2024 Husqvarna Svartpilen 801 Review [A Dozen Fast Facts]

With KTM established as a Ready To Race brand by its owner, Pierer Mobility, the pure-street arm of the parent company’s Husqvarna marque slots itself as a distinctive style-oriented brand that doesn’t forget its performance roots. Based on the futuristically styled and sport-focused KTM 790 Duke, the 2024 Husqvarna Svartpilen 801 puts a steampunk/scrambler-inspired wrapper on its donor chassis while making it a bit more friendly to those who are attracted to its appearance and aren’t quite Ready To Race. That, of course, didn’t stop us from testing the Svartpilen 801 at a torrid pace in the South of France. Here’s what we discovered about the newest Husqvarna street bike.

2024 Husqvarna Svartpilen 801 Review: KTM 790 Duke based

  1. The 2024 Husqvarna Svartpilen 801 has the same DOHC parallel-twin as the KTM 790 Duke. The mill has been around since 2017 and has been well sorted out. The motor has a distinctive 285-degree crankshaft for a nice V-twinesque rumble. Smooth fueling is delivered via Bosch EMS-controlled Dell’Orto throttle bodies, which are part of a sophisticated IMU-informed electronics package. The six-speed transmission gets a standard quickshifter and a slip-and-assist clutch. Put it all together, and the Svartpilen 801 has a potent yet manageable powerplant that suits riders of a broad range of skill levels with different riding goals in mind. You can rip on lightly traveled and delightfully twisting backroads through the Alpes et Préalpes de Provençe, if that is your preference, or enjoy a mannered ride in urban confines.
  1. Much of the 799cc motor’s versatility comes from the ride modes. There are three standard ride modes—Sport, Street, and Rain—plus the Dynamic mode, which is part of the optional $420 Dynamic Pack. In addition to altering the throttle response, the modes also adjust the cornering-aware traction control and anti-wheelie control. The Bosch 9.3 MP ABS is always engaged; it’s also cornering-aware, except when you’re using the rear-only Supermoto mode. The quickshifter, which can be disabled, worked flawlessly in both directions. Of course, it prefers higher rpm when upshifting.

2024 Husqvarna Svartpilen 801 Review: For Sale

  1. Sport mode hushes the nannies. When you select Sport mode, Husqvarna lets the Svartpilen 801 spin up the rear wheel when on the throttle and slide it with the rear brake fully engaged. Traction control stops being lean-angle-sensitive, and the wheelie control is disabled. While you might think the result is an unruly motorcycle, the 801 remains intuitive to ride. Front-wheel ABS is still there, and you will feel it when riding aggressively. The Pirelli MT 60 RS tires, which are part of the “scrambler-inspired” styling exercise, contribute to the ABS triggering. The reduction in the traction control will only be noticed by the hardest-charging riders, or those who frequent low-traction roads. This configuration is excellent for the sporting crowd, yet remains civilized inside city limits. You can ride around town all day in Sport mode and never feel overwhelmed.
  1. The Dynamic Pack appeals to expert riders who want to personalize the electronics system of the 2024 Husqvarna Svartpilen 801. The Dynamic Pack adds 10 levels of traction control adjustment, five levels of wheelie control, and skid-sensitive engine compression braking—all of which are defeatable. You also get the ability to match full ABS operation with the sportiest throttle setting. The Dynamic Pack is about customizing the electronics and does not provide additional power or a more aggressive than Sport throttle response. Dynamic Mode purchasers should be aware that poor choices in setup will cripple the 801’s performance. Dial the traction control to the maximum, and the motor will spin up shockingly slowly coming out of corners. I made that mistake and quickly switched to Sport mode until I could stop to reconfigure the settings.

  1. Newer riders will be happy to stick with Street mode while they become accustomed to the performance the p-twin offers. Far from a dog in the Street mode, the 801 remains a potent ride in the canyons, though the throttle response is noticeably reduced. If you’ve been ripping through the twisties and find yourself in town, go ahead and tap the switchgear to select Street mode. The motorcycle is still more than fast enough, and you’ll get all the safety advantages of the electronics system. The wheelie control might even save you from a ticket, as the 801 does inspire some antics that the authorities frown upon. If the roads are wet, you’ll do well to go into Rain mode. Otherwise, stick to Street and Sport—and Dynamic, if you paid for it after the free sampling period.
  1. The UI and the five-inch TFT will be familiar to Austrian brand owners. The software has improved tremendously over the years, and illustrations are integrated to help new riders set up the electronics. The system allows for favorites and preset buttons. Interestingly, cruise control is a $290 option that includes different switchgear with an additional programmable button to access a setting of your choosing quickly and easily. With a couple of exceptions, Husqvarna saves your customized setting when you shut the bike off, so you don’t have to rebuild from scratch every time you shut the key off.

