The Ducati XDiavel is making impressions everywhere, most notably with the competition. First, we got word that BMW Motorrad was looking to build its own power cruiser, likely based off the company’s six-cylinder platform.

Now, it seems that Husqvarna wants in on the game, with the Swedish brand build its own tarmac monster off of the KTM 1290 Super Duke R platform. At least, that’s what these spy photos suggest to us.

The working title on this new machines for now seems to be the Husqvarna Vitpilen 1301, as it will likely fit into the on-road segment that Husqvarna has been carving out with bikes like the Vitpilen 401 and Vitpilen 701.

We have been waiting to see what KTM’s “other” brand could do with the 1290 Super Duke R streetfighter model, and now it seems we have our answer.

As you can see from the photos, the engine and chassis seem mainly the same, with only the subframe and bodywork differing. This should mean that the Husqvarna 1301 could be capable of up to 170hp, based off the Super Duke R’s power figures, which should easily trump the XDiavel.

As always, it will be interesting to see what the final product looks like from Husqvarna. So far, some of the Super Duke R lines remain, while the rest of the bike seems to play the part, as we have seen from the Diavel and XDiavel from Ducati.

Like the updated KTM 1290 Super Duke R that we brought to you yesterday, we expect to see the Husqvarna Vitpilen 1301 at this year’s upcoming trade shows in Cologne and Milan.



Spy Photos: © 2015 BMH-Images — All Rights Reserved

  • chris

    it’s that’s a cruiser, the super duke is also a cruiser… WHICH IT IS NOT.

  • Campisi

    “Cruiser” is not the word I would have used, either.

  • Keith

    I agree…that stubby little beast is nothing like the Diavel.

  • thumper702

    Man, the handlebars in those spy shots are ‘sport bike’ low. Ouch. That test rider looks cramped and miserable.

  • Campisi

    I’ve seen other outlets use the “cruiser” nomenclature as well, so maybe it originated with the spy photographer.

  • What word would you use then?

  • Paul McM

    Guess KTM was going for max “bad-ass” factor here. I guess the design concept was make it dark, dark, and more dark … for guys who aspire to be Batman.This sort of looks like a show bike to me, a machine that sacrifices all sorts of utility for a particular look. Honestly does the world need yet another tail-less, uncomfortable, no-wind-protection, hunched over hooligan bike that’ll be painful after 15km on the highway? Seems like KTM is pitching to buyers who desperately want to look mean. Honestly If I saw a guy roll in to a Starbucks with this thing I’d think: “Hmmm… so we’re a little insecure about our masculinity are we?” (Do you get a free case of Androgel with every bike?)

  • I wouldn’t read into the color scheme from these photos. These bikes are always devoid of paint and decals.

  • Campisi

    Given that it appears to be a Super Duke with clip-ons and a belly pan (coming from a brand that to my knowledge has never produced a cruiser of any kind), I’d call it a super naked or whatever else you’d call the Super Duke from which this mule originates.

  • So this is a naked, but the Diavel is a power cruiser?

  • Campisi

    The XDiavel? Of course. The Diavel has always been a chunky naked bike, but at least it has the rider’s feet forward of their hips. The mule we see above has its footpegs aft of the swingarm pivot. Who are you going to believe: the marketing department, or your lying eyes?

  • Fidel Cash-Flow

    agree, XDiavel is definitely a power cruiser. This is more of a superfighter

  • I just curious where people draw the lines between, cruiser, power cruiser, and something else.

    If the Diavel isn’t a power cruiser in your eyes, then sure neither would this be.

    Shades of grey. Shades of grey.

  • Campisi

    To come at the manner from a different angle, what useful definition can we possibly hold for the term “cruiser” if it is to accurately cover both the bike above and something like a Dyna?

  • Power cruiser doesn’t work? I feel like the comments section today latched onto the wed “cruiser” without seeing the word that preceded it.

    Cut them up how you like, but how different is this Husqvarna 1301 from a Diavel, XDiavel, V-Rod, or VMAX?

  • Bastiaan

    seating position and chassis geometry are both radically different

  • Campisi

    How different are any of them from a GSX-R750 or an R 1200 GS? They’re all gas-powered single-track machines with an engine in the middle and a human rider somewhere atop it. If rider ergonomics aren’t a sufficient divining rod, then what is?

  • Bastiaan

    conceptually this is more like the MV Agusta Dragster with a big V2 thrown at it

  • KevinB

    This bike can probably hang with sport bikes on a real race track. The others you mention are drag strip toys.

