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City weapon loses sin­gle-cylin­der mo­tor and gains more flex­i­ble – and pow­er­ful – twin

BIKE (UK) - - Five Bikes... -

The old 701 Svart­pilen was a de­cent mo­tor­cy­cle hin­dered by a pre­pos­ter­ously high price – £9349 for a 693cc sin­gle?! – and the ex­is­tence of a cooler, more ag­gres­sive and cheaper café racer style op­tion in the Vit­pilen

701. With this new twin-cylin­der ver­sion, Husq­varna ev­i­dently want to broaden out their Svart­pilen’s ap­peal. The en­gine is the 894cc par­al­lel twin from the 890 Duke R (tested on page 44), which makes 119bhp and 73 lb.ft of torque – a sig­nif­i­cant step-up on the 701’s 70bhp. More im­por­tantly, the 890 is in a dif­fer­ent gal­axy when it comes to re­laxed mo­tor­cy­cling. The 693cc sin­gle is an ex­tra­or­di­nary de­vice, but it’s as sooth­ing and mo­tor­way-friendly as a hedge trim­mer.

The chas­sis and swingarm ap­pear to have come from the 890 Duke too, which means the Svart­pilen uses

KTM’S link­age-free Pro­gres­sive Damp­ing Sys­tem at the rear. Husq­varna are play­ing a sim­i­lar trick with the up­com­ing Nor­den (see Bike, Jan­uary 2020) – it also takes the chas­sis and en­gine from the 890 and trans­forms into an achingly cool ad­ven­ture mo­tor­cy­cle. But where the Nor­den has a 21in front and 18in rear wheel, the Svart­pilen has a much more road-friendly 19in front and 17in rear.

As ever, sus­pen­sion is from WP the brakes are by Brembo. The dash looks sim­i­lar to the lat­est one on the 1290 Super Duke R, which means the new Svart­pilen could come with a sim­i­larly ex­ten­sive suite of elec­tron­ics.

There’s no word on price, but given Husq­varna’s ten­dency to take a KTM, add styling pizazz and bump up an al­ready salty RRP, it could eas­ily cost over £12,000 (the 890R comes in at £10,399).

MV Agusta have re­turned from lock­down by start­ing pro­duc­tion of the 208bhp Rush 1000. Based on the Bru­tale 1000RR, it’s the lat­est in a long line of ex­tra­or­di­nary-look­ing bikes from MV’S chief de­signer, Bri­tain Adrian Mor­ton.

‘There are very few com­pro­mises on the Rush,’ he tells Bike. ‘So, for ex­am­ple, the tail piece is ridicu­lously small – some­one would have to be very much in love with you to get on the back. But who gives a shit about that? If you’re rid­ing a 208bhp naked bike, you’re not ex­pect­ing to be pil­lion friendly.’

Mor­ton is an en­gag­ing char­ac­ter who has de­fined MV’S look for the last 16 years, from the strik­ing 2005 F4 Bru­tale to the new, and very beau­ti­ful, Super Ve­loce (which sold out in just over 24 hours). ‘MV are cool to work for be­cause there aren’t many fil­ters,’ he says. ‘So when we want to do some­thing vis­ually over the top such as the Rush, there aren’t many peo­ple to say ‘no’. In other com­pa­nies you’d have a lot of mar­ket­ing spe­cial­ists and arse kissers to get through.’

Part of the chal­lenge with the Rush was that Mor­ton was start­ing with the Bru­tale, which is hardly set­ting sail with a clean slate. ‘Yeah, the Bru­tale is al­ready an ex­treme bike, so to take it fur­ther was a chal­lenge. We had to give the Rush a more fab­ri­cated, show bike look, like some­thing a one-off spe­cial builder might make, but with the same level of de­sign ef­fort and fin­ish that we put into our pro­duc­tion bikes.

‘The car­bon fi­bre rear wheel cover, the SC ex­haust sys­tem and the at­ten­tion to de­tail is over the top re­ally, but

MV is all about be­ing in­di­vid­ual. Ob­vi­ously it won’t ap­peal to ev­ery­one, but that’s not the in­ten­tion.’

Iron­i­cally, be­cause the Rush run­ning gear is all Bru­tale, it’s one of the eas­i­est mod­ern MVS to ride ac­cord­ing to Mor­ton.

‘Even though it’s got a lot of horse­power, you don’t have to ride it fast to get a good con­nec­tion with it. It’s easy to ride, and is ac­tu­ally fairly com­fort­able for a nor­mal-sized hu­man like me.’

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