While the biggest motorcycle show on Earth, EICMA, is churning out some brilliant bikes every second of the show, an out of the blue unveiling has got all our attention. Most people in India don't know the brand Husqvarna, or to say the least, even many bike aficionados are unaware about this European brand. Currently owned by the famous KTM, and popularized by the silver screen actor, Steve Mcqueen, in his 1971 movie 'On any Sunday', the brand is famous for making off-road bikes. Husqvarna showcased their new 401 Vitpilen and Svartpilen (White Arrow and Black Arrow) concepts, which see a mix of the company’s off-road bikes of the 60s and 70s, and the road bikes of the 40s.
Husqvarna, a relatively small unit then, started building lightweight single-cylinder bikes popular on the difficult roads and tracks of the time, in the Post-war Europe. The modern day 401 concepts are trying to revive the same concept of a compact, lightweight single-cylinder street motorcycle, but in a modern way. The new 401 concepts utilizes the latest design, cutting edge technology, sophisticated construction processes and materials, resulting in a pair of motorcycles that pay homage to the original concept, but with incredible performance levels.
While both the bikes look superbly gorgeous on the outside, beneath both the bikes is the KTM frame and swingarm from the 390. It also appears to share the single-cylinder, DOHC engine’s claimed output of 46bhp. While they are in a concept phase for now, Husqvarna unveiled the bikes to know the response and if it's good, the bikes can soon see a production phase. But, the production bikes will have a trimmed version of the engine to meet certain compliances.
Husqvarna 401 Vitpilen
Vitpilen, Swedish for 'White Arrow', follows the legacy of the 1953 Sliverpilen street bike, an iconic bike of its own time, a brainchild of famous Swedish industrial designer Sixten Sason. Moving on to 2014, the new Husqvarna 401 concept bike draws on the rebellious spirit that was born in that golden age. The new 401 Vitpilen is a revolutionary design in every term, combining the lethal design of classic Silverpilen and the cutting edge, modern technology of today.
Husqvarna 401 Svartpilen
Svartpilen, Swedish for ‘Black Arrow’, unlike the Vitpilen, is free of all fuss, gadgets and overdrawn design cues, making it the real deal. Designed to provide a more upright, comfortable and natural riding position, the 401 Svartpilen comes with a compact single-cylinder fourstroke engine in a compact chassis. This concept bike is a modern street bike, inspired from golden-age that draws its design ethos from past iconic Husqvarnas.
Simplicity, ease of use and functionality, modern technology and ageless charm, the Husqvarna 401 concepts promises to bridge the gap between old and new. And as they say, if something does not improve the riding experience, it does not belong to Husqvarna.
While you are lost in apreciating the beauty of Husqvarna, don't forget to check this insane launch at EICMA.