At EICMA 2016, Husqvarna showcased a concept Vitpilen 401 Aero ahead of the release of the 401 production models in 2018. We now see the Husqvarna Vitpilen 701 Aero Concept being shown at EICMA 2018. Aside from the updated display and a few other styling details, the faired version of the Vitpilen looks like it could be easily offered in the way of bolt-on parts to the standard Vitpilen 701. Of course, that is just speculation and the fact that we haven’t seen this come to fruition after the 401 Aero means it may just be wishful thinking.
It’s finally here, folks. The 2018 Husqvarna Vitpilen 701. Since its concept was unveiled at EICMA in 2015, the 701 has been a highly anticipated model throughout the world. From the farthest stretches of the internet, comments have asked when, if, and where the Vitpilen 701 would be available – with some giving up hope as to whether it was ever going to be produced at all. MO is happy to announce that we have had the chance to get the Vitpilen 701 in our garage and to test on our home roads. Although our time with the Vitpilen 701 was brief, we made good use of it.
You know what they say, “Bad news travels fast,” and a few months ago, it seemed like the motorcycle industry was full of it. Every day felt like there was a new report painting a gloomy portrait and claiming the motorcycle industry was doomed if we didn’t do something about it. How could something so awesome as motorcycling be destined for failure?
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.
Husqvarna’s new Vitpilen 401 is focused on “providing a pure riding experience.” Using a 373cc Single borrowed from KTM’s 390 Duke housed in a stripped-down layout with clip-on bars, Husky says it will appeal to “an entirely new generation of riders looking for an honest and highly accessible machine.”
Two years ago, Husqvarna presented two concept at EICMA, the scrambler-styled Svartpilen 401 and the Vitpilen 401 cafe racer, both based off of the KTM 390 Duke platform. Last year in Milan, Husqvarna presented a larger Vitpilen 701 concept based off the 690 Duke. It’s no surprise then that Husqvarna would choose EICMA once again to present the final production model.
At last year’s 2014 EICMA, Husqvarna displayed two concept models, the Vitpilen and Svartpilen. At that time both were referred to as 401s, leaving us to speculate that the models will be powered by KTM’s 390 Single found in the RC390 and 390 Duke. Joining the 401 models this year are a Vitpilen 125 and a Vitpilen 701 Concept. Outside of these minimalist announcements Husky is very hushed about its concept models other than to confirm that the company is committed to fulfilling its promise for an expanded street model range.
Alongside the new 701 Supermoto production model comes a pair of scrambler concepts from Husqvarna. Dubbed the 401 Svartpilen (Swedish for “Black Arrow”) and 401 Vitpilen (“White Arrow”), the two concepts draw upon the company’s past while still offering a futuristic styling.