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REV'IT! Norden Adventure Travel Project

REV'IT! Norden Adventure Travel Project
Getting ready for adventureWhen you embrace themes like “Go get lost” and you dare to “Seek the authentic” off the beaten path, we’re not promoting reckless abandon – we’re preaching adventure. And with responsible adventure comes proper preparation.

Just the right amount of readiness is what makes venturing off the straight and narrow the amazing experience we all know, seek, and love. In light of that revelation, we felt our own adventure-readiness could do with an upgrade.

 

Jump on board for the ride into getting the REV'IT! Norden 901 ready for 2024’s biggest escapades.

In terms of attire, our latest additions to the Adventure and Adventure Off-Road collections won’t leave anyone without. However, REV'IT!’s most recent addition to the company bike fleet was an enticing ADV offer from the showroom floor. Still, the exquisite Husqvarna Norden 901 could do with some adventure augmentation. After all, like you, we’re planning to get out on the road – and off it, too – as often as we can in 2024. 

So, we got on the phone with our partners and friends at Husqvarna Motorcycles and Touratech to see what would make our Norden 901 even more ready for business. We’re talking details, here. They know the details – and details make all the difference.

 

Everybody loves a good bike project, right? Let’s dive into how we got on with prepping our Husqvarna Norden 901 ready for the 2024 season in ADV riding. Let’s go – southbound!

Distance-munching abilities and prowess in plowing through rough terrain.
A more off road-oriented direction

From the REV'IT! HQ in the Netherlands, it’s a quick 600-kilometer (375 mile) blast down into Germany toward the Black Forest. A cold morning, a long ride. It’s barely Spring yet, but there’s nothing some good waterproof gear and heated gloves can’t fix. As we arrive in the otherwise humble town of Niedereschach, and home of Touratech, we are welcomed by our technical talent for this stage of the project, Touratech’s very own master mechanic, Luigi, we lay out the parts and make a plan.

 

We’re looking to set the Norden 901 up for a more off road-oriented direction. Without going long-travel suspension, we’re hoping to keep most of this enduro’s distance-munching abilities, while upgrading its prowess in plowing through rough terrain off the road as well. On top of that, when the going gets tough, there’s a good chance someone might drop the bike at some point. Even if that doesn’t happen, but likely will, you should at least be ready when it’s your turn to admit defeat to gravity…

An air of “sprezzatura”

Suspension and crashability, those are the main things we’re starting with. And Touratech happens to excel in both fields equally, so we’re going with Touratech’s proprietary, fully adjustable Extreme rear shock and the front cartridge kit. Set to off-road spec with a five-millimeter smaller air chamber in the front forks, the Norden should kick things up a notch in terms of the finer damping characteristics when surface grip is hard to find.

Since the REV'IT! Norden 901 is almost brand new, the forks disassemble without a fuss. Visibly not his first time at it, Luigi swaps fork internals with an air of “sprezzatura” – or the “seemingly effortlessness of the skilled.” But then again, the man is of Italian heritage, so it’s in his blood. While he does, he explains how the new cartridges will be instantly noticeable, as well as showing the difference between your regular fork seals and SKF’s near stick-slip free examples, before sealing everything back up and remounting the forks and front wheel.

A physical bit of insurance

Apart from the tight, center-of-gravity-assisting shock positioning, the rear shock swaps right out. With hydraulic preload and full damping adjustment, the Touratech shock also boasts position sensitive damping or PSD. It’s an innovation that allows the rear shock to react differently according to what’s required at that part of the suspension’s travel stroke. To aid in finding grip and to offer a less strenuous ride. Exactly what our Norden needs.

 

Once back on its two wheels, we got all excited to mount the sleek must-have, Husqvarna Norden 901-specific Akrapovič exhaust silencer, before we switched attention to adding a physical bit of insurance. That means a tough sump guard, crash bars, and extra beefy hand guards. With the sump guard slipped on in, mounted securely and inconspicuously below the original engine guard, it’s time to mount the sturdy Touratech handguards. They blend perfectly into the Norden’s design. The design we’re about to wrap in crash bars.

It's a Touratech thing

Because they’re quite clever and intricate by design, even Luigi – who’s fitted dozens of Touratech’s purposeful and dependable crash bars – asks us to look up the manual for him. Slightly astounded why he’s asking us, he explains you can search the Touratech website for manuals of every single part they make. Simply put, in the part number in the top search bar and everything you need to know pops right up. It’s clever but it makes sense, too. It’s a Touratech thing. With the instructions clear, first the lower bars and then the uppers go on easily.

 

On the back, Touratech advised their pannier racks and the new Extreme soft luggage pannier bags. Waterproof and lockable, they’re ideal for long-distance travel into situations where you really don’t want hard boxes. Plus, these can take a serious beating, too. They don’t call them Extreme for nothing at Touratech.

Ready for a serious bit of off roading

Finishing up the REV'IT! Norden 901, for now, Husqvarna Motorcycles sent us several bits of protection and a very welcome upgrade in its one-piece saddle. Clearing up a lot more room for the rider. Plus, it’s going to come in handy when we take it for a serious bit of off-roading at the Adventure Challenge in the Netherlands.

 

We had a bit of initial shock and were somewhat skeptical of the high screen that was fitted to the bike, fearing it would get in the way more than anything when dirt riding. And it’s just really big, too! But once we got the screen mounted, even Luigi changed his mind. It adds a hint of a rally tower – something we’ll get back to you about as we work toward assuring the REV'IT! Norden 901 looks the part with the right graphics.

Feels the business, starting to look the business

Not before we test the Norden’s new suspension, the upgraded ergonomics, seating, and screen. Both on the road and on the dirt, the bike feels more planted, offering more confidence. Without slowing the steering down. Comfort and controllability are up to scratch now, too, with Touratech Rally pegs and adjustable levers, and in the end, that screen.

 

As we clean up and pack up at Touratech – taking the Norden back north - the REV'IT! Norden 901 feels the business, and it’s at least starting to look the business, too. But we’re a design company at REV'IT!, of course, so bear with us. We can’t wait to roll the bike out, departing adventure base camp to explore this season’s incredible offering of adventure events and impromptu ADV ride outs.

 

We just can’t wait.

Need more adventure inspiration?

There are so many ADV events we’re looking to take our REV'IT! Norden 901 to, and there’s always an event somewhere near you, or worth the trip to ride out to. If you still need convincing, take a look at some our other adventure journals for inspiration.