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Husqvarna's big-bore neo-retro Vitpilen 901 busted in final testing phase

We’ve busted Husqvarna’s new twin-cylinder Vitpilen 901 in final testing and expect it to be officially unveiled later this year and in showrooms early in 2024. It extends the Vitpilen from its single-cylinder format into a much more potent 889cc twin to build on the popularity of the earlier models.

While the bikes have created a small market niche in Australia, they have been a huge sales success in Europe. It will be put into production quickly because platform-sharing from a single engine/chassis combination is being taken to a new level by the Pierer Industrie stable which owns three brands: KTM, Husqvarna and GasGas.

The 901’s styling draws heavily on the brands Vitpilen 401

Virtually every bike in Husqvarna’s current range is spawned from an existing KTM model, sharing engines, frames and suspension but gaining a distinct Husky style. For the roadbike range, that appearance errs towards the retro, with oversized round headlights and smooth, flowing bodywork.

Setups and ergonomics unique to the Husqvarnas have proved there’s enough room in the market for one platform to be offered across multiple brands without stealing important sales from each other.

The Vitpilen 901, seen here for the first time, borrows all its main components from the KTM 890 Duke. The frame? It’s the 890 Duke’s steel tube design. Swingarm? That’s the 890 Duke’s too. So’s the 889cc LC8c parallel-twin engine, albeit with its own, Husky-specific silencer. Depending on which version of the engine this is, that means somewhere between 77kW (105hp) and 89kW (121hp), although given the similarity to the 890 Duke the latter is more likely. 

The suspension is also familiar, with the WP Apex fork again from the 890 Duke. On this prototype, the rear wheel is from the Duke, too, although the mismatched, five-spoke front wheel may be more representative of the final design.

The old Vitpilen 701, based on the now-discontinued single-cylinder 690 Duke, used five-spoke wheels.

Where the Vitpilen really sets itself apart from the 890 Duke it’s based on is the styling, with a neatly sculpted stubby tail and a new tank to go with the round headlight.While the wide handlebar appears to have similar proportions to the 890 Duke’s, the footpegs are set farther back and a fraction higher than the KTM’s.