KTM has been busy — very busy — rebuilding and expanding Husqvarna’s brand since buying the company from BMW in 2013.
In a relentless search for a new kind of customer, Husky has broken out of the off-road niche with the Vitpilen 401 and 701, and then the Svartpilen 701. They’re even floating the idea of a café racer-style Svartpilen. They call these new bikes Real Street machines.
Now Husqvarna seem to be merging their two worlds, the street and the dirt.
Motorcycle News have published spy shots of what appears to be a Husqvarna adventure bike. For reasons that will become evident below, the new bike may be called the 801.
It’s a test mule, so a lot could and probably will change before it goes into production. But right now, at least, it shares a lot of components with the KTM 790 Adventure.
First is the engine, a 94bhp, 799cc parallel-twin, hence the 801 designation that we just talked about. Another is the frame, still using the engine as a stressed member. Fork, shock and brake hardware are also the same (but might be the most likely candidates to be changed out.)
But there are significant differences to the KTM as well.
The bolt-on subframe, for one. The seat is flat, not upswept, which speaks to comfort considerations. The fuel tank is a a large central item, not the 790 Adventure’s low-slung design.
The headlight is lifted right off the Svartpilen 701, a LED with Husky’s name on the central bar. The taillight is also from the 701.
No doubt the new bike will take on an even more personal identity before Husqvarna are done with it — this is a test mule, after all.
MCN seem confident that the bike will eventually reach production. They predict an announcement in late 2019, with sales beginning in 2020.