Smart Buy: Husqvarna Vitpilen 701

Many talk about wanting a lightweight, nimble and exciting motorcycle in their garage. They wax poetic about "slow bike fast", but few buy them.

2w ago


Normally I write about used motorcycles that have fully depreciated and I feel are on the verge of becoming a classic. Something were you can buy it, enjoy it and sell it on latter without risking a tone of money in the process. Often these are bikes that are overlooked in a segment and offer a lot of bang for the buck. Today I want to talk about a brand new motorcycle. Sure the risk of the value decreasing as you use it is there, but I think it might be worth it in the end. This bike packs a big punch, and not enough people are talking about it.

The concept bike. Too often the production bikes differ too much from the original concept, not in this case. We got the core styling and feel.

The concept bike. Too often the production bikes differ too much from the original concept, not in this case. We got the core styling and feel.

The Husqvarna Vitpilen 701 is a bike more people should take a look at. We have all been down at the local watering hole talking bikes with friends. The conversations are normally about how right now the manufactures are not making anything appealing or such. Some will even drop the "If they just made XXXXXXXX, I would totally buy one" line. The thing is, right now there are an absolute laundry list of appealing motorcycles on the market. Almost every base is covered in one form or another.

For me one of the most interesting segments is the naked middle weights. Something that has enough power to be fun, but not some 200+hp monster that will end in tickets or worse. Usability is key. That isn't to say it should be some bargain basement affair. We want quality suspension, good brakes, technology, and appealing styling. Sure the Yamaha FT07 does an amazing job at filling this role, but what if you wanted something a little different? Something you will not see around town?

The Husky has all that, and more. I will not push the aesthetics on you as that is rather subjective, but to my eyes it is a beautiful motorcycle. The adjustable WP suspension is top tier stuff. The brakes are over kill for a bike this light. Bike comes on sticky rubber and the engine has a trick slipper clutch. If I didn't know any better, I would think this bike was designed to tear up back roads. Funny that Husky seems to only want to talk about how it looks. They even got Orlando Bloom to do a series or articles about how much he loves his. They are Hipster pandering HARD.

Shame that they went that way. The huge single cylinder motor is full of character, and makes a nice noise. There is a healthy selection of factory upgrades and aftermarket parts to really tailor the bike.

What Husky did not fully understand is that at this point, Hipsters are mainstream. They are not interested in a motorcycle like the 701. They are not into explaining what their bike is to other. Also the MSRP turned a lot of people off. The $12,000 USD brought a lot of other options into the fold. The Hipsters that had that amount of funding, and consciously made the decision to swim against the stream just could not bring themselves to purchase. Or so it seems. The dealers are littered with left over bikes, and massive discounts.

I admit I was one of the people people that hypocritically wanted this bike to exist, but did not run to the dealership to buy one. But now with left over examples being listed for $8,000 all over the price. Someone might just twist my arm.

Why do you guys feel this bike was not a bigger success? To many other options? Dealer network limitations? Price?

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Comments (9)

  • Too many people think a motorcycle needs a 200 horse 4 cylinder to be a true sport bike. Maybe if your name is Marc, and your sport riding is all on the race track. These bikes while a great technical achievement , and achieve awesome performance on a track, are not ideal for sporting riding on public roads. Like cracking nuts with a sledgehammer. Hard to manage and awkward. The Husky may be the best street sport available! This bike is way lighter than anything comparable. Horse power is more than adequate for a mountain road, and or, carrying a passenger. “Thumpers” are very user friendly. The wide spaced power pulses, help traction, and the rider push the limit. This bike would be an absolute weapon on a tight mountain road, and an absolute riot to ride, expert, experienced, or beginner.

      15 days ago
  • I think the biggest problem with any manufacturer not doing well in a segment is timing. This bike was probably in development for years before a physical concept came out. Now the market has moved on a bit. Plus when you think Husqvarna, dirt, and expensive come to mind. I think the market is flooded with different styles of bikes in general. People are going to buy what they know. The entire industry is going to have to adapt, or a lot of pain will hit all of them.

      17 days ago