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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I ordered the Norden hoping it would be much more compact and nimble for traveling in the Rocky Mountains as well as having long-range comfort. I love my AT, but it's big, really big (have the Adventure Sports version). Leaning over the AT in the twisties really brings a smile to my face. But when the AT starts leaning over in other situations, like on the rocky dirt jeep trails there is no stopping her, especially when loaded for camping trips, and picking her up is a real chore, a group effort, involving my buddies.

When I walked up on the Norden at the dealership I thought the Norden looked small, but when I loaded it in my pickup not, funny how that works. What do you guys think? And the amazing thing is the travel is close to the same, is this an illusion or great engineering? And I haven't even discussed the weight difference and the lack of need for lots of crash protection on the Norden which would add weight.

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I guess the difference is where you actually "need to lift it up".

I got a Tiger Explorer 2014, and it's known for being notorious top-heavy with its class-leading weight... 650lb, I can do it once or twice, but 5 times in deep sand with load of gear and fire logs...

I believe 901 will be better, at least lower center weight will save few times of your lower back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

Lots of options, and when solo, $200 is cheap!
 

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I ordered the Norden hoping it would be much more compact and nimble for traveling in the Rocky Mountains as well as having long-range comfort. I love my AT, but it's big, really big (have the Adventure Sports version). Leaning over the AT in the twisties really brings a smile to my face. But when the AT starts leaning over in other situations, like on the rocky dirt jeep trails there is no stopping her, especially when loaded for camping trips, and picking her up is a real chore, a group effort, involving my buddies.

When I walked up on the Norden at the dealership I thought the Norden looked small, but when I loaded it in my pickup not, funny how that works. What do you guys think? And the amazing thing is the travel is close to the same, is this an illusion or great engineering? And I haven't even discussed the weight difference and the lack of need for lots of crash protection on the Norden which would add weight.

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the third pic of the tanks makes the Norden look 6" shorter at the tank fill
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The AT is a great bike, definately has a much better exhaust sound and better on higher speed roads. It depends what terrian you ride and what kind of rider you are which would determine what bike is best. Spec's like size is just one factor. I ride alot of backroads, jeep trails, and technical stuff in the Rocky Mountains. I am not sure if the Norden will be the unicorn bike I've been looking for but I'll sure test it out this year. One thing for sure, I have to sort out the windscreen on the Norden, hope they offer a larger "touring" windscreen soon. Or maybe I'll try a spoiler. The wind, no buffeting, at highways speeds is anoying and loud even with my quietest helmet.
 

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There is no perfect bike. Certainly not straight out of the factory, at a price that most riders could afford. The Norden 901 looks markedly smaller and lower in the pictures to me, compared to the Africa Twin Adventure Sports. More important for off-road rideability is the weight distribution. I think that you aren't giving the Norden a fair test yet, belgiancx, as you haven't loaded it up and taken it in the same situations that made you want to look for an alternative to your ATAS in the first place. If you were truly looking for a "smaller" off-road capable dual-sport bike that would be a champion in the dirt, I imagine that you would have bought a Husqvarna 701/KTM 690 Enduro, or even a 500 class DS bike. But road riding performance must have been important to you, so you went for the slightly smaller ADV bike option. So load up the gear for your moto camping in the mountains, and take her out (after any crash protection you desire is installed), and then report back whether there's a significant difference. If there isn't, then sell one of the bikes. Otherwise, keep the ATAS for the road focused missions, and the Norden for the slightly more dirt focused missions. And consider buying an much smaller enduro bike for the true off-road adventures.
 

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There is no perfect bike. Certainly not straight out of the factory, at a price that most riders could afford. The Norden 901 looks markedly smaller and lower in the pictures to me, compared to the Africa Twin Adventure Sports. More important for off-road rideability is the weight distribution. I think that you aren't giving the Norden a fair test yet, belgiancx, as you haven't loaded it up and taken it in the same situations that made you want to look for an alternative to your ATAS in the first place. If you were truly looking for a "smaller" off-road capable dual-sport bike that would be a champion in the dirt, I imagine that you would have bought a Husqvarna 701/KTM 690 Enduro, or even a 500 class DS bike. But road riding performance must have been important to you, so you went for the slightly smaller ADV bike option. So load up the gear for your moto camping in the mountains, and take her out (after any crash protection you desire is installed), and then report back whether there's a significant difference. If there isn't, then sell one of the bikes. Otherwise, keep the ATAS for the road focused missions, and the Norden for the slightly more dirt focused missions. And consider buying an much smaller enduro bike for the true off-road adventures.
Must be nice to have your kind of money, different bike for every situation....
 

