EICMA 2017: Husqvarna Svartpilen 701 Concept

Gabe Ets-Hokin
by Gabe Ets-Hokin

A Scrambler, Darkly

Mostly known for off-road machines, Husqvarna ginned up more interest in its burgeoning street line by displaying its Svartpilen 701 scrambler concept at the Milan EICMA show on November 7th, 2017. It’s still just a concept, but it’s eye-catching and exciting for fans of edgy, simple, fun-to-ride street-biased thumpers.

Is it a motocrosser? A scrambler? A cafe racer? Yes. No. Wait…um…just ride the thing.

Is it a scrambler? Or a flat-tracker? I’m not sure. Husqvarna calls the Svartpilen (‘Black Arrow’ in Swedish) a “dark street explorer.” “It doesn’t need to be pigeon-holed or categorized – it just needs to be ridden,” sayeth the press release. Okay! It looks like fun, basically the same bike as the Vitpilen 701 (‘White Arrow’), but with cast wheels in front, an 18-incher in the bow and a 17-incher at the stern. Other details include Brembo brakes with ABS, minimal instrumentation (there’s a knob on the triple clamp that reads “pull to start,” but no clocks) and flat-track style seat, bars and tail.

“Both wheels are covered by tires,” explains the press release, which gives you an idea of how light it is on the deets. Check out the photos, though, and you can see some cool touches that may or may not make it to the proddy model, like the LED headlamp, alcantara seat and Gatling-gun style exhaust.

I’m a little confused as to why this bike isn’t production ready like the Vitpilen 701, or its little brothers, the Svartpilen and Vitpilen 401‘s. All the bikes use KTM components, just put together in that cool, edgy, Swedish long-winter-in-a-shed kind of way. We love the big thumpers here at MO, so we’re looking forward to our first ride.

Husqvarna, a KTM brand, is ramping up production, with 30,700 units sold in 2016 – a 46% increase over the previous year. The hope is the Svartpilens and Vitpilens will make inroads into the global street-motorcycle market.
Cool Gatling-gun muffler evokes flat-track.
The rider will have a minimalist experience, with little motorcycle blocking her view of the road.

Follow the rest of our 2017 EICMA show coverage

Gabe Ets-Hokin
Gabe Ets-Hokin

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