plastics are also pure Husqvarna, with the fuel tank where it should be, above the engine, rather than under the seat as on the BMW's, and the minimum of angular, rather insectoid plastics that certainly don't look like any BMW we've ever seen.

The Strada supermoto version comes with cast wheels sporting street tyres, while the Terra has spoked rims (21” in front and 18” at the rear) shod with serious beetle-crushers.

Braking is entrusted to Italian specialists Brembo with stainless-steel disks and floating callipers at both ends. ABS is standard on the Strada and a factory-fit option on the Terra.

The new TR650 Strada and Terra are built at the Husqvarna plant in Cassinetta di Biandronno, northern Italy. The South African release of the Terra is planned for 20 August, with the Strada to follow in the last quarter of 2012. Prices, as always, when they get here.

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