Husqvarna introduces the Norden 901 Expedition.
If there is one thing that is very hard to resist for any manufacturer in the ADV segment it is getting bigger. Look at it this way: R1250GS to the R1250GSA, the Ducati Multistrada to the Multistrada Rally, the Triumph Tiger to the Tiger Rally, the Harley-Davidson Pan America to the Pan America Special, the Honda Africa Twin to the Africa Twin A/S. You get the idea without that list continuing. Making a bigger version of the base ADV machine is very tempting.
In some regards the benefits are apparent. More range from a larger tank, extra protection from burlier skid plates, spoked wheels rather than cast, more ground clearance, knobbier tires. It all sounds good but there are a few subtle downsides. The bikes are heavier, the seats are often higher, the aggressive knobbies are not as enjoyable on the pavement (where most of the riding is invariably done), utilizing the extra fuel capacity can make a heavy bike even heavier still. There is one more downside that is less subtle. The bigger, beefier version always cost more. Good for the manufacturer but perhaps not as good for the rider’s wallet.
When Husqvarna Norden 901 was introduced a couple of years ago and it fell within a nice niche – the middle-weight ADV. There wasn’t much else in the category and, as Husqvarna illustrated in its opening marketing campaign, the smaller size and rugged nature of the new bike allowed it to tackle some quite intense off-road action. Well, the new variant of the bike, the Norden 901 Expedition, seems to want to tackle some even rougher terrain.
The big upgrade is the WP XPLOR suspension that gives the bike 240mm of travel both front and back as opposed to the 220mm front and 215mm rear for the standard model. The ground clearance is up 18mm to 270mm for that slightly larger log crossing and boulder bashing. Other included accessories are a tour windshield, heated grips and seats, a beefier bash plate, and side bags – all of which bring the weight up 10.5 kgs over the base model. There are a few more add-ons specific to the Norden 901 Expedition which land the MSRP up from $15,699 for the base model to $17,199. All in all and compared to other models, the price increase is modest and the upgrades desirable. And, at that sticker, the price may make the Norden 901 Expedition a tempting choice over some of the larger ADV bikes.