In July 2018, Bajaj confirmed that it would be bringing the Husqvarna brand to India in 2019 by launching two motorcycles – the Svartpilen 401 and the Vitpilen 401. The Swedish manufacturer was acquired by KTM in 2013, and Bajaj’s partnership with the latter meant that the announcement didn’t come as a surprise. Now, we’ve received information that the brand is set to launch in the country by November 2019 and that its motorcycles will be sold via KTM dealerships.
According to our sources, dealers have been advised to expand their showrooms to accommodate the new brand and the additional signage the motorcycles will require. While the exact details are still unclear, it will be interesting to see how the dealerships will be modified to accommodate another brand, considering KTM’s extensive orange theme. A potential approach might be a side-by-side setting, similar to how a lot of Kawasaki and KTM dealerships were set up when the latter was introduced in the country.
Of the two motorcycles initially planned for India, the Vitpilen is the café-racer version, while the Svartpilen is a scrambler. Both share mechanical components with the KTM 390 Duke, powered by the same 373cc, liquid-cooled, single-cylinder motor mated to a 6-speed gearbox. Earlier this year, Husqvarna announced that the motorcycles will be offered with an automatic clutch option internationally, and it remains to be seen if it will make this available over here, too.
A Svartpilen 401 prototype spotted testing in the country also revealed certain modifications for the Indian market – the camouflaged motorcycle caught testing was seen running on alloy wheels sourced from the KTM 390 Duke, unlike the spoke wheels on the international-spec bike (we’ve also seen this course of action with the spied KTM 390 Adventure.) The prototype sported grab rails as well, which have been mandatory for motorcycles sold in India. Our sources also confirm that India-spec bike will feature a longer pillion seat, something that was spotted on test mules a couple of months ago.
This appears to be the first time Bajaj is making significant changes to an international (KTM/Husqvarna) product for our market. And while it remains to be seen how much of this will make it to the final product, we now have a period to look forward to for the official launch. The two Husqvarna will likely be manufactured in India, and we expect pricing to be at a premium over the KTM 390 Duke’s price tag of Rs 2.48 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)