Husky 701 spied

Spy shots re­veal Husky’s bold bid to build a 700cc Scram­bler

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week - By Richard New­land DEPUTY ED­I­TOR

New road bikes look ready

‘It’s clear Husky is go­ing head to head with the Du­cati Scram­bler’

Husq­varna are about to un­leash a new range of bikes and th­ese ex­clu­sive spy shots show the firm has a few sur­prises up its sleeve, too. Husq­varna’s trump card is that they have ac­cess to sis­ter com­pany KTM’S en­tire range of en­gines and chas­sis plat­forms – and they’re not be­ing shy about raid­ing the cup­board.

Al­ready en­joy­ing good feed­back on con­cept models re­vealed at shows, they’re re­ally hop­ing to hit the tar­get with a vengeance when they un­leash a whole sheath of Ar­row models – and th­ese new im­ages, grabbed last week in Spain, re­veal yet an­other new model that Husky have been keep­ing quiet about.

The first vari­ants that are ex­pected to be re­leased are based around the Duke 390 plat­form, and dubbed the 401 Svart­pilen (Black Ar­row) and 401 Vit­pilen (White Ar­row). The dark side is fo­cused on scram­bler styling, while the lighter side tar­gets the equally on-trend rush to re­lease café rac­ers. The firm have been very open about the duo, pub­licly pre­sent­ing con­cept bikes, and promis­ing their ar­rival in the near fu­ture. They have also com­pre­hen­sively teased us with a hot­ter 701 Vit­pilen café racer, but the shock lurk­ing in this new brace of spy shots is the ad­di­tion of a Svart­pilen ver­sion of the 701. Clearly sport­ing a re­vised clock po­si­tion, a scram­bler-es­que set of fat han­dle­bars, dual-pur­pose rub­ber, and cov­ered in mud, it’s a clear in­di­ca­tion that they’re set to go head-to-head with Du­cati’s Scram­bler.

Big­ger brothers

Both ver­sions of the larger 701 were spot­ted this week, but one is vis­i­bly more ad­vanced in its de­vel­op­ment. The Vit­pilen ver­sion wears far more pro­duc­tion-ready look­ing com­po­nents, in­clud­ing what looks to be a more re­al­is­tic ver­sion of the spec­tac­u­larly con­vo­luted ex­haust end can seen on the con­cept bike. While the end can and stay are still rel­a­tively rough look- ing, the shape looks well re­solved, and there’s a neat lit­tle heel guard al­ready in place. The col­lec­tor and header look very fi­nal, and there’s even a neat pair of shrouds mask­ing the ug­li­ness of the col­lec­tor box.

The en­gine has moved on, too, and now proudly dis­plays the firm’s ‘H’ logo on the main cas­ing, while the large sin­gle ra­di­a­tor also wears neat shroud caps at ei­ther end. Although de­void of brand­ing on the tank, the shape has no rough ar­eas or duct tape vis­i­ble. The tail unit shape also ap­pears close to fi­nal, and while there is plenty of tape, this ap­pears to sim­ply be hid­ing de­cals, rather than its form. The pil­lion pad/ cowl fits well, and even boasts a strap, and the swingarm-mounted mud­guard and num­ber­plate hanger are clearly fi­nal ver­sions – while the rear light does look to be a dummy. The front light is, too, and is ex­pected to be re­placed by a round dish style unit for pro­duc­tion. The front sub­frame mould­ing ap­pears com­plete, pro­vid­ing a mount for the head­lamp as well as a con­sole from which LED in­di­ca­tors sprout.

Dirty se­cret re­vealed

The sur­prise scram­bler ver­sion dif­fers in a few key ar­eas. The road tyres are re­placed by dual-pur­pose rub­ber, the clip-ons are shunned for a fat han­dle­bar, the clock is raised and an­gled more up­right, the rear num­ber­plate as­sem­bly is ditched for a con­ven­tional sub­frame-mounted hangar, the en­gine is painted black and… that’s it. It looks a fair way be­hind the Vit­pilen in terms of readi­ness.

What’s good Now rid­ers of older bikes can charge smart­phones or tablets while they ride. The O-108 USB charger is weath­er­proof, com­pact, and clever enough to de­tect if your bike’s bat­tery is run­ning low. What’s not You can no longer use the ‘sorry, my phone went flat’ as an ex­cuse for ‘go­ing miss­ing’. www.tec­

The 701 Svart­pilen Scram­bler (left and main picture) is a pleas­ant sur­prise

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