With the launch of the Husqvarna Svartpilen 125, the Austro-Swedish marque has shaken up the 125cc motorbike segment. Significantly, this model is accessible to A1 licence holders (learners) and bound to spark curiosity among existing fans of neo-retro and small-displacement bikes.
Svartpilen 125: Rugged, yet Refined Aesthetic for Learner Riders
When Husqvarna revealed its Vitpilen and Svartpilen concepts back in 2014, they were presented as a‘reimagining of street bikes'. And that they were.
Borrowing style cues from the past but firmly fixed within the present, the Svartipilen model range refuses to be pigeonholed. As such it's a retro-esque, naked roadster merged with a street scrambler. Its natural habitat is the sprawl of urban bricks, concrete and glass.
This single-cylinder, 125cc street thumper is no different, merely smaller. It has the same rugged neo-retro looks (with the emphasis on neo) as its larger 401 and 701 street scrambler siblings – (one-half of Husqvarna's street bike line-up)
125cc bikes offered by larger motorcycle manufacturers are typically smaller machines styled after larger sportbike offerings. This means sporty looks but none of the associated grunt – (perhaps a sheep in wolf's clothing).
Pertinently, with most marques adopting this approach, aspirational A1 licence holders seeking a more refined aesthetic were mostly forgotten, until recently. That failing in part has been addressed by retro-styled 125, roadsters and cafe racers, offered by a cohort of new smaller marques. Not to forget Honda's CB125R.
In any case, the Austro-Swedish marque's latest addition is likely to pique the interest of those watching this segment. And, probably encourage new riders to swing a leg over a two-wheel machine, for the first time.
Within the Svartpilen 125, riders will find a highly-pleasing form but additionally high-quality components. The nordic marque's equipped this nimble thumper with a collection of components that more powerful bikes would be proud to have.
Hydraulic brakes (by ByBre) augmented with Bosch ABS technology are found up at the front. Particularly handy for new riders under emergency braking conditions.
Front shocks are 43 mm open cartridge forks (P APEX) and hold a 17” spoked wheel fitted with Pirelli tyres.
The same is true of the tyre at the rear wheel, with suspension delivered via a WP APEX single rear shock. Reassuringly, this should be more than enough to cope with the conditions of most UK/European roads.
Engine covers finished in a bronze shade, along with anodised components contrast the moody black powder-coated steel frame. And the single piece tank and seat combination is bound to be a talking piece at any biker café/hang-out
In terms of power, this water-cooled, single-cylinder engine makes 15 hp. And despite a 146kg (dry) mass, Husqvarna promises that the Euro5-compliant Svartpilen 125 has an excellent power-to-weight ratio. That's always an advantage when accelerating away from traffic, in busy urban environments, (especially for new riders).
Expect to see this unique, urban scrambler in local dealers from February 2021 onwards, priced at £4,499 (UK).
Husqvarna Svartpilen 125 specifications at a glance:
EURO 5 homologated
A1 licence compliant
17” front and rear spoked wheels fitted with Pirelli tyres
125 cc single-cylinder engine delivers controllable power