From 2018, Bajaj Auto will start building entry-level Husqvarna motorcycles, the Vitpilen and Svartpilen 401, at the Chakan factory off Pune. Both bikes are based on the Duke 390, and use the same 373 cc four stroke engine of the KTM bike. They also share a lot of other parts with the KTM. However, in pricing terms, the Husqvarnas could be priced at a slight premium to the Duke 390.
Notably, the first new Husqvarnas (Vitpilen 401, Svartpilen 401 and Vitpilen 701), scheduled to be globally launched in 2018, will be built at KTM’s Mattighofen factory in Austria. Later in 2018, production of the Vitpilen and Svartpilen 401 will shift to Bajaj Auto’s Chakan factory, which also manufactures a range of KTM bikes, from the Duke to the RC390. Notably, KTM owns the Husqvarna brand, and Bajaj holds a 48 % stake in KTM.
The Vitpilen 401 is a cafe racer based on the KTM Duke 390. It gets rear set foot pegs and clip on handlebars, giving the rider a crouched stance, in line with its cafe-racer positioning. It uses the 373cc single cylinder four stroke engine with 44 Bhp-35 Nm. A six speed gearbox is standard, and so are upside-down front forks and an adjustable monoshock rear suspension bits. The bike can seat two and comes with ABS as standard.
The Svartpilen, on the other hand, is a scrambler, again based on the Duke 390, with which it even shares its trellis frame. The bike gets a much more upright riding position with a taller, wider handlebar. It also gets tyres that can handle both on-road and off-road conditions. The exhaust is similar to the Vitpilen, and so is the overall styling and seating. The bike gets luggage mounts on the tank.
Taking KTM Duke 390 prices as reference, expect the Vitpilen and Svartpilen to cost about 2.7-3 lakh rupees, on-road. The major selling points for both bikes will be their classy looks and minimalist styling. Sales and service functions for the Husqvarna brand are likely to be handed by KTM dealerships across the country.
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