Enduros are intended for the terrain, already clear. But they are much cooler than adventure bikes in case of doubt. Used, they are highly valued, not only for all-time classics such as the Yamaha XT 500. Surely all these enduros arenotall off-road? We put on this enduro test in a completely different way, the Husqvarna 701 Enduro had to prove itself in the city, on the country road and highway, but not in the terrain.
The question of all questions today seems to be what Greta Thunberg would say about food, climate or the right means of transport to New York. Motorcyclists are also facing the last question today, but only much more difficult to answer: What would Mr. Cool alias US actor Steve McQueen ride today? As you know, the fearless recke travelled a lot with scamblers, a precursor of the enduro. Last time I read that McQueen even preferred such a device for the environment of his movie "Le Mans" – Scrambler and racetrack?
Without wanting to compare ourselves to HIM – but to move an enduro in an unspecies-appropriate way, we can do that. Although the whole undertaking of "driving the right enduro" is no longer as easy as it used to be: If you go to the Yamaha dealer today, you are recommended the Téneré, at Honda it would be the Africa Twin. Both excellent bikes with a lot of talent off the roads – but somehow not right. Too big, too heavy, to anything.
The Swedes promise rescue from the greatest need. The Husqvarna 701 Enduro is just the thing. There is nothing superfluous about it and in it, even a rev counter was considered superfluous in the high north (yes, it is already clear: Husqvarna belongs to KTM, therefore the huskys are made in Austria. But here the fake news simply fit better into the article).
Electrics and electronics? There is light at the front and back, blinkers also, even on the side, by the way, the lonely spark plug is supplied with electricity. Pretty basic the whole thing, so for us just right. The husky is small, compact and light (full 158 kilos). The tank holds 13 litres, there is a second fuel reservoir at an additional cost, then a total of 25 litres are available for firing.
Now not long torched, but into the anti-jungle of all that is alphalted. But what is it? The 701 Enduro sorts out a lot of people before the start. Built-up is better off-road, which is why the seat height is very high at 920 millimeters. Short-legged or small people? Would have to install support wheels, which would affect the desired coolness somewhat.
If the leg length is sufficient, there is not much on the tiny LC display that could distract you. Then let's ignore it. So let's go.
This is completely unproblematic. The engine with 690 cubic meters and 75 hp has to be approached with slightly increased gas, that's just the way with single cylinders. Driving at low speeds is somehow not his thing, he acknowledges such treatment with jerking. But with more speed it goes fast and now the sound changes from inconspicuous to energetic.
75 hp is theoretically a lot for an enduro. In reality, this is no different. What seems too low for your road bike attracts you really strongly. It's hard to believe: Those who continue to push at full throttle in the sixth will drive at a speed of more than 190 km/h after a long start. We wanted it unreasonable, but here comes the ultimate tip for those motorcyclists who want to do their rounds next year and not only in the next life: let that be. Missing windscreen is known from Naked Bikes, and the upright sitting position on the Husqvarna 701 Enduro with outstretched arms does nothing, but nothing better. In addition, there is the short wheelbase as well as the coarse-stolled mixed tyres, which above all cause trouble for the front wheel – driving fun is somehow different.
On the country road, the picture changes completely. Here it's just fun, the powerful machine animates to intermediate sprints and the slightly shaky tuning is not quite so noticeable. The comfort is good due to the long spring travels of the fully adjustable chassis, but the seat is very hard.
Nevertheless, two things are fighting each other. Let's start positively: the frame looks like nothing can bend or break it. This extremely torsion-resistant backbone of the machine makes the reactions predictable and leads to a fairly stable driving feeling. On the other hand, the compromise tyres of the Conti TKC 80 are struggling. They work quite well in the terrain (but we expressly do not want that today), rather so medium on the road. Is the road cool, slippery and humid as in our test: Probably the one who still has a two-wheeler in the garage. Alternatively, waiting for the 2020 model has a traction control. In Swedish Austria, we know what this is good for.
Such an enduro-like sitting position pretty directly on the front wheel is necessary for mastering the machine in heavy terrain – it is ideal in the city. Manoeuvrable, flitty and perfectly manageable, you could whirl through the four-wheeled slalom poles called the car despite the wide handlebars, meander to the poles at the traffic lights to your heart's content, turn the start into a wheelie – if it were not forbidden. So this is just as info.
So, did the experiment work? Well, it is difficult to draw a clear conclusion. For long-distance travel, the serial tank is small, seat position, seat and chassis on the way to the destination rather strenuous.
Otherwise, the Husqvarna 701 Enduro is a real fun device. As a first motorcycle she certainly does not play the ideal cast in the garage, but who wants and can, should try it. How nice but short wheelbase and 75 hp can harmonize!
Finally, a small drop of wormwood: If Mama KTM is not famous for her restrained pricing, the daughter does the same to her: The motorcycle with practically zero equipment and little inclination to operate a passenger costs 10,395 euros. Congratulations to those who can afford it.
So: If you are looking for a moped with a class engine, great chassis, low weight and brutal brakes, but hardly anything else, you can check in. Anyone who thinks unreasonableness is reasonable in a deeper sense is right here. For everyone else: "please stay behind".
The test bike was provided to us by Heller & Soltau in St. Michaelisdonn.