Let’s start with the most obvious thing, the Husqvarna Svartpilen 250 and its twin the Vitpilen 250 are probably the most good-looking motorcycles out there in the 250cc segment. The minimalist and unconventional design will make heads turn where ever you take these machines. But looking good is one thing, and a motorcycle at the end of the day is all about the ride, so does the Svartpilen 250 live up to its looks? Let’s find out!
Thanks to our friends at Khivraj KTM who made this review possible, we got to ride this radical looking motorcycle and test it out.
The underpinnings of the Svartpilen 250 is almost identical to that of the Duke 250. No surprises there due to the KTM connection. But it gets a different rear sub-frame that allows the rear to be lower and shorter.
Also, the engine and specifications remain identical to the BS6 Duke 250 except for two key things. First is the different and larger front 320 mm disc which is from the 390 but without the sintered pads and then the WP Apex big piston USD forks.
The engine character of the 250 is something that we have always liked. It has a very unique dual character. Keep the revs lazy and between 3 and 6k rpm and it is sedate almost like a commuter bike. Keep the shifts above the 7 or 8k mark and it is a different beast altogether.
31.2 Ps @ 9,000 RPM | 24 Nm @ 7,500 RPM
It loves to rev and builds them up very quickly. Easy and comfortable cruising is around the 100-110 kmph mark and can do 130+ speeds quite easily. But we wish Husqvarna had sacrificed a bit of top end speed for little bit more punch and torque at lower revs since the Svartpilen 250 has been placed as a city bike.
The 6th gear is rather tall and while you can cruise around at 55-60 kms per hour if you want to get going in a hurry you are going to have to shift down a gear or two to get the revs back up get moving.
Being the same engine that we are familiar with, the mileage too was similar and around the 31 kmpl mark with riding in mixed conditions.
Coming to the handling, here is where things are really different from that of the Duke 250. Being a bike that’s designed quite clearly for the urban jungle the Svartpilen 250 did not disappoint. Its front end feels very light and easy to maneuver and it also has a short turning radius.
Changing directions felt very easy and the rather comfortable riding position gives you good control over the bike.
Kerb weight: 164 kg approx
This light steering gives you a lot of confidence even if you are in the mood for have some fun pushing the bike around some fast winding roads. But at higher speeds (100-110+) it did get a bit too light with small undulations unsettling the bike. But then again, this one is not meant for that, so all is forgiven.
Moving on to the braking, the Svartpilen 250 is precise and feels stable with the dual channel ABS backing you up. Although we cannot help but think how much more better it would have been with the sintered pads of the 390.
The tyres too came as a surprise. The MRF Revs D and FD really performed well in all the mixed conditions that we threw at it and of-course it completes the scrambler look.
Seat height: 835 mm | Ground clearance: 145 mm
Two things of concern before we rode the Svartpilen 250 was the seat height and the ground clearance. Interestingly, these did not become an issue. While shorter riders will have to tip toe, the narrow seat and overall light feel of the bike never makes you feel uncomfortable. Secondly the ground clearance was only an issue when there was a combination of high speed breakers and a pillion.
The meter up front although neatly designed is pretty basic in function. Apart from the usual, it shows the range and allows you to switch the bike into SuperMoto mode, which basically switches off the ABS for the rear wheel.
While there is nothing really to complain about the build quality, some more attention to detail would have really taken the “wow” factor of the Svartpilen to another level. The beautifully placed branding all around the bike which is complimented buy the unique design is only let down by the exposed wires and hoses around the engine.
Talking about couple of the other functionality bits, the headlights were surprisingly good for LED units. The mirrors although vibe free and classic looking was just about adequate for taller riders and the pillion seat is a mere formality.
So, if you are in the market for a stylish easy to ride motorcycle for your daily commute then the Husqvarna Svartpilen 250 is definitely worth a look. It can give you the thrills but can also maintain a sense of peace while looking absolutely dashing.