  • Keith

    Exactly. This bike is nothing like the Diavel. The first bike I thought of when I saw this one was actually the Harley Livewire–short & stubby…


    What’s going on here?! Are you paying for “Spy Shots” now? Have you joined the PR machine? Has Visordown purchased A&R or hacked your network? And more importantly what part of this motorcycles even alludes to “cruiser”? This abomination is all street fighter. And not in the Ducati Streetfighter sense, but the post apocalyptic former Eastern Bloc formula. And not in a good way. This makes the Z1000 look good and that is not an easy feat.


    These bikes always have bizarre camouflage.


    Cruiser: hands up, feet forward. Or at the very least above the triple/tank and mids. And body position upright or leaned back.

    Which reminds me…

    Please enjoy this ear worm and have a nice day! :-)


    How many shades of grey?

  • Keith

    OMG I don’t think I’ve laughed this hard in a long time–thanks for that! Lean back….lean back.
    BTW the girl who was singing has a seriously nice complexion.

  • Duke

    My name’s Duke. and i’m super naked.

  • pk

    Have to agree, arms up / feet forward required for “cruiser” moniker

  • Nicko55

    Not even remotely a cruiser (‘power’ or otherwise), street fighter all the way. I can spot cruiser geometry a mile away, that ain’t it. I’ve no doubt that thing would be plenty capable around a race track.

  • Ehh, it seemed neat. Besides, I gotta keep you guys on your toes.

  • 50, plus two sequels.

  • Bluesceyes

    In my opinion a power cruiser is along the lines of a V-Rod, xDiavel, M109R or a VMAX. Those are powerful cruising bikes.

  • MrDefo

    I always had the impression that the Diavel (and XDiavel) were pretty niche. I mean, I have yet to see anyone ride one out in the wild. So I really wasn’t expecting the other manufacturers to follow suit.

  • irksome


  • Stephen Mears

    Totally, utterly, Streetfighter.

  • grb

    That is in no way a cruiser, you have no idea what your talking about… I wonder if you even know anything about motorcycles… In any case, that motorcycle has a very aggressive sport riding position, alot more sporting and aggressive then the Duke, thats for sure.

  • grb

    This has absolutely nothing in common with the xdiavel,

  • grb

    Ok, if the diference is not clear and evident to you just by looking at the pictures, I honestly and with all due respect, doubt your qualifications to write about motobikes

  • Jeram Mallis

    lol, it has pillion pegs

  • Dhawal

    Damn, this conversation escalated quickly!

    In all honesty, I get
    exactly where Jensen comes from. The Husky may not look anything like a
    ‘cruiser’ to some people and it may become a topic of comparison to
    some. Let me explain to you with an example..

    BMW Motorrad has a
    motorcycle called the BMW K1300R which is not sold in the US of A. Look
    up the motorcycle online, read the specs and the riding dynamics and
    other information about the motorcycle and ask yourself this question.
    If you had to get a motorcycle like the K1300R and were exploring the
    options and competitors, you would once compare the Ducati Diavel/
    XDiavel to it.

    Similar engine capacity
    Similar power output
    Similar riding purpose
    Similar price point

    Now let us get the Husqvarna Vitpilen 1301 into the picture.
    Now you suddenly have three options to choose from. For the same reasons mentioned above.

    a customer’s point of view, Jensen is right. But if you go by the
    dictionary meaning and books, Jensen may not possibly be 100% right.
    then again a 1290 Super Duke R (read: a non-faired motorcycle w/ 180
    bhp) would not have been incepted if we were all supposed to only follow
    the dictionary.

  • Juan valdez

    Looks more like a streetfighter copy

  • Timbo Baggins

    Are we positive this isn’t the new Super Duke in some fancy clothing? I mean, they haven’t released the 401 or the 701… why would they already be putting test miles on a 1301?

  • Bicho


  • paulus

    KTM 1290 / Husky 1301: “Hyper-naked”
    V-Max / V-Rod / Diavel: “Muscle bikes”
    X-Diavel / Most HD’s / Anything you sit on looking like your footstool is missing…
    “Sport Sofa” :)

  • paulus

    I like it… but not sure which version I would pick if buying with my own money.
    She looks too much like a garage built 1290 project to be convincing.

  • paulus

    Hyper-Naked…. how I feel most of the time :)

  • Tadao Baba

    Given that all the websites showcasing this bike are using the same description “power cruiser” one might speculate that it might be a request that came with the leaked photo and thus fulfilling the marketing department wish to position this bike as a competitor to the Ducati.

    But in all honesty if a similar photo will be presented to a dozen of journos and they will be playing the “card sorting game” I would be surprised to see this being tagged as a power cruiser instead of a super naked or street fighter.

    Now leaving the category aside, the design coming out from these guys is spot on. There are three bikes Husqvarna announced and I would like to own all three of them.

