Husqvarna has plans for 400s

Historic brand set to have smaller bikes ready next year

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Husqvarna have confirmed that their stunning Vitpilen and Svartpilen 401 roadsters are just a year away from being revealed in full production form.

The news about the smaller 401 bikes was announced at the official unveiling of the bigger Vitpilen 701 at the Milan show last week.

The two 401 bikes were revealed in concept form at the 2014 Milan show as the first full-blown road-going concept machines from the firm since its 2013 takeover by KTM parent company Pierer Industries AG.

Although there was no official word on further models, MCN understands that an 801 and then a mighty 1301 will follow in quick succession. These bikes will be using the 800cc KTM parallel-twin currently under development, while the 1301 will be a version of the unit used in KTM’s 1290 Super Duke R. The 401 uses an engine from the KTM 390 Duke and the 701 is using the thumping single from the KTM 690 Duke. Once the firm is up to speed, Husqvarna will have a range which stretches from 125cc through to 1301cc, all based on KTM engine platforms.

Husqvarna CEO Reinhold Zens said: “Next year you will see the production Vitpilen 401 and a 125 version also. They will be on sale in Spring 2017.”

The Vitpilen 701 was revealed in concept form, and like all concept bikes there are going to be elements that will never make production because of legislation and engineering issues. The open, side-mounted air filter will have to be enclosed inside some kind of airbox and the unusual inner surface of the silencer is unlikely to make it to fruition.

There are clear styling similarities between the 401 concepts revealed in 2014 and the new 701 model, but Husqvarna says this bike is altogether a more serious performance offering, while the 401s are aimed at being much more accessible.

The 701 sees the 73bhp single-cylinder motor from the new KTM 690 Duke installed in an even lighter and more pared-back motorcycle which is much lower at the front with less fork travel, lower handlebars and a more aggressive street stance than the KTM. We expect to see full production versions unveiled in 12 month’s time, ahead of their 2017 on-sale dates. 

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Andy Downes

By Andy Downes

Former MCN Senior Reporter