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Husqvarna Introduces Production SVARTPILEN 701 and VITPILEN 701 AERO Concept (with video)

After testing the Husqvarna VITPILEN 701 earlier this year, we have to agree it contains the best, single-cylinder engine available in a production motorcycle (aside from KTMs utilizing the same power plant). That same gem will power the new SVARTPILEN 701 introduced at EICMA earlier today, which will be available at Husqvarna dealers in Spring of next year.

Along with the new SVARTPILEN, Husqvarna took the wraps off a VITPILEN 701 AERO concept. The following press release discusses both bikes, and the video at the bottom is focused on the new SVARTPILEN:

A pioneering mindset means you don’t wait for the future to be invented and then merely adapt, adopt and refine. A pioneer relishes the opportunity to shape the future and to be a part of defining a new path. Husqvarna Motorcycles exists to provide the most progressive and effortless riding experiences to those who see value in riding. Finding new ways to translate, deliver and execute the riding experience is of high importance to the brand. Every day, Husqvarna Motorcycles welcomes the chance to create more, move in new directions and challenge our engineers to pioneer a future that embraces the simple thrill of riding a motorcycle.


The Real Street line-up represents yet another pioneering step in Husqvarna Motorcycles’ future street motorcycling vision. Sophisticated single cylinder motors housed within minimalistic layouts – created to provide a raw and authentic riding experience. Real street bikes that capture the timeless thrill of the ride, with a level of simplicity that seems to have been lost amongst the flash, hype and hyperbole of modern motorcycle design. These bikes are compact and agile – expertly crafted to deliver minimalist styling with exceptional performance and reduced to the bare essence of what a motorcycle should be. This simple yet progressive approach is the inspiration for the range – it is a paradox that defines them.


In November 2014, a year after the re-launch of the Husqvarna Motorcycles brand and subsequent move to Austria, Husqvarna further emphasised its return to the street motorcycle segment, presenting two concept bikes at EICMA: the VITPILEN 401 and the SVARTPILEN 401. A more powerful VITPILEN 701 was then presented in 2015 and now all 3 production versions are available to the general public. In 2016, Husqvarna Motorcycles highlighted the versatility of the new street range platform by unveiling a stylish, faired concept version – the VITPILEN 401 AERO. In 2017, also at EICMA, Husqvarna Motorcycles kept up the momentum by presenting the SVARTPILEN 701 concept bike. Exactly one year later, the highly anticipated production model has now been revealed. To keep up the brand’s ever-increasing momentum, another showpiece of design makes its debut at EICMA 2018 – the VITPILEN 701 AERO concept bike.

Future vision:

The first VITPILEN and SVARTPILEN concepts, shown at EICMA in 2014, offered a small glimpse into the future vision that Husqvarna Motorcycles has for street riding. The concept is typically Husqvarna: high quality, inspired by the brand’s heritage, yet created using modern technology and a progressive design approach. Advanced engineering meets an authentic, pure design to deliver a modern and uncompromised street riding experience.

The brand has presented two higher performance machines recently, namely the VITPILEN 701 production bike in 2017 and the SVARTPILEN 701, which has just been revealed to the world. The all-new SVARTPILEN 701 will be available at dealers in early spring of 2019, while the VITPILEN 701 AERO concept, also presented at EICMA 2018, is a reminder of the brand’s unwavering commitment to looking ahead and always exploring new directions.

The names:

The Husqvarna VITPILEN (Swedish for “White Arrow”), much like the iconic Silverpilen in 1955, opened up a new segment for Husqvarna Motorcycles along with the SVARTPILEN (Swedish for “Black Arrow”), which shares the same design approach but with distinctive color differences and slightly more rugged styling. The overall design concept has been expressed in 2 different styles, as seen in the distinct forms of the VITPILEN and SVARTPILEN production models and is now joined by the VITPILEN 701 AERO concept.

The AERO in the name refers to the addition of a fairing, which gives the motorcycle a more aerodynamic look. The approach is a tribute to the clean and cool Swedish simplicity of the iconic Silverpilen concept.



These bikes are an apparent paradox. They are incredibly simple in their design, with no unnecessary excess. However, they are also progressive, offering something new to the world of motorcycling. They use the latest technology, designed in a forward-thinking way, but still embrace the purity and simplicity of how motorcycles used to be.

The New Gateway to Motorcycle Culture:

The approach was not to make a bike for a certain type of person but rather to make one for any kind of person. Thus, opening up an entirely new gateway into the world of motorcycle culture. A culture that is accepting, non-specific and purely just for the love of being on two wheels and seated behind a set of handlebars.

Where you decide to go, how you decide to ride and who you are is irrelevant, it’s equal. You can truly be whoever you want to be but with the freedom to explore your city in an entirely new way.


A selection of short insights and quotes:

“The paradox is in its personality – simple, stylish commuter by day but open to more serious thrills when the opportunity arises.”

