The 2023 Husqvarna Norden 901 Expedition is built for exactly what its name implies. It takes the capable Norden 901 travel enduro, bolts on a heaping dose of helpful touring accessories and, most importantly, features upgraded long-travel suspension to ensure wherever your dart lands on the map, you’ll have everything you need to get there.
The middleweight Norden 901 and the Expedition variant use the thoroughly trail-proven KTM 890 Adventure platforms as their starting points, giving quite a bit of credence to the rugged bones underneath the swish Scandinavian brand’s designs.
Of course, the only way to test a motorcycle with Expedition in its name is to actually embark on one. I headed off to rural Grabouw, South Africa, outside Capetown, where adventure of the highest order was in store. I would explore excellent paved sections like the unforgettable Franschhoek Pass, traverse countless miles of dusty hardpack dirt roads, and tackle challenging trails that would test this editor and the Husqvarna in equal measure. The Norden 901 Expedition passed with flying colors, and now, we’ll get on with the Fast Facts.
- Husky upped the standard Norden’s performance and touring ante by selecting components—mainly from the brand’s accessory catalog—that appeal to the more adventurous contingent of ADV riders. Starting with creature comforts, a tall touring windscreen offers ample wind protection, and is bolstered by a heated seat and grips. Meanwhile, a centerstand will surely come in handy for maintenance or road-/trail-side repairs, accompanied by a beefy 4mm-thick aluminum skid plate, GPS mount, and 18-liter soft Side Bag Set ticks the touring boxes. On the performance end, the 890 Adventure R’s lauded WP Xplore suspension imbues the Norden with 9.4 inches of wheel travel at either end, increasing ground clearance to an ample 10.6 inches. Lastly, the standard’s optional Explorer mode is standard. A hefty list of bolt-on bits collectively cost far more than the $1300 upcharge over the standard Norden 901, representing a serious value.
- 889ccs of pure fun power the Norden 901 platform. Yanked out of the Ready To Race brand’s stable, the proven parallel-twin engine features an alluring 270-degree crank that helps tease out a boisterous personality and accompanying exhaust burble. With claimed peaks of 105 horsepower and 74 ft-lbs of torque, the Norden’s mill hits the sweet spot. It is always enough thrilling punch to attack any road, pass at freeway speeds, or hit trails head-on without becoming excessive like many of today’s liter-class ADVs. User-friendly low-end and midrange power is highlighted in slower, technical off-road sections. When the opportunity arises on faster two-track trails or out on the open road, the silky counterbalanced engine has plenty of puff leftover at the top.
- An up/down quickshifter is standard on the 2023 Husqvarna Norden 901 Expedition’s six-speed transmission. Helping you explore the gears is a handy bi-directional quickshifter that offers sporty throw and trouble-free transitions through the gearbox. The harder on the gas you are, the more refined it feels, whereas cruising along at more