Husqvarna hasn't manufactured a purely road-focused machine ever since it culled its stunning Nuda in 2013. Back in November 2015, though, Husqvarna wowed audiences at EICMA with the Vitpilen 701 concept, which clearly showed that it still knew how to make a kick-ass road bike. Now Husqvarna has unveiled a production-ready Vitpilen 701 as well as a flat-tracker style Svartpilen 701 concept that we'd like to see make the same leap to production.
Husqvarna's intention with the KTM-powered Vitpilen and Svartpilen range is to break into the road-bike segment, and the company has already announced plans to release the smaller Vitpilen 401 and Svartpilen 401 in February 2018.
Vitpilen, Swedish for white arrow, serves as Husqvarna's café-racer model in its new line-up. Like the concept, the Vitpilen 701's 75-hp (56-kW) single-cylinder thumper and six speed transmission with a slipper clutch is lifted directly from the Husqvarna 701 dirt-squirter. It also comes with a suite of electronics that include ride-by-wire, traction control, ABS, and a full digital display.
Stopping of the hipster Husky is handled by a 320-mm disc and a radially-mounted four piston Brembo caliper on the front, and a single disc with a single piston Brembo caliper on the rear. When it comes to the Vitpilen's suspension, there's WP 43-mm inverted forks on the front and a WP shock on the rear. But it's the Vitpilen's styling that is the true show-stopper here.
Apart from the addition of a rear hugger and enclosed airbox in the production model, the Vitpilen 701 is almost a carbon-copy of the drool-worthy 2015 concept. With its sculpted fuel tank and seat, forged aluminum triple clamp with clip-on handlebars, LED headlamp, 17-inch spoked wheels, low-slung stance, and the prominent "split" yellow striping, Husqvarna's modern-take on retro styling is sure to impress.
Following with Husqvarna's minimalistic design regime, the company also unveiled a flat-track-style Svartpilen 701 concept bike (pictured above) that pays homage to the Silverpilen from the mid-fifties. The concept is extremely clean and stripped back with no dash and no reservoirs for the brake or clutch.
The sculpted seat, fuel tank, driveline and chassis are taken from the Vitpilen, with the addition of a rear side cowling that is a tribute to flat-track race bikes. The concept also features dual sport tires, an exposed air filter like the Vitpilen 701 concept, a subtle digital-camo paint finish on the fork shrouds, headlight cowl and the tail piece, as well as a futuristic-looking exhaust baffle that resembles a wasp's nest.
These fine details combine to make a winning design in our eyes, and we'd be eager to see a production model eventuate, but unfortunately there's no word on that front yet.
Along with the smaller 401's, the Vitpilen 701 is set to be available in March 2018 with an expected price tag of $US13,000 - $15,000. For a closer at the Vitpilen 701 and Svartpilen 701 concepts, check out the videos below.
Also be sure to take a look at our extensive EICMA photo gallery full of mouth-watering new models from the 2017 show.
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