Of all the motorcycles revealed at the EICMA show in Milan, this is the one that got my heart beating fastest. It’s the Husqvarna Concept MOAB, and it’s billed as a “modern re-interpretation of the scrambler”. If the colors look familiar, it’s because they replicate the paintwork of Steve McQueen’s 1970 Husqvarna 400 Cross. According to the blurb given to the press, “The red tank, the spacious seat, the yellow side panel number holders, the simple stripped-down frame … these all form the essence of the new incarnation of the Husqvarna spirit.” And that’s fine by me.
The engine is the proven Rotax/BMW 650 unit, which helps to keep the bike compact and the seat height low. Wheels are 17” front and rear, and fitted with Pirelli MT60RS dual-sport tires. The ‘bars are high and wide, and the long seat will make the riding position even more comfortable. Hi-tech touches come from the instrument panel and the LED lights in the front number holder and at the back. Husqvarna hasn’t said whether or not it’ll put this bike into production. But the response at EICMA was enthusiastic—in contrast to the mixed response the newly productionized Nuda 900R has been getting. My gut feeling is that the Varese-based company has judged the market well this time, and we’re due for a resurgence of interest in scrambler-type motorcycles. After all, it’s a bike you can ride into the city during the week, and down the firetrails on Sunday. If it went on sale for less than $10,000, I’d pony up the cash. Would you?