  • I’d be curious to hear how you define the Livewire, without using the phrase “electric cruiser”…

  • Naw, we just get the photos. That’s just how many publications are seeing this bike. I’m at the Suzuki SV650 launch, and brought this up at dinner. Pretty good split on how to classify this, though most went with “power cruiser”.

    I honestly don’t know how you can call the Diavel and the VMAX power cruisers, and this not. Same ergos, same geometry, all low-slung bikes with powerful engines…

    Some readers seem to think the terms “cruisers” and “power cruisers” are the same thing. If that’s the case, then I at least get where you’re coming from. If you think the Diavel and the VMAX aren’t power cruisers; then sure, I can get your argument there too..though again, I disagree with it.

    You might be able to sway me with it’s a “roadster” though I would probably say that’s the most nebulous definition in the industry.

    Regardless, it will be interesting to see what the finished product looks like. I wonder how people will definite it then.

  • I wonder if the KTM 1290 Super Duke R never existed, and then we saw this bike, if that would change anything here…

  • I think I handled that speculation in a different reply.

  • Dhawal

    There would be a debate over whether to call it a super naked, or a space ship or call it an alien from a far away galaxy.

  • LVN


    As Bastiaan said before.
    How do you call this with Clip-ons.
    (yes, i know MV call it a Dragster originally).

  • fzrider

    The rider sits like he’s on a cafe racer.

  • Campisi

    Because it’s a Super Duke, but with an *even more aggressive* sports-oriented riding position. Is the XSR900 a “power cruiser?” How about the R Nine T, or the Thruxton R? The Bandit 1250 has a bikini fairing, maybe that’s the dividing line?

    Words need to mean things if any ontological scheme is to persist. That a number of people inordinately familiar with the motorcycle industry are willing to throw a Super Duke with clip-ons in with the V-Rod leads me to believe that they’re either so detached from or so knotted with categorical pedantry that words mean nothing and we’re all just drifting in the void.

  • tony

    all this silliness and the ol vmax is finally starting to makesense…

  • KeithO

    Power cruiser implies that it has cruiser ergonomics with sportbike performance. XDiavel definitely fits that bill. Even Ducati was reluctant to call the original Diavel a cruiser because it had a more “feet back” posture and they’ve used the seated position as a major point of differentiation between the two. This bike is a streetfighter. Not a bad thing… just a more appropriate descriptor.

  • Fidel Cash-Flow

    Well this bike obviously slots in above the 401 and 701. No one called those cruisers, and the ergos are quite similar

  • For me, a bike is what it is based on the design parameters: engine, suspension, rider ergonomics, and most importantly- the frame. A sport bike’s frame is designed for the dynamic performance required by high-speeds, handling, and track/racing requirements. The engine, suspension and rider ergonomics follow suit. A naked/super naked would share the sport bike frame and suspension philosophy, while adjusting the engine performance and rider ergonomics accordingly.

    A standard bike’s frame, engine, suspension and ergonomics are designed for their intended role (the performance envelope being purposefully lower than a sport bike), as is an adventure bike’s, sport tourers, and a cruisers.

    When a new bike is introduced that isn’t immediately obvious as to which category it belongs to, I ask what is the frame based on. Is it based on a sport bike, a standard, a cruiser? If it’s a new frame design, on what parameters did the engineers base their design philosophy- is the dynamic performance that of a sport bike, a cruiser, adventure, standard, or other? The engine performance, suspension, and rider ergonomics are simply tweaked to complete the intention of the frame’s design philosophy. This is how I categorize a motorcycle.

    Using this method, a Diavel, V-Rod, M109R, MT-10, Rocket III, Vulcan 2000, etc. are all muscle/power cruisers. The Bandit 1250, R nineT, CB1100, Bonneville, FZ-07/09, SV650, etc. are all standards. The Monster, Speed Triple/Street Triple, S1000R, Tuono, 1190SX, are all naked/super nakeds- including the Super Duke (and anything based on it).

    The intention of the frame design is the key, with subsequent engine, suspension, and rider ergonomics following suit is what defines a motorcycle. Any bike’s category can be extrapolated using this method. Your results shouldn’t vary- but I’m sure they will.

  • Asher Lawson

    “Same ergos…”

    Are you kidding? Look where the rider’s feet are.

  • lordorica

    This Husky is what happens when KTM and MV Agusta get together and have a love child.

  • Keith

    To me a cruiser has a longer wheelbase and is more comfortable at speed. A parallel is snowboard length: longer is far more stable at speed and turns are more sweeping and longer radius. Short snowboard is great at tight turning, transitions, but gets snakey and u stable at high speed. That’s how I see the difference in the bikes if that makes any sense.