Husqvarna 701 Goes Ice Skating

The Husqvarna 701 Supermoto will be the Swedish company’s first street legal motorcycle since being bought by KTM from BMW in 2013. That’s great news for the brand and to celebrate the release of the 701 (slated for late this year), Husqvarna has launched a website dedicated to the new bike.

Strangely, to publicize their new street legal machine, they’ve decided to throw some spiked tires on and go ice racing. It looks like fun, though we’re not sure of the relevance for the bike.

The Husqvarna 701 Supermoto uses a slightly modified version of the single cylinder engine as used in the KTM 690 SMC. Output is 67 bhp, weight will be 320 lb (145kg) and it will come with a slipper clutch, ABS and three engine modes. Fuel tank capacity is 4.2 gallons (16L).

There’s no word at this stage on a release of the 701 outside of Europe, but we believe it’s likely it will hit Australia and the United States in the first half of 2016.

 

Husqvarna 701 Enduro and Supermoto Spy Shots

A number of spy shots have recently surfaced on the internet of Husqvarna’s 701 model, both in supermoto and enduro form. While we’re not exactly sure the reason for camouflaging the supermoto version as it’s final appearance was shown at EICMA last year, it is the first time the production version of the enduro bike has been spotted.

One lot of photos comes courtesy of a Spanish motorcycle forum while the other lot are from the latest issue of MCN.

The 701 machines were first shown as concepts in 2013 and then become a reality late last year although heavily ‘normalised’. While it’s exciting to see Husqvarna bringing street legal machines to the market, the 701 enduro and supermoto are basically KTM spare part specials. There’s nothing wrong with that – it will keep prices down and it’s not like KTM’s need a great deal of improvement anyway, but there’s nothing really new here.

In fact, the 701 on paper is nearly identical to the KTM 690 SMC R. Same frame, same 66hp 690cc engine, same suspension, brakes and so on. The only real differences will be the badge and styling, plus the fact that you won’t be able to buy one in orange.

Given the Husqvarna badge doesn’t carry the same weight as KTM however, expect pricing to be slightly cheaper.

 

 

The Husqvarna 401 Svartpilen And Vitpilen Concepts Will Be Made… in 2017

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.

 

 

Video: Husqvarna Motorcycles: The Journey of a Legendary Brand

Husqvarna Motorcycles, the legendary brand born in Sweden back in 1903 has come a long way in their 111 years of heritage and is today known as a premium motorcycles manufacturer.

See the brand’s journey from the very first street races, to the glorious times and incredible motocross success with legends such as Torsten Hallman and get the insight on how the bikes are made in Husqvarna Motorcycles’ new era.

Husqvarna 401 Svartpilen And Vitpilen – Two Concepts That Must Be Built

EICMA 2014 has been finished for a few weeks now and despite all the hype behind the Yamaha R1, Ninja H2 and Honda RC213V-S, perhaps the most important bikes shown were the Husqvarna 401 Svartpilen and Vitpilen concepts. But why would two bikes that only have a 373 cc thumper and pump out a pedestrian 43 hp nearly become the talk of EICMA? Because non-motorcyclists fell in love with it.

The story on the Husqvarna 401 Vitpilen (White Arrow) and Svartpilen (Black Arrow) first broke on Bike EXIF and quickly spread to the front page of Reddit followed by the rest of social media. And the one thing that stood out was so many people making the comment that this is a machine that would get them into motorcycle riding. That’s huge and is the current holy grail for motorcycle manufacturers around the world when it comes to western markets.

As it stands, the biggest growth areas for bike manufacturers isn’t in the saturated western world but in the developing nations; India, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and so on. But they’re volume plays. A bike like the Husqvarna 401’s is something that could lead to real growth in the western world. But what’s so special about these two bikes?

From a purely unscientific perspective, they look gorgeous. There was universal praise for their ‘retro-futuristic’ looks that takes the best of cafe racers and dials it up a few notches. Being a concept, a production version would no doubt lose some of the uniqueness and become a little more mainstream, but that’s then and this is now. People loved it.

The second reason it captured people’s attention is that it wasn’t intimidating. If you were trying to get some interested in motorcycles the the Kawasaki Ninja H2R, you’re probably not going to get very far. Sure, it’s technologically impressive, but people wary of bikes aren’t going to change their mind for a machine that would probably kill them within five minutes or riding.

The Husqvarna 401 Svartpilen and Vitpilen on the other hand use the same engine as found in the KTM RC390 – a bike designed for learners. The concept bikes only weigh 297 lb though which means while it won’t be superbike quick, it’ll still beat 95 per cent of cars off the traffic lights in the real world.

And this is what so many people, even die hard motorcyclists have been crying out for. A super sexy machine that’s actually practical for everyday use. Owning a BMW S1000 R may seem like the best thing in the world, but if you’re riding in heavy traffic every Monday through Friday, it’s not really ever going to get used for what it is ultimately best at. The Husqvarna 401 concepts exude street cred and purpose. And anything that can get more riders on the saddle is a good thing in our opinion.

As licensing requirements in Europe and Australia continue to become more onerous for new riders, machines like this will become more mainstream than they are now. And if that means more lightweight, practical and attractive motorcycles then bring it on.

 

EICMA 2015 – What To Look Out For

In less than two weeks, the biggest annual motorcycle show, EICMA, will get underway in Milan, Italy. And while this year a number of big announcements came from Intermot in Cologne, there’s still plenty to get excited about that’s coming our way as it’s clear there’s definitely a resurgence in the industry. So what new motorcycles will be unveiled at EICMA 2015? Let’s take a look at what is definitely making an appearance and what may be.

