Known to many as Husky, the Swedish made Husqvarna Motorcycles is a globally-recognised brand that offers authentic and rewarding riding experience to consumers.
Though not as popular in Australia as the industry leaders Harley Davidson, Honda, and Yamaha, Husqvarna has still made a name for itself among motorcycle enthusiasts. The brand’s range of innovative street and off-road motorcycles are a testament to the promise of pioneering since 1903 and products of Husqvarna’s long and rich history.
Let’s look back at how it all began for Husqvarna Motorcycles.
Husqvarna’s early centuries of existence were nothing related to motorcycle-making. It was founded in 1689 as a weapons factory by the order of the Swedish king, then started manufacturing kitchen appliances and sewing machines out of cast iron in 1872.
Since 1896 Husqvarna’s product range has included bicycles. But not until 1903 did the company enter the motorcycle business when it unveiled the brand’s first “motorized bicycle”. This is the year when the legend of Husqvarna Motorcycles truly began.
The Era of Racing
For thirty years, Husqvarna dedicated its efforts to improve the initial motorcycle concept and made significant changes to the engine, suspension, transmission, and overall body design. This hard work led to the creation of performance motorcycles capable of beating the competition on the racetrack. Indeed, 1933 and 1934 saw the birth of Husqvarna’s dominance at racing, bringing home consecutive victories. The motorcycle brand regularly joined competitions and winning became a company tradition.
The success of Husqvarna Motorcycles increased and continued through the creation of “Moto-cross” racing, a new form of off-road motorcycle sport that became popular in Belgium around 1953. Husqvarna’s single-cylinder motorbikes became the favourite ride of racers because of their lightness and easy-to-adapt capabilities.
The Rise of Silverpilen
In the next two years, Husqvarna focused on manufacturing high-performance machines. This led to the creation of the iconic Silverpilen, meaning ‘silver arrow’ in Swedish. Built in 1955, it was a pioneering model built intentionally for off-road riding and one of the most popular Husqvarna models.
The Silverpilen weighed a mere 75 kg, with a frame-mounted engine, telescopic fork, and hydraulic dampers. Back then, this kind of motorcycle design was revolutionary. That’s why Silverpilen became a global hit and earned Husqvarna its spot among the top motorcycle-makers in the world.
Setting a Benchmark
In 1977, one of the largest corporations in Sweden, Electrolux, bought Husqvarna Motorcycles. This is also the year when dirt-bikes gained global popularity.
Husqvarna continued its innovative way in motorcycle design by creating 500cc 4-stroke off-road motorcycles, which was unveiled in 1983. This new generation bike set new standards to what modern competition motorcycles should look like. It was lightweight and air-cooled, with a design that encouraged easy-handling and smoother ride. With this new product, Husqvarna forever changed the off-road motorcycle racing.
New Ownerships and the Split
Throughout the history of Husqvarna Motorcycles, there are plenty of ownership changes that happened. The second one took place in 1987 Electrolux sold the motorcycle division to Cagiva, an Italian motorbike-maker and part of MV Agusto Motor S.P.A. It was this time when Husqvarna products go their nickname “Huskies”.
After the purchase, the plan was to transfer the entire division down to Italy, but the core Husqvarna development team refused to relocate. The group chose to remain in Sweden, broke away from Cagiva, and launched its own company “Husaberg” in 1988.
Husqvarna Motorcycles experienced multiple changes of ownership for two decades until, in 2007, BMW bought the company.
The Reunion of Original Husqvarna Brand
2013 saw one of the most historic reunions in motorcycle history when Pierer Industries purchased Husqvarna Motorcycles. The two halves of the original Husqvarna team that became successful in the 60s and 70s reunited and returned the company to its glorious beginnings.
In 2014, Husqvarna motorcycles brought back the iconic Swedish blue, yellow, and white colour-scheme. This reunion brought the production of brand new ranges of Motocross motorcycles and Enduro products that would push Husqvarna back on top of off-road motorcycle racing. With 82 world titles and more than 50 years of racing innovation under its belt, the legendary bike continued to move forward.
Back to the Streets
After the reunion, Husqvarna Motorcycles received overwhelming reception globally by motorcycle fans. The evidence of which is the surge in unit sales and yearly turnover. It was this time when the brand made its outlook clear; Husqvarna Motorcycles is going back to the streets.
So, in 2016, the brand released the Husqvarna 701 SUPERMOTO model and paid homage to the single-cylinder four-stroke engine street bike design in the 1930s. This and the succeeding releases of the Vitpilen 401 and the Svartpilen 401 showed the world that Husqvarna Motorcycles was indeed returning to the street. The move proved to be a wise decision as the brand, yet again, experienced record-breaking sales and unprecedented company growth.
Husqvarna’s dedication to the innovation of motorcycle designs persisted and as a result, the Vitpilen 701 model was revealed at the EICMA 2017 in Milan, Italy. The concept for Svartpilen 701 prototype was also released at the event, giving motorcycle enthusiasts around the world a glimpse of the Husqvarna Motorcycles street bikes will evolve in the succeeding years.
In 2017, Husqvarna made yet another innovative effort to bring high technology to their products by releasing a new range of Enduro motorcycles. These new off-road bikes feature a 2-stroke fuel injection system that is fuel-efficient and has sensor-controlled technology, making the Enduro bikes compliant with the Euro 4 emissions regulation.
Husqvarna Motorcycles Today
The current line-up of Husqvarna motorcycles includes the Vitpilen and Svartpilen ranges, the SUPERMOTO street bike range, Enduro off-road motorcycles, and Motocross racing motorcycles (2-stroke and 4-stroke). Husqvarna also started to go electric with the pioneering EE 5 motorbike.
With its drive for innovations in motorcycle technology, combined with the reputation of a great motorbike-maker, Husqvarna remains a prominent brand in motorcycle manufacturing around the world today.
Husqvarna Motorcycles with Aussie Bike Loans
Whether for street riding or off-road racing, Husqvarna motorcycles are some of the best bikes you can find around Australia. You can experience this legendary bike with a motorcycle financing from Aussie Bike Loans.