Over the past few years, the Husqvarna name has managed to work its way back into the mainstream. Thanks to a successful partnership with KTM, the brand has managed to grow and flourish into one of the most exciting names in the industry. While off-roading machines are the marque’s bread and butter, the Husqvarna banner now includes a number of interesting road-focused models, including the Vitpilen and Svartpilen families, with a fully-fledged adventure bike also due in the near future.
For 2021, there aren’t too many updates to write home about. Well, that’s not strictly true. For 2021, the vast majority of updates affect the Swedish manufacturer’s off-road line-up. Since the majority of our readers are road-focused riders, we’re only covering the relevant road-ready and street-legal motorcycles from this fantastic European brand.
If you’re waiting for the grand unveiling of the much-anticipated Husqvarna Norden, prepare to be disappointed—for the time being at least. Despite being spied in near-production-ready trim, it’s currently not on the 2021 Husqvarna roster. Sorry!
The Vitpilen 401 is a small-capacity urban roadster that’s styled as a futuristic neo-café racer. Ever since it first rolled onto the scene it’s been praised for its minimalist aesthetic and forward-thinking design. With an engine under 500 cc and a price tag that sits just below the $5k (US) marker, it’s an ideal beginner bike for discerning riders who want a fully-immersive riding experience.
Under the proverbial hood, the Vitpilen 401 boasts a compact 373 cc single-cylinder four-stroke engine that delivers an impressive 44 horsepower and 27 lb-ft of torque. Armed with six gears, a sophisticated Ride-by-Wire system, Easy Shift sensor technology, ByBre brakes, WP suspension, and one of the sleekest and modern aesthetics on the market, the 2021 Husqvarna Vitpilen 401 is one of the freshest motorcycles on the market.
There are no updates for 2021 over the 2020 model, but since we didn’t cover any Husqvarna motorcycles last year, we’re including it (and other street-focused Husqvarna models) here.
The Vitpilen 701 is a larger version of the Vitpilen 401, with a higher level of equipment and a more performance-focused attitude. It’s a stripped-down, bare-bones minimalist motorcycle that favors simplicity but without too much in the way of compromise. The result is a sleek, lightweight motorcycle that offers a good balance of everyday rideability, sports-performance, and economy.
The Vitpilen 701 is powered by a big, single-cylinder engine. It uses a 692.7 cc liquid-cooled, four-stroke motor that thumps out a respectable 75 horsepower and 53.1 lb-ft of peak torque. The engine is held in place with a lightweight trellis frame and kept under control with a hydraulically activated slipper clutch, a Ride-by-Wire system, traction control, and ABS. Brembo brakes, WP suspension, LED lights, and spoked wheels are also included as standard hardware.
For urban-dwelling minimalists who want a solid city ride that can also tear up the canyons, the Vitpilen 701 is a fine choice.
Husqvarna’s Svartpilen 401 is a small-sized but enormously capable modern street scrambler. While it has a rugged and utilitarian aesthetic, it’s not really suited to real off-roading. However, it’s an excellent motorcycle for riders who want to explore unsealed roads and light trails on the weekend, and the city streets and paved avenues between Monday and Friday. It’s no dirt bike, but it does have a few more dirt bike qualities than the knobbly tires.
The engine, for starters, is a punchy small-capacity single-cylinder unit. Like the Vitpilen 401, the Svartpilen 401 uses a 373 cc single-cylinder four-stroke engine that produces a modest 44 horsepower and 27 lb-ft of torque. Off-road handlebars and spoked rims are also classic dirt bike features. But there’s more to the Svartpilen 401 than dirt-bike qualities: it also features Ride-by-Wire, Bosch ABS, ByBre brakes, WP suspension, and LED lighting.
It’s an affordable and versatile motorcycle for those who want a capable urban motorcycle that won’t faint at the first sight of loose gravel.
The Svartpilen 701 is the bigger brother of the smaller-displacement Svartpilen 401. Obviously. However, while the smaller model gives off a kind of street-scrambler vibe, the larger 701 is more of a futuristic, urban flat-tracker. It doesn’t really advertise much in the way of off-road suggestions, but instead, it’s something more in tune with the likes of the KTM 790 Duke, or CB650R: a classic and versatile middle-weight naked.
