When Husqvarna introduced its two 401 concept bikes at the 2014 EICMA Show, company officials said they would put the bikes into production if they garnered enough attention and interest.
A few months later, still a day doesn't go by when I don't see them posted on someone's Tumblr, Pinterest board, blog, or forum.
Now, in an interview with a Swedish site called Bike, Husqvarna is confirming what we've all been hoping for — the 401 concepts Svartpilen and Vitpilen will enter production for 2017.
Reinhold Zens, one of Husqvarna's two managing directors, told Bike, "I can tell you that they will come as 2017 models. They may not look the same. A concept is, after all, a designer's dream, while a finished model must follow rules and regulations, but they will definitely have the same style."
Since Stefan Pierer, KTM's president and CEO, bought Husqvarna, the company has done nothing but re-brand KTMs as Husqvarnas. While that's a good plan for building some trust in the bikes' performance, I don't think anyone believes it will last for long. Husqvarna will certainly need to create its own identity.
I, for one, am excited to see how these, and the 701 Supermoto, do and to see what direction Husqvarna moves in. As someone torn between the Suzuki DR-Z400 and Ducati Scrambler, I think this Svartpilen could be pretty tempting, if the price isn't too crazy.