The concept bikes are pouring out of EICMA this year and one stands out among the rest: the Husqvarna Vitpilen 701 Aero Concept. There’s nothing massively different comapred to the Vitpilen 701 currently roaming the streets, but with a couple of well-sculpted fairings and a chic, retro-inspired full-color TFT dash this is a bike that needs building. Because the changes are so simple, it can be built.
The standard 701 Vitpilen is a quirky bike all its own — it’s a 693cc single cylinder with tons of torque and full-bike vibrations to match, yet has futuristic, essentialist Swedish styling to trick you into thinking it’s smoother-running than an electric bike. It’s a hilarious clash of eras in both style and practice, but it works. The motorsport-inspired fairings only multiply the character.
It’s too easy to assume Husqvarna won’t put this into production — the Vitpilen 401 Aero concept from a few years ago never saw production, after all. But, since then, variations of standard naked bikes — cafe racers, scramblers, flat trackers — have exploded in popularity. BMW and Ducati have since introduced their own cafe racers and Triumph put more energy and a bigger engine into its trusty Thruxton. It’s not unfathomable for Husqvarna to bolt on the extra plastic and call it a day. Plus, based on the reactions from around the web, they wouldn’t stay on showroom floors for long.
The landscape is ripe and ready for a bike like the Vitpilen 701 Aero. There’s clearly a demand for sculpted, faired bikes, but the market is definitely oversaturated with retro styling. As beautiful as they all are, there are only so many times you can rehash the ’60s. The Vitpilen 701 Aero is a healthy dose of Swedish modernism the category desperately needs. Husqvarna, just built it. Please.