Husqvarna to put 401 Concept motorcycles into production

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Almost one year ago, KTM motorcycles CEO Stefan Pierer bought Husqvarna. The purchase encouraged a lot of questions, like whether Pierer would stay at the helm of KTM and, if so, what KTM and Husqvarna might do together. Well, Pierer is still in charge at KTM, and the Husqvarna 401 Vitpilen and Smartpilen concepts shown off at the EICMA motorcycle show in Milan last November reveal what the two brands can do together.

They were imagined by Kiska, an Austrian industrial design company, and they throw a nod to the 1955 Husqvarna Silverpilen - a bike that couldn't have had a simpler design - along with Husky's modern brand themes of pure lines and economy of form. The heart of each is a 43-horsepower, 400-cc water-cooled single in a trellis frame, and they share upside-down forks, 17-inch wheels and a 297-pound weight. The Vitpilen (white arrow) is the road bike that emphasizes clean, naked lines. The Svartpilen (black arrow) is the off-roader with the flexible platform for customization and details like the headlight sunk into a protective cage and utility racks on the tank and behind the seat.

At EICMA, Husqvarna said it would gauge audience reaction to help make a decision on production. The roar of approval has evidently made it so, with Husky pledging to release the bikes as 2017 models. The green light was no doubt aided by the additional fact that the 401 concepts are based on the skeleton of the KTM 390, sparing the tiny Swedish brand obscene development costs. We've been warned that they will, of course, look a little different in showroom guise, "but they will definitely have the same style."

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