Kawasaki

Most of the excitement at Intermot was by way of Kawasaki’s H2R track only superbike. The supercharged machine garnered a huge amount of attention with the surprise being that there was actually two bikes – the second being the Kawasaki H2, which will be a slightly more sane version of the bike. Rumors are that it will output roughly 230hp, but that will be confirmed at EICMA.

Potentially, Kawasaki may show updated versions of the Ninja 650 and ER6-n after the Versys 650 update that was recently announced.

Yamaha

Probably the most anticipated release at EICMA this year will be the brand new Yamaha R1. It’s been many years since the bike received an upgrade and this will be the first of the big four Japanese liter bikes getting some proper love and attention since the GFC crippled the market.

The 2015 Yamaha R1 is expected to have over 200hp, a whole range of technical gadgets and like the new Kawasaki H2/H2R, may be sold both as a street bike and a separate track only version.

Yamaha will also be officially unveiling the FJ-09 – a crosstourer version of the hugely successful MT-09. It will feature the same brilliant 847cc triple and will hopefully come with some better sorted suspension.

There’s a slight chance of an updated Yamaha R6, but given how much press Yamaha has already had recently, they’ll probably hold that announcement back until 2015.

Husqvarna

Dirt bike and supermoto manufacturer Husqvarna has announced that they will be unveiling a large capacity single-cylinder street bike at EICMA. What this will be exactly isn’t known at this stage but an educated guess is that it could be a production version of the Husqvarna 701, a concept bike that was actually shown at last year’s EICMA.

That particular bike was based on a KTM 690 SMC (Husqvarna’s parent company these days) so it’s highly likely that whatever we do see in Milan, it will use one of KTM’s large capacity singles. That concept pumped out a very reasonable 75hp – if that remains we’ll see a pretty potent package from what will be a fairly lightweight bike.

Ducati

After finally showing the world the much hyped Ducati Scrambler at Intermot, there’s not really going to be any way the Italian marque can produce anything as special. That said, from a technological perspective, they will be showing the new Ducati Multistrada which will feature a brand new engine – one with variable valve timing.

That may sound very boring, as variable valve timing has been a common feature in car engines for decades now. But it’s never been utilized in a motorcycle engine before (Honda’s VTEC is a slightly different version of the technology). Ducati says the new engine in the Multistrada increases horsepower and torque by 10hp and 11nm over the previous 1200 cc engine, while fuel consumption decreased by 8%

Triumph

After cancelling their 250cc Daytona bike, Triumph needs something to improve things. They’re doing it by way of a major expansion of their Triumph Tiger 800 range – no less than six new models based on the bike.

Leaked documents reveal that three will be more road focused bikes while another three will be more adventure/crosstourer motorcycles.

EICMA will begin on November 6 in Milan, Italy.

Husqvarna FS 450 Supermotard

Husqvarna, a company better known to many as producer of outdoor power equipment (mowers, chainsaws, etc) are making a return to the supermoto market with the announcement of the Husqvarna FS 450 Supermotard. Their last real bike in the supermoto area was the championship winning SM530RR and since then, the company hasn’t had a supermotard available since around 2010. The Husqvarna FS 450 changes that and for the better.

The Husqvarna FS 450 is based on the existing FC 450 Motocross bike and it features a 450cc SOHC engine producing 60 horsepower, aluminium swingarm, brembo radial brakes and a five speed gearbox mated to a slipper clutch. The FS 450 is so far only confirmed for Europe and will be available from October this year.

 

 

Here’s the full press release:


Making a timely return to the Supermoto sector Husqvarna launches the FS 450 – a technologically advanced machine based on the FC 450 motocross bike. Featuring numerous lightweight, premium components in its construction the FS 450 sees Husqvarna step forward with an exciting new machine.

Combining a lightweight chromium molybdenum frame, durable three-piece injection moulded subframe and cast aluminium swing arm, the bike offers superb handling and ridability characteristics. Delivering maximum comfort and excellent rider feedback the FS 450 ensures racers can focus on increasing their speed, lap after lap.

Complementing the bike’s razor sharp handling, the compact 450cc SOHC engine delivers strong power. Producing 60hp, featuring a precise five-speed gearbox, electric starter and Adler slipper clutch, the FS 450 guarantees race-winning performance at every level.

WP suspension ensures the finest damping comes as standard on the FS 450. The fully adjustable 48mm closed cartridge front forks – with supermoto-specific settings – provide 280mm of travel. When paired with WP’s high performance rear shock they ensure precision and consistency in all conditions.

Finished off with Brembo radial brakes, Metzeler tyres and Husqvarna’s stylish, sharp and modern bodywork, the all-new FS 450 is guaranteed to turn heads everywhere it goes.

Dominant in Supermoto sport when it first became an officially sanctioned World and European Championship, Husqvarna – the brand born in Sweden – returns to Supermoto with the technologically advanced FS 450.

The FS 450 becomes available from October 2014, priced at € 9,895.00 (in Germany).

MY15 Husqvarna FS 450 – Technical Highlights

  • 60hp SOHC compact engine
  • Slipper clutch for maximum control and precision under hard braking
  • Precise 5-speed Supermoto gearbox
  • Electric start
  • Lightweight Chromoly frame optimised for sharp handling and maximum stability
  • Lightweight cast aluminium swingarm
  • Impact resistant subframe
  • Metzeler slick tyres
  • High performance braking
  • Stylish, sharp and modern bodywork
  • Cool colours and striking graphics