Scramblers are massively popular these days, but the options available for something smaller or more entry-level have been limited to some uninspired choices. At least until now, with Husqvarna finally releasing its Svartpilen 401 in production form.
The 2018 Husqvarna Svartpilen 401 shares plenty with the Vitpilen 401 café racer, as well as the KTM 390 Duke on which they were both based. That means a 375cc single-cylinder engine that makes a claimed 43 hp at 9,000 rpm and 27 pound-feet of torque at 7,000 rpm. It also means a chrome-moly steel-trellis frame and subframe and a six-speed transmission.
Both the Svartpilen and Vitpilen share the same 43mm, upside-down fork and monoshock, which make for 5.6 inches of travel up front and 5.9 inches in back. Brakes are also the same, with a single 320mm disc and four-piston caliper in front and 230mm disc and single-piston caliper at the rear.
The two bikes also share the same geometry, with 53.4-inch wheelbases, 25-degree steering head angles, and 3.74 inches of trail. Both bikes have 2.5-gallon fuel tanks, 32.9-inch seat heights, and get 17-inch spoked wheels with aluminum rims.
The Svartpilen gets a steel handlebar where the Vitpilen’s aluminum-forged clip-ons go, which relaxes the rider triangle a bit. And, instead of giving the Svartpilen the same Metzeler M5 tires as the Vitpilen, it gets the same Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR tires as the Ducati Scrambler. Weight also grows slightly from 326 pounds (without fuel) on the Vitpilen to 331 pounds (without fuel) on the Svartpilen.
Until now, the only real options for something of this size and style were the Yamaha SR400 or Ducati Scrambler Sixty2—neither of which is a great option for some riders. The Ducati is a sleeved version of the original Scrambler 800 that isn’t particularly peppy, is fairly heavy for a bike this size at just over 400 pounds, and costs a premium at $7,995. The Yamaha is pretty, but doesn’t have an electric starter, feels quite slow, and doesn’t feel like much bike for $5,990.
We have no word yet on how much the Husqvarna Svartpilen 401 will cost, but we imagine it will be spendy, possibly inline with the Ducati, though it will have the performance to match.
Check out the rest of our coverage of all the new motorcycles released at EICMA this year!