The bigger Svartpilen shares all of the same engine DNA as the Vitpilen 701, with a big 692.7 cc liquid-cooled, four-stroke single-cylinder engine that generates a respectable 75 horsepower and 53.1 lb-ft of peak torque. It’s also equipped with a six-speed gearbox, quick-shifter, ride-by-wire, Bosch ABS, Brembo brakes, LED lights, and of course, WP suspension. The only significant difference between the Vitpilen 701 and the Svartpilen 401 is the bodywork. Again, there are no updates for 2021, and all of the above models are available for 2021 in 2020 form.
Supermoto motorcycles are some of the most thrilling and most capable on the market. Armed with the performance of a street bike but with the light handling and ergonomics of a dirt bike, they offer the best of both worlds in one impressive package. The Husqvarna 701 Supermoto is one of the most celebrated factory Supermoto models on the market. Why? Because it packs a powerful engine in a 319 lb chassis, with plenty of modern technology to keep your ride as smooth as silk.
Using Husqvarna’s 692.7cc single overhead camshaft, liquid-cooled, single-cylinder engine, the 701 Supermoto produces an impressive 74 horsepower and 52.3 lb-ft of torque. It’s a powerful but compact engine that’s held in place with a lightweight chromium molybdenum trellis frame, which offers an exceptional power-to-weight ratio. A slipper clutch, multiple ride modes, traction control, ABS (which can be disengaged), Brembo brakes, and WP suspension complete this exceptional motorcycle.
Usually, we don’t cover off-road-only motorcycles, but this technically isn’t off-road only in the traditional sense. Instead, this new-for-2021 model is a competition-spec Supermoto machine for real Supermoto riders. To put it bluntly: it’s not street-legal. But then again, no one buys a Supermoto with plans to fully obey the rules anyway.
Using a 449.9 cc single-cylinder four-stroke engine, the FS 450 produces a hearty 63 horsepower, transmitted to the wheel via a five-speed gearbox, with a Suter slipper clutch. In terms of electronics, the FS 450 is somewhat spartan, but it still has plenty to get excited about. Highlights include two engine maps, traction control, and launch control. Other cool features include Brembo brakes, WP XACT suspension, Alpina rims, Bridgestone R420 slick tires, and CNC-machined components.
If there was any doubt: it’s definitely not street legal. If you want street-legal Husqvarna Supermoto action, the 701 Supermoto is for you. For closed course shenanigans, the FS 450 is your weapon of choice.
Dual Sport Enduro
Husqvarna’s 701 Enduro is a dual-natured machine that can comfortably zip around city streets or tackle treacherous uphill off-road climbs in equal measure. It’s a versatile motorcycle that has been honed over the years, taking inspiration from Husqvarna’s championship-winning stablemates that have now been fused with KTM’s modern engineering. The result is a stylish and modern dual sport enduro that packs a serious punch.
The 701 Enduro draws power from a 692.7 cc single overhead camshaft, liquid-cooled, single-cylinder engine that produces 74 horsepower and 52.3 lb-ft of peak torque. Riding aids for the 2021 701 Enduro include two selectable riding modes, cornering sensitive ABS, and lean-angle sensitive traction control. But that’s not all. The 701 Enduro also boasts an Adler Power Torque Clutch slipper clutch, Brembo brakes, WP suspension, D.I.D spoked rims, and a polyamide rear subframe and tank.
For 2021, the Husqvarna 701 Enduro receives no updates over the 2020 version.
701 Enduro LR
Like the 701 Enduro, Husqvarna’s slightly enhanced enduro model, the 701 Enduro LR doesn’t receive any updates for 2021. It’s still an impressive trail-riding machine with a powerful 692.7 cc single-cylinder engine, with 74 horsepower and 52.3 lb-ft of torque on tap. In essence, the LR-designated is exactly the same as above, but it has one difference that makes it a better choice for riders who really like to go out and get lost.
The main difference between the 701 Enduro and the 701 Enduro LR is more than the addition of a couple of letters. However, those letters stand for Long Range and they highlight the difference between the two models. Along with the standard rear subframe mounted fuel tank, the LR model also boasts a specially designed, single-piece, impact-resistant, polyamide front fuel tank which holds an additional 12 liters of fuel. The result is a combined fuel volume of 25 liters or a usable range of over 310 miles. Perfect for the hardcore off-road rider.