5 Of The Best Husqvarna Motorcycles Ever Made

Husqvarna has existed far longer than the motorcycle, and while the company might be best known for its chainsaws and sewing machines in some markets, the Swedish marque gained a lot of traction in the U.S. thanks to its high-performance two-stroke racing motorcycles. Since then, the motorcycle manufacturing wing of the company has been sold and bought numerous times, most recently finding itself under the wing of KTM's parent company, Pierer Mobility AG and BMW before that. 

While operating as part of these parent companies, Husqvarna's role has largely been using existing motorcycle designs and adapting them. Sometimes these changes are minor visual revisions, and other times, they seem to be an easy way to spin off a new model in order to maximize profits and utility from already-proven designs and investments. 

While Husqvarna has previously been, and still is, famous for dirt bikes, many of the designs that have come from the Swedish brand have been drop-dead gorgeous street bikes. 

Husqvarna Nuda 900 R

Some of the most exciting road-going motorcycles in recent years have come from the naked motorcycle segment, with the likes of the Yamaha MT-09, MT-07, and Kawasaki Z900R garnering almost cult followings due to their fun nature and visual appeal. The Husqvarna Nuda 900 R embodied everything that makes a naked road bike fun. It was lightweight, punchy, fast, and even rather comfortable. Its sharp looks, on the other hand, could be quite polarizing if you're not entirely sold on the modern Swedish look.

Produced in 2011 and 2012, the Husqvarna Nuda 900 R was a lightweight hypermotard monster based on BMW's F 800 R platform. As such, the Nuda 900 R featured the 798 cc BMW parallel twin bored out to 898 cc. The Nuda 900 R stood out for its incredible power-to-weight ratio, delivering 105 bhp and coming in at only 423 lbs. The 74 ft.-lbs of low-down torque of the 315-degree parallel twin engine, and the snappy supermoto handling earned the Nuda 900 R a positive reputation with just about everyone that slung a leg over one. The Nuda 900 R was unfortunately discontinued by Husqvarna when the company was bought by KTM, but rumors of its return abound on sites like BikeWale

Husqvarna Svartpilen and Vitpilen 401 and 701

Husqvarna's Svartpilen and Vitpilen make up a family of motorcycles based around KTM's 373 cc (the Svartpilen and Vitpilen 401), and 690 cc (the Svartpilen and Vitpilen 701) motors. There's a 200 cc version as well, but those can be easily ignored by anyone looking for anything beyond a low-cost commuter with a bit of style. While they all mostly feature the same looks, they all appeal to different users.

Husqvarna's minimalist Svartpilen 401 urban scrambler and café-racer-esque Vitpilen 401 are based on KTM's Duke 390 platform, using the single-cylinder motor, frame, and suspension components from the Duke. At a hair over 330 lbs and pushing out 44 hp and 27 ft.-lbs of torque, the Svartpilen and Vitpilen deliver excellent performance for their size, while also equipped with creature comforts, like a quick-shifter and adjustable 43 mm WP suspension. At an MSRP of just $5,649, it's hard to beat the value offered by either the Svartpilen or Vitpilen 401, especially considering their head-turning looks.

Stepping things up a notch, the now-discontinued Svartpilen and Vitpilen 701 take the spectacular looks of the Svartpilen and Vitpilen 401 and amp things up with KTM's iconic 692cc LC4 engine. Built around KTM's potent 690 cc LC4 motor, the 701 range was unveiled at EICMA 2018 to much fanfare. The Svartpilen and Vitpilen 701 take everything that makes the 401 family great and amplifies it. The same grunty, single-cylinder character here delivers up to 75 hp and 53 ft-lb of torque for an immense amount of fun. 

Husqvarna Norden 901

The Norden 901 is a newcomer to the Husqvarna lineup, only releasing as a production model in 2022. The Norden 901 is based on the same LC8 parallel twin engine as the venerable KTM 890 Adventure, but features the Scandinavian design and creature comfort tweaks usually seen in Husqvarna's lineup. 

Despite its stout appearance, the combination of 21-inch front and 18-inch rear wheels make the Norden a particularly capable off-road middleweight adventurer, while the tech included in the Norden brings all the bells and whistles along for the ride. Fully-adjustable, long-travel WP Apex suspension, tubeless spoked wheels, a Power Assist Slipper Clutch, and dual-channel cornering ABS with off-road modes all strengthen the Norden's case an a well-balanced adventure platform ready to take on anything from a weekend getaway to a week-long desert rally. 

At 105 hp and 73 ft-lb of torque, the Norden is right at home on any highway, and perfectly equipped to load up with plenty of luggage for you and your passenger. 

Husqvarna TE 300

Two-stroke motorcycles are a bit of a dying breed, thanks to stricter emissions regulations. The engineers at KTM, who ultimately designed the engine that powers the Husqvarna TE 300 (also called the TE 300i in some markets), saw the new regulations as a challenge. For a while, things looked grim for fuel-injected two-stroke technology, but the more recent models, like the liquid-cooled 2023 TE 300, make use of a refined transverse port injection system, making the power delivery smoother. While a lot of the characteristic power band of the traditional two-stroke motor has been lost in the fuel-injection translation, the power-to-weight advantage remains a big selling point. Case in point, the 234-lb 2023 Husqvarna TE 300 produces around 54 hp — a number usually associated with much larger and heavier machines.

The key to the TE 300's success in a market dominated by heavy four-stroke bikes lies in how well the engineers nailed the oil mixing and engine management. The oil mixing system only provides the proper fuel-oil ratio, while the throttle mapping provides smooth power throughout the rev range. At the end of the day, the TE 300 is a two-stroke motorcycle with all the hassle and unpredictability conveniently removed. 

Husqvarna 701 Enduro

KTM's 690 Enduro is a contender for one of the most versatile motorcycles out there, and the Husqvarna 701 Enduro is basically the same motorcycle wearing a blue, yellow, and white frock. Because its relative light weight, potent motor, and responsive suspension package make the Husqvarna 701 Enduro basically a blank slate for anyone looking for a high-performance motorcycle to cover both on- and off-road duties. 

Versatility and an extensive accessory catalog are what make the Husqvarna 701 Enduro great. While you could keep it stock, as a sort of all-purpose dual-sport trail tool, you could also turn it into a mean rally machine with the addition of a tower and windshield. Go the other way, swapping out the off-road biased tires for a set of 50/50 dual-sport rubbers, and adding a windshield and luggage, and now you've got yourself a lightweight adventure bike. It might not be perfect, but the 321-lb, 74-hp 701 Enduro makes for a very capable off-road-ready adventure bike that can hang with the big boys on the street and play in the dirt just as easily.