When Husqvarna was bought from BMW by a KTM board member it was believed the company would concentrate on off-road vehicles while KTM expanded into road bikes. However, Husqvarna has unveiled two road bike “401” concepts at EICMA in Milan that show a different future direction.
(Update January 2015: Husky has confirmed these will form the basis foir new production models in 2017.)
The Vit Pilen (“White Arrow” in Swedish) cafe racer and Svart Pilen (Black Arrow) scrambler were created by Austrian industrial design company Kiska who also do the design work for KTM. They have been designed to gauge public reaction before possible production.
The bikes are inspired by the 1950s Silver Pilen which was lighter, smaller and faster than its competitors.
They may be retro concepts but they are modern as they are based on the popular Duke 390. they feature upside-down WP forks, lightweight trellis frames, 17-inch wheels. The lightweight 135kg bikes are powered by the KTM Duke 390 water-cooled single with 32kW of power.
Kiska senior designer Björn Shuster says the bikes are not recollections of the past.
“They’re about purity, simplicity of form, and economy of line,” he says. ”Those are the fundamentals of the Husqvarna design language. It doesn’t matter if it was 60 years ago or now, the same mentality remains.”
He says the bike will be easily customisable.
Husky also showed a production version of its 701 Supermoto concept based on the KTM 690 SMC R. It is powered by a 50kW single and weighs only 145kg dry which is 5kg more than the KTM.
Some of that extra weight is the 14-litre tank, compared with 12 litre, as well as an ABS unit, a slipper clutch, fly-by-wire throttle and switchable engine modes.