Husqvarna Vitpilen 401 vs Svartpilen 401 vs Aero concept difference – EICMA 2016

Husqvarna Vitpilen 401 ride

KTM has finally debuted the Husqvarna Vitpilen 401 at the 2016 EICMA show, along with its very interesting Aero concept. While the Vitpilen 401 shares Duke 390’s platform, it is totally different from the latter in terms of looks.

Also unveiled at the event is Husqvarna’s Svartpilen 401, which looks similar to the Vitpilen but is a different motorcycle, catering to a different (yet very similar) segment.

2017 KTM Duke 390 debuts at EICMA

Husqvarna Vitpilen 401

Husqvarna designers have not made many changes from the Vitpilen concept that we saw back in 2014, which is a good thing. The bike has a minimal, retro-modern design which is sure to impress the it’s intended customers.

It is surprising how such crowded platform (Duke, RC) can spawn something so unique. The Vitpilen 401 comes with a single ‘LED’ headlamp setup with Husqvarna badging at the middle. Evidence of fuel tank can be seen as a bulge on the mono-body design. However, at 9.46 liters, its tank capacity is in an even sorry state than the existing Duke 390. Also at the side is beautiful upswept exhaust.

When you sit on the bike, your eyes will immediately be drawn towards the circular instrument cluster, which is impressive to say the least. Like the new 390, the bike’s key socket is made as an extension of the fuel tank.

Mechanically, almost everything is lifted from the Duke 390. These include brakes, WP suspension, Slipper clutch and Bosch 9.11MB two-channel ABS. Power comes from the 390’s 373cc single-cylinder engine which makes 44hp.

Other features include:

  • Sporty ride position
  • Lightweight steel-trellis frame
  • Unique steel-aluminium exhaust
  • Long single seat
  • Premium LED lights
  • Sporty clip-on handlebars
  • Street-focused Metzeler M5 tyres

More from the 2016 EICMA show

Husqvarna Svartpilen 401

Husqvarna Svartpilen 401 side



In Swedish, Vitpilen means white arrow while Svartpilen means black arrow. Much like their names, both the bikes seem to be only differentiated by their colours. However, closer look will reveal that this is not the case.

In words of their manufacturer, Vitpilen is a ‘real street’ while the Svartpilen 401 is a ‘street explorer’, which is capable of going in to slightly tougher terrain (think Urban Enduro variant of Ducati scrambler).

Most design and mechanical bits are identical on both models but some changes are present. These include:

  • Standard skid plate & tank rack
  • Two single seats
  • Different exhaust with robust protector
  • Wide off-road style handlebars
  • Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR tyres

The Scatpilen’s seating is also more comfortable and upright than that of the Vitpilen 401.

Husqvarna Vitpilen 401 Aero Concept

Husqvarna Vitpilen 401 Aero concept ride

For anyone who is thinking how some extra bit of fairing would look on the Vitpilen 401, the Swedish manufacturer has answer for that too.

The Husqvarna Vitpilen 401 Aero Concept is as much any one should expect from the sub-500cc modern retro/vintage segment. It looks gorgeous, and compatibility of its front and rear makes us wonder whether the designers started off with this concept.

All cuts and creases on the faring are there to make the bike as aerodynamic as possible. Its windshield is claimed to encourage more locked-in position and facilitates the helmet to become becomes part of the airflow.

Being a faired Café racer version of the Vitpilen, most mechanicals will be shared.

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