Husqvarna is getting ready for global expansion by offering smaller-displacement motorcycles for different markets. The brand has already put up 250 cc versions of the retro-futuristic Vitpilen café racer and Svartpilen scrambler-inspired roadster on its Indian website, after revealing production-ready prototypes at India Bike Week 2019 in December.
Sweden’s Husqvarna is part of the Austrian KTM group, which India’s Bajaj Auto partly owns with a 49% stake. Both the sporty Vitpilen 250 and upright Svartpilen 250 will be manufactured at Bajaj Auto’s Chakan plant in India.
The KISKA-designed motorcycles will share the 248.8 cc single-cylinder engine off the KTM 250 Duke which makes around 30 PS at 9,000 rpm and 24 Nm of torque at 7,500 rpm. Meanwhile, the currently available 401 versions of the Vitpilen and Svartpilen are built around the KTM Duke 390's power plant, while the Vitpilen 701 is based on the KTM 690 Duke.
The 2020 Husqvarna Svartpilen 250 and Vitpilen 250 are built around lightweight, chromium molybdenum steel frames which are hydroformed and robot-welded. They both feature ByBre brakes with Bosch ABS — 320 mm front and 230 mm rear discs… As well as WP suspension — 43 mm forks with 142 mm of travel, and a rear mono shock with 150 mm of travel. The two bikes have seat heights of 835 mm, ground clearances of 145 mm, and tank capacities of approximately 9.5 L.
The prototypes have already been spotted in test runs around India, and Husqvarna will be formally launched in the country next month in February 2020, along with pricing announcements. Bajaj may decide to release even smaller Duke 200-based versions of Husqvarna’s “Real Street” range.
With the news that Husqvarna is also planning to enter the Philippines in earnest through Adventure Cycle Philippines, the Ayala subsidiary that locally handles KTM, let’s hope that we also enjoy Husqvarna’s plans to tap growing markets in Asia and beyond. The Philippines currently manufactures a bunch of KTM motorcycles for the region, so there may be talks to consider the feasibility of building Huskies here too.
In fact, there are a lot of new future Huskies planned, as the brand continues to shift from building competitive off-roaders to street bikes. It has been reported that Husqvarna wants to build electric scooters as well as 501, 401, and 250 versions of different lifestyle motorcycles, including dual-sport ADVs, naked bikes, and even stylish retros in a new classic line.
Given the popularity of these lower displacement models in the ASEAN region, it is highly possible for the brand to roll out in markets like the Philippines as well.