Upshift Project Bike Review: 2019 Husqvarna 701

Have you seen this bike before? If you are a follower of all things Upshift Online, then you might recall seeing the famous Jeff Emig in an Upshift video highlighting the plethora of cool items added, making it an awesome offroad ripper. (link video here) If this cool bike is new to you, here is a quick recap of what Upshift did to convert this 701 Husqvarna into more of a dirt hungry/adventure-ready machine.

The wicked sick look of this bike starts with the Appalachian Offroad Puig windscreen. It gives the 701 more of a rally look and helps keep the wind off the riders face. Adding to the cool factor is the Moto Minded kit, which provides tons of lights thanks to the Baja designs XL 80. Fasst Flexx bars add yet another avenue for trail hack absorption. Cleaning up the tail section and giving more clearance for a brake light eating knobby tire is the 3 Bros fender eliminator kit. In the comfort department, a Seat Concepts saddle provides way more comfortable on the long rides. The IMS Core Enduro footpegs provide more boot grabbing traction and more surface area to disperse energy. Cycra provides hand protection. The ability for the Flexx bars to do their job and flex is possible via BRP M10 adapters. Doubletake mirrors are a product that Upshift cannot live without so of course you’ll find them on this bike. The graphics are a custom Upshift Online design, and if you like them, you can buy a set for your 701.

The engine on this 2019 Husqvarna 701 was left stock, but to wake it up a bit, an Akrapovic slip-on muffler from Husqvarna Power Parts replaced the stock unit. Helping it breath better is an air filter from Twin Air and protecting the engine from trail damage it handled by a Husqvarna Power Parts skid plate. A Husqvarna offroad Dongle makes turning off the ABS simple a simple push of a button.

This 701 received a lot of attention in the suspension department, thanks to Konflict. They gave the suspension what they call their Alex Marten mid-level performance service. It included top-to-bottom disassembly, cleaning, and servicing of all the internal parts. The shock received an SKF 2.0 seal head, and the piston was polished, along with a personal rider profile re-valve and a stiffer spring. The fork lowers polished, SKF HD seals were used, and re-valve based on rider preference was performed. Konflict went with stiffer springs up front for the 701.

For better off-road grip, we traded out the stock tires for the Dunlop D606-F front tire, matched with the 908RR out back. The Dunlops provide pretty good offroad traction while still allowing decent asphalt cruising. To reduce the chance of a flat tire, the thin stock tubes were replaced by heavy-duty tubes.

There is no doubt about it, the 701 is not an enduro based dual-sport, and it isn’t a bike designed specifically for single track. With the few modifications done to this 701, it is capable of hitting some decent offroad trails. Waking up the power a little with the Akrapovic muffler and the Twin Air air filter provides the sensation of less weight, because the power hits slightly earlier, helping take a little weight off the front end. The more lively power, in combination with stiffer suspension, allowed me to hit terrain faster and without the worry of wallowing. The stock suspension provides ultra plushness at slow speeds over bumpy terrain but blows through the travel, and the bike gets a scary wallow feeling at anything above first gear. The Konflict suspension wasn’t as plush on the little hack, but I was able to charge much faster offroad and didn’t worry about bottoming out over every bump. Because the forks stay up in the travel better, overall stability is much improved, and the front end didn’t dive on decel. The ability to absorb the unexpected big hit at higher speeds is well worth giving up some comfort at slow speeds. Suspension is a very subjective taste, every rider has a different idea of what they like and what I consider a good setting might not work very well for someone with a different style of riding.

Upshift did a good job of making this 701 more exciting and much more offroad capable without taking away from its ability to motor on down the highway. The 701 has the ability to eat a lot of highway miles and provide serious offroad time. Be sure to see part two of this 701 build!

• Husqvarna 701 Enduro: http://bit.ly/2GjQQfn

• Motorex Oil: https://www.motorexusa.com/

• Akrapovic Slip-On Exhaust: http://bit.ly/2TIZMhv

• Konflict Suspension Tune: https://www.konflictmotorsports.com/

• Rekluse TorqDrive Manual: http://bit.ly/2TJhJN1

• Rekluse Manual Slave Cylinder: http://bit.ly/2SsPqWs

• Motominded Headlight Kit: https://www.motominded.com/

• AOMC Puig Windscreen: https://www.ktm-parts.com/9867.html

• Flexx Handlebars: https://www.fasstco.com/

• Cycra Handguards: https://cycra.com/

• BRP M10 Adapters: http://bit.ly/2RVmiSs

• DoubleTake Trail Mirrors: https://www.doubletakemirror.com/

• Seatconcepts Comfort Seat: https://seatconcepts.com/

• Dunlop Tires: https://www.dunlopmotorcycletires.com/tires/ F: D606 90/90-21 R: D908RR 140/80/18

• IMS Core Enduro Foot Pegs: http://bit.ly/2SoUuLB

• TwinAir Filter: https://www.twinair.com/index.php

• Tail Tidy: https://3brosktm.com/

Chris Glaspell

The success of any online publication depends on the quality of execution, and
in this respect UpShift Online’s success is virtually assured.  It was founded by veteran motorcycle industry professionals: English-born photographer Simon Cudby, the premier photographer in the world of motocross, and Chris Glaspell, creative director with firms serving clients that include Suzuki, Yamaha, Kawasaki, Cycle World and Yoshimura. This, plus Upshift’s veteran editorial staff and unrivaled journalism, will gives readers unparalleled views of adventure motorcycling.