Two of the most stylish small-bore Euro bikes are getting an overhaul for 2024. The Husqvarna Vitpilen 401 and Svartpilen 401 are both revised this year, with larger engines and changes to the chassis.
First up, the engine revisions. These should come as no surprise, as the KTM 390 Duke got a big-bore job, and these machines are very similar (Pierer AG owns both KTM and Husqvarna… and GasGas, too, and a piece of MV Agusta).
The liquid-cooled DOHC single-cylinder engine gets a longer stroke, stretching capacity to 399 cc. The KTM 390 engine made 44 hp, which was only a small jump in horsepower, but peak torque went from 26 lb-ft to 29 lb-ft, which is probably more noticeable. Since all these bikes are made at Pierer AG’s Indian production line (with partner Bajaj providing the hands-on work at that end), it seems likely that the Husky single makes the same power as the KTM version.
The chassis updates include a new trellis frame that allows a lower seat height. There’s also a new swingarm; working together (and working around a new airbox configuration), the frame and swingarm now connect via an off-set rear shock (with no linkage assembly), somewhat similar to the arrangement that Kawasaki used for years with its 650 twin lineup.
WP Apex suspension is standard front and rear. The fork is adjustable for compression and rebound, while the shock can be adjusted for preload and rebound settings.
Brakes are budget-friendly ByBre items (India-made Brembo design). Thanks to the bikes’ light weight (154 kg curb weight for the Vitpilen, 159 kg for the Svartpilen), Husqvarna was able to go with a single 320 mm front brake disc, with four-piston caliper. There’s a new two-piston caliper in back mated to a 240 mm disc.
The main reason for the difference in the bikes’ weights is the Svartpilen’s spoked wheels being heavier than the Vitpilen’s cast aluminum wheels. Seventeen-inch rims are standard on both bikes; the Vitpilen has Michelin Power 6 tires, while the Svartpilen has Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR tires.
The electronics suite is updated with a new TFT screen controlling two ride modes and leaning-sensitive ABS and traction control, which are rare to find on 400-class machines. LED lights are standard.
We expect these machines in Canadian showrooms sometime this year, but we have not been given a price tag yet. Ask your local dealer; they may have a better idea.