Bajaj has already confirmed that the KTM-owned Husqvarna 401 series street motorcycles will be launched in India this year. A latest media report suggests that the twins - Husqvarna Vitpilen 401 (Swedish for white arrow) and Svartpilen 401 (black arrow) - are set to be launched in the country by November.
The prototypes have been spotted testing in India a few times already and from what we have seen, the motorcycles will feature some specific changes to suit our market. The Svartpilen 401 scrambler test mule was equipped with alloy wheels which are borrowed from the KTM Duke and RC family. The global version comes with spoke wheels and dual-purpose tyres.
Other market specific features to expect are longer pillion seats, and grab rails (as mandated by local regulation). While the Vitpilen 401 is a scrambler, the Svartpilen 401 adopts cafe racer body style. Apart from the colors, the motorcycles differ from each other in terms of accessories. Both feature circular headlamp with LED outline, fully digital instrument console, retro themed fuel tank and minimalist cantilevered tailpiece with LED brake light.
The Husqvarna twins are underpinned by the KTM Duke 390's platform, so most of the mechanical components are familiar. The motorcycles employ trellis frame, WP suspension system (inverted telescopic front fork and rear monoshock), Metzeler tyres, 17-inch wheels, and disc brake at either end with dual-channel ABS.
The Husqvarna Svartpilen 401 and Vitpilen 401 will be manufactured alongside their KTM siblings at Bajaj Auto's Chakan plant. Given that most of the critical parts are already heavily localized, one can expect a competitive price tag. The Swedish brand is expected to be positioned slightly above KTM.
As far as retail network is concerned, we had revealed earlier that existing KTM outlets have been asked to expand their showrooms and prepare for Husqvarna branding. It is to be noted that Bajaj Auto adopted a similar co-branding strategy at the dealer level when it introduced KTM (Kawasaki outlets were modified to accommodate KTM products as well).
With the KTM Duke 390 and RC 390, Bajaj Auto has managed to cover a good portion of medium displacement sportsbike segment. The addition of Husqvarna Vitpilen 401 and Svartpilen 401 would help the company to widen its audience base in the fast growing segment.