More hipster than hooligan | New Husqvarna Svartpilen 801 retro roadster revealed for 2024

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Husqvarna are gunning for the middleweight crown with the release of the Svartpilen 801. The new machine shares the same torquey twin-cylinder 799cc LC8 DOHC motor as KTM’s 790 Duke, making the Svartpilen Husqvarna’s largest roadster currently on sale. Bikes are expected in dealers from June and will be available from £10,499.   

The Svartpilen 801 boasts 105bhp and 64lb.ft of torque. Whilst this will appeal to some as a step up in power from the A2-friendly 95bhp output of its orange cousin, it does mean that only unrestricted licence-holders will be able to enjoy the fruits of Husqvarna’s labour.  

To create its contemporary scrambler-esque look, strong styling cues have been taken from the existing Svartpilen 401 and Vitpilen range. Despite sharing much of its componentry with KTM’s mid-sized Duke, the 801 clearly attempts to step away from the in-your-face aggressive aesthetic, offering a more subtle, classier retro aesthetic.  

Husqvarna Svartpilen 801 static left hand side shot

Adorned with quality fully adjustable WP Apex suspension, and with a claimed unfuelled weight of just 181kg, the Svartpilen should offer a nimble ride – although the pseudo-off-road Pirelli MT60RS standard fitment tyres are likely to dampen handling feedback to some degree.   

Husky have packed in plentiful rider aids and electronics including a ‘Supermoto’ ABS mode that allows for a spot of backing-it-in rear-wheel sliding action. Cornering ABS, lean-sensitive traction control and an up-and-down quickshifter all come as standard, as does full phone connectivity via a 5in TFT display, giving access to turn-by-turn nav and offline map storage.    

Riders wanting to make the bike their own can add the optional Dynamic Mode to their purchase; an electronic package that allows access to 10 levels of wheel slip control (including disabling intervention entirely), cruise control, engine braking modulation and five levels of anti-wheelie assistance.  

Rider taking right hand corner aboard new Husqvarna Svartpilen 801

No price has yet been announced for this feature, but expect Husqvarna to charge a similar premium to the £361.51 that KTM demand for their equivalent Track mode, available on the £7999 790 Duke. 

Architecturally, Husqvarna appear to be sticking by the ‘if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it’ philosophy. The chrome-molybdenum tubular steel frame has been lifted straight from KTM’s excellent-handling 790 Duke and the cast aluminium subframe – featuring integrated underseat air intakes, is also incorporated on the 801.   

Seat height is not yet quoted, although the 801’s compact dry-sump motor and svelte chassis is likely to result in a stand over suitable for most. Expect a factory lowering kit to be included in the options catalogue for those who still find the 801 too lofty though. 

Husqvarna Svartpilen 801 sliding in the gravel

A pair of 43mm WP APEX open cartridge forks sit up front and provide 140mm of travel with split function, five-way compression plus rebound adjustability. At the rear sits a rebound and preload-adjustable WP APEX Monotube shock, good for 150mm of bounce delivered via a low maintenance, linkage free design. The seat height has not yet been revealed.   

Husqvarna claim 52.3mpg for the Svartpilen, which should be good for 190 miles from its 14-litre tank. In combination with a 15,000km (9320 miles) service interval, running costs should be suitably low against rivals in its class – although most similar output nakeds are available to purchase for a lot less than the Svartpilen’s £10,499 asking price. 

Husqvarna Svartpilen 801 new dash