There were two Husqvarna concepts at the Milan Show that took place in November 2014. The white one was called the 401 Vitpilen(white arrow) and it was an ultra modern take on the cafe racer. The black one was called 401 Svartpilen (black arrow) which was an equally modern scrambler with knobby tyres.
If you look closely at the images above you'll find that the bikes look intensely familiar. That's because the trellis frames are KTM's Indian frames painted in black. The engines, similarly, may wear the Husqvarna crest but are the same shape and form as the KTM engine in the 200 and 390 Duke.
Now, Reinhold Zens, one of the two MDs of the company has confirmed to a Swedish mag that the bikes will come as 2017 models.What that means is that the production bikes will show up at the end of next year during some motorcycle show or the other and go on sale shortly thereafter.Zens further said that they may not look like the concept because a finished model must follow rules and regulation" but they'll talk that same language.
Of course, this is not a big surprise, just confirmation. Stefan Pierer, KTM CEO purchased Husqvarna in 2013 and immediately noted that he would like the Swedish brand (based in Italy at that point) to return to its roots - simpler, hardy, functional motorcycles. And soon after that, he had hinted that Bajaj Auto, the Chakan plant and the Duke platforms would be part of the resurrection process.
We now expect that the new bikes which are sure to gain friendlier names will most likely be based on the KTM 390 Duke's powertrain. Power figures should be similar - 43.5PS or thereabouts.
It is too early to talk sales strategy and all but chances are the Husqvarnas will offer a different price and proposition from the KTMs and therefore will be able to make a case for themselves within the Indian KTM network - which currently hosts Kawasakis without friction.
We love the spartan-slick ethos of both the bikes and Husqvarna are likely to stick to this startlingly attractive pattern. Waiting for the Husqvarnas to show up is going to be hard work.