Husqvarna is positively ancient. The company traces its roots to a 17th century milling factory that built guns for the Swedish army. While that background may not be extremely relevant to the modern iteration that manufactures motorcycles under the Husqvarna banner, it does lend some legitimacy to claims of historical iconicism.
And perhaps just a little bit of an intangible ability at producing a factory custom.
The brand, now a property of Germany's BMW, may have sprinkled some of that magic history dust on its latest concept, the "Husqvarna Concept Baja." With perhaps the exception of the headlight/number plate/cheese grater mashup (for my personal tastes, a full-on retro approach would have worked much better), the bike just looks right. It captures the era that American motorcyclists associate with Husqvarna: the late 1960s and early 1970s, when Malcolm Smith from "On Any Sunday" was king and everyone wanted to escape on two wheels.
The Baja concept bike certainly is a long way from the musket factories of Jönköping, but not that far removed from the sands of Pismo Beach -- and a time when riding was more about the ride and less about fighting for the right to do it.
Here's the press release...
January 20, 2012 - New York, NY - The distinct retro flair of the golden age of motorcycling is one that only Husqvarna can genuinely embody. The Husky marque is the definitive emblem of an era, and one that continues to symbolize bold innovation, classic design and timeless passion. Husqvarna's distinctive 1970's vibe is revisited in the Concept Baja - where vintage meets technology, and legendary style is redefined.
Vintage allure isn't all this trek-touring design has to offer; performance is what makes the Concept Baja truly exceptional. Ideal for the casual rider as well as the committed enthusiast, The Baja will continue the trek well after the pavement ends.
Husqvarna Concept Baja
650cc single-cylinder, liquid-cooled, four-stroke engine
Five-speed wide-ratio transmission
Brembo disc brakes
Perimeter frame with progressive linkage swingarm
Wheels: 19-inch front, 17-inch rear with intermediate-knobby tires
Innovative LED crossbar instrument display
Approachable seat height and layout suits wide spectrum of riders