Husqvarna has 2 bikes in the market currently. One is a cafe race and the other is a scrambler. Not only these categories are new to Indian buyers but the Swedish names these bikes have to make them alien to India buyers. The Husqvarna Svartpilen 250 is Swedish for black arrow. As is rode both these Husqvarna bikes back to back the difference among them were prominent. This article will not go into specific differences of those two bikes but I do request you to take a look at the review of the Husqvarna Vitpilen – Husqvarna Cafe Racer – True to Itself!
Husqvarna Svartpilen 250 has a scrambler style design. The bike has a nice upright stance and the handlebars are tall and wide. The ground clearance on the bike is decent but it is no extraordinary for a scrambler to have a ground clearance of 145mm.
The seat is comfortable and you sit upright on the bike. Handlebars are placed where the hand fall naturally in place. The bike has a trellis frame like the KTM Duke but it doesn’t have a visual contrast which makes the bike look not as tacky as the KTM Duke 250.
With the matte grey colour and the overall, all parallel line and rounded corners seen on the bike gives it a sophisticated look. It does look like a bike from a rich breed. Also the engine gets a bronze finish which just puts the cherry on top. One small thing that I seemed to bother me was the excessive amount of badging on the bike. We get it Husqvarna is trying to create a name in the market but just embossing it on their own bike number of times does not count.
As it is said looks can be deceptive so lets get on the bike to experience the ergonomics and then take a ride.
Husqvarna Svartpilen 250 would come on the higher side of comfort. The bike does have a soft seat which reminds of the Himalayan but the seat height is kind of tall. At an 835mm it is rather tall but the slimness takes it down.
Being a scrambler we did try some scrambling but the handlebars doo need riser and the rear set footpegs don’t help either. Standing still the tread pattern on the tyres did look cool but we had to test it on some rough and offroad patches to check its threshold. Find it out in the video of the Svartpilen where we actually push the bike in the terrain where its made for.
The pillion seat is tiny and that also cuts on the luggage mounting points at the rear if you are planning to tour on it. On the topic of moving on let’s find out what moves this mini scrambler.
The bike is powered by the same 250cc engine which powers the duke and the Bajaj Dominar 250. To know more where these engines are used read – 5 Bikes, Same Engine, Different Purposes. The engine makes balanced power which when delivered on the Husqvarna Svartpilen 250 feel aggressive because of its low weight.
If you are looking for numbers the engine makes 30Bhp of power and 24Nm of torque. The weight of the bike is 154 kgs which just blows the power to weight ratios. Also, the bike gets slip and assist clutch. This not only makes the clutch light but also gives you a crisp merging point of the clutch. And if you happen to downshift aggressively, you won’t enter into a slide.
What does seem to be a bit of a concern is that the radiator does jut out of the frame of the bike. The bike does have a guard to take care of drops but still, it is a worry which might cost a lot if it comes true.
The bike did feel very comfortable in the 5000 – 7000 rpm range. The engine is a rev-happy engine and wants to rev faster and higher up in the rev range. The large rear sprocket gives a good acceleration but makes the gearing too short. The bike also idles at a high 2000 rpm mark which is kind of annoying. At least this annoyance would make people switch off their bike at a red light.
The aluminium swingarm along with the trellis frame gives the bike stability that is expected from a supersport. The tyre hugger on the bike carries the number plate and reduces weight from the tail of the bike. Also, it is not just plastic but does have some sturdy metal which gives it a good strength. Also, it does a good work of keeping the muck off the tail section and we hope that the pillions back might be safe too.
Maintaining highway speed on this bike is a piece of cake. It has the most powerful 250cc engine on the market. It stays stable at 100 and 110 km/h. Because of the lightness and lack of windshield, it does take you by surprise when crosswinds hit on a flyover.
- Upright handlebars
- Lightweight body
- Dual-purpose tyres
- Looks premium than KTM
- Small Pillion Seat
- Small tank (9.5 litres)
- Luggage rack is not removable
- No colour options
Who should buy?
The Husqvarna Svartpilen 250 is a bike for a smart teenager, office going bike enthusiast, a scrambler fan and one who doesn’t want back problems with the Vitpilen. As a bike, it is not the best scrambler out there, but it definitely makes for a great deal at Rs 1.84 lakhs. It is cheaper than the Duke 250. It offers the same engine. Looks more premium and has a new brand appeal.
With the Husqvarna, you need not worry about the service and other problems as Husqvarna and KTM have tied up internationally. The engine is the same as the KTM and the servicing can be expected to be done at the same service centres.
The bike does check all the boxes in terms of features and new technology. It gets Dual-channel ABS with switchable rear ABS in the Supermoto mode. The instrument cluster is round but shows the same information that is on the KTM instrument cluster – Range, average speed and gear position indicator.
The bike is expected to get around 30 km/l mileage. That depends on how agressive you ride it. The quality of the switches are better than the KTM.
To conclude, this bike is an entry point for India to the scrambler segment. The blend of neo-retro features on this bike has come well and we can not wait to see the Svartpilen in the 401 avatars with the 390 engine. Making a choice between the Svartpilen and Vitpilen is exactly like choosing with your mind and heart. RESPECTIVELY!