Everything You Should Know About Husqvarna Motorcycles

When you think of the brand Husqvarna, you likely picture chainsaws, pole saws, lawnmowers, and other yard tools. Husqvarna is also the name of a Swedish motorcycle manufacturer. The two Husqvarnas used to be one and the same, but spun off in 1987. Since 2013, the motorcycle division is now owned by Pierer Mobility, a German company that also manages KTM motorcycles.

Although the company itself can be traced back to 1689 when it made rifles for Sweden, the motorcycle-making division of the company started in 1903, the same year Harley-Davidson was founded and two years after the company that would become Indian Motorcycles opened its first factory. Starting in the 1960s, Husqvarna made numerous off-road bikes for motocross racing. According to the brand, actor and appreciator of all things fast Steve McQueen was a fan of Husqvarna or "Husky" bikes. 

Despite its relatively obscure nature outside of motocross in the United States, Husqvarna is one of the oldest motorcycle manufacturers around. Even with its yard tool and military origins, the current Husqvarna lineup is fairly varied and even branches outside of the brand's more off-road focus.

Sweden's super bikes

The core of the brand is its enduro and motocross bikes. Those bikes start with the electric EE 3 made for children; it has a 3.8 kW electric motor than can run for about two hours on a charge. Taking a step in the opposite direction as far as technological advancement, Husqvarna still makes a two-stroke motocross bike in the form of its TC 250 Heritage. Those wanting to opt for a four-stroke can ride the FC 450 that's powered by a single-cylinder 449 cc engine. The beefiest Husqvarna dual-sport enduro bike is the FE 501s, which sports a more than 510 cc single-cylinder powerplant that would be perfect for tearing up the dirt trail of the idyllic Scandinavian countryside or dusty back roads in Texas. That's the beauty of a dual-sport. 

If the dirt bike aesthetic isn't quite your thing, there's the Norden 901 adventure bike that's powered by a parallel-twin 889 cc powerplant. It's also equipped with an anti-lock brake system and suspension tailor-made for long-distance rides where roads may or may not be present. The Vitpilen 401 is a bare-bones relatively inexpensive bike that offers the freedom of riding a motorcycle and exactly nothing else.

Lastly, the ultimate Husqvarna meant for mayhem is the 701 Supermoto; it is powered by a 692 cc motor with a single giant cylinder thumping away at over 8,000 rpm. On the outside, it looks a lot like a huge dirt bike, but the road tires and turn signals tell another story.