A couple years later, when the production bikes hit the asphalt, we were surprised to see that the different bodywork on this single-cylinder street bike came with a hefty price increase.
Whereas the KTM 690 Duke retailed for $9,000, these new 701 models from Husqvarna commanded a 33% markup – $12,000 MSRP.
Getting to ride the Husqvarna Svartpilen 701 in Portugal last year, it was obvious that the KTM 690 Duke DNA runs through this motorcycles veins – it’s light, fun, and visceral to ride. A premium product however, it was not.
For the added cost that comes with the Swedish brand’s logo, the rough edges of the Austrian bike still shown through.
The dash looked cheap, the bike suffered from mediocre components, and the fit and finish was rough… and in the case of the Vitpilen 701, the bike was just frankly uncomfortable to ride for long durations.
My favorite criticism for the 701 though was the tachometer, which went all the way up to 13,000 rpm…even though the bikes have an 9,000 rpm redline. Who goofed that one up??!
Well, it seems that Husqvarna has finally gotten the message regarding its street bike offerings, which have also struggled to perform on dealership floors.
Accordingly, Husqvarna has dropped pricing on the Vitpilen 701 and Svartpilen 701 considerably, as both bikes now retail for $9,500 MSRP, which is over a 20% price drop – for those doing the math.
This new price tag marks a $500 premium over the now defunct KTM 690 Duke model, which means that Husqvarna’s new pricing is far more inline with where these bikes sit in the market, especially in comparison to KTM’s own lineup that includes the new 790/890 Duke.
Will that be enough to turn around sales on the Vitpilen 701 and Svartpilen 701? It’s hard to say, but it certainly makes the value-to-performance math much better for these 701 models.