Husqvarna returns to SA

Words by Morne Labuschagne | Photos courtesy of Husqvarna SA

South African motorcycle enthusiasts are in for a real treat with the return of Husqvarna Motorcycles, a BMW Group company, to South Africa. To mark the occasion, the company is launched a whole new and exciting range of motocross and enduro bikes; the supermoto combination on- and off-road motorbikes and Husqvarna’s proud comeback to street bike models – the Nuda 900 and 900R.

The new importer and distributor of the bikes in South Africa, Namibia and Lesotho is CMH Marine and Leisure, and it will be the first time that there's an official distributor for the Husqvarna Motorcycle brand in SA. Previously one could find some of the models, but that was a result of individual buyers making their own import arrangements.

Partnering with CMH Marine and Leisure is a great opportunity for Husqvarna Motorcycles to develop and expand the Husqvarna network, and more importantly, provide its customers with a premium level of support and service.

Fred Fensham, General Manager of CMH Marine and Leisure is thrilled about the appointment. “The opportunity to expand our leisure division with such a quality brand is huge for us, and will complement and endorse our current business. With this link to the leisure market in SA, and an understanding of the trends, dealer network and support structure required to launch and grow the Husqvarna Motorcycles brand locally, the future growth and establishment of the brand is very exciting.

He added that providing an exceptional level of support and a world-class service for the brand was equally important to them. "To ensure that the brand’s integrity is in no way compromised, all prospective dealers undergo rigorous technical training before being accepted, thus guaranteeing our clients a superior experience when making an investment with the Husky family!” The launch held on 26 July 2012 included a full roll-out of a new and high-profile dealer network, which covers all major centres in South Africa.

Motorcycle enthusiasts will know Husky's history, but for others it may come as a surprise that Husqvarna is the third oldest motorcycle manufacturer in the world, having manufactured its first motorised two-wheelers in 1903. The first model was only capable of attaining 50km/h, but now the company is famous for world-beating motocross and enduro machines that have dominated these disciplines in the ‘60s and '70s, winning an impressive 14 Motocross World Championships in the 125cc, 250cc and 500cc divisions, 24 Enduro World Championships and 11 wins in the notoriously tough Baja 1000 desert race. More recently, Husqvarna secured numerous titles in the Enduro World Championships and in 2011 it took the Constructors Championship in the E1 and E2 classes. It also finished the 2012 Dakar Rally without any breakdowns or technical failures to secure a stage win and a total of six podium places.

In 1977 Husqvarna was acquired by the Swedish industrial group Electrolux, and in 1987 the motorcycle division was sold to the Castiglioni family's Cagiva Group, now MV Agusta SpA, for a reported €93 million. The manufacturing base remained in Varese, Italy, and it is from here that CMH Marine and Leisure will import the models.

There’s already been great excitement in the market about the brand's arrival, which has garnered huge respect from the international community, especially from an off-road perspective. “It has won 82 world titles in this field,” said Fred.

Although pricing for South Africa is still being worked on, the Nuda 900 will cost you about £8 100 (R105 300 at exchange rate of R13 to the pound) in the UK and about $13 995 in Australia (R116 158 at a rate of R8 to the Australian dollar). Now that the full range is available, CMH Marine and Leisure will be monitoring the market’s reaction to the new models, and then after about 18 months the model offering will be refined depending on demand.

So if you are in the market for a new bike or have been toying with the idea, there’s a Husky waiting for you to test drive it and make it your own. Visit for a list of the dealer networks.

About the range Husqvarna has built a reputation as one of the most storied motorcycle manufacturers in the world today, and their expertise in the field is no more evident than in its new range of bikes. This is what you can look forward to.

Nuda 900 and Nuda 900R - True street cred!

The Nuda 900 and Nuda 900R are two motorcycles built with soul and passion, and backed up by high performance developed through years of competition experience. At less than 385 pounds dry weight, its design reflects Husqvarna’s sporting pedigree. This new configuration not only delivers a more aggressive racing feel and sound at maximum performance, it also vastly improves the power and torque (>100 hp and 100 Nm) characteristics of the engine. Not forgetting the higher capacity of 900cc, it retains the fluid nature of power delivery at small throttle openings and low revs. The “R” model gets higher-end brakes and suspension, but both bikes will benefit from Husky accessories, including windscreens and saddlebags. Developed as a crossover model between a supermoto and a naked bike, it is sporty yet elegant, sleek yet purposeful. The Nuda is bold Italian styling at its very finest and a thrilling riding experience

Husqvarna TE310 - the best of all worlds

A better choice of weapon you wouldn't expect, and the one chosen by Antoine Meo, the French champion to contest the E2 enduro category against competitors racing with significantly more powerful engines (up to 450 cc). Boasting a rare balance of performance, weight and maneuverability, it's just as suitable for the passionate amateur racer in challenges among friends.

The compact frame, a mixture of round, oval and rectangular tubing, has been fine-tuned to further improve strength and rigidity. To improve stability and maneuverability the TE310 features a new rear Kayaba shock, adjustable for both high and low speeds in both compression and rebound and a more rigid setting for the Kayaba 48 mm fork. The Brembo braking system has large diameter braking discs (front 260 mm), controlled by compact twin piston floating calipers (front), and single piston in the rear. The engine weighs in at just 22kg and its compactness offers greater torque and power, with an increase in cylinder capacity to 302.4 cc (bore and stroke 82 x 57.35 mm). A specially developed exhaust system further improves performance. The basic design is unchanged: single cylinder, twin cam, with 4 titanium valves, Mikuni electronic injection with 45mm throttle body and double CDI mapping, selectable by a switch on the handlebars. A practical system for changing engine performance to match the terrain and running conditions, selecting between 'hard' for top performance, and a 'soft' setting for less aggressive power delivery. Reliability is ensured by the new cooling system, with a thermostat and electric fan to prevent overheating in the tougher and slower trials.

Husqvarna TE250 - a world beater

This well-designed bike gets better every season thanks to the work of the Husqvarna racing team and R&D technicians. The new model guarantees better performance, both in terms of mechanics and engine output. The 2012 model Husqvarna TE250 single cylinder, twin cam, 4 valve titanium engine still only weighs 22kg and remains the lightest 250 cc enduro engine on the market. To ensure optimum reliability, even on the slowest and most demanding circuits, the cooling system now has a thermostat and electric fan. A double mapping configuration of the control panel is provided (soft/hard) and controlled by a switch on the handlebars. The wet sump crankcase houses a 6-speed gearbox and the clutch is hydraulically controlled. More than this ... what can you ask for?

Did you know?

• Husqvarna is the original name of a town in southern Sweden. Today, in the same town (now spelled Huskvarna) there's a factory museum exhibiting all former and present branches of production.

• The company started off as a metalworking business in 1689 producing bicycles.

• The turn of the 19th century saw Husqvarna take the leap into motorcycle manufacturing.

• Husqvarna started with their 550 cc four stroke V twin motor in 1920 after they opened their own engine factory.

• In the mid 1950s, Husqvarna made the leap into the
US market, with its lightweight two-stroke models; the 175 cc single-cylinder motor producing 9 hp, known as the ‘Silver Arrow’.

• Since becoming part of the BMW Group in 2007, Husqvarna has grown from a strictly off-road motorcycle company to offering supermoto and street machines that are sought-after around the globe.

• Husqvarna's success is largely contributed to its achievements in motorsport. Its models combine the history and race pedigree of Husqvarna with the technological innovations and engineering prowess of the BMW Group, and flair of Italian styling.