The Husqvarna Vitpilen 701 Motorcycle models came as something of a surprise when we first saw them
Husqvarna Vitpilen 701 Motorcycle: Husqvarna first unveiled their Svartpilen (Black Arrow) and Vitpilen (White Arrow) concepts three decades ago. The bikes have come a long way since then, as well as the variety has expanded to include two different displacements.
The 701 models came as something of a surprise when we first saw them, and we expected them for a later development but these new spy shots of those 701 Vitpilen indicate the bicycle is coming sooner rather than later.
Razor sharp roadsters
If you’re unfamiliar with the versions, the Vitpilen has been a café racer concept that’s steadily become reality. It’s powered by the 65hp 690cc engine from Husqvarna’s 701 Enduro and 701 Supermoto. The subframe is really a self-supporting airbox, while the tank is… well, a tank.
A 701 Enduro weighs only 145kg, thus a kerb weight of about 185kg is sensible for the Vitpilen. The suspension comes from WP, and we believe the low weight, good suspension, and reasonable power should make for an enjoyable road bike.
So what has changed in the last prototype we saw? To begin with, the whole bike looks a lot more completed – no bits of tape stuck on items or mounts informally bolted on. There are still some items that seem to be incomplete — such as the mismatching gloss-black subframe versus the matte-black tank, and the raw metal number-plate service — but on the whole, it’s pretty much there.
There are other clear indicators of a complete bike, also, such as the Husqvarna logo on the side of the radiator and on the new matte-black exhaust. The easily readable coolant window is really a practical touch, too. The LED ring headlight is now completed, as is the single clock — but what that will exhibit (or the way) is unclear.
The back of the bike is possibly the best piece, as the final undertray is superbly smooth with of the typical clutter. The brake light is neatly packaged. The Vitpilen does not seem to be fashion over function, either, as the pillion pad appears pretty lavish and the footrest position should not place your passenger’s knees with their elbows.
Down to business
Regrettably, we’re likely to pick up on a few things. First, the packaging does not appear to be fantastic. There are wires all over the place and electrical boxes scattered around. Hopefully, these will be covered up or rerouted — but should they remain, it’ll be a poor show as compared with the new Triumphs, which have really upped the game.
Also gone are the wire-spoke wheels in favor of five-spoke metals that seem to be of a Honda CB500 circa 1996. We’ve previously seen a Vitpilen model sporting the wheels from a 390 Duke, which looked much nicer– and that is a rather cheap bike, so the money-saving excuse does not really accumulate. We imagine the wire-spoke wheels will be an optional extra; if the five-spokes are regular fit, lots of owners will be taking up that offer.
We’re anticipating the Husqvarna Vitpilen 701 Motorcycle to be officially unveiled in the EICMA motorcycle series in November, alongside the Svartpilen and the decreased capacity 401 models. We then anticipate the bicycles to go on sale early 2018, together with the prices around #8500-9000.