The Husqvarna VITPILEN 401 marks the start of an entirely new segment in the motorcycling world, it is free of excess and reduced to its simplest form. This bike aims to appeal to an entirely new generation of motorcycle users. It’s for those less interested in the hype and hyperbole of modern day motorcycling and who prefer a simpler, more style-orientated approach.
Its 4-stroke single-cylinder 375 cc engine (from the KTM) is housed in an incredibly stripped down but progressive layout that offers excellent performance, yet doesn’t boast about how racy it is. The basic idea and inspiration behind the bike was to create something completely reduced, while turning heads from an aesthetic point of view.
The surface treatment (the way in which the bike was sculpted) is distinctive in that there’s a contrast between the softness of the design and the extremely defined shapes on the tank. This forms very precise elements and fitting lines on the surface. Underneath, it is fully equipped with premium components including LED front and rear lights, WP suspension and a modern fuel-injected motor amongst other features.
Husqvarna Vitpilen 401 image gallery
The Husqvarna SVARTPILEN 401 on the other hand is a bold new street explorer. This refreshing motorcycle concept is also set in a compact, minimalist, rugged and modern single-cylinder 4-stroke package. It offers a simple yet progressive way for potential motorcyclists to discover and access the raw and liberating experience that is central to motorcycling.
With it’s unique, bold and rugged appearance, the Husqvarna SVARTPILEN 401 is a modern single-cylinder 4-stroke set in a compact and thoughtfully designed package. Beyond its styling and exterior though, it has a high-focus on functionality, so comes with rugged knobbly tyres, a practical tank rack and more robust protection than its VITPILEN 401 sibling, which includes a protective skid-plate and exhaust protector. The riding position on the SVARTPILEN 401 is also more upright because of its higher and straighter bars.
The SVARTPILEN 401 has a more rugged style to it. The parts are designed with an obligation to not just look good but to be fully functional as well. With a nod of respect to the honest and simple way that motorcycles were created in the past, yet with truly modern equipment and styling.
Husqvarna Svartpilen 401 image gallery
Technical details for Husqvarna VITPILEN 401 and SVARTPILEN 401
The ‘Real Street’ range features a modern full LED headlight with a distinctive circular running light and two reflectors for high/low beam. Besides the added safety of the bright LEDs and saving energy, the headlight is a design feature that contributes to the unique style represented by the VITPILEN and SVARTPILEN 401 models. The taillight is also full red LED and through the design, seems to hover above the rear wheel. The SVARTPILEN 401 gets a protective cage structure on the front headlight.
The lightweight steel-trellis frame is a proven design, contributing to the easy and agile ride of the ‘Real Street’ range. Mass is grouped close to the centre of gravity to maximise manoeuvrability and precision. Made from high strength chromium molybdenum steel using hydro formed tubes and robot welding, designed with specific flex characteristics, the frame works in conjunction with the WP suspension to offer a comfortable and confident feel and combined with a tight turning circle for ease of use in urban environments.
The exhaust on the ‘Real Street’ range has been specifically designed to work well with the 375 cc engine and remain an aesthetically pleasing element that compliments the characters of the VITPILEN 401 and SVARTPILEN 401. Made from a combination of steel and aluminium, the exhaust system is integral for ensuring EURO IV regulations are met. Comprising of two parts, the pre-silencer is made from steel while the final silencer is made from aluminium. The final silencer is finished off with a raw aluminium look and the iconic Husqvarna logo.
The ‘Real Street’ range features a simple and progressive, multi-functional display unit with all the relevant riding information – set in a round, character-defining design.
The bodywork is the same throughout the range, but differs in colour and in the perception of the proportions. The VITPILEN 401 bodywork is white; the SVARTPILEN 401 bodywork is black.
The seats are different on the VITPILEN 401 and the SVARTPILEN 401. High quality foam forms the base of both seats, but a long single piece, two-seater features on the VITPILEN 401, whereas the SVARTPILEN 401 features two single seats with different fabric from the VITPILEN 401. There will be options to remove the rear seat and fit a technical accessory on the SVARTPILEN 401.
The ‘Real Street’ range has a 375 cc, 44 hp (32kW), single-cylinder twin overhead camshaft engine that only weighs 36 kg, thanks to its compact modern design. The latest materials and production technologies deliver the bike’s ample torque and useful acceleration at all engine speeds, but also give it good manners in everyday use, with outstanding fuel economy. The engine delivers 37 Nm of torque from low down in the RPM range, perfect for urban riding. Additionally, by implementing a counter balancer shaft, vibration is kept to a minimum delivering a smooth and comfortable ride. By using electronic fuel injection and a 46 mm throttle body operated by a ride-by-wire system, the engine delivers a sharp but refined and very controllable power delivery.
The ‘Real Street’ range is equipped with quality hydraulic brakes. The 320 mm front disc provides ample surface area for the opposed, four-piston calipers, while the 230 mm rear disc, provides the surface area for a single piston, floating caliper to clamp on to. Additionally, a state-of-the-art Bosch 2-channel ABS system is fitted.
WP suspension has built a strong reputation for quality engineering and ongoing development and innovation. The WP units on the 401s provides smooth handling, consistency and predictability. The 43 mm upside down forks guarantee the highest levels of stability and precision.
The VITPILEN 401 and SVARTPILEN 401 are fitted with a slipper clutch. The slipper clutch works by allowing the clutch to slip under heavy braking when torque levels get too high from downshifts. This prevents the rear wheel from hopping or sliding and a more controlled deceleration.
The VITPILEN 401 has clip-on handlebars while the SVARTPILEN 401 has raised offroad style centrally mounted handlebars. Additionally, the handlebars comprise of separate left and right side units mounted directly to the upper triple clamp in a clip-on fashion giving the VITPILEN a sporty and stylish feel.
The tank on the ‘Real Street’ range 401s holds 9.5 litres. The SVARTPILEN 401 also features a tank rack that can be used to strap additional items onto if needed.
The unique knobbly tyres on the SVARTPILEN are strong and durable “Pirelli Scorpion Rally STRs”. While the VITPILEN wheels are fitted with Metzeler M5 tyres, which excel in all conditions the urban commuter could expect while also offering long durability.