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Sprung! Husqvarna’s Svartpilen 701 busted | NEWS

New pics nabbed of Husky’s 690 Duke-inspired scrambler!

While we’ve known of Husqvarna’s Svartpilen 701 scrambler developments for some time, these are the first pictures of the bike as it undergoes pre-production testing – and it’s already looking like the firm’s must-have model.

Its styling is near-identical to its café racer-styled Vitpilen 701 sibling, which was on test alongside this prototype, but with the addition of wide, high ’bars, wire wheels and semi-knobby rubber.

The engine is KTM’s 690 in its latest Euro 4 form, with a secondary balancer shaft in the cylinder head to help it rev freely and smoothly. While the Husky version will probably get a slightly different tune to the KTM Duke, power will be similar at around 54kW.

It’s clear that the bike is getting close to production because the engine covers are already sporting cast-in Husqvarna logos instead of KTM script.

The frame is also straight from the 690 Duke, as is the swingarm, the WP front and rear suspension, and the Brembo brakes. On this prototype there’s an additional KTM carryover in the form of the headlight, but that’s just a temporary measure while the oversized, round unit destined for the Svartpilen 701 is developed.

While the bike is really a road-oriented scrambler, it’s clear the Husqvarna test rider has taken this prototype through the dirt as well. And, given its off-road heritage from both its KTM and Husqvarna roots, it should
be far more capable than most pseudo-scramblers presently in the class.

Both the Svartpilen 701 and its street-oriented Vitpilen 701 sister model are expected to make their official debuts at one of the major bike shows towards the end of this year, with production due to start sometime in 2018.


Compared to rivals like the Ducati Scrambler or Triumph Bonneville Street Scrambler, the Svartpilen is far less of a retro design. Although the round headlight and wire wheels have old-school overtones, it’s by no means a bike that’s trying to evoke past glories. The bodywork is resolutely modern and there’s no attempt to dress up the water-cooled motor to look old-fashioned or air-cooled.


A push towards Husqvarna road-going models under the company’s new regime started with a pair of concepts, the Vitpilen 401 café racer and Svartpilen 401 scrambler, shown in 2014. Based on the KTM 390 Duke, they reached European showrooms this year looking all but unchanged from the concepts. In 2015 a 690 Duke-based Vitpilen 701 concept was revealed, and it has also been confirmed for production, probably as a 2018 model.