Back in December, Husqvarna showcased two all-new models at India Bike Week 2019 - the Svartpilen 250 and the Vitpilen 250 - and a few days ago, the bikes were launched at Rs 1.80 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). We bring you up to speed on what they have to offer.
Based on the KTM 250 Duke
Just like the bigger Svartpilen and Vitpilen, these smaller Husqvarnas too are based on their Austrian counterpart - in this case, the KTM 250 Duke. Meaning, both these motorcycles will be powered by the same 248.8cc, liquid-cooled, single-cylinder motor mated to a 6-speed gearbox. The bikes make 30hp at 9,000rpm and 24Nm at 7.500rpm.
Share a lot in common
These bikes also share the same trellis frame, suspension and braking hardware. Braking is carried out by a 320mm disc at the front and a 230mm disc at the rear, sourced from Bybre, while suspension is handled by a 43mm front fork and a monoshock. The suspension travel, too, is identical on both bikes with 142mm of travel at either end. Interestingly, the ground clearance of 145mm and seat height of 835mm are also identical. The seat is placed noticeably higher than that of any of the smaller capacity KTMs on sale in India, but the bikes are compact and slim so this should help balance out the issue. They also get the same single-pod LCD digital instrument console.
The difference is in the ergonomics
While both the bikes are based on the same platform, they have been positioned differently. The Vitpilen 250 gets neo-retro café racer styling and it does look quite striking. The Svartpilen looks more like a scrambler and gets a taller handlebar. The wheels and tyres on the bike are different as well. While both bikes sport alloy wheels, the Svartpilen uses an 8-spoke design and the Vitpilien gets a 5-spoke unit.
Pricing and availability
KTM India had previously suggested that Husqvarna will be positioned as a more premium brand over KTM. However, Husqvarna now appears to be adopting a more aggressive introductory pricing strategy to help establish the relatively unknown Swedish brand in the Indian market. Both bikes have been launched at a ‘special introductory price’ of Rs 1.80 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi).
At this price, the 250cc Husqvarnas cost only Rs 7,000 more than the KTM 200 Duke. The bikes also undercut the 250 Duke by a massive Rs 20,000. The pricing is quite impressive, but what remains to be seen is how it will change after the special introductory period ends.
The Husqvarna motorcycles will be sold out of KTM showrooms, which have been upgraded to sell both brands. The bikes will be making their way to showrooms in early March – 100 showrooms across 45 cities will stock the bikes, to begin with. Over the next five months, the footprint will expand to almost 400 KTM/Husqvarna showrooms across 275 locations.
The differences between the Svartpilen and the Vitpilen are quite minimal at first glance, but like the 390 Adventure has taught us, the two should feel quite different to each other. Based on engine displacement and peak output figures, the two Husqvarnas slot themselves against the Leoncino 250, a bike that costs significantly more at Rs 2.5 lakh. Apart from that motorcycle, the bikes don’t face any direct rivals and h considering how different they are from the motorcycle they are based on, should allow for them to garner a unique following.