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Must be nice to have your kind of money, different bike for every situation....
I wish! I've been a monogamist in regards to motorcycles most of my life. Only when I picked up my Norden have I managed to have more than one bike in the stable. My other bike is a 2012 Yamaha WR250R dual-sport that I picked up used, just when the pandemic lockdown began. I had tons of backcountry riding and camping on that bike, and loved it. But it needs an engine rebuild, when I can stop spending money on my new Norden and can devote some time to it. In the past, I've owned Honda VFR Interceptors (most of my road riding life), and in 2015 I got my first adventure bike, a KTM 1290 Super Adventure. I totaled it. Then got a BMW R1200GS Adventure. Totaled it. Then it finally got through my thick skull that perhaps I should be trying to learn to ride off pavement on a smaller bike...hence the WR250R! I think I've finally learned enough skills to warrant adding an ADV back into my life, and the poor WR250R can't handle being flogged at highway speeds for hours on end to get to the fun stuff. Not with the throttle pinned at least! I'm taking the Norden to Alaska and back this summer, from Oregon, and the WR250R couldn't handle the 5,000 plus miles to and from the way a bigger adventure class bike could. I'll save a 250cc ride to Alaska for when I'm retired and can take all the time I want!
 

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I wish! I've been a monogamist in regards to motorcycles most of my life. Only when I picked up my Norden have I managed to have more than one bike in the stable. My other bike is a 2012 Yamaha WR250R dual-sport that I picked up used, just when the pandemic lockdown began. I had tons of backcountry riding and camping on that bike, and loved it. But it needs an engine rebuild, when I can stop spending money on my new Norden and can devote some time to it. In the past, I've owned Honda VFR Interceptors (most of my road riding life), and in 2015 I got my first adventure bike, a KTM 1290 Super Adventure. I totaled it. Then got a BMW R1200GS Adventure. Totaled it. Then it finally got through my thick skull that perhaps I should be trying to learn to ride off pavement on a smaller bike...hence the WR250R! I think I've finally learned enough skills to warrant adding an ADV back into my life, and the poor WR250R can't handle being flogged at highway speeds for hours on end to get to the fun stuff. Not with the throttle pinned at least! I'm taking the Norden to Alaska and back this summer, from Oregon, and the WR250R couldn't handle the 5,000 plus miles to and from the way a bigger adventure class bike could. I'll save a 250cc ride to Alaska for when I'm retired and can take all the time I want!
Be safe..
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Be safe..
There is no perfect bike. Certainly not straight out of the factory, at a price that most riders could afford. The Norden 901 looks markedly smaller and lower in the pictures to me, compared to the Africa Twin Adventure Sports. More important for off-road rideability is the weight distribution. I think that you aren't giving the Norden a fair test yet, belgiancx, as you haven't loaded it up and taken it in the same situations that made you want to look for an alternative to your ATAS in the first place. If you were truly looking for a "smaller" off-road capable dual-sport bike that would be a champion in the dirt, I imagine that you would have bought a Husqvarna 701/KTM 690 Enduro, or even a 500 class DS bike. But road riding performance must have been important to you, so you went for the slightly smaller ADV bike option. So load up the gear for your moto camping in the mountains, and take her out (after any crash protection you desire is installed), and then report back whether there's a significant difference. If there isn't, then sell one of the bikes. Otherwise, keep the ATAS for the road focused missions, and the Norden for the slightly more dirt focused missions. And consider buying an much smaller enduro bike for the true off-road adventures.
I sold the Africa Twin. I have a Husky TE630 for backcountry camping and a Husaberg FE450 for day trip riding or riding from a camp. My BMW 1200RT is my slab rig for long hauls and got Truimph Sprint for playing around and short mountain trips. Down to five bikes from seven, seven was too many :rolleyes:;):ROFLMAO:
 

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I sold the Africa Twin. I have a Husky TE630 for backcountry camping and a Husaberg FE450 for day trip riding or riding from a camp. My BMW 1200RT is my slab rig for long hauls and got Truimph Sprint for playing around and short mountain trips. Down to five bikes from seven, seven was too many :rolleyes:;):ROFLMAO:
That's certainly "voting with your dollars". You must have found the Norden 901 to be a suitable replacement for the ATAS. Seven isn't too many bikes (says the man with only two)! You just haven't found the right niche to fill. For instance, I don't see a trials bike in your list.... ;)😁
 

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Husqvarna 901 Norden + KTM 790 adv. R.
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Mal som Hondu crf 1000 L 2016. Motor nuda, podvozok slaby. Potom Yamaha T7 super hravý motocykel. KTM 790 R ma presvedčil ze Norden 901 bude super. Trochu som zostal sklamaný keď tam dali ten slabší podvozok. Už chystám montáž Explorer z ktm 790 R.
 

