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Husky Vitplilens approach production | NEWS

It was back in 2014 that KTM-owned Husqvarna brought us the first Vitpilen 401 concept bike – a modern café racer based on the engine and chassis of the KTM 390 Duke.

A year later it was back with the same recipe applied to a 690 Duke, this time titled the Vitpilen 701. Now both concepts are finally nearly ready to become showroom realities for 2017.

And the latest spy pictures show that Husky’s engineers have done a remarkable job of retaining the concept bikes’ styling for the final verions.

In terms of technical updates, their job appears to have been straightforward. Both the 401 and 701 are effectively restyles of the 2017-spec 390 and 690 Dukes, sharing the same frames and engines and much of the suspension. In keeping with their quasi-café-race style, they get lower suspension, dropped bars and rearset pegs, which should result a quite different riding proposition despite the large number of Duke components in use.

The latest pictures show that the styling of both the 701 and 401 is much closer to the concept versions than was suggested by earlier spy shots. In particular, while the final headlights aren’t yet fitted, the back plate for the final unit is in place and proves that both Vitpilens will get the large, circular lamps of the concepts.

The 401 concept’s wire wheels appear to have been dropped in favour of cast wheels, but it would be no surprise if wire-spoked alternatives appear as an option.

Eventually, Husqvarna plans to have a full range of Vitpilen models, all based on KTM’s Dukes, ranging from 125cc to a crazy 1301cc V-twin derived from the 1290 Super Duke R.

In a year or so the firm is also expected to launch a line of Svartpilen scramblers, based on the Vitpilen models but with high, wide bars and knobbly tyres.

By Ben PurvisHusqvarna 701 Vitpilen 05 copy