First Ride: Husqvarna Vitpilen 401

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The Vitpilen uses exactly the same basic platform as the Svartpilen, however where the urban enduro comes with high bars and chunky Pirelli tyres, the café racer wears Metzeler M5 tyres and has clip-on style bars. Which is a bit of an issue…


Fashion never comes for free and the Vitpilen’s sporty styling makes it uncomfortable to ride. The swept-back bars are set pretty low and put a lot of strain on both your wrists and upper back, especially if you are quite tall. When combined with a seat that somehow comes with even less padding than the Svartpilen’s, it equals a bike that is best suited for short blasts only. Which is a shame as it’s a cracking machine and (briefly) great fun to ride.



  • Liquid-cooled DOHC single cylinder
  • 42.4bhp with of torque, A2-legal
  • Slipper clutch and Bosch ABS
  • WP suspension
  • Metzeler M5 tyres


Like the Svartpilen, the Vitpilen inherits all of the KTM 390 Duke’s good points and its road-orientated rubber and sporty riding position makes it more agile in the bends than its urban enduro sibling. In many ways it feels like KTM’s RC390, just with some really standout and unique styling. And it is this fact that will be its main selling point, not how it rides.

If you like Vitpilen’s clean look, and are prepared to put up with a bit of discomfort, there is nothing wrong with it at all. However for general day-to-day use, the Svartpilen is the more practical option.


  • Price: £5599
  • Engine: 375cc liquid-cooled, DOHC, 4-valve, single
  • Frame: Tubular steel trellis
  • Seat height: 835mm
  • Suspension: 43mm inverted WP forks, non-adjustable. Rear: WP monoshock, adjustable spring preload
  • Brakes: 1 x 320mm disc, four-piston ByBre radial caliper; 230mm disc, one-piston caliper. Bosch ABS
  • Weight: 148kg (wet)
  • Tank capacity: 9.5 litres
  • Power: 42.4bhp @ 9000rpm
  • Torque: 27.3ftlb @7000rpm
  • Colours: White
  • Available: Now


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Jon Urry

By Jon Urry

MCN contributor, original 916 & R1-owner, human labrador