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Mal som Hondu crf 1000 L 2016. Motor nuda, podvozok slaby. Potom Yamaha T7 super hravý motocykel. KTM 790 R ma presvedčil ze Norden 901 bude super. Trochu som zostal sklamaný keď tam dali ten slabší podvozok. Už chystám montáž Explorer z ktm 790 R.
I appreciate Google Translate's ability to translate Slovak: I had a Honda crf 1000 L 2016. Engine boring, chassis weak. Then the Yamaha T7 super playful motorcycle. The KTM 790 R convinced me that the Norden 901 will be great. I was a little disappointed when they put the weaker chassis in there. I am already preparing the installation of Explorer from ktm 790 R.
~~~
For those who need much greater off-pavement capability, I can understand the expense and effort to upgrade to 48mm forks. For my more modest off-road riding needs, I'm content with the 43mm forks. But I will be getting suspension work done before my July trip to Alaska. I'll be getting heavier springs front and rear, and adjusting the valving as well as replacing the WP fork and shock seals with SKF seals since I have been hearing about the WP seals giving out suddenly with very little reason.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I appreciate Google Translate's ability to translate Slovak: I had a Honda crf 1000 L 2016. Engine boring, chassis weak. Then the Yamaha T7 super playful motorcycle. The KTM 790 R convinced me that the Norden 901 will be great. I was a little disappointed when they put the weaker chassis in there. I am already preparing the installation of Explorer from ktm 790 R.
~~~
For those who need much greater off-pavement capability, I can understand the expense and effort to upgrade to 48mm forks. For my more modest off-road riding needs, I'm content with the 43mm forks. But I will be getting suspension work done before my July trip to Alaska. I'll be getting heavier springs front and rear, and adjusting the valving as well as replacing the WP fork and shock seals with SKF seals since I have been hearing about the WP seals giving out suddenly with very little reason.
Watch the MAD TV review on YouTube, thorough review of the Norden, He says the only real problem is the rear shock. They go to the ridiculous step of replacing with new forks and shock for a bit over $6,000. Seems to me that if that is done, someone is trying to make the bike into something it isn't by spending half the cost of the bike to upgrade it; probably should buy a different or another bike for the gnar or consider your usage at that point. Unless you are going to be jumping the moto under capacity loads I don't think you would need to replace the forks. Carrying a heavy load over a long distance might require replacing the rear shock especially as it cannot be rebuilt. Let us know what you do.
 

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Husqvarna 901 Norden + KTM 790 adv. R.
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belgiancx. Presne si to trafil s príspevkom hore. Vlastným KTM 790 Adv. R motocykel ma perfektný podvozok. Ako som hore ja pisal idem Norden prestaviť na KTM podvozok. KTM sa osvedčil s upraveným zadným tlmičom - HYPERPRO progresívna pružina. Jazdíme na motocykli dvaja s 3 kuframi, dlhé trasy. KTM bude do lesa a NORDEN s upraveným podvozkom na dlhej dovolenke.
em reportovať.
 

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Watch the MAD TV review on YouTube, thorough review of the Norden, He says the only real problem is the rear shock. They go to the ridiculous step of replacing with new forks and shock for a bit over $6,000. Seems to me that if that is done, someone is trying to make the bike into something it isn't by spending half the cost of the bike to upgrade it; probably should buy a different or another bike for the gnar or consider your usage at that point. Unless you are going to be jumping the moto under capacity loads I don't think you would need to replace the forks. Carrying a heavy load over a long distance might require replacing the rear shock especially as it cannot be rebuilt. Let us know what you do.
If someone has the funds to put their dream suspension on their bike, more power to them! My means are more modest, but I recognize the weaknesses inherent in the stock suspension. Nearly any bike can do with setting up the suspension for its owner. Before I take my Norden to Alaska this summer, I'm getting heavier springs and revalving (front and rear) to suit my weight and the large amount of gear I tend to travel with. But I have no plans to replace the WP Apex suspension system in its entirety. Total cost of my suspension upgrades will be under $1,000 USD. I'm also getting the problematic WP fork and shock seals replaced with SKF seals. I don't want to face dealing with a blown shock while thousands of miles away from home if I can avoid it!
 

