2012 Husqvarna MotorcyclesSince the 1960s, the scrambler quickly gained traction as the idol motorcycle for those seeking both on- and off-road adventure, attracting the likes of many, including the legendary Steve McQueen.
As the scrambler gained more and more notoriety throughout the years, it was only a matter of time before manufacturers began releasing classic remakes of the scrambler. These started arriving, but with tasteful modern technology.Husqvarna is now in the game; the company owned by BMW unveiled its Concept MOAB at the EICMA 2011 in Milan Monday, which is Husky’s “re-interpretation” of the scrambler.Speaking of the machine’s name and origin, Husqvarna says the MOAB can “trace its origins to our models from that period, legendary bikes that are milestones in the history of off-road biking, especially in the U.S. This is one reason for the name MOAB, after the evocative desert in Utah, which every year draws huge numbers of off-road bikers and provides the eerie background for the sets of many cult movies.”Of course, there’s all the Husky styling, from the red tank to spacious seat and “simple, stripped-down” frame. The MOAB features a 650cc engine in a perimeter frame, and progressive linkage on the swingarm.The Husqvarna Concept MOAB rolls on 17-inch wheels and semi-knobby tires, making it ready for the off-road, offers high and wide handlebars for nice ergos, and a bulky tank for the legs to hug.Speaking of the design, Husky says “The overall design effect divides the bike into distinct sections: the tank, seat, the side panel number holders and the exhaust. The lines are fluid but combine to create a decisive form.“The shape of the tank blends with the seat and rear section, creating a fluidity and immediately distinctive style. This design feature follows the lead of the latest generation of Husqvarna models, such as the concave shape of the front and rear mudguards, and the front number holder. Tradition and high-tech innovation are successfully blended in the details of the new Concept MOAB: the digital instrument panel that is situated in the upper crossbar or the LEDs on the front number holder and the tail-light.“The color scheme, down to every last detail, both in bodywork and mechanics, is taken from Steve McQueen’s immortal H400. The unique form and colors give the MOAB an exhilaration vintage look.”With the Concept MOAB, Husqvarna begins yet another trek in the motorcycle industry, this time chasing the scrambler tradition that has many roots in the US. This comes after Husky unveiled its first-ever street bike earlier this year, the Nuda 900. Ideas are evolving at Husqvarna…wonder what’s next?
This week we ride two genre-departing motorcycles from the established American manufacturers. Jess McKinley gives us his thoughts on the all new Harley-Davidson Pan America Special, and Ron Lieback gives his on Indian’s latest version of the FTR 1200 S.