HUSQVARNA SVARTPILEN 401 (2018 - on) Review
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£100|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
The Svartpilen is a lifestyle product as much as a motorcycle and that means Husqvarna expects buyers to pay a premium for its styling. But will they? The Svartpilen works well, but it doesn’t deliver anything the KTM 390 Duke doesn’t aside from a unique style while Husky’s current lack of dealer network (especially in major cities) will certainly hold them back.
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
Despite its off-road look, the Svartpilen rides well and its 17-inch wheels with only marginally chunky-style rubber ensures it handles naturally and doesn’t forsake agility in the name of fashion. The WP suspension delivers a nice balance between sports and comfort, the brakes and ABS are good and if it wasn’t for a hideous seat that seriously lacks padding, there would be little to complain about.
EngineNext up: Reliability
Using the 390 Duke as a base has ensured that the Husqvarna rides and drives excellently. The Duke’s 375cc single has enough grunt for urban use and its ride-by-wire throttle is spot on in terms of feel and connection. The gearbox is a little on the clunky side, but this is a bike at the budget end of the spectrum and it is nothing that will ruin the experience for newer riders.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
The 390 Duke is a solid machine that is now in its second generation, so there is little to suggest the Svartpilen will be unreliable. Although many of its components are manufactured in India, the actual bike is assembled in Austria, which is reassuring.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
The Svartpilen costs nearly £1000 more than the KTM 390 Duke, despite sharing most of its components including its frame, engine and suspension. Husky claim potential buyers will be prepared to pay a premium as it is a lifestyle product, whether this proves accurate or not is yet to be seen…
The Svartpilen comes with some neat features such as a slipper clutch, Bosch ABS, WP suspension, radial brakes, spoke wheels and Pirelli Scorpion Rally tyres. However, unlike the Duke, its dash isn’t full-colour and lacks connectivity – that said it does have a gear indicator and fuel gauge.
|Engine type||Liquid-cooled, 4v, single|
|Frame type||Tubular steel trellis|
|Fuel capacity||9.5 litres|
|Front suspension||43mm, WP forks non-adjustable|
|Rear suspension||Single WP rear shock, adjustable spring preload|
|Front brake||1 x 320mm disc with ByBre four-piston radial caliper|
|Rear brake||230mm single disc with single-piston caliper|
|Front tyre size||110/70 x 17|
|Rear tyre size||150/60 x 17|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||-|
|Annual road tax||£44|
|Annual service cost||£100|
|Used price||£3,400 - £5,000|
How much to insure?
Top speed & performance
|Max power||42 bhp|
|Max torque||27.3 ft-lb|
|Top speed||100 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||-|
Model history & versions
2018: Husqvarna launch the Svartpilen and Vitpilen 401 models.
The Vitpilen 401 is café racer styled with Metzeler M5 tyres and clip-on bars. It comes in white where the Svartpilen is black.
Owners' reviews for the HUSQVARNA SVARTPILEN 401 (2018 - on)
3 owners have reviewed their HUSQVARNA SVARTPILEN 401 (2018 - on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£100|
Love the soling and ride is great. Not a fan of the low number plate holder. Mudguards are far too small for the Uk, have bought & fitted extenders. Don't expect Honda reliability, check the forums first as some bikes are 100% reliable whilst others were poorly built. Quite a few electrical issues with the ECU, . starter soleniod & battery leads causing stalling. Some owners have returned for a refund.as dealer cannot resolve
Can't fault, just about right. Had a SMR511 before so used to the hard seat.
Engine appears to be strong but still running in. Clutch is noisy when cold & clutch level/cable 'cracks' going down the gears.
Build quality on my bike is really disappointing. Broke down twice within first 100 miles with electrical problems. Annoying vibration from throttle switchgear. Logo disappearing off the exhaust can. On full tank the there is a knocking from the front of the bike/tank.
£4000 otr is a great deal is you have a well built one.
Good, Like the illuminated switch gear
Buying experience: Dealer support good.
This is the slowest bike I've owned, the last one being a Tuono... But it's also the most fun, reminding me of my SV650n, though really the Husky feels a lot better built. It also looks great, really great. Makes me happy everytime I'm taking it, right now I wouldn't change it for anything else, regardless of price/power or reputation. Surprised it's only getting a 3 star rating!?
The front brake has more than what you need, bite and feel! Most reviews seem to mention the suspension is on the soft side, can't say I've noticed, I weigh 82kgs and I surely wouldn't want it went firmer.
I actually went to the dealer to test ride a Vitpilen 701, they also had a Svartpilen 401, tried both, bought the 401, no hesitation whatsoever. I thought small capacity engines were for beginners only, having had much more powerful bikes. Was I wrong, this little engine is a beast, so much fun extracting 100% of its power, something you couldn't do in the twisties (or any public road really...) with anything north of 100bhp.
Buying experience: Bought an ex demo bike from a dealer here in France, the salesperson (or teenage boy really...) was a bit of a joke, the bike wasn't ready as agreed when I arrived (1000kms service undone) and he forgot to give me the owners manual and service book with the bike, he also gave me the another bike's paperwork which could have been a problem (insurance!) had I not noticed it! Anyhow I had the bike at a good price and everything is now in order so I'm still happy with the way things went...
Version: Svartpilen 401
Annual servicing cost: £100
Excellent bike does everything very well, great in town or motorway. Tyres won't let go. Brakes are more than good enough for a light bike. If I had another I would flat track race it in a heartbeat. If you have not risen one go and book a test ride.
Rides well local or motorway. Brakes fine for a light bike.
Revs well and gets about.
Never missed a beat, plenty of equipment. Good build but as all bikes now I would like less plastic.
Not cost me anything yet.
Got everything you need what more is there.
Buying experience: After a test ride at MCN show I called DK Motorcycles who I have had several bikes from, they did me a good deal and delivered.