2018 Husqvarna Svartpilen 701 and Vitpilen 701 Spied
When Husqvarna introduced the production models of the Svartpilen 401 street-scrambler and Vitpilen 401 café racer last November, which are based on KTM’s 390 powertrain, we figured it was only a matter of time before we saw larger versions using Husky’s 701 engine. Husqvarna had already presented a Vitpilen 701 in concept form a year earlier, so we were not entirely shocked when we received spy photos of a near-production version (above right) alongside its sibling, a Svartpilen 701.
The Vitpilen 701 being tested doesn’t stray too far from the original concept. The test unit receives street-legal necessities such as mirrors, turn signals and a license-plate holder, not to mention a more realistic emissions-friendly exhaust than the gorgeous silencer found on the concept. The test model also has a single front brake compared to the concept’s dual discs. This isn’t too surprising as the 701 models are based on the KTM 690 Duke which also uses a single front brake rotor.
The Svartpilen 701 swaps in wire-spoke wheels, dual-sport tires and higher handlebars, and the Vitpilen’s rear-wheel fender/license-plate holder is replaced with a tail-mounted plate holder. While the spy photos only show the Svartpilen 701 running on roads, the mud splatter seen in some of the photos tells us it’s been tested on unpaved surfaces as well.
Surprisingly, the test models headlight looks like it came from the Supermoto 701 instead of a circular design like the one used on the 401 production models or the 701 concept. The light is mounted in a circular nacelle, so it’s possible the test unit’s headlight is just a placeholder for now.
The engine is likely similar to the 701 Supermoto’s 693cc Single which itself is a revised version of the 690 Duke’s thumper. The trellis frame is likewise inherited from the Duke, and the suspension looks to be the same 43mm upside-down fork and rear shock from WP Suspension.
We’re still waiting for the 401 models to arrive (word is they’ve been delayed until the 2018 model year) but we expect to see final production versions of the Husqvarna Svartpilen 701 and Vitpilen 701 at the 2017 EICMA show this November. Motorcycle.com will have more information as it emerges.
I don't see the purpose. These bikes are not better than, nor sufficiently different from the KTM 690 Duke to justify the model dilution. Turdpilens, I say, unless KTM kills the Duke.