HUSQVARNA VITPILEN 401 (2018 - on) Review

Highlights

  • Stylish café racer based on KTM 390 Duke
  • A2 licence-friendly
  • A seriously cool bike to learn on

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Annual servicing cost: £120
Power: 42 bhp
Seat height: Medium (32.9 in / 835 mm)
Weight: Low (326 lbs / 148 kg)

Prices

New £5,049
Used £3,500 - £3,700

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
3 out of 5 (3/5)

The Husqvarna Vitpilen 401 has the same pricing issues as the Svartpilen, however its café racer styling adds an extra element of unwanted discomfort on the road.

One for those who are prepared to sacrifice practicality in the name of fashion as it doesn’t deliver anything the KTM 390 Duke doesn’t aside from a unique style, cramped bars and a high price tag. Husky’s current lack of dealer network (especially in major cities) will certainly hold them back in the UK.

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The Vitpilen rides well when you are on the open road and its Metzeler M5 tyres are sportier than the Svartpilen’s chunky Pirellis, giving it better road handling.

The WP suspension delivers a nice balance between sports and comfort and the brakes and ABS are good, but the seat seriously lacks padding and the drop bars are uncomfortable in town or when you are cruising.

Husqvarna Vitpilen 401 rides well on its Pirelli tyres

Engine

Next up: Reliability
4 out of 5 (4/5)

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 it’s nothing that will ruin the experience for newer riders.

The 390 Duke is a known quantity and Husky have wisely decided not to alter its motor at all, so there is little to complain about.

Husqvarna Vitpilen 401 engine

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The KTM 390 Duke owner reviews indicate it's a solid machine that is now in its second generation, so there is little to suggest the Vitpilen will be unreliable.

Although many of its components are manufactured in India, the actual bike is assembled in Austria, which is reassuring.

Husqvarna Vitpilen 401 fuel tank

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
3 out of 5 (3/5)

Husky claim potential buyers will be prepared to pay a premium as the Vitpilen is a lifestyle product. The problem with this is that it costs £900 more than the KTM 390 Duke, despite sharing most of its components.

Whether buyers will be prepared to stump up this premium purely for a cool-looking Husky product is yet to be seen…

The Husqvarna Vitpilen 401 is expensive, but what price cool?

Equipment

3 out of 5 (3/5)

The Vitpilen comes with some neat features such as a slipper clutch, Bosch ABS, WP suspension, radial brakes and Metzeler M5 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.

Husqvarna Vitpilen 401 has a slipper clutch for those learning to ride

Specs

Engine size 375cc
Engine type Liquid-cooled, 4v, single
Frame type Tubular steel trellis
Fuel capacity 9.5 litres
Seat height 835mm
Bike weight 148kg
Front suspension 43mm, WP forks non-adjustable
Rear suspension Single WP rear shock, adjustable spring preload
Front brake 1 x 320mm discs 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 £47
Annual service cost £120
New price £5,049
Used price £3,500 - £3,700
Insurance group -
How much to insure?
Warranty term 2-year

Top speed & performance

Max power 42 bhp
Max torque 27.3 ft-lb
Top speed 100 mph
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range -

Model history & versions

Model history

2018: Husqvarna launch the Svartpilen and Vitpilen 401 models.

Other versions

The Svartpilen 401 is urban enduro styled with Pirelli Scorpion Rally tyres and high bars. It comes in black where the Vitpilen is white.

Owners' reviews for the HUSQVARNA VITPILEN 401 (2018 - on)

1 owner has reviewed their HUSQVARNA VITPILEN 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.

Review your HUSQVARNA VITPILEN 401 (2018 - on)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Engine: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Reliability & build quality: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Value vs rivals: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Equipment: 3 out of 5 (3/5)
Annual servicing cost: £120
5 out of 5 Superb bike for a weee thrash although have taken it on 300mile trips no bother. Comfy.
17 December 2021 by Ken Mercer

Year: 2021

Annual servicing cost: £120

It's such an underrated bike. Can sit with 1000cc bike most of the time. You tend to thrash it everywhere. That's what it is all about. The quickshifter and fully adjustable WP suspension is superb. Handles great. Great brakes. A lot bigger a bike than you think. I love it.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Superb. It is surprisingly comfy

Engine 5 out of 5

revvy but great

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

very frugal

Equipment 3 out of 5

Not got any fancy dash stuff

Buying experience: Cheap

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