Husqvarna have turned their Svartpilen concept into reality
New roadster spied testing
Husqvarna unveiled their Vitpilen (White Arrow) and Svartpilen (Black Arrow) concepts three years ago, followed by two further 401 models at the Milan show last November.
At the time, Husqvarna said we could expect the Svartpilen in late 2017, and this week our spy snappers have caught what appears to be a production-ready model undergoing testing. And the best bit is that it appears to have remained largely unchanged from the original concept machine.
The engine comes from sister firm KTM, in the form of the Duke’s 390cc single, which delivers a claimed 43bhp at the back wheel. The Svartpilen also takes the rest of the running gear, and also appears to boast the same new TFT dash (as featured on pages 24-25). The swingarm and a decent portion of the chassis have also been pilfered from its cousin.
The Svartpilen is a street scrambler, rather than a proper off-road monster (while the Vitpilen is a modern-classic roadster), and as such it appears to have the same WP suspension as the Duke, which features 150mm of travel. Keeping up with its off-road styling are 17in spoked wheels that are fitted with Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR tyres, plus wide upright handlebars and a small sump guard that appears to be more about style than substance.
The biggest talking point about the bike after the shows was the styling of the tank and seat unit. Thankfully the tank shape has remained, along with the top-mounted luggage rack. The seat unit has also stayed the same but close inspection makes it look like the pillion seat is removable, as are the pillion pegs, suggesting that owners may be able to swap it for another small luggage rack, just like Triumph’s Street Scrambler.
So, what’s changed? There are some small updates, such as a regular disc with a Bybre caliper on the front wheel and the enduro-style footpegs have gone in favour of standard rubbertopped items. The headlight has lost the fancy LED halo and wire guard (although they may be optional extras) but the biggest loss is the high-level exhaust.
The concept bike has made appearances with both high-level and more conventional silencers. It appears that Husqvarna have opted for the lowerlevel option.
The test mule also has a neat little tail appendage that incorporates a mudguard, numberplate and indicators all in one. Although it might not be to everyone’s taste, it does mean that the underseat area can remain uncluttered.
The finished look suggests that Husqvarna aren’t far off their goal of delivering the bike in late 2017, and while there’s likely to be no word on price until its release, the KTM 390 Duke costs £4599, and we’d expect the Svartpilen to be closer to £5000.
The concept (below) has pretty much become a reality