New engine and chassis updates for Husqvarna’s learner-legal roadsters
They might not look like it at first glance, but the trendy Husqvarna 125 Vitpilen and Svartpilen 125 are based closely on a KTM donor bike – the 125 Duke.
The Swedish brand’s learner legal naked bikes both have very different styling, with unusual retro-ish lines, muted shades, and a more grown-up feel than the acid-orange KTM. The scrambler-style Svartpilen and Vitpilen roadster – black arrow and white arrow in Swedish – both use the same single-cylinder 125cc SOHC four-valve four-stroke engine as the mini-Duke, making the maximum A1 licence-compliant 15bhp power figure.
It’s been tweaked for 2024, with even lower emissions and better economy from the compact LC4c unit, but there won’t be much difference in feel from the rider’s seat. There’s a different cylinder coating process, using a more eco-friendly plasma coating instead of Nikasil, while the balancer shaft helps cut vibration. A revised camshaft, new lightweight low-friction piston, altered coolant flow setup and updated fuel injection all mean more efficiency all round – and it’s easier to maintain too, with 10,000km oil and 20,000 valve services.
There are more apparent changes on the chassis front though, with a new steel tube trellis frame that uses hydro-formed tubes and robotic welding processes. The rear monoshock is now mounted off-centre, which lets Husqvarna use a bigger airbox while also lowering the seat height. The frame also has more torsional rigidity, which gives better handling all-round, and a bolt-on rear subframe, which will help with accident repairs where a one-piece frame might need completely replacing with damage to the back end.
The new frame is complemented by a whole new set of running gear. There’s a new cast aluminium swingarm with a direct monoshock linkage, with a curved design that lets the exhaust sit closer in, increasing ground clearance. WP suspension is new all round, with an APEX 43mm USD open cartridge fork with 150mm travel, and a WP APEX separate piston monoshock with 150mm wheel travel and preload adjustment only.
The fork yokes have a revised offset for sharper turning, and is made of forged aluminium for more strength and reduced flex. The Svartpilen gets wide offroad-styled handlebars, with the Vitpilen featuring flatter roadster bars. Brakes are from Brembo’s Indian sub-brand ByBre, with a high-performance four-piston radial mount caliper up front and a 320mm disc, plus 240mm rear disc and twin-piston caliper.
Cornering ABS rounds off the stopping setup, and there are 17-inch wheels, cast alloy on the Vitpilen and wire-spoked on the Svartpilen, with top-notch Michelin Power 6 or Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR rubber respectively.
Equipment levels are high. The 2024 bikes feature a new five-inch TFT colour LCD dash with a bonded glass screen, which has Bluetooth connectivity as standard for music, phone and sat-nav functions, and a USB-C charging port. New backlit switchgear also includes phone controls for easier access to those functions, and there’s a standard quickshifter.
Fancy one? There’s no doubt that the new Husqvarnas look good in a slightly off-kilter fashion, but you pay for that. RRP is £4,899 for both bikes. More info at www.husqvarna-motorcycles.com.
- New frame and swingarm that accommodate the new engine with off-centre rear suspension
- New 5” bonded glass TFT display
- Open cartridge front fork
- A premium paint finish with overcoated decals
- Low seat height of 820 mm
- Cornering ABS
- Easy Shift and connectivity features as standard
- LED headlight with positioning light ring (without positioning light ring for Svartpilen 250)
- Spoked 17” wheels with premium Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR tyres (Svartpilen)
- Cast aluminium 17″ wheels with 6-spoke aero design and premium Michelin Power 6 tyres