Husqvarna Vitpilen and Svartpilen Fast Facts, Photos, and Video
I’ll be the first to admit that when the Husqvarna Vitpilen 701 concept was announced, I went bonkers. Since then, I’ve been waiting with baited breath at the potential of seeing it come to fruition, and it seems we’ll be getting a representative version of that with the newly announced Husqvarna Vitpilen 401, as well as the Svartpilen 401.To describe the bikes as having modern design cues would be a disservice to the extreme and groundbreaking appearance they have. Angular, but completely refreshing, the Husqvarna Vitpilen (which translates from Swedish to White Arrow) and Svartpilen (Black Arrow) will surely catch the eyes of many.
[Visit the 2017 Motorcycle Previews page]Even better, the lower displacement Vitpilen 401 and Svartpilen 401 could help garner attention from the younger market that manufacturers have desperately been trying to interact with. Availability and price are not yet available. We can’t wait to ride them, but for now we’ll provide the Fast Facts.1. A good base is always a positive starting point. The Husqvarna Vitpilen and Svartpilen 401 do appear to be completely unique motorcycles to the untrained eye. However, their foundations rest upon the popular KTM 390 Duke. Many critical components are shared between the models, which makes sense as Husqvarna and KTM are owned by the same parent company (Pierer Industrie AG).2. Familiar with the KTM 390 Duke’s powerplant? We’ll be seeing it in the 401 platforms as well. The lovable 373cc single cylinder engine will be getting some more life in the 401 line. That’s not a bad thing; in fact, it makes the Vitpilen and Svartpilen even more enticing for someone who wants a reasonably powered machine that can still deliver plenty of entertainment at the wrist.3. Modern suspension for modern machines. I might be biased, but an inverted fork has some great aesthetic qualities. 43mm WP forks and a WP shock handle suspension duties. Unfortunately, we weren’t made aware as to whether or not these machines will have adjustable suspension or not.4. A frame of steel; trellis in design. In either promotional photo of the Husqvarna Vitpilen 401 or Svartpilen 401, the steel trellis frame is front and center. Husqvarna hasn’t made it clear whether the frame is shared between the Duke 390 and the 401 line, but it certainly doesn’t upset the aesthetic vibe the Austria-based brand has gone for.5. The 401s should have some decent stopping power. Each model appears to be equipped with a single 320mm disc up front, and a 230mm disc in the rear, with ByBre rotors performing the heavy stopping.6. ABS is nearly ubiquitous. We can thank Europe for this, but it seems that ABS is becoming common place—something that I’m quite pleased with. The 401 Huskys will be using Bosch’s two-channel 9MB ABS. Making this bike even more accessible for the beginner market.7. The 401s share a tank. There hasn’t been official word yet, but the Husqvarna Vitpilen 401 and Svartpilen 401 each arrive with a 2.5-gallon gas tank. MPG and range numbers haven’t been released, of course. However, that’s all in how you ride it.8. Husqvarna might be a brand your dad has talked about, but they’re near perfect strangers to the street world. Despite the company’s size and longevity, Husqvarna hasn’t dabbled with pure-street machines in recent history. Husqvarna is keen on reentering the road going market after a substantial hiatus, dubbing the Husqvarna Vitpilen 401 and Svartpilen 401 the first two additions to its “Real Street” line.9. The Vitpilen 401 and Svartpilen 401 cater to all demographics, on or light-off-road. The main differences between the two models is their intended purposes. The Vitpilen 401 will come equipped with clip-on handlebars, and street-oriented Metzeler M5 tires. Needless to say, the Vitpilen 401 looks to have an upright, but sporting riding position; great for carving up your commute or blasting through your preferred canyon.But Husqvarna didn’t want to leave anyone out in the cold—the Svartpilen will use wider motocross-style bars, a skid plate, exhaust protector, tank rack, and Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR knobbies. Put those things together and it seems that we’ll be able to have some fun in the dirt aboard the Svartpilen 401.That’s about all we know at the moment regarding the brash Husqvarna Vitpilen and Svartpilen 401, but we have to give credit where credit is due—Husqvarna produced a concept which eventually turned into a tangible product, without any dilution that we can perceive. With so much modern styling out there, especially with the likes of the Yamaha FZ-10, how do our readers feel about these decidedly modern bikes?
Hello everyone and welcome to Motos and Friends, a weekly Podcast brought to you by the editorial team at Ultimate Motorcycling. My name is Arthur Coldwells.
Yamaha’s Ténéré 700 is an excellent foray into the middleweight ADV world. Associate Editor Neil Wyenn owns a 2021 model, and has spent the last year adding and improving various aspects of his bike. Some add-ons are more vital others, and he lets us into his secrets for getting the most out of the Yamaha Ténéré. His total enthusiasm for ADV riding and the Yamaha Ténéré in particular were pretty obvious to me—I’m sure you’ll feel the same. Links to all the items he mentions are below.