Husqvarna Goes Retro: Concept BAJA Motorbike
Exactly one year ago, Husqvarna presented the Husqvarna Concept MOAB at the EICMA in Milan – a study designed as a modern interpretation of the scrambler theme.
The company is now taking that idea one step further with the Concept BAJA. The motorcycle aims to reflect the essence of what Husqvarna Motorcycles stood for in the sixties and seventies.
In over 100 years of company history, Husqvarna Motorcycles has achieved success in international off-road racing, with 82 World Championship titles to its name to date. Ongoing success in racing in particular helped make Husqvarna Motorcycles a popular brand not just in Europe but also in the USA.
The acclaim of Husqvarna Motorcycles was reinforced by famous riders of the times, but above all by one particular celebrity motorcycling fan: American actor Steve McQueen. McQueen was not just an enthusiastic motorcyclist and motor racing fan, he also achieved success himself on the race track on both two and four wheels. Among other things he entered the Six Days in 1964.
The cover photo of the US magazine “Sports Illustrated” dated August 23rd 1971 showing a bare-chested Steve McQueen doing a jump on a Husqvarna Cross 400 remains legendary to this day. The McQueen-Husqvarna combination eventually became the idol of a whole generation of off-road fans – and the Husqvarna Cross 400 has been taken as the historical design role model for the Husqvarna Concept BAJA.
Using modern technologies, the Husqvarna Concept BAJA aims to recall this unique era in American motorcycle racing.
The multi-section architecture of the body displays a clear, purist-type style. The slim shape of the saddle recalls the Husqvarna models of the 1970s. Meanwhile the concave surfaces of the front and rear mudguard feature certain stylistic elements which are to be found in the latest generation of the Husqvarna models.
The bike is powered by a liquid-cooled single-cylinder engine. Power transmission is by means of a five-speed gearbox via roller chain to the rear wheel.
In terms of suspension, the Concept Baja features a chassis based on a steel tube frame. Front wheel suspension is taken care of by a torsionally stiff upside-down fork, while the rear wheel is controlled by a torsion-resistant dual swinging arm in conjunction with a central spring strut hinged on a lever system. The Husqvarna study meets its aspiration to tackle light terrain by means of 19-inch and 17-inch wire spoke wheels at front and rear respectively, and stopping power is provided at both front and rear by a Brembo hydraulic disc brake system.