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Husqvarna Vitpilen Models Finally Arriving – Will These Designs Find an Audience?


Promised some time ago, the Husqvarna Vitpilen models are finally set to debut in production form this October. Going on sale next year, can these unique designs really find the customer demand Husqvarna hopes for? The Vitpilen 701, 401 and 125 each borrow single cylinder engines from sister-company KTM, but place them in unique chassis and styling.

Reaching back to the Swedish roots of Husky, the Vitpilen designs are intended to kick off a street bike push that will eventually see Husky models utilizing several other KTM engines … all the way up to the massively powerful v-twin found in the KTM 1290 Super Duke.

Having gauged our readers’ reaction to the polarizing style of the new MV Agusta/Zagato colaboration, we want your opinions on the Vitpilen look and its likely success or failure.


See more of MD’s great photography:



  1. HAYLEY says:

    Where do I submit my deposit!! Some of the most awesome looking machines in recent times. Let’s hope they stay close to this for production!

  2. Don says:

    I’ll take the top one if it’s reasonably priced. Love it.

  3. Jay Craig says:

    Cycle News posted these pictures a couple of months ago:

  4. Jay Craig says:

    The top one is the production bike, the bottom two are prototypes from a year ago. The black scrambler is Swartpilen (black arrow). Vitpilen means white arrow. I agree that the production version looks better than the prototypes. The 401 (not shown) is the best looking in my opinion. When you compare it to the bizarre look of the KTM 390, what’s not to love?

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      The top one (701) is also a concept/prototype. All three of these bikes are built on the existing KTM hardware (Duke 690 and 390), but none pictured here are production machines, at least not in the sense that these are the components and body work that will be attached to the production versions.

  5. Mick says:

    I’ll wait until I see the actual production bike. The first bike looks the best IMO. But you’re not going to get an air filter like that. It would be too loud. So who is to say what the production bike is really going to look like?

  6. DaveDuke says:

    Bring on the Vitpilen 1301. Now that would be way cool!

  7. Tim says:

    The one in the top picture is almost cool. I don’t like the other two pictured below it. that seamless tank / side cover look has never really excited me. There was a Triumph (X-75 maybe?) with a seamless tank / sidecover that wasn’t bad, but most bikes I’ve seen designed like that are just plain ugly.

    With a simple redesign of the tank and a separate side covers, that scrambler could be seriously cool.

  8. Pete says:

    Lose the tank tits and then we’ll talk

  9. Randy in Nebraska says:

    Overall, I like the look of these machines, especially the more dual sport oriented ‘scrambler’ model, which, I think, taps into a potentially profitable, emerging market segment. Not everyone wants, or needs, a dual purpose bike that looks like a motocross motorcycle with lights (complete with a motocross seat height as well). However, I think I’ll withhold judgment on the styling until I see what the actual production models look like.

  10. Cowyeap says:

    This is definitely refreshing. Bikes of late has design that is predictable and boring, especially when every maker is trying to come out with variants after variant on the same engine and platform. Look at new Yamaha MT’s. Now they have gone into XSR retro look. Worst is MT10 woth a super busy edgy design that will obselete in no time. Original MT01 was refreshing !

  11. Mr.Negative says:

    So, an oiled air filter resting against your pant leg. Brilliant.

  12. Austin ZZR 1200 says:

    Will it find buyers? Absolutely! Love it!!!!!

  13. Jim says:

    The MVZ looks like a giant vacuum cleaner attachment. These things look way cooler.

  14. skortch says:

    Very nice! These concept designs have grown on me. That black version looks like a scrambler that could actually, you know, scramble. Crazy talk, eh?

    I ride my DR650 all over Colorado and the surrounding states. It’s fun but I can’t help but wishing for more power. Twice as much sounds about right. For the production version it would be great to have a thicker seat, longer tail section and rack for some soft luggage and camping gear, and maybe an option small screen up front.

    My current corral is the DR and a semi-sportbike. I could see the new one being Husky 701 and lighter 450 enduro for the rougher stuff. Light makes right.

  15. Brinskee says:

    I need to see these in person before I can really make a fair assessment. I do like the idea of big singles in other dress than dual sport or super moto, so at least they have sparked my imagination a bit.

  16. Paul says:

    Beautiful use of a truly wonderful, ugly motorcycle; the 690 Duke. Congrats KTM/Husky. Lovin’ it. Now we need more of a touring variants of that 690 engine.

    • Don says:

      Are you saying that the 690 Duke is more ugly than any of the other KTM street bikes or that all KTM street bikes are ugly?

  17. Curly says:

    Cool bikes but not made in Sweden so not really Huskys.

  18. Neil says:

    I like them if you can spend any time on those seats. Simple is good. Raw and essential. Sign me up!

  19. RD350 says:

    The KTM 690 motor is the best road going single cylinder engine ever produced. By that I mean the most powerful with the least vibration. The latest Duke version yields around 70hp and sports twin counter balancers. KTM have all but eliminated the vibes. If you like singles and ride them on the right kind of roads they are very fun and very capable.

    That said, these concepts leave me a little cold. I prefer the scrambler over the cafe. There are definitely cool aspects of both. Neither is terrible. But I kinda wish they would stop with all the “styling” attempts and just build a traditional looking cafe racer and scrambler around the 690 motor. Husqvarna has a long history of beautifully styled dirt bikes to draw from for the scrambler, especially in their classic Red colors. The Baja and Moab concept bike of a few years were closer to the mark.

    Build a beautiful bike and people will buy it. Build a bike with trendy or controversial styling and fewer people will buy it.

