Husqvarna has launched its beautiful production-ready Vitpilen (Swedish for white arrow) naked motorcycle and Svartpilen (black arrow) adventure bike at the EICMA show along with a faired Areo concept.
It’s been a long wait with a scrambler concept in 2011, two 401 concepts in 2014 and the larger 701 concept at last year’s Milan show.
Now the production bikes are about to be released and they are absolute beauties – although some might think they’re pretty ugly!
While many companies are going retro with their naked bikes, Husqvarna is more like the Japanese makers with its modern lines.
The bronze features in the engine casings, fork brace, wheels and front suspension adjusters.
Other highlights are the striking fuel tank/body/airbox, the suspended seat, short tail, wrap-around exhaust and full LED lighting.
That headlight with the daytime running lights with a ring and internal rectangle will become an iconic identifying feature of the model and, hopefully, the brand’s road bikes.
Obviously the Vitpilen will need a rear mudguard, number plate holder and mirrors, but we don’t think they will spoil the basic lines.
Checkered ownership history
The Swedish motorcycle manufacturer has had a checkered history of ownership over the years.
In the ‘80s it was owned by Italian company Cagiva and was bought by BMW in 2007.
In 2013, it was bought by a KTM board member with Indian Bajaj financial backing.
Basically it’s a 390 Duke engine, but with new bodywork, frame, WP suspension and instruments.
While the 701 concept had a 690cc Husky engine, these apparently has the 373cc single-cylinder engine from the 390 Duke. It produces just 32kW of power, but the bike only weighs 135kg.
How will Vitpilen and Svartpilen sell?
There is a growing trend toward the smaller-capacity bikes, so these should do well.
If they do, we should expect to see similar and bigger-capacity models in future.
We await word from the Australian importers, but with the growth in LAMS models and the success of bikes such as the 390 Duke, Kawsasaki Ninja 300 and others, they would do well to bring in the Vitpilen.
Meanwhile, the Svartpilen fits nicely with the new range of small-bore adventure bikes such as the BMW G 310 GS, Honda 190 Night Hawk, Kawasaki Versys-X 300, 400cc Royal Enfield Himalayan and Suzuki V-Strom 250