Just a couple of months after its launch, Husqvarna has axed up to $1200 off the prices of its new TR650 Strada and Terra bikes.
As part of its 110th anniversary celebrations, Husqvarna has reduced prices on many of its range, including the year-old Nuda 900 which has been slashed a massive $3500 on the 2012 non-ABS models.
But it comes as a surprise that the recently released Strada and Terra would be discounted so soon.
The bikes are the brand’s second road bike in more than 50 years after the launch of the Nuda 900 last year.
The TR650 Strada and Terra have Italian style, Germanic efficiency, more power than all but its Austrian competitors and a bargain Japanese ticket price.
Originally launched at $8995 (+ORC) for the Terra and $9695 for the Terra, those prices are now $7995 and $8495.
Based on the ever-reliable BMW G 650 GS, the Italian-made black Strada (street in Italian) has road-oriented alloy wheels and rubber (110/80 R19; 140/80 R17) while the red Terra (earth) has spoked off-road wheels (90/90-21; 140/80-18).
Like the Nuda this bike gets a healthy dose of Germanic influence with a reworked version of the G 650 GS engine and BMW’s “canbus” system derived from their cars.
BMW has since sold Husqvarna to Pierer Industries AG, a company controlled by KTM CEO Stefan PIerer which recently bought Husaberg, reuniting the originally Swedish companies.
All TR650 bikes come as LAMS bikes with 48hp (36kW), the same as the BMW G 650 GS.
However, the throttle plate restrictor can be removed if the owner shows the dealer their open licence. Cost is a $10 part and labour, but dealers are expected to waive this.
That lifts the power to 58hp (43kW) which makes it more powerful than anything in its class, except the 690 KTMs.
Changes to the BMW engine include lighter pistons, new ECU, modified cams, bigger valve diameters and increased compression ratio, requiring 95RON fuel.
Despite the power boost, fuel economy is a frugal 4.3L/100km at 120km/h which gives a range of better than 350km on a 14-litre tank. You can squeeze 400km out of the tank if you stay under 90km/h.
Husky has also reworked the suspension and narrow steel frame of the BMW to produce a bike that is agile yet stable enough to accommodate the extra power output. The front upside-down forks are non-adjustable while the rear shock has preload and rebound adjustment.
Both are fitted with Brembo brakes with a 320 single disc in front and 240mm on the rear. The Strada gets switchable ABS while the Terra doesn’t have ABS.
They share the same engine, suspension, frame etc, only the wheels and rubber are different which makes the seat 15mm higher on the Terra (875mm) with its 12-inch front and 18-inch rear wheel. The sophisticated instrument pod has three screens. On the left are eight warning lights, in the centre is an analogue tacho and on the right is an LCD screen with info such as fuel economy, odo, trip, reserve trip, temperature, service indicator, black ice warning and time. There is also a built-in immobiliser.
It oozes Italian style with its narrow waist, aggressive insect-like minimalistic styling and twin high-set exhausts. The truck-like mirrors are the only blemish to the svelte lines.
There are plenty of accessories including off-road pegs, soft bags, hard panniers derived from Givi, heated grips, handguards, alloy bash plate, windshield and alarm.
Despite its motocross looks, it’s actually quite comfortable and should be capable of touring with the right accessories.
With the restrictor removed, the engine is willing and smooth with far more beans than the G 650 GS.
Both bikes perform well over bumpy B roads and take gravel roads in their stride. Even the Strada with its more road-oriented rubber is manageable on the dirt.
The brakes lack initial bite, but that’s just fine on the dirt. They have reasonable feel, except the rear brake which you just stab to get the back out for corner entry.
Both bikes respond well to rider input, especially moving forward and back to weight or lighten the front wheel.
I love the nimble handling, the plush ride, engine response and refinement and the comprehensive instrumentation.
The only complaints are the detachable MX-style petrol cap instead of a hinged cap and the grab handles on the rear rack which are right next to the twin underseat mufflers.
But these are minor grumbles for a bike that will not only transport you comfortably to work, but also take you around Australia on the roads less travelled.
Husqvarna TR650 Strada and Terra
Prices: $8495 (Strada), $7995 (Terra)
Engine: 652cc, 4-valve, DOHC water-cooled single
Power: 43kW @ 7250rpm
Torque: 60Nm @ 5750rpm
Fuel: Premium 95 RON, 14L tank
Fuel economy: 4.3L/100km @ 120km/h; 3.2L/100km at 90km/h
Max speed: 175km/h (Strada), 170km/h (Terra)
Transmission: 5-speed, wet clutch, chain drive
Chassis: steel bridge frame
Suspension: Sachs USD 46mm forks, Sach shock with spring preload and rebound damping adjustment, 190mm travel
Brakes: Brembo 300/240mm discs with floating single caliper (switchable ABS on Strada)
Wheels: 2.50 x 19; 3.50 x 17 (Strada); 1.85 x 21; 3.00 x 18 (Terra)
Tyres: 110/80 R19; 140/80 R17 (Strada); 90/90 R21; 140/80 R18 (Terra)
Strada dimensions (mm): 2248 (length), 875 (width), 860 (seat)
Terra dimensions (mm): 2267 (length), 875 (width), 875 (seat)
Dry weight: 186kg (Strada), 183kg (Terra)