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belgiancx. Presne si to trafil s príspevkom hore. Vlastným KTM 790 Adv. R motocykel ma perfektný podvozok. Ako som hore ja pisal idem Norden prestaviť na KTM podvozok. KTM sa osvedčil s upraveným zadným tlmičom - HYPERPRO progresívna pružina. Jazdíme na motocykli dvaja s 3 kuframi, dlhé trasy. KTM bude do lesa a NORDEN s upraveným podvozkom na dlhej dovolenke.
em reportovať.
From Google Translate:
belgiancx. That's exactly what you hit with the post above. Own KTM 790 Adv. The R motorcycle has a perfect chassis. As I wrote above, I'm going to convert Norden to a KTM chassis. KTM has proven itself with a modified rear shock absorber - HYPERPRO progressive spring. We ride two motorcycles with 3 suitcases, long routes. KTM will be in the woods and NORDEN with a modified chassis for a long vacation.
em report.

~~~

The R models have the perfect suspension...if your focus is aggressive offroad riding. It's a little harsh for on road travel. We buy the motorcycle that attracts us. Then we still need to customize it for the way we actually plan to use it. Enjoy your travels!

Slovak translation (from Google Translate): Modely R majú dokonalé odpruženie...ak sa zameriavate na agresívnu jazdu v teréne. Je to trochu drsné na cestovanie. Kupujeme motorku, ktorá nás láka. Potom ho ešte musíme prispôsobiť spôsobu, akým ho skutočne plánujeme používať. Užite si svoje cesty!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
If someone has the funds to put their dream suspension on their bike, more power to them! My means are more modest, but I recognize the weaknesses inherent in the stock suspension. Nearly any bike can do with setting up the suspension for its owner. Before I take my Norden to Alaska this summer, I'm getting heavier springs and revalving (front and rear) to suit my weight and the large amount of gear I tend to travel with. But I have no plans to replace the WP Apex suspension system in its entirety. Total cost of my suspension upgrades will be under $1,000 USD.I'm also getting the problematic WP fork and shock seals replaced with SKF seals. I don't want to face dealing with a blown shock while thousands of miles away from home if I can avoid it!
That sounds very reasonable and a smart upgrade BUT to spend almost half the cost of the bike is a bit much. It's like buying a LR Defender and putting $40K into it to make it a rock crawler, not was it was designed to do. I have a Toyota 86 sports car, people spend lots to make it similar to a Porche and end up spending as much as one, but they first turbo the engine, then the brakes don't work well, and the suspension is not up to par, and the transmission breaks and needs an upgrade and on and on. One guy even returned it to stock after realizing it is what it is.

I agree the suspension needs a bit of work, but it is what it is, and it's never going to compete with a KTM 690 for instance, but people endlessly compare the Norden to it. Just saying one tool is not going to fix everything, nor is one bike going to do it all. My search for the "unicorn" bike has reached a point of realization that there are always compromises and nothing is going to do everything well or even do it. It can be an endless search for something that will never exist and lead to endless frustration. Kinda like tire choice... Someone on here just got back from a long Baja trip from CO, I'll be interested to hear his thoughts upon his return.

HumVee, I'll be looking into some of the suspension upgrades you are doing, thanks for the info and posting!
 

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That sounds very reasonable and a smart upgrade BUT to spend almost half the cost of the bike is a bit much. It's like buying a LR Defender and putting $40K into it to make it a rock crawler, not was it was designed to do. I have a Toyota 86 sports car, people spend lots to make it similar to a Porche and end up spending as much as one, but they first turbo the engine, then the brakes don't work well, and the suspension is not up to par, and the transmission breaks and needs an upgrade and on and on. One guy even returned it to stock after realizing it is what it is.

I agree the suspension needs a bit of work, but it is what it is, and it's never going to compete with a KTM 690 for instance, but people endlessly compare the Norden to it. Just saying one tool is not going to fix everything, nor is one bike going to do it all. My search for the "unicorn" bike has reached a point of realization that there are always compromises and nothing is going to do everything well or even do it. It can be an endless search for something that will never exist and lead to endless frustration. Kinda like tire choice... Someone on here just got back from a long Baja trip from CO, I'll be interested to hear his thoughts upon his return.

HumVee, I'll be looking into some of the suspension upgrades you are doing, thanks for the info and posting!
I agree that there is no "Unicorn" motorcycle that can do it all. Life (& physics) is all about compromise - or selecting the right tool for the specific job. That said, I think the dual-sport and Adventure bike classes come the closest of any designs. But a large dual-sport (like a DR650, KTM 690 Enduro/Husqvarna 701/GasGas 701) is still going to be better off the pavement and worse on the pavement than an ADV bike, and vice-versa. And neither will be as suitable for single track as a smaller dual-sport or dirt bike. That's just the way it is.

@belgiancx, I don't know where you're based, but I hope that you have local suspension specialists near you. I'm taking my bike to EVO Oregon, just 20 minutes away from me, in Forest Grove. If you don't have a suspension specialist close to you, you can pull your suspension components and ship them to a suspension shop. I've heard of Race Tech, in Carona, California. But I'm sure there's many other options. But I'm glad I won't have to be dealing with added down time for shipping to and from....
 
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