They’ll share the same 490 platform as the orange machines.
KTM has been hard at work in expanding its product offerings to cater to a wider variety of riders. With a whole assortment of motorcycles with varying sizes, body styles, and displacements, first-time riders could very well begin their two-wheeled journey on, say, a KTM 125 Duke, and assuming they behave themselves, eventually be sporting the biggest, baddest, 1290 Super Duke R.
In recent years, Swedish motorcycle company Husqvarna, which is under the KTM Group, has been following the same product expansion strategies as its orange siblings, albeit in a more subdued fashion. Husky’s Vitpilen and Svartpilen are both street bikes designed with retro styling and heritage in mind. While the Svartpilen is an upright, versatile naked bike with scrambler properties, the Vitpilen offers a more aggressive, sporty café racer type deal. There are currently quite a few displacement options for the Svartpilen and Vitpilen, with the 125 being the smallest, most beginner-friendly option designed specifically to comply with A1 licensing standards.
As you move up the ranks, however, you’re going to notice that Husky’s street bikes all have one thing in common—a single cylinder engine. Everything from the baby Vitpilen 125 to the biggest Vitpilen 701 comes equipped with a good old thumper which gives the bikes a very distinctive and charming riding character. This is all about to change, however, as we could very soon see the first parallel twin-equipped Vitpilen and Svartpilen in the form of the 501 range. As expected, Husqvarna is adapting KTM’s upcoming 490 platform to suit its street bikes, thereby adding a different, more refined flavor to the Vitpilen and Svartpilen.
KTM’s 490 platform is currently being co-developed, and will eventually be manufactured by Indian automotive giant Bajaj Auto. The upcoming bikes on KTM’s end will likely consist of a new 490 Duke, 490 Adventure, and RC 490 sportbike. Bajaj Auto has pulled the trigger on a new production facility in Pune to cater specifically to the production of KTM, Husqvarna, and upcoming small to mid-displacement Triumph bikes.