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Here's Why The Husqvarna Svartpilen 250 Should Come To The US

Aug 22, 2023Aug 22, 2023

The Husqvarna Svartpilen 250 offers impressive modern scrambler-styling backed up by a potent little KTM engine

Husqvarna is a household name in most parts of the world, but it certainly doesn't get the same recognition in Asia. The Svartpilen 250 and its sibling Vitpilen 250 from the Swedish brand that were actually the first models made available throughout Asia.

It only made sense as even though Husqvarna designed these bikes in Sweden, India is where they were built for the global market. These chic motorcycles undercut the highly capable 250 Duke from KTM in countries like India by about $300, making them even more affordable lifestyle motorcycle options. The 250 Duke and the Svartpilen 250 use the same engine and chassis, and thus, theoretically, you receive the same dynamics and performance, but at a lower price. So, with the 250 Duke recently getting launched in the US, let’s make a case for why the Husky should come too.

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The Svartpilen 250 is undoubtedly one of the most elegant bikes in its class. Its distinctive style (taken from the bigger Svartpilen) draws attention wherever it goes, and the high-quality components embrace its small size. Husqvarna positioned the Svartpilen 250 to compete in the neo-classic motorcycle category, and it is quite evident in the quarter-liter bike's classic appearance that is enhanced by a round headlight, an instrument cluster with a round form and spherical rearview mirrors.

The Svartpilen 250 boasts a design that seamlessly blends classic styling with modern elements. Features like an LED headlamp with LED DRLs, LED taillight and blinkers, and a small digital instrument cluster modernizes the classic aesthetic. The slim profile, angular lines, and exposed trellis frame give it a unique and urban-friendly look that's not commonly seen on US roads. It also comes with unique but useful components like a tank rack for easy mounting of a tank bag, as well as dual-purpose tires. Additionally, the Svartpilen has an easy-to-remove split-style seat, which makes it look sportier than its sibling café racer.

Underneath its distinctive appearance, the Svartpilen 250 houses a capable 248cc single-cylinder engine. This DOHC, four-valve, liquid-cooled engine generates 17.7 pound-feet of peak torque at 7,500 rpm and a maximum power output of 29.6 horsepower at 9,000 rpm. This mini Svartpilen takes inspiration from the KTM 250 Duke, borrowing its trellis frame, engine, suspension setup, and even the braking system. The mechanical parameters are the same as those of the KTM 250 Duke too, in fact, the sprockets are straight out of the Austrian roadster!

The suspension system on this bike consists of a monoshock with preload adjustment at the back and upside-down forks from WP at the front. A 230 mm rotor at the back and a 320mm disc at the front make up the braking setup, and dual-channel ABS with an apparent Supermoto mode that is also part of the package. In the tire department, you get 150/60-17 rear and 110/70-17 front rubbers sitting on alloy wheels. All in all, the setup on the Svartpilen 250 offers the right balance between city commuting and light adventure riding, delivering sufficient torque to tackle both urban traffic and open roads.

One of the standout features of the Svartpilen 250 is its adaptability. It effortlessly transitions from navigating crowded urban environments to exploring unpaved paths on the outskirts. This dual-purpose capability resonates well with riders who seek a motorcycle that can tackle daily commutes and spontaneous adventures alike. Don’t forget after all, that the Svartpilen essentially is a scrambler-styled trim.

But for all the retro we have been boasting about, the style of the Svartpilen 250 is where the classic approach ends; the rest of the design is meant to be exciting and compelling. The motorcycle's intentions are immediately apparent when you press the one-touch ignition button, as soon as you hear the 248cc unit's grunt. Directly inherited from its Austrian cousin, the motor is rev-friendly and likes to stay above 4,000 rpm. To putter around town, the 4,000–6,000 rpm range is ideal, but as you get above 6,000 rpm, it really starts to click. It can easily maintain a constant 60-70 mph speeds and cruise at highway pace all day long, with enough power reserves to make rapid overtakes.

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As the motorcycle industry continues to evolve, small displacement bikes have gained significant traction in the US market. Riders looking for first bikes are increasingly recognizing the advantages of lightweight and efficient motorcycles for urban commuting and weekend riding. The Husqvarna Svartpilen 250 fits perfectly into this trend, offering a refreshing alternative to larger and more intimidating machines. What also works in its favor is that the segment that the Svartpilen 250 falls into is a little less crowded. Direct competition is far and few and distant competitors like the Yamaha MT-03 and sub 300cc enduro and dirt bikes are potential competitors.

Let’s face it, if it were to make its way to the US, the Svartpilen 250 would have the potential to appeal strongly to younger riders who are entering the world of motorcycling. Its unique design and manageable performance would make it an attractive option for new riders seeking a distinctive bike that aligns with their lifestyle and individuality. How does a sub $5,000 price-point sound?

Utkarsh has over a decade of experience traveling and documenting his adventures through photographs and films.He has a YouTube channel where he shows his motorcycle adventures through India. On days when he is not writing about motorcycles, he's riding one.

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