What is it?
You might think this is a motard, but the Nuda’s name is already a good indication of what it is. A nudie (Nuda means “nude” in Italian). Or a naked road bike to be precise. That means less plastic, trimmings and fairings with the frame visible. Oh, and also the engine with that red-hot cam cover. Sexy. The engine and frame of the bike are borrowed from the BMW F 800 GS.
The engine that Husqvarna uses to power the Nuda is the same parallel twin that BMW slots into its F 800 GS. This is because BMW had owned Husqy for a few years with positive collaboration between the two companies. However, the original 798cc BMW engine was bored to 898cc for the Nuda. So now it kicks out 77kW and 100Nm instead of 63kW and 83Nm. Like the F 800 GS it employs electronic fuel injection and the same six-speed gearbox. But that’s where the similarities end as the Beemer is a purring little kitten compared to the Nuda.
Style, instruments and equipment
This bike has style. Even if you wore two-tone khaki and long wooly socks you would look great on this thing. If I had one (I would so love that) I would park this bike on a little stage in my living room every night and look at it rather than the TV.
The Nuda has a no-nonsense, streetfighter look, with interesting, but beautiful, curves and bits, like its sleek-and-sexy white rear end, black rims and the tiny upside-down front mudguard.
The no-nonsense attitude continues in the instrument and equipment department. There’s just the digital speedo and analogue rev counter. ABS is an optional extra.
The engine has two engine map settings. One is for full power and the second limits power delivery. It’s a type of rain mode that provides smoother power delivery, which helps on wet surfaces or for inexperienced riders who will be intimidated by the Nuda’s aggressive pull away.
Although the Nuda’s maximum torque is only available at 7000r/min it doesn’t feel that way. It pulls like a fighter jet right from the bottom of the rev range. Whenever you twist that throttle there’s more than enough power to fly past the lazy Honda Ballades in front of you. And it goes all the way, up to 190km/h and even beyond. But around 190 you’ll feel like you are going to lift off and leave for outer space. Remember, the Nuda has no wind protection.
The performance is thrilling and it feels like a light and very powerful motard. It also sounds incredible.
Ride and Handling
If you get off a 1200 GS and onto a Husqy Nuda you will probably get a spasm in your behind when you hit the narrow, hard seat. Good luck with that. If you are familiar with harder bike seats you’ll survive. The Nuda is not like your favourite lazy chair; it’s a bit uncomfortable. The ride is quite hard. There are 48mm Sachs forks in front and a Sachs shock at the rear, but they are quite stiff. The R-model’s suspension is adjustable all around.
Furthermore, the clutch is not easy beneath your fingers. It will tire your left hand when riding for a long time. The gearbox sometimes needs an extra-hard shift from the left boot.
But you will have the time of your life on the Husqy. It will wheelie and slide and wheelie for days without end. It feels super light and weaves through traffic like a ninja. And you can certainly cruise around town on Sunday morning if that’s your thing. But beware: it will most probably do something stupid when passing church-goers beside the road − like wheelie through them.
Oh yes, it has brakes too, which do an excellent job − especially in front. Perfect for stoppies.
Like: The looks, the power, the sound.
Dislike: Uuuhm, the fact that it makes you ride like you’re possessed.
Verdict and rating
It’s not a bike to ride off road or on the long open road. It could be one of the most impractical sets of wheels out there, but it will have your heart racing like a lovesick teenager’s. 10/10
Ducati Streetfighter 848, Suzuki GSR 750, Kawasaki Z800, Triumph Street Triple.
Specifications for Husqvarna Nuda 900
- Engine 898cc, liquid-cooled, parallel twin
- Gearbox six-speed, final drive chain
- Power 77kW@8500r/min
- Torque 100Nm@7000r/min
- Weight 195kg (wet and fuelled)
- Seat height 870mm
- Fuel capacity 13litres
- Fuel consumption +- 6litres/100km
- Tank range +- 216km
- Warranty and servicing Two-year, unlimited kilometres warranty. Service intervals every 10 000km.
- Price R99 500 (std), R115 900 (R-model), R119 900 (R-model with ABS)
- Ridden by Bikeroutes March 2013
- Review by Willem van der Berg
More info from www.husqvarna-motorcycles.co.za
A big thank you to Leander Pienaar from Jetsport in Bloemfontein for lending us the Nuda for three days and not worrying that a maniac like Willem was riding it.
Contact Leander with your Husqvarna enquiries at 051 448 0993/4 or 082 922 1108.