Maxime Thouvenin, Creative Lead on the Husqvarna Motorcycles street project

“Our inspiration for this design was motivated by the resurgence of the iconic flat track scene, but we interpreted it in true Husqvarna Motorcycles style – premium, modern and sleek.”

Maxime Thouvenin, Creative Lead on the Husqvarna Motorcycles street project

“With its reduced design, laid back offroad-inspired handlebars and upright seating position, the motorcycle is extremely approachable and just begs to be ridden.”

Maxime Thouvenin, Creative Lead on the Husqvarna Motorcycles street project


SVARTPILEN 701 design concept:

One sentence:

The clean, practical and functional design concept behind the Husqvarna SVARTPILEN 701 was inspired by the resurgence of the iconic flat track scene and created for “new-school” and freethinking riders who want the timeless appeal of owning something unique and special.

Short version:

The SVARTPILEN 701 production model marks the next step in Husqvarna Motorcycles’ return to the street. It is a modern and innovative naked bike with a sophisticated and powerful single-cylinder, 4-stroke motor. Inspired by the iconic flat track scene, it is completely free of excess, delivering a raw and authentic riding experience.

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  1. Road Toad says:

    Are you F-ing kidding me? Better go find those guys you fired who designed the Nuda.

  2. todd says:

    I don’t get how the Svartpilen 401 is so much better looking than the Svartpilen 701. And half the price to boot!

  3. Don M. says:

    OMG, is this a joke? Ugliest bike EVERRRRRRRRR!

  4. Anonymous says:

    This article is like those stories you see all the time trying to convince us that Sweden is The Best Country To Live In in the world. Uhm, nope…

  5. mongrel says:

    It’s like looking at a locomotive, not a pretty one either. Sorry to all of you locomotive fans out there.

  6. Privateer says:

    Look at the Benelli above this one. ‘Nuf said…

  7. Anonymous says:

    It looks like the love child of an SRX400 and a V-max. But not in a good way.

    • richard says:

      i sell them..they are all young buyers….its the cutting edge style…comments from older guys is typical..they are not the buyers

      • Dino says:

        I worry for the future. This old guy thinks the design committee should have at least talked about what they wanted to design, before they shipped the plans off to the factory to build this Frankenbike.

  8. TimC says:

    Styling by East Germany

  9. Tim says:

    Wow, who are the people who hire the bike designers at Husqvarna? It’s time to completely clean house, starting with the people who hired them in the first place.

  10. Neil says:

    I’m just a motorcycle fan. I like the fact that you’re not going to go anywhere on these things and not have a crowd around you and who doesn’t want to steal a ride on one? The point IS to be different, to be that mechanical kind of “ugliness” that is what the others are not. The KTM Duke 790 is not exactly a looker. Why not just make it look like the old 1970’s Husqvarna dirt bikes then? That raw elemental design is the point.

  11. MGNorge says:

    From looks alone it leaves me thinking it was designed from puzzle pieces put together from various bikes of all kinds. There is a purposefulness to its design but it’s not fluid, not beautiful. It’s new, it’s old, it’s… what is it?

  12. Grover says:

    It’s funny how manufacturers write pages of ad copy when all the rider wants to know is: price, weight and horsepower (usually the three items they leave out.)

  13. John F says:

    Remember when Gold Wings were naked, then Vetter made fairings and saddle bags and turned them into touring motorcycles? Honda saw what people were doing and the Aspencade was born. A Gold Wing Touring bike with factory fairing and luggage.
    Husqvarna sees what Hipsters are doing to motorcycles and have following what Honda did by providing those with limited mechanical abilities a factory Hipster look. An ugly bike from the factory.

    I am a new owner of a 2018 Husqvarna 701SM and it’s a gorgeous machine with the same engine. Although with a narrow seat at at 36″ in height, not for everyone.

  14. John says:

    How many different sequestered design teams were involved in this? The tail section is right out of the 70s.

  15. Jabe says:

    When I look at this bike I think back to that ugly chick I took to the prom.

  16. WSHart says:

    The Yoko Ono of the motorcycling world. How did Yoko get her last name?

    When John Lennon saw her naked for the first time. This thing is Yoko Ono hideous.

  17. My2cents says:

    Phyllis Diller of motorcycles, I try to find a way to like any motorcycle, this is among a few that simply are an unwanted orphan from a hideous one night stand.

  18. RonH says:

    … and as usual a stupid video not highlighting the motorcycle, only flashes of the bike and describing the thrill of riding. Like all other intro videos.

  19. RonH says:

    Definitely ugly. Back to a single front disk? Nice. To bad KTM killed off Husaberg and kept Husky.

    • SausageCreature says:

      Well, you could peel off the Husqvarna stickers and replace them Husaberg stickers you find online or whatever. I’m sure that’s the only practical difference there would be.

      They’d still be building what KTM tells them to build, using parts supplied by KTM or some third party. And they’d still probably name the bike something that at first glance makes you think “shart” except with more old-world sophistication because it’s like the Swedish version of “shart” or something.

