Following on the heels of successful launches of the Svartpilen and Vitpilen 401 and 701 models, Husqvarna is now dropping those same bikes in 250 form on the Indian market.
The Svartpilen and Vitpilen are basically the new face of Husqvarna’s street line—or at least, that’s what Husky seems to be aiming for. While the company has long been known for its competent enduro machines, management is trying to break out of the off-road world. The formula? Take KTM engines (it’s easily done, since the same people own both companies) and put them in a neo-retro package. Unveil a concept bike at EICMA. If the response is positive (and so far, it mostly has been), then release the machine to showroom floors a year later, with a stiff price tag.
So far, that’s the tack Husqvarna took with the 401 and 701 versions, and while not everyone’s a fan of the look, or the price tags, these bikes have been an important part of the company’s attempts to forge a new identity.
The trouble is, the 401 and 701 are too expensive for developing markets, so Husqvarna’s come out with 250 versions of the bikes. They’re based on the KTM 250 Duke, another made-in-India bike that was brought out to satisfy less-monied markets.
The 250s have a liquid-cooled 249 cc single-cylinder engine, with just over 30 hp and peak torque of 24 Nm. The frame is a steel trellis arrangement that looks to be basically the same as the 401 versions. Seventeen-inch cast wheels are standard, and single 320 front disc brakes and 250 mm rear disc, with dual-channel Bosch ABS. And just like the bigger versions, the cafe-styled Vitpilen gets clip-on handlebars and the tracker-style Svartpilen gets taller dirtbike-esque bars.
Husqvarna hasn’t indicated whether it will bring these machines to North America; so far, it’s resisted bringing anything smaller than the 373 cc single to the US (the KTM 390, aka the Husqvarna 401), even though it’s had smaller street bikes in India for years now. With the Duke 200, that was probably a smart idea. Now that it’s a 250? Maybe there would be a market, if the price was right. Speaking of price, the bikes will be sold at existing KTM dealerships in India at a price that works out to roughly $2,818.45 US.