2023 Husqvarna Svartpilen 401: Everything We Know
Jul 26, 2023
The 2023 Husqvarna 401 Svartpilen is still the same cool, naked motorcycle we've known since 2018, only better.
Husqvarna, as a brand, has come a long way from the musket and sewing machine maker it once was, to the builder of motorcycles like the Svartpilen 401. Once part of the BMW Group, Husqvarna is now owned by KTM, which is why the 2023 Husqvarna 401 Svartpilen is a rebadged and restyled version of the 2018 KTM Duke 390.
That said, it’s only the engine and the mechanics that come from the KTM 390, everything else about the Husqvarna Svartpilen 401 collates to entice all the customers who don't much care for the brash design of the 390 Duke. For the time being, Husqvarna has kept the 701 Svartpilen aside, channeling all efforts into the 2023 Svartpilen 401, so motorcycling aficionados should get to know this motorcycle all the better. So, here’s all we know about the scrambler-styled naked 2023 Husqvarna Svartpilen 401 and why it may become the flagship of Husqvarna in the years to come.
Given that Husqvarna made its first motorcycle back in 1903, it’s one of the oldest motorcycle makers in the world today. That said, it took them a while to move from their dirt bike supremacy and move into urban motorcycles with the launch of the Svartpilen and Vitpilen in 2016. While the Vitpilen (meaning white arrow) is more of a café racer, the Svartpilen (black arrow) has a scrambler look and feel.
For 2023, the Husqvarna Svartpilen 401 uses the KTM 390 Duke’s single-cylinder, 373cc engine, making it perfect for all kinds of riders. That said, the mill comes retuned and better dressed. While it’s not a new engine, somehow it feels even more compact in the 401 Svartpilen and its 28 lb-ft of torque even at low RPMs makes for the perfect city rider. Its electronic fuel injection system operates on a ride-by-wire for the perfect punch. Also, given that the 401 Svartpilen weighs only 335 pounds, it has a thumper of a power-to-weight ratio, given its 44 horsepower, which is enough to please experienced riders as well.
Liquid-cooled DOHC single-cylinder
Bore x Stroke
89.0 x 60.0 mm
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The relatively compact dimensions of the Husqvarna 401 Svartpilen make it an easy motorcycle for any beginner or relatively inexperienced rider to be on, given that it’s also lightweight. Its electric starter adds to its ease of handling, as does its easy shift sensor, linked to the gearbox. This sensor allows the rider to make seamless up- and downshifts without a clutch, with the help of an ECU that does all the hard work.
Its suspension is an added plus and targets riders who ride on city roads. Given that not all city roads come pristine, Husqvarna uses WP Apex’s soft suspension with a fully adjustable 43 mm inverted front fork and rear mono-shock, capable of handling 5.6 inches of travel. The 5.7 inches of ground clearance helps in effortless riding over potholes, gravel, and bad roads. That said, this is not an authentic scrambler and will not do well on dirt roads despite its burly and aggressive looks – all it can handle is bad roads.
Husqvarna has marginally bettered the Svartpilen 401 since its 2018 debut, with a gentle rise in power and torque, and its top speed has remained more or less constant at approximately 100 mph (103 mph for 2023). While this is not a sports bike, it’s a respectable naked motorcycle with impeccable styling. There's not much difference in top speed when it comes to the 2023 model, from the 2022 Husqvarna 401 Svartpilen, so you can choose to save yourself some money by going for a year-old model as well.
WP APEX 43
WP APEX - Monoshock
Steering head angle
Suspension travel (front)
Suspension travel (rear)
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With 44 horsepower and roughly 103 mph of top speed, the Svartpilen 401 is not a motorcycle that can take you as fast as sports bikes and super bikes can, but it’s still a thrilling ride. Part of the rush comes from a great frame, forged from chromium molybdenum steel. Not only does this provide both strength and flexibility, but it also provides road feedback to the rider to better handle the motorcycle. It also has corrosion resistance, so can take on mud and grime with better ease. This frame works perfectly with the suspension to offer tighter turns and extends by 40 mm with a pillion rider. Add to this mix, the robust 17-inch wheels, and you’ve got a winner, despite tough competition from the likes of Triumph.
Despite the relatively safe top speed of 103 mph, Husqvarna puts good brakes on the Svartpilen 401 to provide ideal braking. The hydraulic brakes come from ByBre (a low-cost subsidiary of Brembo) because they have a softer feel and are perfect for riders unused to the sheer stopping power of disc brakes. This motorcycle also comes with ABS to ensure the safest riding, and a standard two-year warranty helps buyers trust the brand better.
Two-channel Bosch 10.1 MB
Front Brake Disc Diameter
Rear Brake Disc Diameter
Front Brake ByBre
Opposed four-piston caliper, brake disc
Rear Brake ByBre
Single-piston, floating caliper, brake disc
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Since 2018, the Svartpilen 401 comes fitted with a 2.5-gallon fuel tank and can give more than 78 MPG, making it a motorcycle with above-average fuel economy. On a full tank, it can go about 150 miles, which makes it a great city rider, and one that will save on fuel costs. The current MSRP of this motorcycle stands at $5,649 a pop, although it may vary from dealer to dealer, depending on the location and destination charges, as well as taxes.
You can also choose to go with a used motorcycle as well, given there are many 2022 Husqvarna Svartpilen 401 bikes for sale, some below $5,000 as well. Meanwhile, 2018 models of the Husqvarna 401 Svartpilen can drop below $4,000, but overall, this naked scrambler-like motorcycle holds on to its price well. It more than matches the competition when it comes to the specs and features, falling in the perfect price bracket for someone looking for a motorcycle that's not too expensive but has all the thrills.
Overall, with its dark but svelte design, it’s likely to appeal more to the crowds who like the KTM Duke 390 but wanted a more subtly styled ride. Then again, Husqvarna also has the E-pilen in the works for those who prefer their motorcycles minus a carbon footprint.
Sources: Husqvarna-Motorcycles, CycleTrader
Arun Singh Pundir has been a longtime media crackerjack having worked with big names like The Times of India and The Indian Express. He is a car and motorcycle freak and currently writes News, Features, and Lists for HotCars on anything that has any number or kind of wheels. For now, he considers his Isuzu D-Max V-Cross, Suzuki Ciaz, and Royal Enfield Classic 500, the current flames of his life. His dream is to drive around the world; even if it takes more than eighty days.KTM,