Every adventure bike is a compromise but we think we got pretty darn close to our ideal bike for this trip.
We opted for the 2016 Husqvarna 701 enduro for various reasons.
1. The Powerful engine
The engine has plenty of power and if you don’t be careful, you’ll wheelie the thing in no time when opening up the throttle. The ride by wire system performs great and makes for a smooth engine control without the typical injection jerkiness. Even with the bike fully loaded, the engine is plenty powerful enough to do it all, on the road and off road, without a hiccup.
2. Road and off road capabilities
90% of the bike is the same as the KTM 690, but with a few extras. It comes with higher suspension and has a larger original tank. On the downside, the dashboard is pretty limited and has no rev counter, but we cannot say we missed that on our trip. We prefer the pure no frills no nonsense style of the husky over the KTM.
It performs pretty well on all sorts of terrain and is a true allrounder, without the weight and complexity of the typically bigger sized allroad bikes. 142 kg dry weight, that’s not much!
3. A long service interval
On a trip like this, long service intervals are just great. We change oil and filters every 10 000 kms and each bike only takes about 1.6 L of oil. And when using proper 10W60 full synthetic, oil consumption is really low. We topped off the oil on this trip with only 1L of oil over 20kkm, despite high oil consumption warnings from others.
4. Low fuel consumption
On smaller trips this is of lesser importance to most, but when petrol makes up for most of your traveling budget, you just have to take this into account. With a fuel consumption of about 4.4 – 5L per 100 kms, depending on riding conditions, we were truly impressed!
Long term test results
The list with issues we had on the bikes is limited and all of them are related to the harsh riding conditions in Africa.
- 2 kkm: Clutch master cylinder on both bikes after having filled the system with the wrong fluid. As from 2016 they take DOT4 not mineral oil. My own fault…
- 21 kkm: Clutch disks on Carolines bike replaced after burning them in the sand of the Sahara
- 27 kkm: Fuel pump (Toms bike) and fuel filters (both bikes) replaced. Started playing up after drinking too much low quality/dirty petrol
- 28 kkm: Clutch disks on Toms bike replaced
To be continued with more from the field information as we move on…