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

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