It’s no secret that Husqvarna is coming to India. There were reports that their bikes would launch in India by 2018. However, plans of launching the Swedish brand in India market have been pushed back to 2020. This was confirmed by Stefan Pierer, CEO, KTM at the 2017 EICMA motorcycle show, in Italy. KTM will help establish the Husqvarna brand in India and it’s likely that both the brands will be sharing their dealership space on the same lines like the erstwhile Bajaj-KTM-Kawasaki outlets which were termed ‘Probiking’. The above doesn’t come as a surprise as the Husqvarna Svartpilen 401 and Vitpilen 401 (translated to 'black arrow' and 'white arrow', respectively, from Swedish) are based on the new KTM 390 Duke which is manufactured at KTM’s plant in Chakan, Maharashtra. Currently both the Svartpilen 401 and Vitpilen 401 are being built at KTM’s Mattighofen facility in Austria. However, Pierer did confirm that both the bikes will be built in India by late 2019 for export to Asian markets, followed by an Indian launch in 2020.
Now for the first time, the Husqvarna Svartpilen 401 and Vitpilen 401 have been spotted on Indian soil. According to our sources, both the motorcycles were part of a customer clinic undertaken by KTM to gain feedback from their existing clientele. The above would help Husqvarna to understand the mindset of Indian buyers, what alterations (if any) they would have to make to the India-spec models and the expected pricing for the motorcycles. While both the bikes are based on the KTM 390 Duke platform, they have been positioned differently. The Vitpilen 401 gets neo-retro café racer styling and we must say it does look quite striking. Body panels are also completely different, as the tank and the tail section have been merged together, while an all-new sub-frame endows the bike with a floating tail section. It also gets LED headlamp and DRLs while the single-pod instrument console is an all-digital unit with Bluetooth connectivity. The riding posture is also canted forward, owing to clip-on handlebars and rear-set foot pegs. The Husqvarna Svartpilen has street-scrambler styling and it looks rugged with a flat and wide handle bar, off-road tyres, luggage rack on the tank and a blacked-out, megaphone-style exhaust muffler.
Powering the Husqvarna duo is the same motor as seen on the new KTM 390 Duke, which produces 44hp and 37Nm of torque. However, it’s likely that the engine on the Husqvarna will be retuned and will have revised gear ratios. Both the bikes will feature a ride-by-wire throttle, slipper clutch and dual-channel ABS, as standard. The trellis frame employed is also similar to the 390 Duke’s which has been suspended on a 43mm WP telescopic fork at the front and a WP monoshock unit at the rear. Anchorage is provided by 320mm disc rotor with Bybre callipers at the front and 230mm disc brake with Bybre callipers at the rear. Both the bikes ride on 17-inch wire-spoke wheels, with the Vitpilen getting road-focused rubber. The 2017 KTM 390 Duke retails for Rs 2.38 lakh (ex-showroom) in India and we are definitely sure that the Husqvarna duo will be priced at a premium of around Rs 20,000-30,000 over it, when they get launched in India.
Bajaj to make Husqvarna 401 bikes in India