Written by Martin Hodgson
From the moment the first concept was spied at the 2014 EICMA show in Italy, the Husqvarna Vitpilen had the motorcycle world talking. It was obvious the bones of the bike were from parent company KTM’s 690, but it was the radical styling from design house Kiska causing the buzz. Despite most believing it would never come to market, when it finally hit dealer floors it retained the wild look that most concepts sadly shed. But for Outsiders Motorcycles from the Netherlands they saw the chance for an even crazier custom design and transformed this brand new 2019 Husqvarna Vitpilen 701 in just ten weeks flat.
Before Steve McQueen starred in the cult classic film, On Any Sunday, riding his 1970 Husqvarna 400 Cross, there was another Husky that had started his obsession with the Swedish motorcycle brand. That bike was a 1969 Husqvarna Viking 360cc that Steve had bought off world champion Swedish rider, Bengt Aberg, after watching him win a race on it in Santa Cruz. This great little film by Petrolicious explores the story of the “King of Cool’s” first Husky, the history of this incredibly rare machine and where it has ultimately ended up. We love the fact that the owners of this bike, Blacksmith Garage, still make sure this “quarter of a million dollar” two-stroke is ridden and not just sitting as a piece of art in someone’s living room.
These bikes are nothing if not divisive. You’ll either think they’re the best looking motorcycles on the market or you’re just plain wrong. But what are they like to ride?
Provenance; a word usually reserved for the fine art connoisseurs amongst us, but recently it proved the difference between a motorcycle selling for less than two grand and a quarter of a million dollars. That particular bike was Steve McQueen’s very own Husqvarna 400 Cross that he rode in the groundbreaking classic, On Any Sunday…
Long before anyone had dreamed up Netflix, two seminal documentaries from legendary filmmaker Bruce Brown were being passed down like a rite of passage through the generations. One was the original surf classic The Endless Summer and for the motorcycle mad it was, On Any Sunday…
Vincent’s brief for his new custom bike was as quick as it was poetic. Leaning on the corner of his French bar, his hand-drawn sketch showing a classic early 70s scrambler was handed to Yann from BCKustoms with a smile, a handshake and a deposit….
This 1934 Husqvarna 500 TT Replica is owned by Chris Carlson of California. Rumour has it that no factory models of this year exist anywhere in the world. Unfortunately due to accidents at loading docks (there’s one in the ocean), crashes and a truck-fire none have survived. A handful of these replicas were built in Smaland, the same region as Huskvarna. After 9000 hours of work, No shortcuts such as buying similar parts were taken. Everything was built by hand using old factory drawings and borrowed original parts as templates. What a beautiful bike. Now I’m off to go scuba diving to find one of these damn original bikes… might be a little bit rusty by now.
[Pic from The World of Motorcycles]
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