2021 Husqvarna Vitpilen 401 and Svartpilen 401 First Look Preview

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edited February 20 in Cars Motorcycles
The Husqvarna Svartpilen 401 and Vitpilen 401 are unchanged for 2021, and that’s a good thing.
The Husqvarna Svartpilen 401 and Vitpilen 401 are unchanged for 2021, and that’s a good thing. (Husqvarna/)

If you missed out on a 2020 Husqvarna Vitpilen 401 or a 2020 Husqvarna Svartpilen 401, we have good news. Husky says the 2021 Vitpilen and Svartpilen 401s are available now. The sweet little machines ride on the same basic gear that sits under the KTM 390 Duke and RC 390, which means you get premium suspension and a punchy, economical single-cylinder engine.

Sure, both bikes come with ABS, but Husky lets you shut off antilock to the rear brake to let your inner hooligan blow off steam.
Sure, both bikes come with ABS, but Husky lets you shut off antilock to the rear brake to let your inner hooligan blow off steam. (Husqvarna/)

The fact that Husky made no changes to the little rippers this year is testament to their spec and desirability. Think of this as the Swedes electing not to fix something that is very much not broken. Both bikes are admirable commuters, and both make short work of twisty roads where more cubic centimeters could spell disaster. The idea here is to make full use of every one of the bikes’ 44 hp, rather than letting yourself be ridden by something that belongs on a track.

Related: 2019 Husqvarna Svartpilen 701 MC Commute Review

The Vitpilen 401 makes corner carving feel weightless and effort-free, as the bike falls away from your field of vision and the chassis just does what you want it to. We can’t say it’s just like flying, but it sure feels damn close.
The Vitpilen 401 makes corner carving feel weightless and effort-free, as the bike falls away from your field of vision and the chassis just does what you want it to. We can’t say it’s just like flying, but it sure feels damn close. (Husqvarna/)

Both bikes come with an absolutely stacked spec sheet. You get a Power Assist and Slipper Clutch (PASC), with Easy Shift, which allows you to bang up and down the gears without touching the clutch. The ByBre brakes have ABS with a supermoto mode, which lets you lock and slide the rear wheel.

To keep weight and power in check, Husqvarna spec’d adjustable WP Apex 43mm open-cartridge USD fork and WP Apex rear shock.

With a more upright position and classic scrambler looks, the Svartpilen 401 makes a loyal partner in crime in urban or rural settings.
With a more upright position and classic scrambler looks, the Svartpilen 401 makes a loyal partner in crime in urban or rural settings. (Husqvarna/)

2021 Husqvarna Vitpilen 401 and Svartpilen 401 Technical Specifications and Price

Price: $5,099
Engine: 373cc, DOHC, liquid-cooled single; 4 valves
Bore x Stroke: 89.0 x 60.0mm
Compression Ratio: 12.6:1
Fuel Delivery: Electronic fuel injection w/ 46mm throttle body
Clutch: Wet, multiplate mechanical assist and slipper
Transmission/Final Drive: 6-speed/chain
Frame: Tubular steel trellis
Front Suspension: 43mm WP Apex inverted fork, fully adjustable; 5.6 in. travel
Rear Suspension: WP Apex single shock, fully adjustable; 5.9 in. travel
Front Brakes: Radial-mounted ByBre 4-piston, radial master cylinder, 320mm disc w/ ABS
Rear Brake: ByBre 1-piston floating caliper, 230mm disc w/ ABS
Wheels, Front/Rear: Spoked alloy; 17 x 3.0 in. / 17 x 4.0 in.
Tires, Front/Rear: Metzeler M5 (Vitpilen)/Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR (Svartpilen); 110/70-17 / 150/60-17
Wheelbase: 54.0 in.
Rake/Trail: 25.0°/3.7 in.
Seat Height: 32.9 in.
Fuel Capacity: 2.5 gal.
Claimed Dry Weight: 333 lb.54 (Vitpilen) /335 lb. (Svartpilen)
Warranty: 2-year unlimited mileage
Available: Now
Contact: husqvarna-motorcycles.com
Dry weight for the Svartpilen is a scant 335 pounds, which makes the single’s 44 horses really shine.
Dry weight for the Svartpilen is a scant 335 pounds, which makes the single’s 44 horses really shine. (Husqvarna/)Chunky tires, a round headlamp and braced bars give the Svartpilen a smart sense of purpose.
Chunky tires, a round headlamp and braced bars give the Svartpilen a smart sense of purpose. (Husqvarna/)The Vitpilen 401 sports a more aggressive riding position than its stablemate, and wears street-biased tires.
The Vitpilen 401 sports a more aggressive riding position than its stablemate, and wears street-biased tires. (Husqvarna/)Engine, wheels, exhaust. Everything you need, nothing that you don’t.
Engine, wheels, exhaust. Everything you need, nothing that you don’t. (Husqvarna/)On such a light and small bike, it might seem like overkill to have an assist and slipper clutch and clutchless shifting, but the changes give the 401s an edge others can’t match.
On such a light and small bike, it might seem like overkill to have an assist and slipper clutch and clutchless shifting, but the changes give the 401s an edge others can’t match. (Husqvarna/)The Vitpilen will make you feel like a hero whether you’re off to work or off to the mountains to play.
The Vitpilen will make you feel like a hero whether you’re off to work or off to the mountains to play. (Husqvarna/)
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