RIDING THE HUSKY 701 LONG RANGE: THE WRAP

This week we’ve been playing with the Husqvarna 701 Long Range. The line between adventure bike and dual-sport bike is getting very blurry. The Long Range seems to fall on the adventure side of the line, yet most of the machine is identical to the Husky 701 Enduro. That’s a dual-sport bike in almost everyone’s book–albeit a very big dual-sport bike. The 701 Long Range is also one of the very few products that is only available as a Husqvarna–no KTM version and certainly no GasGas version.

Wanna ride 300 miles off-road without stopping? The Husky 701 Long Range is tougher than most riders. The price is  $12,499.

To be fair, the foundation of the bike is the 693cc single cylinder motor and the trellis frame that inhabit both the 701 Enduro and the KTM 690 Enduro. But the addition of a 3.2 gallon front tank to the 3.4-gallon rear tank completely changes the character of the motorcycle.  It’s huge–but not necessarily in a bad way. The bike now feels more like a KTM 790 or some other middleweight twin. It already had the power to pull that off. The motor is wicked fast and has an exhaust note that even sounds like a twin. But all of the additional fuel capacity is in the wings outside of the radiator shrouds. On the 701 Enduro, no fuel is carried up there because it’s all in the subframe under the seat. The increased capacity makes the bike super wide and changes the way you ride it. It’s awkward to sit down through turns and stick your foot out, moto-style. It feels a little more natural to stand through the turns like you do on a big twin. Once you make a mental adjustment, it actually works well both ways.

Under the extra fuel tank, the Long Range has the same engine, chassis and suspension as the 701 Enduro.

The increase in capacity gives the bike well over 300 miles of range. That’s more than anything in the combined KTM/Husqvarna product lines. Some fuel management is necessary. The two tanks are independent, so if you want balance, you should switch from one to another during a long ride. A handlebar-mounted electronic switch lets you do that easily and a fuel light warns you when the currently selected tank is getting low. Yes, you can tell when one tank is full and the other is empty. And you can definitely tell when both tanks are full. It adds almost 40 pounds to the bike, which starts off weighing around 340 pounds empty. Is that heavy or is that light? It depends. It’s freakishly light compared to a twin, crushingly heavy for a dual-sport. Even without fuel, the Long Range is 20 pounds heavier than the standard Enduro.

Mark Tilley got a little sketchy in the course of getting used to the Long Range.

When you ride the Long Range off road, you simply have to tell yourself that the additional width up front doesn’t matter. It doesn’t in most situations, as long as you keep a reasonable fuel level. But it still provides a big visual distraction. Otherwise, there are some of the normal adventure bike constraints you have to deal with. The bike’s default is anti-lock braking on and traction control on. This isn’t like the traction control you have on any of KTM’s dedicated off-road bikes, even though it has the same multiswitch on the handlebar. It’s much more extreme. Mode one is strictly for street use and drastically limits the bike’s performance in the dirt. Mode two is less intrusive and can be useful on dirt roads. If you venture onto single track or ride in the sand, you can turn the system completely off. Same goes for ABS. You have to repeat the process every time you restart the bike.

The multiswitch on the bar is the same as the one you find on Husky’s off-road bikes, but has a very different function.

The biggest problem with the long range is that the bike is tougher than I am. I look forward to fuel stops on long trips, but with the Husky I have no excuse to take a break. The solution, of course, is to ride with someone else who has a much smaller tank and blame them for all the stops. It’s the best of both worlds. For the full test of the Husqvarna 701 Long Range, check out the April 2001 print edition of Dirt Bike.

DAKAR IS DONE

Ricky Brabec. Photo: Antonin Vincent DPPI

The 2021 Dakar Rally finished it’s 13-day trek through Saudi Arabia today. Ricky Brabec finished second to his teammate Kevin Benavides, making it two in a row for the Monster Energy Honda team. Utah native Skyler Howes was the top privateer in fifth overall, making his second year in the top 10. The two of them often train together with coach Jimmy Lewis and are acknowledged as excellent navigators. Congrats to both of them! For extended coverage of the 2021 Dakar Rally, click here.

BEHIND THE BARS: STEELE CREEK 2007


The Behind the Bars video series on Racer TV provide a great look back at some of the classis GNCC races over the years. This month the subject is the 2007 Steele Creek event, which was an epic win for Barry Hawk in extreme conditions. It’s worth checking out!.

H1 SUPERCROSS

As most fan know, Supercross season starts tomorrow in Houston, for the first of three rounds held in NRG Stadium. Here’s how the season is planned at this point. As always, live results will be posted here at Dirtbikemagazine.

  • ROUND 1 – Saturday, January 16
    Houston, TX (E) | NRG Stadium
  • ROUND 2 – Tuesday, January 19
    Houston, TX (E) | NRG Stadium
  • ROUND 3 – Saturday, January 23
    Houston, TX (E) | NRG Stadium
  • ROUND 4 – Saturday, January 30
    Indianapolis, IN (E) | Lucas Oil Stadium
  • ROUND 5 – Tuesday, February 2
    Indianapolis, IN (E) | Lucas Oil Stadium
  • ROUND 6 – Saturday, February 6
    Indianapolis, IN (E) | Lucas Oil Stadium
  • ROUND 7 – Saturday, February 13
    Orlando, FL (E) | Camping World Stadium
  • ROUND 8 – Saturday, February 20
    Orlando, FL (W) | Camping World Stadium
  • ROUND 9 – Saturday, March 6
    Daytona Beach, FL (W) | Daytona International Speedway
  • ROUND 10 – Saturday, March 13
    Arlington, TX (W) | AT&T Stadium
  • ROUND 11 – Tuesday, March 16
    Arlington, TX (W) | AT&T Stadium
  • ROUND 12 – Saturday, March 20
    Arlington, TX (W) | AT&T Stadium
  • ROUND 13 – Saturday, April 10
    Atlanta, GA (W) | Atlanta Motor Speedway
  • ROUND 14 – Tuesday, April 13
    Atlanta, GA (W) | Atlanta Motor Speedway
  • ROUND 15 – Saturday, April 17
    Atlanta, GA (W) | Atlanta Motor Speedway
  • ROUND 16 – Saturday, April 24
    Salt Lake City, UT (E) | Rice-Eccles Stadium
  • ROUND 17 – Saturday, May 1
    Salt Lake City, UT (E/W) | Rice-Eccles Stadium

LOOKING BACK: 1996 BBR 400

There aren’t many project bikes from 25 years ago that actually look awesome by today’s standards. In the April 1996 issue of Dirt Bike we got to ride an early Brown Brothers project. It was a Honda CR400 motor in a original aluminum chassis, and even today, it’s pretty exciting stuff. Back then, aluminum frames were the stuff of science fiction. The bike was the prototype for a kit that BBR sold for a while before the pit bike boom consumed all their attention. Great stuff!

That’s all this week. Going Riding!

–Ron Lawson

 

 

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