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18th Pictures

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1/18
Spot on, curtain up, the arena free for two fun bike artists.

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2/18
Husqvarna Nuda 900.

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3/18
Water-cooled two-cylinder four-stroke in-line engine.

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4/18
Construction site of the Nuda: chassis including strut.

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5/18
Wide handlebars, high center of gravity, long suspension travel: this chassis layout robs the great Nuda neutrality.

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6/18
The word fun is emblazoned in large letters on the program for today.

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7/18
What enhances fun, what hinders enjoyment? The curves are calling to find out exactly that.

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8/18
KTM 790 Duke.

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9/18
There’s more of the engine to see in the bridge frame of the KTM.

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10/18
No construction site: Your chassis works much more predictably, trust fits.

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11/18
The 790 Duke runs nimble, neutral and puzzle-free through radii, a pleasure with a guaranteed grin.

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12/18
Not a gram of fat on the steel bridge frame, a cheeky 105 hp output from a parallel twin that is forced to restless by a crank pin offset of 75 degrees – sounds delicious.

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13/18
The Duke will too "The scalpel" called.

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14/18
Ideal terrain for the two bikes.

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15/18
Driving fun is guaranteed here.

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16/18
In comparison: Husqvarnas Nuda, which as a German-Italian fun vehicle caused short and violent storms of enthusiasm, and the current 790 Duke from KTM.

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17/18
Your engine was, is and will be an invigorating force, pure happiness hormone, distributed over two cylinders.

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18/18
The better, more modern and much easier to ride motorcycle is the KTM.

Husqvarna Nuda 900 and KTM 790 Duke

Fun bikes in comparison

Spot on, curtain up, ring free for two fun bike artists: The Husqvarna Nuda 900, which, as a German-Italian fun vehicle, caused short and violent storms of enthusiasm, and the current KTM 790 Duke.

Passenger comfort, wind protection and common sense? Not interested now. The word fun is emblazoned in large letters on the program for today. Pure fun. For him the current one seems KTM 790 Duke as if made. Not a gram of fat on the steel bridge frame, a cheeky 105 hp output from a parallel twin that is forced to restless by a crank pin offset of 75 degrees – sounds delicious. And a little familiar because there was a similar motorcycle concept not that long ago.

The scalpel, the KTM 790 Duke

The ancients will certainly remember. If not, here are a few lines to refresh your memory: Husqvarna was part of BMW for a brief period a few years ago. As brittle as the F-800 twin-cylinder came across, the unit based on it in the Husqvarna Nuda 900 got excited when it entered the motorcycle landscape in 2012. Why? Because the Munich-based company did the same, planted a crankshaft with a 45 degree crank pin offset in the Ex-F-800 engine in the Nuda, pumped it up to 898 cubic meters and only limited the output to a hefty 105 hp. In addition, there are trappings that can be seen as a hybrid between a supermoto and a naked bike. No net and false floor, no driver assistance systems, initially not even an ABS. Born for pure fun. 


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The 790 Duke runs nimble, neutral and puzzle-free through radii, a pleasure with a guaranteed grin.

While pondering the 790 Duke, KTM must have thought of a similar concept, and dubbed the nimble speedster “The Scalpel”. Here, too, a parallel twin works with an uneven firing sequence with a crank pin offset of 75 degrees. In addition, the jagged, sharp lines of the Duke, conceived by KTM shorts designer Kiska, are reminiscent of the Nuda in many ways. The story really gets peppered with the fact that BMW and Husqvarna never had a happy marriage. And KTM immediately grabbed it when the two parted ways. The Husqvarna Nuda 900 as the older stepsister of the KTM 790 Duke did not survive the divorce. But it lives on when used. So thanks to the Motocorner team from Wangen for providing the used Nuda, and now out with the two of them in the bright spotlight. What enhances fun, what inhibits enjoyment? The curves are calling to find out exactly that.

The Husqvarna Nuda 900 is full of sound

As a younger boy, the Duke is kind enough to let the Husqvarna Nuda 900 go first. If that’s not a mistake. With the full sound from the standard Termignoni pipe, the Husqvarna sets a resounding scent mark, which makes the KTM 790 Duke look to the side with its slightly tinny sound from the high-mounted pipe. The bass hook has sat. And it gets even better because the full-bodied sound performance is not just superficial self-importance, but rather represents the entire drive. From idle, the Nuda marches forward, tenses its muscles and serves its power with a suppleness that refers to load changes and a sullen response behavior in the realm of fables.


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Wide handlebars, high center of gravity, long suspension travel: this chassis layout robs the great Nuda neutrality.

