It’s been two years since Husqvarna showed its Vitpilen 401 and Svartpilen 401 concept bikes at EICMA in 2014. At the time it was clear that they had a production future but few could have predicted just how close to the concept bikes the showroom models would be.
The production Vitpilen is almost indistinguishable from the original concept. Sure, there are a couple of changes. The exhaust has been tweaked a bit, and the headlight has changed a fraction, but overall the alterations are far milder than anyone expected.
In technical terms, the Vitpilen 401, which is the more street-oriented design, is close to the KTM 390 Duke that it’s based on. There’s the same 44bhp, 375cc single-cylinder engine, the same steel trellis frame and the same WP suspension and brakes. But the riding position is quite different, with low bars and rear-set pegs, and the differently-shaped seat and fuel tank mean the bike’s quite a different proposition to sit on.
The headlight is an LED unit with the same ring of daytime running lights that appeared on the original concept. The bodywork is identical to the concept bike’s, with the addition of a swingarm-mounted licence plate bracket as a nod to legality.
It’s still a little way from showrooms, though, with the bike expected to go on sale in late 2017.
The Svartpilen 401 production bike was originally expected to be some way behind the Vitpilen, but Husqvarna has managed to bring the production model at the same time as the roadster.
Based on the same mechanical parts, the Vitpilen 401 is a scrambler-style machine, defined by Husqvarna as a ‘street explorer’. The bodywork is basically the same, but with a luggage rack above the fuel tank and the addition of high, wide bars. Knobbly Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR tyres and a different exhaust bring a more rugged appearance to the bike when compared to the Vitpilen.
Again, the bike is due on sale in late autumn 2017.
Finally, Husqvarna has revealed a third version of the bikes, dubbed the Vitpilen 401 Aero. At the moment it’s just a concept, but given the seamless way that the Vitpilen and Svartpilen have been transformed into production models, its more than likely to spawn a showroom version.
The Aero is basically a Vitpilen 401 with a nose fairing and tail hump along with side panels that merge into a belly pan to create something that’s nearly fully-faired but still has remnants of the base bike’s naked style. There’s no word on production yet, but don’t be surprised if something very similar appears in dealers in around 2018.