  20. ABQ says:

    It’s a nice street bike with those tires. I ususally think of this brand as a dirt bike. If we put some knobby tires on it would make a nice scrambler.

  21. Skybullet says:

    I like the contemporary/traditional clean look Vitpilen styling. I just bought a Super Duke GT and I am still trying to warm up to the space invaders styling. Everything else about it is amazing though.

  22. GKS says:

    “The Vitpilen 701, 401 and 125 each borrow single cylinder engines from sister-company KTM, but place them in unique chassis and styling.”
    I doubt that the 401 and 125 will have unique chassis, to the best of my knowledge these two will be restyled versions of the Indian made KTM Duke 390 and 125. Ditto the 701, with that being based on the Austrian built Duke 690.

  23. Rod says:

    I currently ride a 2013 CB1100 I bought new. But, I have owned several thumpers through the years. A used Yamaha XT500, a new BWW XChallenge, a new BMW XMoto, a few smaller displacement singles. I really enjoyed the BMW’s except for one issue, I didn’t trust them. Both left me stuck a couple of times. The XT was stone axe reliable. I want another thumper, and have been looking at the new KTM 690 SM bike. But, I am wary. These bikes are KTM based. A modern SR700 with ABS and FI would suit me fine. The SR400 does not work for me, not enough power for the open west riding conditions. It’s not just the distance, but the wind we encounter out here on the high desert plateaus. I’ve ridden into wind across central Oregon that put a serious dent in the progress of a SV1000S I owned. I’m very glad more thumpers are reaching the marketplace. Maybe the Japanese manufacturers will get off their butts and update their machines.

    • Neil says:

      Sounds like a sport bike would be good for the wind. That or a Harley Street Glide but I can’t stand the weight of those things.

  24. waitman says:

    MCN has a detailed discussion with Husqvarna designers about how true to concept the production models will be.

  25. Starmag says:

    Back to the future except not as pretty. One piece Tracy bodywork, X75, CB900F/750F etc.

  26. Don E. says:

    Not street legal in my state, no rear fender nor the pretense of one. No thanks.

  27. Frank says:

    The 701 in the top pic looks great…mine in black please.

  28. Denny says:

    I can see very limited market slot for this concept. It looks rather narrowly oriented; I cannot see not enough versatility there to appeal bigger specter of buyers. Maybe as a second or third bike for those who can afford it?

  29. Tim C says:

    I like the top streetfighter one esp. Polar opposite from that double-ended dog turd MV.

  30. Mike says:

    Starwars style not for an old koot like myself. Single engine…great.

  31. waitman says:

    Please American manufacturers build us a bare bones bike like these.

  32. steve says:

    i don’t really go for street singles but the new 800 nuda or whatever they call it should be sweet

  33. Randy in Ridgecrest says:

    Yes, bring them on,

    This motivates other manufacturers to up their game, maybe bring out the “perfect” version of a simple versatile high performance cycle.

  34. Provologna says:

    Like all of them, a lot.

    But…I might prefer public transportation over a bike sans rear fender. That’s just me though.

  35. Tommy See says:

    The chase is still on ! Ducati Scrambler started this now what’s going to be next ?

  36. Motorhead says:

    A 701 cc thumper would definitely feel good. Count me in.

  37. Lenz says:

    The scrambler model variant appeals to me with its stripped down, highly functional styling.

    As to the exposed air cleaner that has provoked comment, I’d be more concerned about a “dusted” engine from an oiled cotton gauze air filter than the extremely low probability of rain causing operating problems for the engine. Correctly sized oiled foam element air filters using a correct “sticky” Foam Filter Oil (eg Fuchs) are far superior to “hi-flow/rock strainer” oiled cotton gauze air filters.

    Your opinion may vary – please feel free to rebuild your engines as often as you see fit

  38. Jeremy in TX says:

    I love the concept bikes and wonder how much of these designs are retained by the production models.

  39. Mike Simmons says:

    I rather like the looks of it! I’m with Bill N. though, gotta have a rear fender. While the air cleaner looks cool, it is very impractical when riding in the rain.


  40. Zippy says:

    Absolutely Stunning.
    Current plan is to buy a Vitpilen 701 as soon as they are available.

  41. Bill N says:

    All of my bikes have had and will have rear fenders.

  42. Pacer says:

    Great city bike, and or second bike. It’s going to be a hoot to ride. Just not on a 300 mile day.

    As far as looks, I dig it.

  43. xLaYN says:

    Hipsterman!!! to the hipstercycle… (read with batman comic voice)

    You can always buy a crashed KTM and do a DIY fix-it with a 200$ limit.

  44. My2cents says:

    I’d have to see it in the flesh, that 701 cafe might be a thought.

  45. Josh says:


    I am NOT a fan of the modern origami trend. For reference, I currently own a ZRX1200 and a ‘new’ CB1100.

    That being said, I think this bike has a lot of style and interest. Especially for those of us that are mechanically interested- I love the exposed air filter, twist of the exhaust header, exhaust shield with window.

    Practical? Nah- too many crevices to keep clean. But would I ride it? Yea…

    • Pacer says:

      That air cleaner is sweet.

      • GKS says:

        I expect that the production 701’s air cleaner will be covered. The US and Euro noise regulations would be tough (if not impossible) to meet with an exposed air cleaner taking big gulps of air.

  46. bmbktmracer says:

    Ugh. More matte paint jobs. When will it end? I see no sense of style whatsoever…just another redo on the ugly origami theme.

  47. Chip Hoopong says:

    Pretty cool. If they ride as good as they look, definitely something I might consider by the time they start turning up used for a few thousand.

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