HUSQVARNA VITPILEN 701
It was three years ago, in November 2014, when Husqvarna discovered the Vitpilen 401 concept at the huge EICMA fair in Italy. Thus, Husqvarna marked her return to the street motorcycle, and the attention Husqvarna received was enormous.
A fresh design of sharp edges was a welcome retro scene for many. Then, a year later, a larger 701 concept was introduced: another clean and modern design, built around the 690 Duke motorcycle from the sister company KTM. The fuel tank is a piece of modern art, and the same can be said for the rear of the motorcycle. Everything is very clean and elegant, very Swedish. This would, in short, be a DNA of this motorcycle, and his vision. It is not developed for a particular target group, and there is no stereotype that fits its philosophy. Vitpilen 701 defines its segment. The new Husqvarna Vitpilen 701 is a serious and “grown-up” motorcycle, not just a stylish thing.
It’s easy to get tempted to undercut one-cylinder engines, but at least this should not be the case. Especially not when the engine is the strongest street one-cylinder that you can find today on the market. It came from the KTM Duke 690 and delivers 75 hp at 8,500 rpm from 693ccm. It’s important to note Vitpilen weight of only 166kg, which is nothing for this engine.
These are great features and will surely make you smile on your face. In Swedish Vitpilen means “white lightning”, and the name fits perfectly. The city crowd and rural areas are good places to test performance, both in urban traffic and on interlaced rural roads. The chassis is quite solid, but driving is dynamic and precise. It is very easy to move the motor from one side to the other, from curve to curve. The 43 mm USD fork and mono-shock (both from the sister company VP Performance Systems) provide accurate feedback. You know exactly what’s happening, and the setting is stable at 160 km / h on the highway.
For one cylinder, the sound through the standard exhaust system is pretty good, especially if you accelerate with full throttle. If that is not loud enough for you, you can improve it with the stunning titanium carbon exhaust from Akrapovič which adds even to the appearance of the motorcycle. The seat position is comfortable and gives you the feeling that it’s “right”, although it’s bigger than you would expect, the seat is at 830mm. Everything else is where it should be, and gives you a good sense of control. It’s well made and looks very good, but the dashboard could have been completed a bit better, because it’s not always easy to read key information quickly.
To summarize: The Vitpilen 701 is a fun and easy driving engine. It’s not cheap, but it’s not expensive either. For 10,195 € (£ 8,899 or $ 11,999) you can get one of the most modern modern engines on the market. Its progressive design suits the modern market, with the most up-to-date components, engineering and dynamic driving experience.