Recently, we got a chance to ride the Husqvarna Svartpilen 250 and the Vitpilen 250 extensively in different riding conditions. Both motorcycles bestowed us with a lot of attention and managed to impress us with their potent performance, brilliant handling and braking capabilities. Built on the foundation laid by the KTM Duke 250, the Huskies differ a lot from their Austrian cousin in terms of their styling and approach.
The Differences in approach
They do make a strong style statement and are more inclined towards making the rider feel like a celebrity rather than being do-it-all practical motorcycles. The Vitpilen comes off as a more aggressive motorcycle of the two and justifies its café-racer approach. While the Svartpilen 250 is more of a Scrambler. Or is it?
What could have made the Svartpilen 250 a better Scrambler?
There are some things which left us wanting for more but when you bring the Vitpilen 250 ‘s café-racer approach into the equation, the less-impressive bits start fading away because a café-racer isn’t meant to take you places. The reason why Vitpilen 250 makes more sense than the Svartpilen 250, when you factor in their different riding styles. The Svartpilen 250 could have actually turned out to be an amazing affordable Scrambler if it was truer to its intent. The not-so-impressive bits are more pronounced on the Svartpilen 250 than the Vitpilen 250. Take the 9.5-litre fuel tank for instance. The Vitpilen 250 is pretty straightforward in its intent. The moment you sit on it, you realize that it isn’t meant for touring but the Svartpilen 250 could have used a slightly bigger fuel tank to enhance its one-tank range. The KTM Duke 250 offers a 13.5-litre fuel tank and is the same motorcycle on which the huskies are based.
Svartpilen 250 does have 8-spoked alloys as compared to the 5-spoked units found on the Vitpilen 250 but for the kind of beating a wheel takes off the road, spoked rims perform better. Although Husqvarna claims that the alloys installed on the 250 twins are more reinforced than the ones on KTM and can take a little more beating.
Both the quarter-litre huskies utilize the same powertrain found on the Duke 250. We were just one squeeze of the throttle away from realizing that the 248.8 cc fuel-injected, liquid-cooled, DOHC motor is borrowed from the KTM Duke 250. The engine casing might have a different logo engraved on it but it is essentially the same unit which we see on the Duke 250. The high-revving nature of the powertrain matches the characteristics of the Vitpilen 250 but the Svartpilen 250 could have used more power low-down. The engine struggles a little below the 3000 rpm mark and when the going gets rough, a punchy low and mid-range sails the boat.
While we do get a potent café-racer in the form of the Vitpilen 250, the Svartpilen 250, even with its switchable ABS, that cross brace on the handlebar, and those dual-purpose tyres, left us wanting for a little more. Probably because of the fact that we were so close to getting a very capable and affordable factory-built Scrambler which looks the part too.