Husqvarna has a certain cachet, even if you remove the overblown Steve McQueen connection. Combine that with the recent interest in lightweight, entertaining rides (see: Ducati Scrambler), and you've got a recipe for success. And that's exactly what we have with this menacingly beautiful pair of 401 concepts.
Created for Husqvarna by the industrial designers at Kiska – the same Austrian company the shaped the KTM X-Bow – the two 401s go by the Swedish names Vit Pilen (White Arrow) and Svart Pilen (Black Arrow), and were inspired by the Silver Pilen, one of the lightest, fastest, and smallest bikes of the 50s. But that's where the nostalgia stops.
Both bikes weigh in at 297 pounds and use an exposed trellis frame, combined with upside-down TP forks, and 17-inch wheels. The neo-retro body work flows into the incorporated fuel tank and both bikes wear a dual-LED headlamp with a lit halo surrounding the outer bezel – just like the Scrambler.
The Vit Pilen is the more road-focused of the two, embracing the stripped-down cafe racer vibe and adorning it with a clean, ovoid exhaust, bronze and yellow detailing, a swept-back seat, and semi-slick tires.
The Svart Pilen adds knobby, street-legal rubber, an incredibly trick high-mounted exhaust, dirt bars, skid plates, and a pair of racks – one on the tank and another on the tail – to strap down some gear before tackling the trails.
If you're noticing the frame's resemblance to the KTM Duke 390, you're dead-on. Both concepts are based on the compact KTM, and that includes the 43-hp, 373cc single cylinder engine. That also means they're a license plate bracket, some lights, signals, and mirrors away from production. Considering Husqvarna managed to bring its just-announced 701 Supermoto to production using a similar tack, it could easily do the same with these 401s. And they'd be fools not to.
BikeEXIF has an interview with the designers. Check it out here.