Husqvarna Svartpilen 401 Road Test Review - Is It Really A Scrambler?

  • Apr 1, 2024
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The Husqvarna Svartpilen 401 is a roadster that shares a platform with the KTM 390 Duke. We spend time exploring all of its capabilities in different conditions

Husqvarna Svartpilen 401 Review ZigWheels

The Husqvarna Svartpilen 401 and the Husqvarna Vitpilen 250 have recently been launched in India. Though the Svartpilen looks somewhat like a scrambler, it is actually a roadster sharing the updated (and of course potent) motor from the KTM 390 Duke.

Design 

Husqvarna Svartpilen 401 Review Design

Husqvarna motorcycles stand apart from the competition because of its futuristic neo-retro design language. From afar, this model has retained the same silhouette but there are many changes that set this new Svartpilen 401 apart from the older (250) model. It now looks more like a rugged scrambler, chiefly because of the spoked wheels shod with Pirelli Scorpion Rally off-road tyres. That said, the motorcycle is more of a roadster, so the spoked wheels are more form than function. The tyres are tubeless but are run with a tube in this case, because of the spoked wheels. Bajaj claims riders will be able to fit the alloy wheels from the new Vitpilen 250 onto the Svartpilen 401, as an option. The rear section has been extended to better accommodate a pillion. At the front, it gets a small cowl over the round headlight, and just like the new Duke 390, the bike has an underbelly exhaust unit. 

Engine, Performance, and Mileage 

Husqvarna Svartpilen 401 Review Engine

As we all know, the Husqvarna 401 shares its platform with the 2024 KTM 390 Duke. This updated 398.63cc motor churns out 46PS at 8500rpm and a peak torque of 39Nm at 6500rpm. It is even in the same state of tune as the 390 Duke, and also gets the same sprocketing. It has a linear acceleration in the low range, with a nice surge in power past the 7000rpm mark. It gets up to triple-digit speeds really quick and can cruise comfortably at 120kmph in sixth gear. In our tests, the bike was able to dart from 0-100kmph in just 6.26 seconds. There were a few vibrations that started to creep in at the handlebar and footpegs once the bike revved past the 4000rpm mark. In terms of tractability, it can handle speeds of around 60kmph in sixth gear, but is happier when kept in the higher end of the rev range. The gearbox is slick and the clutch action is light. The quickshifter works well but the slightest touch to the lever from a rider’s boot will cut power so that is something a rider should watch out for. The fuel tank is a 13.5-litre unit, compared to the 15-litre tank on the Duke 390. In our tests, we were able to get an impressive mileage of 26.20kmpl on the highway and 36.57kmpl in the city.

Handling and Ride Quality 

Husqvarna Svartpilen 401 Review Handling

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The Svartpilen 401 gets a 43mm WP Apex fork and an offset monoshock, both offering 150mm of wheel travel. The front has compression and rebound adjustability, while the rear is adjustable for preload and rebound. The bike rides on a set of 17-inch spoked wheels wrapped in Pirelli Scorpion Rally tyres. While these tyres are known for their off-road performance, they do a good job on the road as well. In terms of handling, it does take slightly more effort to ‘dip’ into a corner and ‘flick’ from one side to another, though that is only if you compare it to the sharp 390 Duke. It holds its line well and is confidence-inspiring once you get used to it. Over bad roads, the bike has a plush ride quality and with the adjustable suspension, riders can easily set it up to their liking. Braking hardware comprises a 320mm disc at the front and a 240mm rear disc. There is a sharp feel at the lever, with good ABS calibration, and this setup is ample to bring the bike to a stop easily. In our tests, the bike was able to get to a halt from 100kmph in just 49.70 metres.

Comfort 

Husqvarna Svartpilen 401 Review Comfort

The rider’s triangle of the Svartpilen 401 is another indication that this is a roadster and not a scrambler. The footpegs are placed towards the rear and the handlebar is a wide and flat unit where a rider has to bend slightly forward. The older Svartpilen 250, in comparison, had raised handlebars that kept the rider upright. While standing up on the pegs to tackle off-road trails, the riding position does not feel natural. The seat height stands at 820mm, which is slightly on the taller side but I was quite comfortable astride the bike with my 5-foot 7-inch stature. With a kerb weight of 171kg, it is a light motorcycle to manoeuvre. I found it a little difficult to lock my knee onto the tank while cornering, because of its ‘unique’ design, though taller riders should find it easier while tackling the twisties. 

Features 

Husqvarna Svartpilen 401 Review Features

Features on offer include a 5-inch TFT with a different layout and theme when compared to the 390 Duke. There is also the option of switching between two other layouts, each of which have a more minimal design. While the international-spec Svartpilen 401 gets two ride modes (Street and Rain), the India-spec model misses out on this functionality even though we can see the option on the TFT screen. That said, it still gets traction control, switchable ABS, and a quickshifter as part of the standard package. 

Verdict 

Husqvarna Svartpilen 401 Review Verdict

Priced at Rs 2.92 lakh (ex-showroom), the Svartpilen 401 is a capable machine, thanks to the potent motor and chassis from the KTM Duke 390. While the unique design language is something that will appeal to only a select few, it proves to be a great alternative for someone who does not want something as sporty as the 390 Duke and additionally, they will save approximately Rs 20,000 by opting to go for the Svartpilen 401. Ultimately, though, if someone is looking for a proper scrambler with some off-road capability could as well choose the Triumph Scrambler 400X which, at Rs 2.69 lakh (ex-showroom) is even more affordable.

Husqvarna Svartpilen 401 Video Review

Husqvarna Svartpilen 401
Husqvarna Svartpilen 401
Rs. 2.92 Lakh
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