Erstwhile Swedish-now-Austrian Husqvarna brand was responsible for one of the sexier bikes unveiled at EICMA this year: the Vitpilen 401 Aero.
But like many of the most intriguing bikes seen this year – e.g., the Yamaha T7, or KTM 790 Duke– the Aero won’t be rolling off a production line anytime soon. It’s a concept model.
The Vitpilen 401 Aero Concept is a concept that’s been in the works for a while. A sketch of the bike surfaced around last year’s EICMA, when the Vitpilen concept (upon which the Aero is based) first surfaced. It seems Husqvarna is happy to move very slowly toward the shining future reflected in its street bike designs.
That may be because Husqvarna uses so many components from KTM machines (KTM took over Husqvarna about three years ago) and the two sides are trying to work out the delicate balance of being quite similar but distinct.
Like the Vitpilen and Svartpilen bikes, which we learned this week will go into production in 2017, the Aero is powered by a 375cc single-cylinder engine delivering a respectable 44 horsepower (33 kilowatts). Or, well, we assume it is. Husqvarna wasn’t terribly forthcoming with specific info about the bike except to say that it is very proud of it. There was also an intimation that if the bike ever does go into production it won’t happen until 2018.
Husky describes the Aero as “a modern interpretation of what a faired bike should look like.”
As is often the case these days, the bike’s designers claim to have thrown out the rulebook and started from scratch in determining how a bike should look and function. They also claim that the Aero’s bodywork “completely changes the whole set up of the bike.”
“An all-new windshield gives the Aero’s surface a fuller appearance compared to the Vitpilen 401, while allowing the front and rear of the bike to perfectly match each other,” says a company media release.
It’s easy to be cynical about the hyperbole Husqvarna uses to describe a machine that cynics would claim is a glorified KTM 390 Duke, but there’s no denying that it is a great big bunch of sexy.
To my eyes, the styling is reminiscent of 1920s art-deco modernism. It seems like the sort of bike that the robot Maria from Metropolis would ride. OK, maybe I’m overthinking it (Gotta put all those college film courses to use somehow). Point is: I think it’s gorgeous and hope it will eventually turn into something more than just a concept.