EICMA: The Husqvarna Vitpilen grows up

Photos by Alexandra Straub.

Last year, when Husqvarna introduced its Vitpilen street bike, it was a 400 cc machine. Now, Husqvarna has announced they’re making a bigger version of the bike, based on their 690 platform.

The Vitpilen 701 is supposed to be the future of Husqvarna, as their vision of the most stripped-down street bike possible to make. Check out that airbox, for instance: Although that K&N-style air filter looks like it’s still a prototype, Husqvarna says this is the bike’s design.

Seriously, if this bike makes it to production in this form, it’ll be the boldest statement any manufacturer has made in years (except for maybe Honda’s Vultus). They’re calling it a “progressive, single-cylinder street motorcycle,” which sums it up pretty well. Their press release refers to it as a “concept,” but it sounds like they want to put it into production.

Vitpilen7The bike is made up of high-end materials; it has a one-piece carbon monocoque frame, carbon composite rear section, neoprene seat, aluminum/composite exhaust, and LED lights.

Their marketing copy says the bike is “free of any gimmicks, gadgets, fairings or over-the-top styling.” Uh, we might disagree on the styling: This bike is bold, like something Mad Max might design if he worked for Husqvarna. In an age where every Euro manufacturer is striving to include more smartphone integration into their machine, if this bike really is as bare-bones as they claim, it’s a refreshing move.

Vitpilon3Craig Dent, the design lead for the bike, says “You don’t need much to have a creative riding experience. The Vitpilen 701 is a subtle reminder of what motorcycling is all about.” Except, again, we don’t think it’s that subtle at all.

Husky says the bike comes from the same basic idea as the 401 Vitpilen, but provides better performance.


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