Funky Husky

Husq­varna have turned their Svart­pilen con­cept into re­al­ity

Motorcycle News (UK) - - News - By Jor­dan Gib­bons Se­nior Re­porter

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.

Street scram­bler

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

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