      • RonH says:

        Yeah, you’re right. I guess it would have been best if KTM didn’t buy out either Husky or Husaberg.

  20. austin zzr 1200 says:

    I think IRL this thing would look pretty cool. Unfortunately, it lost a lot between prototype to production model

  21. Wendy says:

    Wow, what an ugly bike. I usually like radical styling but these arrows miss the mark.

  22. MacSpoone says:

    This thing is ugly.
    I don’t care *how* good it is.
    It’s fuggin’ ugly.

  23. clasqm says:

    People, don’t be so unkind! Can’t you see this poor bike has advanced cancer of the sidepanel?

  24. Spiderwatts says:

    I’m putting this comment here to cover all the new bikes motorcycle daily showed us over the last couple days. It is amazing! We are living in the greatest time! What a great selection of bikes. Something for everyone! How people can nitpick any tiny little thing no matter what it concerns is flabbergasting. I can imagine Jesus returning to Earth again and there would still be people complaining and crucifying him again.
    Relish the huge selection of these marvels of engineering and manufacture.
    It’s kind of humorous. If most people learned about engines, internal combustion, and the manufacturing process they would think it was voodoo.
    It will be exciting to hear how these bikes ride and perform. Pity the nitpickers and whining non riders who are missing out.

    • bmbktmracer says:

      Maybe negative opinions keep us from spending every last dime on motorcycles. Hah, can’t buy the GS because of the beak. Ooops, sorry KTM, the mattle black plastic doesn’t work for me. Otherwise, we’d all have motorcycles and no wife, house, or savings account.

  25. Gham says:

    This is really one of the only new bikes I’ve ever seen that I took one look and just skipped to the comments,it is that unappealing to me.

  26. mickey says:

    Makes the new neo retro Honda 1000 look attractive

  27. WSHart says:

    Stupid fugly in the same way the AMC Pacer was stupid fugly. Were she alive today, Helen Keller could’ve done a better design. Apparently the “bare essence of what a motorcycle should be” is Dorian Gray FUGLY.

    Question: What were they thinking?

    Answer: They weren’t.

    And here I thought Mole Rats were the fugliest things on the planet…FTN.

  28. tyg says:

    Looks like someone took the back end off with a chain saw… or maybe it got tagged in the back by a lifted truck and the rear subframe was crammed under the seat?

    • Bart says:

      I had similar chainsaw massacre thoughts. Only thing they left out was spray painting the whole bike with RrihnoLiner.

  29. blitz11 says:

    WAY prefer my Duke 690. To me, this Husky is really unattractive.

  30. CrazyJoe says:

    I’ve been saying the fairing on sports bike more and more forward eventually covering the front wheel. But looking at the Aero it suddenly hit me why the backend has disappeared from most modern bikes. You see everything is moving forward on motorcycles. Soon the seat will be in front of the handle bars along with the gas tank. These Scandanavians are brilliant.

  31. tuskerdu says:

    72′ AMC Gremlin.

  32. joe b says:

    I usually dont just comment how I dont like how something looks, but this bike just looks terrible. its not the tank seams or a beak front fender, or “an empty space where the shocks should be”, it just has no STYLE. Neither does it look utilitarian. I wont call it ugly, too many other bikes are that, this one is just disjointed, boxy, I’m at a lost to describe it.

  33. Jeremy in TX says:

    I know these designs are polarizing, but I think they are fantastic.

    • Zuki says:

      I like them as well, although the Svartpilen’s left side does look a bit better than the right without that filler piece. At first glance the ducktail sorta reminded me of the original Kawasaki H2’s, which was somewhat polarizing as well back in the day.

  34. Miles Rydden says:

    Those are very interesting names to pronounce. Most already shorten the brand name to “Husky” to avoid that one. The back end is totally lost. They shortened the rear yet added the big black side panels under the sub frame that break up the whole minimalist look. Incredibly boxy design. They are one-upping the Japanese street bikes’ Transformer-look which is a bad thing.And who thought the Harley rear fender was a good idea?

  35. pete boyd says:

    I wouldn’t want to have to pronounce those names when saying what I ride. Even the brand name is relegated to “Husky” most of the time. And yes, the rear end is lost. Why crop it off just to ruin the lines with the big black thing below the sub-frame. I thought Japanese street bikes were getting weird. Now it appears to be a global effort.

  36. Uncle Stashu says:

    Whiskey Tango Foxtrot????

  37. Dave says:

    I’m a KTM guy, have been for many years. These Huskies are just disgusting to look at. I wish them the best though.
    If you want a great single get the 690 Duke.

  38. Orgi says:

    I know looks aren’t everything, but come on!

  39. Mark says:

    Where’d the back end of the bike go?
    No thanks.

  40. Tommy D says:

    Wow that Aero would make a great spec class racer. Hmmmmm Super Singles anyone?

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