New Husqvarna Svartpilen 801 Launched as Brand’s Most Powerful Model Yet

The new Husqvarna Svartpilen 801 makes new ground for the Swedish scrambler, with a familiar twin-cylinder engine and a recognisable spec sheet

2024 Husqvarna Svartpilen 801

For the first time, a Husqvarna Svartpilen will feature a twin-cylinder engine, as confirmed by the Swedish brand’s launch of the 2024 Husqvarna Svartpilen 801.

A quick look at the specs, which show a chromoly steel tubular frame in which the engine is used as a stressed member, WP Apex suspension, and a 799cc parallel-twin motor will tell you that the new Svartpilen 801 is a re-dressed KTM 790 Duke.

Indeed, that twin-cylinder engine is the same CFMoto-built unit as used in the 790 Duke, and the WP Apex suspension matches the Duke’s for travel (140mm at the front, 150mm at the rear), the frame is shared between the two (as are the aluminium subframe and swingarm). They also have the same J.Juan brakes (dual 300mm front discs with a four-piston calliper, 240mm rear disc with a single-piston calliper), and both feature a PASC slipper clutch and 14-litre fuel tank, too. Even the steering head angle is almost the same: 66 degrees on the KTM, 65 degrees on the Husqvarna.

So, why is the Husky, at £10,499, quite a bit more expensive than the £7,999 Duke? Perhaps it’s the 174mm ground clearance, which is 12mm lower than the Duke’s; or maybe it’s the 820mm seat height - 5mm lower than on the KTM. Probably not, though, right?

What we can say for sure is that the Husqvarna is not aimed at the same audience as the KTM. You can tell that partly from the aesthetics, which are much more reserved on the Svartpilen, as you’d probably expect, but also from the horsepower. The 799cc parallel-twin produces 105bhp in Svartpilen form, which is 11bhp more than it does in the European-spec 790 Duke. The Duke’s 94bhp can be restricted to 47bhp in order to make it A2-eligible, whereas the 105bhp of the Svartpilen puts it outside that legal range. In that way, the Svartpilen 801 is a kind of European look-at-what-you-could-have-won 790 Duke, while also equalling the Husqvarna Norden 901 for the brand's largest power output.

If you were to shell out the extra £2,500 on the Svartpilen, you would at least be getting what we reckon is the prettier bike of the two (or maybe we’re just boring). You also get Pirelli MT60 RS tyres, 7mm of adjustment on the aluminium handlebar, a WP steering damper, and a five-inch TFT display with which to switch between the several riding modes the bike has to offer, plus ‘Easy Shift’ (a fancy way of saying it has a quickshifter. Cornering ABS and traction control are also included. A Supermoto Mode is available on the former to disconnect the ABS at the rear wheel, while the latter has nine levels of intervention to choose from if you pick the Dynamic add-on mode. 

Other electronic add-ons include cruise control, anti-wheelie and motor slip regulation, the latter working to smooth out deceleration by reducing engine drag torque when it’s detected to be too high.

The 2024 Husqvarna Svartpilen 801 is expected to land in dealers in April when it will be available in the one colour as pictured.

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