Husqvarna 701 Supermoto or how I dated a cheerleader in the mountains
So my sales job won me another award trip. This time for a week in Tenerife. Tenerife is motorcycling paradise - it's spring almost the entire year, not too hot not too cold. Bikers come here from all destinations. Most local rental places will rent you the crappiest bikes in the world, but there is a place that is a bit different. CRM is Canaries official Husqvarna dealership and brand new Husky's are waiting. The owner of the dealership is my kind of guy, passion for bikes overshadows everything else. Every time I walk in, he talks what are the best places where he has rented and how he wants to offer the same kind of service. But enough of the dealership lets talk about the girl. Funny thing by the way about Husqvarna Motorcycle Brand is that people who are into motorcycles know of course the heritage and name, but people who don’t - guess what is their first thought? Yep, you guessed it, several people looked at me and asked - I thought Husqvarnas are only chainsaws and lawn mowers. Every time you have to explain, that this is not the same company that makes that new automatic lawn mower. But let's face it - the white dress looks better on this girl than orange. KTM SMC, which is the bike it's based on, was like an angry anarchy girl, with a pierced belly button and lips. White is more beautiful and purposeful. Husqy is more like a cheerleader. I guess it doesn't matter which one of these girls you meet, you know a fun night is ahead, but Husky is a bit less robust. You would even be okay to show her to your mom.
I was sitting in the coffee shop and just looking this 701 Supermoto - she is striking - my favorite part is those striped wheels. And the minimalistic square backlight is too cool. But then there are some things about her that just don’t fit in with the rest of the design - instrument block is the same as for all KTM Exc’s, but for some reason you need neutral, abs-off and oil pressure indicator as well. To accommodate these features they added a block next to the original instrument bar and it looks like somebody just couldn't be bothered and threw something on. It doesn't fit there not only by design but also size wise. For example the fuel warning light, is a tiny speck, that is almost impossible to see when riding, but the three lights mentioned before are huge round things, that look like they came from an old soviet Lada.
Another really weird design thing is the exhaust. This must be the ugliest exhaust ever made. I'm not kidding, the first thing that came to mind, when I saw it was the old Starship Troopers movie and the brain bug. Haven't seen that movie for ages, but as soon as I saw the exhaust, that came to mind. And I guess it would be fine if the sound it made was amazing, but it is everything but that - she sounds like a scooter. Luckily Akrapovic fixes both problems: the look and the sound.
Once in the saddle though, you feel right at home if you have ever been sitting on any KTM’s enduro bikes. Though she is tall, even in supermoto setting, my 185 cm frame is bearly reaching the ground. I can’t imagine how tall the enduro version is then. Another thing is the seat - for lack of a better word it's sticky - I was wearing my leather suit and to move my body weight to the back of the bike, so I would be able to wheelie better, I had to literally stand up a bit to move my behind back.
The first thing I did was hit the mountains. Tenerife is a volcanic island and in the middle of it is big El Teide volcano. And roads that lead up there from all sides of the island are just amazing. You start down low in a tropical climate, then curb by curb move up to pine trees, then you pass the clouds and hit the high desert, one amazing chicane after another. As you can expect, this supermoto is incredible in bends. It takes the bend so easily that in first 10 minutes I was scraping tips of my shoes to the asphalt. First brake stop showed two millimeters of chicken strips left, none on the second. And you want to get her leaning over more and more.
Road that takes you down the mountain from Viladorf to Grenadilla has one 23 km piece of asphalt that is like heaven, full of 180-degree turns, just orgasmic on a bike like this. Then from there all the way to capital is an old backroad, that was the main road until the highway was built. So now it is relatively quiet. Imagine 80 km of road that is nothing but turns. Locals call it the "dancing road" and it could not have a better name. 701 is nothing but spectacular on that road, I wish we would have roads like this in Estonia. But what's cool with 701 is that it's not just a canyon carver or a city hooligan bike. It can do highways. Driving back from capital to my hotel I hit the highway. 140 kg makes it quite workable to wind gusts, but when you get used to it, you are fine. I was doing 140-150km/h like nothing. After my 400 km day on the road my behind and legs were a bit sore, but what can you expect when you spend the whole day with a cheerleader. I loved every minute of it. The only sad thing is that yes I can go and buy a bike like this at home, but roads like this are nowhere to be found. Discussion with the wife about retiring in Tenerife will come as soon as I get back home.