Wow! That engine is always there. Always on tension, without annoying you with hyper-agile reactions to the smallest gas commands. And because it really increases in Newton meters from 5,000 revolutions, the KTM 790 Duke only has to look at the bold rear of the Husqvarna Nuda 900 for the first few meters. Even back then, when the Nuda was new, there were quite a few who had this Engine thought to be the greatest country road engine among the two-cylinder – if not among all engine concepts. And even today there is a fat chunk of truth in it. This drive combines everything that characterizes a great engine. Of course, the two-engine compared to the KTM throws a displacement increase of almost 100 cubic in the showdown. What he conjures up out of it, however, sets the ring on fire, lifts him onto an invisible throne that is rightly in the shining spotlight.

A lot of fun on the country road

Nuda, why did you have to go, why is your great drive gathering dust in some warehouse? Well, even the KTM 790 Duke has no answer to that. But she doesn’t want to let the little engine shame sit on her so easily. After all, as fair as it is, your twin also has exemplary talents. Not in Sport mode, because in many driving situations it is far too sensitive to the throttle and requires massive attention. But in the tamer Street mode, the Twin convinces across the board, reliably reacting fine to every turn of the right handle. But the Nuda masters all of this a little more relaxed, supple – and pushes even harder. Which is why the Duke cleverly draws attention to its extensive equipment package. ABS suitable for bends, traction control, blipper, the driving modes, a great TFT display. A big trump card, the Husqvarna Nuda 900 knows that too. But why all this if it doesn’t promote driving pleasure?


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Cornering is a lot of fun and joy on both bikes.

Exactly at this moment the Husqvarna crosses the delicate line between nonchalance and condescending rebellion, trips over its own shoes. Which is to be taken literally, because the following streets as an arena for this exchange of blows still resemble a roller coaster, but they are peppered with cracks, bitumen strips and other nasty obstacles. That doesn’t bother the KTM 790 Duke much. A somewhat more sensitive response in places, perhaps a little more cushioning at the rear here and there – these wishes are on the list, but the 790 Duke already shows that it is intended for big things. It wipes quickly around the corner. Every steering impulse flows directly from the brain into the handlebars, which are not too wide. Motorcycling can be so easy. The KTM proves how it’s done with every meter. Nobody needs more motorcycles for a lot of fun on the country road. The perfect line have a challenge, but never overwhelming: the KTM is your partner, not your opponent.

Nuda-Motor stays in the memory

The same lines about the Husqvarna Nuda 900 should be used here, but it provides the counterpoint. Even when it came out, your Metzeler M5s weren’t the best choice. But that can’t be all. Somehow, the entire motorcycle chassis system never really works for her. The pure values ​​for wheelbase and Co. do not provide a solution. Here the two are close together, although the Nuda has significantly longer spring travel with 210 mm at the front and 180 mm at the rear. So their driving behavior remains a mystery. She accepts every impulse from the road with open arms in order to introduce unrest into the vehicle. Together with the driving dynamics, i.e. braking and accelerating, the neutrality goes flat. This is already announced on a level surface, disturbs, but does not hail the line.


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Ultimately, the KTM offers the better overall package.

It takes the last nerve on second-rate country roads. There is always the feeling that more is possible, but that there is simply no feedback. And without the right feeling, every curve line remains a jumble of hookingly joined radii. Can that somehow be eradicated? Perhaps. However, the KTM 790 Duke demonstrates that a motorcycle can be very good out of the box, and that it has everything it needs for a happy, cheerful two-wheeler life.

And the Husqvarna Nuda 900? The magic is gone. The light in the ring has long bathed the KTM in a bright glow, because it simply offers the better, much more sociable overall package. Neither point tables nor measured values ​​are required for this. It is the more mature motorcycle – without compromise. And yet, in the end, the thoughts hang on the nuda. The new encounter with the old heroine brought some disillusionment, but: This engine remains in the memory, the KTM cannot change anything. Just to turn the throttle on your wide handlebars once, to suck in every acceleration process with a fat grin, this comparison was worth it. If you don’t know the Nuda motor, don’t try it out. You could get addicted. But do not say afterwards that this text did not warn you! Everyone else can choose the formidable KTM 790 Duke without hesitation.

MOTORCYCLE conclusion

For a short period of time, the Husqvarna Nuda 900 showed what is possible at BMW if it doesn’t have to be labeled with BMW. Your engine was, is and will be an invigorating force, pure happiness hormone, distributed over two cylinders. The better, more modern and much easier to ride motorcycle is the KTM 790 Duke. Even the nuda must see that.

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