HUSQVARNA VITPILEN 701 (2018-on) Review

Published: 10 April 2018

Husqvarna creates one of the best road-going singles we’ve ever ridden.

HUSQVARNA VITPILEN 701  (2018-on)

Husqvarna creates one of the best road-going singles we’ve ever ridden.

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

Husky claim the Vitpilen 701 isn’t a sporty bike, but it still does a pretty good impression of being one. It’s light and flickable, allowing you to change lines with easen and it darts from one side to the other like a toy and turns so quickly it took me by surprise on more than one occasion. But the overall beauty of the Vitpilen underneath that radical bodywork is how easy it is to ride and how much fun it is – and all without the need to be doing double the speed limit! The 701 has much wider abilities than many expected and will appeal to everyone from fashionable commuters to new bikers – but it's a massive shame about the high price.

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5

That riding position feels natural and not too upright, but the Husky’s seat is quite hard, meaning that the chance to stretch my legs when the fuel light came on at between 75 and 85 miles was very welcome. The plush suspension is soft enough to take on the harsh city environment, bouncing over speed humps and not jolting over huge potholes.

Engine 5 out of 5

Husky's trellis chassis houses the most powerful single-cylinder motor on the market. Husqvarna are claiming 75bhp from the KTM unit and it’s identical to the engine found in KTM’s 690 Duke and Husqvarna’s own Supermoto 701. But thanks to revised fuelling and a different exhaust and airbox it produces one vital more bhp than the Duke... Husky have also improved the gearbox to give a more positive change between second and third and added ‘Easy-shift’, which is their name for an up-and-down quickshifter.

Around town, the single is responsive and surprisingly smooth above 3000rpm – so much so you would be forgiven for mistakenly thinking you’re riding a twin. Below that, of course, the delivery’s a little lumpy, as you’d expect from a big single. Get it above 3000rpm and it’s faultless with impeccable fuelling.

Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5

The single-cylinder engine has been powering the 690 Duke since 2012 (although it has been updated) and is a reliable unit.

Insurance, running costs & value 3 out of 5

At nearly £9000, it’s pricier than Yamaha’s brilliant XSR900, Triumph’s outstanding Street Triple S and even £900 more than Ducati’s base Monster 797. These multi-cylinder bikes are more versatile and offer more ‘real-world’ performance than Husky's single cylinder.

Insurance group: 11 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 4 out of 5

The WP suspension is near identical to that on the 690 Duke. The front 43mm USD forks are fully-adjustable while the shock, which operates through a linkage, is adjustable for rebound and preload only. The brakes are the same as those on the 690 Duke while ABS is standard as is basic traction control, although it isn’t angle-sensitive. Thankfully, you can de-activate the traction control while on the move and even turn off the ABS at a standstill.  Husky's ‘Easy-shift’ is a joy to use and once moving it negates the need for a clutch. Unlike some quick-shifters, it’ll even downshift on part throttle and doesn’t require the throttle to be fully closed. There’s even a fun little ‘pop’ from the fruity exhaust between up-shifts, which is lovely...

Owners' Reviews

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Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2018
Year discontinued -
New price £8,899
Used price -
Warranty term 2-years
Running costs
Insurance group 11 of 17
Annual road tax £88
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 75 bhp
Max torque 53.1 ft-lb
Top speed 115 mph
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption -
Tank range -
Specification
Engine size 692cc
Engine type Liquid-cooled, 4v, single
Frame type Tubular steel trellis
Fuel capacity 12 litres
Seat height 830mm
Bike weight 157kg
Front suspension 43mm inverted WP forks fully-adjustable
Rear suspension Single rear WP shock, adjustable pre-load and rebound
Front brake 320mm discs with four-piston Brembo radial caliper
Rear brake 240mm single disc with single piston Brembo caliper
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 160/60 x 17

History & Versions

Model history

New model for 2018

Other versions

None

Photo Gallery

  • HUSQVARNA VITPILEN 701  (2018-on)
  • HUSQVARNA VITPILEN 701  (2018-on)
  • HUSQVARNA VITPILEN 701  (2018-on)
  • HUSQVARNA VITPILEN 701  (2018-on)
  • HUSQVARNA VITPILEN 701  (2018-on)
  • HUSQVARNA VITPILEN 701  (2018-on)
  • HUSQVARNA VITPILEN 701  (2018-on)
  • HUSQVARNA VITPILEN 701  (2018-on)
  • HUSQVARNA VITPILEN 701  (2018-on)
  • HUSQVARNA VITPILEN 701  (2018-on)
  • HUSQVARNA VITPILEN 701  (2018-on)
  • HUSQVARNA VITPILEN 701  (2018-on)
  • HUSQVARNA VITPILEN 701  (2018-on)
  • HUSQVARNA VITPILEN 701  (2018-on)
  • HUSQVARNA VITPILEN 701  (2018-on)
  • HUSQVARNA VITPILEN 701  (2018-on)
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