Vitpilen 701 – Hard to Pigeonhole…..
…and that’s a good thing….something I like….all too often as soon as a manufacturer launches a bike it gets placed in to a segment and the main stream press find a place for it to nestle. Husqvarna’s first foray into the road bike market has shaken this up somewhat.
The Swedish company took a well developed and admired motor (the KTM 693cc single cylinder LC4) had a little fiddle with it to eek out one more hp, then shoved it into a package that bears a very very close resemblance the the gorgeous concept drawings we were teased with at EICMA in 2015.
Hats off to the engineers to be able to reimagine this in the metal, considering all of the homologation rules and regulations that have to be met in motorcycle manufacture these days.
So is it a Cafe Racer? Neo-Retro?, Retro?, maybe Urban? how can you put a finger on it…..well I guess the simple answer is its all of those and none at the same time! Nearly all of the reviews I’ve seen make a direct comparison to the KTM Duke 690 and of course I can see why, it shares the motor, most of the chassis and a few other components. But as a package its a very different animal, the riding position, design and overall feel the bike leaves you with is a step aside from that of the offering from the Mothership.
If you like the ‘supermoto’ look then the 690 Duke and Husky 701 are fantastic bikes, if you want to take that thumping big single and experience a different ‘vibe’ then the Vitpilen might just push your buttons.
I purposely reviewed the bike based purely on its own merits, and not make any comparisons to its orange brethren. Click on the video below to see my conclusion….