Just a few months ago we opined that the fantastic looking concepts Husqvarna showed at the EICMA motor show, the 401 Svartpilen and 401 Vitpilen (Black Arrow and White Arrow respectively) needed to be made. They were extremely good looking, they tapped into the growing desire for cafe racers and they weren’t 1300cc weapons that were armed to the teeth with the latest in technology. They were just attractive, simple motorcycles – a Ducati Scrambler light, if you will.
Now, in an interview published by Swedish magazine Bike, managing director of Husvarna motorcycles, Reinhold Zens, has stated that the two concepts will be released to the market but not until 2017. We’re not experts on the production of motorcycles from concept to point of sale, but this is unfortunately a decision that reeks of bean counter influence.
The Svartpilen and Vitpilen are based on the same platform as used by the KTM Duke 390 and RC 390. Same frame, same engine. We’re pretty sure that it doesn’t take two to three years to tool up the production line to produce custom fairings and lights. What in all likelihood is happening is that Husqvarna has got it’s business plan set in stone for the next few years and the accountants don’t see the desire to change things.
That’s a huge shame because as we’ve mentioned previously, the Ducati Scrambler is going to make big waves in the industry this year. Not only is it likely to outsell all other Ducati models combined, it will also attract a lot of new riders to the sport. The two biggest drawbacks with the Ducati Scrambler however are it’s price (cheap by Ducati standards, still expensive in comparison to other entry model bikes) and the fact that at 800 cc, it won’t meet the licensing requirements for new riders in much of the western world.
The Svartpilen and Vitpilen would solve those two problems instantly and given it’s gorgeous looks would not only be the choice for new riders in many markets, it would probably still a few sales away from Ducati, too.
So unfortunately, financial conservatism wins out for now. Let’s just hope and pray that by the time they are released in 2017, nothing too much has changed from the beautiful concepts that we can only drool at for now.