Back with a bang! Husqvarna shows new street bikes

After months of confusion over the company’s future after their sale by BMW, Husqvarna has debuted a couple very exciting new bikes at EICMA.

First off, the 701. This bike is the descendant of the 701 concept that appeared at EICMA last year. The  motor, which appears to be derived from KTM’s 690 thumper, puts out 67 hp at 7500 rpm, and makes 50 ft-lb of torque at 6000 rpm. All that from a motor that weighs just over 43 kg!

Buyers worried about the notoriously frequent and expensive service intervals on Euro machines can rest easy, as valve adjustments are every 10,000 km – not as long as many street bikes, but certainly livable.

The SOHC motor has dual spark plugs for more efficient ignition. There’s a slipper clutch as well – a rare thing on a thumper supermoto, but valuable for hard charges in and out of corners while downshifting.

Behold the new Husky 701!
Behold the new Husky 701!

The bike has ride-by-wire electronics to manage the engine more efficiently. That electronics package includes switchable engine maps, including a “bad fuel” map that allows the motor to run on low-grade gasoline, should your travels take you to more remote corners of the world where premium petrol is unavailable.

The Husky 701 weighs 140 kg dry. The suspension is from WP, and also very similar to the KTM 690 SMC R, as is the chassis. The bike is expected later next season in Europe, but we’re not sure if or when it will make it to Canuckistan.

What about the 401 concept bike? This machine isn’t expected to hit market for a couple more years, but it’s interesting. Husqvarna’s designers seem to be listening to da voice of da yoof, as it’s got definite hipster appeal – there’s a scrambler version (dubbed the SVARTPILEN) and a cafe version (called the VITPILEN).

Like the 701, the 401 is KTM-derived; this machine is based around the 390 chassis and motor. The SVARTPILEN has a higher exhaust for off-road clearance, as well as a rack built into the seat and another built into the tank (clever!), while the VITPILEN focuses on street use, with smooth tires.


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