2018 Husqvarna Vitpilen and Svartpilen | First Look Review

2018 Husqvarna Vitpilen 701
Husqvarna has announced three production street bikes for 2018: Vitpilen 701 (above), Vitpilen 401 and Svartpilen 401.

At the 2014 EICMA show in Milan, Italy—nearly two years after Austrian KTM bought Swedish-born, Italy-based Husqvarna from German BMW—Husqvarna showed two street-focused concept bikes based on the KTM 390 Duke, the Vitpilen 401 (Swedish for “White Arrow”) and Svartpilen 401 (“Black Arrow”). The following year, again at EICMA, Husqvarna unveiled a Vitpilen 701 concept based on the KTM 690 Duke.

2018 Husqvarna Vitpilen 701
2018 Husqvarna Vitpilen 701

Finally, Husky’s new range of “Real Street” motorcycles is ready for production, and they’re coming to America in the summer of 2018. At this year’s EICMA show, Husqvarna displayed production versions of the Vitpilen 701, Vitpilen 401 and Svartpilen 401, as well as a tracker-style Svartpilen 701 concept.

2018 Husqvarna Vitpilen 701

2018 Husqvarna Vitpilen 701
2018 Husqvarna Vitpilen 701

With sculpted, muscular styling that leads with a round headlight nested within a bright LED ring and ends with a stubby tail, the Vitpilen 701 embraces the less-is-more look of naked street bikes. Carried in its chrome-moly steel trellis frame is a liquid-cooled, 693cc single-cylinder engine with throttle-by-wire that makes a claimed 75 horsepower and 53 lb-ft of torque at the crank, and premium components include WP suspension, Brembo brakes, switchable Bosch ABS and an APTC slipper clutch.

2018 Husqvarna Vitpilen 701 headlight
The 2018 Husqvarna Vitpilen 701 mixes old and new, with a classic round headlight fitted with a modern LED ring.

Husqvarna says the Vitpilen 701’s dry weight is just 346 pounds and it has a 3.2-gallon fuel capacity. The compact bike has a 56.5-inch wheelbase and a 32.7-inch seat height, and it rolls on 17-inch cast wheels shod with Bridgestone Battlax tires.

The only color shown in the photos is a matte silver with copper highlights on the mostly black engine and the hanger for the sharply upswept exhaust pipe. Pricing for the 2018 Husqvarna Vitpilen 701 is TBD.

Husqvarna Svartpilen 701 Concept

Husqvarna Svartpilen 701 Concept
Husqvarna Svartpilen 701 Concept

Based on the Vitpilen 701, the Svartpilen 701 concept takes the minimalist styling in an aggressive street tracker direction. Powered by the same 693cc, 75-horsepower single, the Svartpilen 701 rolls on 18-inch front/17-inch rear cast wheels shod with semi-knobby tires. It also has a more upright handlebar, a unique headlight, a tracker-style tail section and a special exhaust. If we’re lucky, we’ll see the Black Arrow 701 in the lineup soon.

2018 Husqvarna Vitpilen 401

2018 Husqvarna Vitpilen 401
2018 Husqvarna Vitpilen 401

The Vitpilen 401 isn’t just a scaled-down carbon copy of the 701. Its liquid-cooled, 375cc single, which makes a claimed 43 horsepower and 27 lb-ft of torque, is also carried in a chrome-moly steel trellis frame, and it has WP suspension, Brembo-subsidiary ByBre brakes, Bosch ABS, a slipper clutch, a round headlight and a stubby tail section. But instead of cast hoops, the 401 rolls on 17-inch spoked aluminum rims—copper anodized to match covers on the engine—shod with Metzeler M5 tires. And its styling is unique, with  bodywork that extends down the sides of the gas tank and below the one-piece seat.

Read our 2015 KTM 390 Duke first ride review

2018 Husqvarna Vitpilen 401
2018 Husqvarna Vitpilen 401

Claimed dry weight for the Vitpilen 401 is just 326 pounds, its fuel capacity is 2.5 gallons and its seat height is 32.9 inches—0.2 inch taller than the 701’s seat height. The Vitpilen 401 is matte white with bright yellow accents. No word on pricing.

2018 Husqvarna Svartpilen 401

2018 Husqvarna Svartpilen 401
2018 Husqvarna Svartpilen 401

The 701 may be a concept, but the Svartpilen 401 is ready for production. Whereas the 701 is a dark street tracker, the 401 is a modern scrambler with Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR knobby tires, silver aluminum rims with matching spokes, a small skid plate, an exhaust protector, a tank rack, a two-piece seat and upright handlebars. It has the same integrated bodywork as the Vitpilen 401 but painted black instead of white.

Check out more new bikes in Rider’s guide to new/updated 2018 motorcycles

 

 

6 COMMENTS

  1. This Svartpilen 401 is a thing of beauty to me. If it’s quality is as high as BMW and is engineered like the finest swiss watch as we Americans envision such European products, they have a winner here!

  2. Sexiest scrambler-type bike since the introduction of the Ducati Scramblers. That’ll be a real head turner and conversation starter wherever it goes.

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