Common Tread

Husqvarna puts Vitpilen 401 and Svartpilen 401 concepts into production

Nov 08, 2016

It’s often hard to get excited about concept bikes because by the time they actually reach fruition they are watered down shells of the original design. Today, however, Husqvarna introduced production versions of the Svartpilen 401 and Vitpilen 401, which look nearly identical to the concept bikes shown at EICMA two years ago.

The Svartpilen (or Black Arrow) and  Vitpilen (or White Arrow) are what Husky is referring to as their “Real Street” line of motorcycles. In an effort to separate themselves from traditional naming conventions such as “café racer” or “scrambler,” Husqvarna is opting to let the bikes speak for themselves. Bravo, Husky.

2017 Husqvarna Vitpilen 401
With its clip-ons and aggressive stance, the Vitpilen 401 is the sportier of the two machines. Husqvarna photo.

Both bikes share the same four-valve, liquid-cooled, 375 cc DOHC single pumping out 44 horsepower at 9,000 rpm and 27 foot-pounds of torque at 7,000 rpm. Fuel is delivered via a 46 mm throttle body controlled by a ride-by-wire throttle. Power hits the pavement by way of a six-speed gearbox aided by a slipper clutch.

2017 Husqvarna Vitpilen 401
The clip-ons found on the Vitpilen 401 place the rider in more of a sporty tuck. Husqvarna photo.

Suspension is also the same on both bikes and comes by the way of WP. Up front sits a 43 mm, inverted fork with 5.6 inches of travel. Out back is a monoshock with 5.9 inches of travel. There is no word on available adjustment for the suspension, but if I were to guess I would say it’s going to be very similar to what we saw on KTM’s Duke 390, with adjustment for preload on the rear shock and nothing more.

When looking at the brakes, there is a slight discrepancy between the press release and the spec sheet. According to the press release, both bikes share a single ByBre (designed by Brembo) four-piston caliper at the front wheel and a single-piston unit out back. The front unit is said to clamp down on a 320 mm rotor while the rear unit bites into a 230 mm disc. According to the spec sheet however, the Vitpilen 401 has a 320 mm rotor up front while the Svartpilen 401 utilizes a 300 mm rotor. Both bikes will be outfitted with a Bosch, two-channel ABS system.

2017 Husqvarna Vitpilen 401 wheel
The attention to detail on both bikes looks to be superb. Husqvarna photo.

While both bikes have a 2.5-gallon fuel tank, the Svartpilen is a hair heavier than the Vitpilen, weighing in at 330.7 pounds versus the latter's 326.3 pounds. The difference in handlebars and addition of a tank rack is most likely the culprit as the Svartpilen has traditional bars, offering the rider more of an upright seating position, while the clip-ons found on the Vitpilen pull the rider down into more of a sport tuck.

2017 Husqvarna Svartpilen 401
The Svartpilen 401 is the more utilitarian of the two bikes. Husqvarna photo.

The spoked aluminum rims are the same size on both models but the more utilitarian Svartpilen features Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR tires as the stock rubber while the sportier Vitpilen gets a pair of Metzeler M5s. Both wear a 110/70R17 up front and a 150/60R17 in the rear.

Husqvarna Vitpilen 401 Aero Concept
The Svartpilen and Vitpilen going into production suggest that we will also see a production version of this concept bike. Husqvarna photo.

In addition to the release of these two production models, Husky also introduced a Vitpilen 401 Aero concept bike. The Aero features aggressive bodywork and what looks like a futuristic take on a classic Dunstall fairing.

If the Vitpilen 401 and Svartpilen 401 are any indication of Husqvarna’s intentions, I expect we will see the Aero come to fruition a bit sooner than later.