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Husqvarna refresh range with new Vitpilen and Svartpilen

143905_Svartpilen_401_and_Vitpilen_401_2024

Since their introduction in 2018, Husqvarna’s Svartpilen and Vitpilen range have provided a fresh alternative in the high-end A1 and A2 licence category. With a sort of neo-retro design, the reborn brand brought some funky vibes on a platform based around KTM’s well proven 125 and 390 Duke models.

Now, for 2024, the Husqvarnas get a complete overhaul, with new frames and engines, as well as a bunch of high spec components rarely found on small capacity machines.

Priced at £4899, the Svartpilen and Vitpilen 125s receive a heavily revised version of the previous unit, which is bang on the 11kw (15bhp) power limit allowed under A1 licence rules, while the new 399cc single cylinder unit powering the ‘401’ versions delivers 33kw (45bhp) to make them A2 licence compliant.As before, the key visible difference between the Svartpilen and Vitpilen versions are the wheels and tyres: the Svartpilen running 17” spoked wheels shod with off-road patterned Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR rubber, while the Vitpilen runs six-spoke cast aluminium hoops with Michelin’s new Power 6 tyres. The pair also have slightly different ergonomics, with the new handlebars, in particular, claimed to make the Vitpilen more comfortable than before.

 

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All machines feature the same chassis, which is built around a new stell trellis frame with an aluminium swingarm. The rear shock absorber is offset to the rider’s right hand side, allowing a larger capacity airbox to be fitted and helps keep the seat height reduced, while the wheelbase is also slightly longer than before.

Suspension comes from KTM’s WP brand, with an APEX 43mm front fork with 150mm travel on all models. There’s no adjustability on the 125s, although the units on the 401s are adjustable with compression and rebound settings modified through clickers on the top of the fork tube. It’s a similar set up at the rear, where all models have preload adjustment although the 401s, which carry a £700 premium, have additional five step rebound adjustability. Brakes on all models are radially-mounted four-piston caliper items, and are made by Brembo’s budget ByBre brand. Unusually for such a small capacity motorcycle, the Husqvarnas have a sophisticated Bosch cornering ABS system, which should be a real benefit to the inexperienced riders to which they are targeted. Electronic aids continue with cornering traction control, an up/down quickshifter and two riding modes. All models come with a power assisted slipper clutch, providing additional mechanical assistance on downshifts, while the 5” TFT dash is another big bike feature rarely seen in a motorcycle of this capacity.

 

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Overall the look of the new Husqvarnas is updated rather than radically changed, which means more of the quirky combination of modern and retro for which the early models were renowned. The Svartpilen has a two-piece seat, while the Vitpilen gets a one piece unit – although the saddles can be interchanged for riders who want to modify their machines and shake up the looks. Both lead to a relatively low 820mm seat height, with the narrow gait of the single cylinder motor likely to aid accessibility for shorter riders.

The new Husqvarna Svartpilen and Vitpilen are right at the top end of the price range of their respective 125cc and A2 categories, however their spec sheets do ensure buyers will get a lot for their money when they arrive in showrooms next month.

 

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