2024 Husqvarna Svartpilen 801 Review: MSRP

  1. The Husqvarna engineers made the handling of the Svartpilen 801 more forgiving than The Scalpel—KTM’s nickname for the 790 Duke. To get there, Husqvarna kicked out the rake a half-of-a-degree to a still-sporting 24.5 degrees and outfitted the 801 with flat-track-style Pirelli MT 60 RS tires on its cast aluminum wheels. The extra rake and the standard WP steering damper slow the Svartpilen 801’s handling enough to give additional confidence to a newer rider. Also, the MT’s dirt-oriented knobby-ish tread pattern offers less traction than the 790 Duke’s sport-touring Maxxis Supermaxx ST rubber. The Svartpilen is not as exacting as The Scalpel—a good or bad thing, depending on your riding preferences.
  1. While the Pirellis were chosen by a design team looking to enhance the “scrambler-inspired” styling, the MT 60 RS tires are capable performers. The edge grip of the Pirellis is impressive, though I got a sense that the frequent ABS intrusion when riding hard—either upright or in a corner—was due to MT 60 RS’s reduced contact patch and inherent tread flex. Regardless, the feel of the Pirellis is excellent, giving me the confidence to push my self-imposed risk envelope and never lose my nerve, or the front end. Still, should you prefer sportier rubber from any number of manufacturers, a set can easily be mounted on the 801’s 17-inch wheels.

2024 Husqvarna Svartpilen 801 Review: Price

  1. WP Apex units take care of the suspension. These are good units with a unique range of adjustments. To keep things simple, there are just five settings for the compression and rebound damping for the 43mm inverted fork, and the damping is hand-adjustable—no tools required. The adjustments are significant, though the standard settings worked best for me. Not unusual for WP, the spring-preload is fixed, though I wasn’t hamstrung by that. The shock requires tools for adjusting the rebound damping and spring preload; compression damping is fixed. I didn’t feel any need to break out the tools, as the standard settings met my needs in the varied road conditions and demand I put on the chassis.

  1. Brembo-owned, Husqvarna-branded J.Juan calipers work with the Bosch ABS. This is another area where the Svartpilen deviates from the Duke. Husqvarna opted for softer brake engagement, which has two advantages for the right user. Less experienced riders, and those operating the 801 primarily in urban environments, will appreciate the lack of aggressive braking when pulling in the lever. Front braking power from the 300mm discs is progressive, with the deceleration compounding as your hand grip increases. The final front braking power is enough to activate the ABS, so that’s all you can ask for. The rear brake is usable so don’t ignore it when sport riding and you want to scrub off speed in a hurry. The front end doesn’t dive excessively, so the rear brake is a viable supplement.

2024 Husqvarna Svartpilen 801 Review: Retro steampunk sport motorcycle

  1. With natural ergonomics, the 2024 Husqvarna Svartpilen 801 is comfortable all day long. Although the 801 is designed to look good, it also is a functional motorcycle. The 3.7-gallon fuel tank is narrow at the knees, and the seat has flat ribs to help keep you in place. Should your groin slide forward into the tank, there’s a large, padded area to reduce damage to sensitive male accouterments. Vibration is not an issue at any touchpoints; credit the dual counterbalancers. The round mirrors have that retro look, but offer a limited rearview—bar-end mirrors are an option. There’s no wind protection, which you will undoubtedly notice when hitting triple-digit speeds.
  1. Husqvarna gets a $1400 premium for the Svartpilen 801 compared to the KTM 790 Duke. We often see a price increase with the styling variants, such as the retro-themed Yamaha XSR900 or Kawasaki Z900RS. In the case of the 2024 Husqvarna Svartpilen 801, functional changes imbue the Svartpilen with its unique personality. If you’re someone who sees the Svartpilen 801 and swipes right, you’re likely to have a very successful relationship.

Photography By Marco Campelli and Sebas Romero


2024 Husqvarna Svartpilen 801 Specs


  • Type: Parallel twin
  • Displacement: 799cc
  • Bore x stroke: 88mm x 65.7mm
  • Compression ratio: 12.5:1
  • Valvetrain: DOHC; 4 vpc
  • Fueling: Bosch ride-by-wire EMS w/ DKK Dell’Orto 46mm throttle bodies
  • Exhaust: Stainless steel
  • Lubrication: Semi-dry sump
  • Cooling: Liquid and oil
  • Transmission: 6-speed w/ quickshifter
  • Clutch: Cable-actuated with assist and slip functions
  • Final drive: 520 X-ring chain


  • Frame: Chromoly steel w/ aluminum subframe
  • Handlebar: Tapered aluminum w/ crossbar and 2 mounting positions
  • Steering damper: WP
  • Front suspension; travel: Damping-adjustable WP Apex 43mm inverted fork; 5.5 inches
  • Rear suspension; travel: Linkage-free, rebound-damping and spring-preload adjustable WP Apex shock; 5.9 inches
  • Wheels: Cast aluminum
  • Front wheel: 17 x 3.5
  • Rear wheel: 17 x 5.5
  • Tires: Pirelli MT 60 RS
  • Front tire: 120/70 x 17
  • Rear tire: 180/55 x 17
  • Front brakes: 300mm discs w/ radially mounted J.Juan 4-piston calipers
  • Rear brake: 240mm disc w/ J.Juan 2-piston caliper
  • ABS: Bosch 9.3 MP w/ cornering ABS and Supermoto mode


  • Wheelbase: 54.6 inches
  • Rake: 24.5 degrees
  • Triple clamp offset: 32mm
  • Trail: 3.9 inches
  • Seat height: 32.2 inches
  • Fuel capacity: 3.7 gallons
  • Curb weight: 421 pounds

2024 Husqvarna Svartpilen 801 Price: $10,899 MSRP ($11,319 as tested)

2024 Husqvarna Svartpilen 801 Review Photo Gallery