Five years since Husqvarna first brought the Vitpilen and Svartpilen to our shores, the Austrian manufacturer is set to launch what is essentially the second generation of these somewhat avant-garde and learner-legal naked bikes.
The 2024 Vitpilen 401 and Svartpilen 401 will be available in Australia from June 2024 onwards but will not be sold in New Zealand. Pricing is yet to be announced. Some overseas markets also get 125 and 250 versions of these models, but neither of those capacities will make it to our shores.
For 2024 the Vitpilen and Svartpilen 401 get a new Euro5+ complaint 398.6 cc single-cylinder engine that also powers KTM’s latest range of 390 motorcycles, such as the Duke 390, RC 390 and 390 Adventure.
The new LC4c powerplant is based on a completely new design and builds on the experience gained with the previous generation of small single-cylinder engines. The cylinders are now processed with a plasma coating instead of the Nicasil coating used on the previous generation. Capacity is boosted from 373 cc to 398.66 cc thanks to a 4 mm larger bore.
The cylinder head is made up of four lightweight valves actuated by the overhead camshafts which now have more lift and use cam levers that incorporate a DLC (diamond-like carbon) coating meaning. The cylinder head itself is now smaller and the thermostat has been repositioned to aid durability via quicker warm-up times.
New injectors with finer atomisation and improved spray angle for a more efficient combustion result in fewer emissions The injection is angled directly onto the inlet valves and the engine breathes through a completely redesigned airbox that draws air from the front of the motorcycle,
Husqvarna claim 45 horsepower and 39 Nm of torque from the new engine, which is around 5 per cent up on its predecessor.
A brand-new steel trellis frame offers a lengthened wheelbase and improved ergonomics. The Vitpilen experiences an even more significant change to the ergo-triangle thanks to a new street bike handlebar.
The new design features a rear shock absorber that is mounted off-centre to allow for a large airbox while reducing seat height to 820 mm. The all-new curved, lightweight swingarm contours around the relocated rear shock absorber.
Husqvarna claims that the high-speed steering characteristics have been significantly improved, enhancing stability and control at higher speeds.
The front suspension on both models is handled by WP APEX 43 mm open-cartridge forks with 150 mm of travel. Using a split damping function, compression and rebound can be adjusted effortlessly using the convenient clickers located on the top of the forks. New triple clamps feature a revised offset.
Fitted with an offroad style handlebar and risers, the Svartpilen has a hint of scrambler to it with an upright and more comfortable riding position. The Vitpilen models come fitted with straight and flat roadster-style bars and risers.
Both the brake and clutch levers are adjustable for reach and the switch cubes feature illuminated buttons.
An up-down quick-shifter is standard across both models as is a slip-assist clutch. While the gearbox keeps the same ratios as in the previous generation, several updates have been included.
6 mm guides for the fork pins → improved gear guidance
Optimised shift drum shape
The shift lever travel has been reduced → quicker and more responsive action
The Easy-Shift and clutch spring rates (stiffer) have been changed to improve shift quality
Fitted directly to the swingarm, the WP APEX monoshock features a progressive spring design meaning the rear shock is softer at the start of the stroke to help soak up small bumps. As the stroke progresses, the shock becomes progressively stiffer to help absorb larger hits. Pre-load can be adjusted and rebound damping can be tuned through five clicks of adjustment.
The Svartpilen and Vitpilen are fitted with an all-new hydraulically operated and radially mounted four-piston caliper at the front and a new twin-piston floating caliper at the rear. The high-spec Bosch ABS system has a Supermoto mode where the rear is disengaged.
The Svartpilen models feature a separate rider and pillion seat, while the Vitpilen models feature a one-piece rider and pillion seat. The rider seats are narrower and designed with a more pronounced curvature for reduced seat height.
A new five-inch bonded glass TFT screen also makes an appearance and features connectivity functionality. A USB-C port is also provided.
The new headlight features an LED daytime running light while the rear light is integrated into the rear bodywork.
The Svartpilen rolls on spoked rims shod with chunky Pirelli Rally STR rubber while the Vitpilen has six-spoke alloy rims wrapped in Michelin Power hoops.
Oil and filter changes are recommended every 10,000 kilometres while valve clearances should be inspected every 20,000 kilometres.
2024 Husqvarna Vitpilen and Svartpilen 401 Specifications
Engine – Four-stroke, single-cylinder
Capacity – 398.6 cc
Bore x Stroke – 89 x 64 mm
Claimed Power – 45 hp (33 kW)
Claimed Torque – 39 Nm
Cooling – Liquid
Driveline – Six-speed, slip-assist clutch, Chain
EMS – Bosch with RBW
ABS – Bosch 9.3 MP (Cornering and Supermoto)
Front Brakes – 320 mm single disc, ByBre four-piston caliper
Rear Brake – 240 mm single disc
Front Suspension – WP Apex 43 forks, 150 mm travel
Rear Suspension – WP Apex Monoshock, 150 mm travel
Ground Clearance – 180 mm
Seat Height – 820 mm
Frame – Steel trellis
Steering Head Angle – 66-degrees
Fuel Tank – 13 Litres
Weight without fuel – 154.5 kg (159 kg for Svartpilen)
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