Indian Motorcycle Market is the second-largest in the world with over 21 million-plus units sold in 2019. The statistics show that the Indian market is growing at a good rate considering that 11 million units were sold in 2011. India is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world thus offering opportunities for motorcycle manufacturers to make a mark here. Bajaj had launched Husqvarna range of motorcycles in February 2020 after unveiling it at the Bike Festival in late 2019. The motorcycle created waves with its unconventional design but the launch timing was unfortunate due to the Coronavirus outbreak. COVID-19 pandemic might have dealt a blow to motorcycle companies including Bajaj as the nationwide lockdown restricted the sales to a bare minimum in the first quarter of 2020. Currently, Husqvarna Svartpilen 250 and Vitpilen 250 is sold at the same price of Rs 1.8 lakh (ex-showroom), Delhi undercutting KTM 250 Duke by around Rs 20,000.
From March 24, India went into a total shutdown with the temporary closure of dealerships, shutting down of production facilities while the prospective customers got restricted to their homes. Despite the circumstances, Husqvarna has done better than expected. Over 410 units have found their way into the Indian households. This might seem low to many but this is a significant number considering the motorcycles arrived at the dealerships just fractionally ahead of the lockdown. These numbers refers to the wholesale that were pushed to the dealers across India.
Husquarna motorcycles take their inspiration from KTM 250 Duke with the suspension, frame and engine all sourced from this particular bike. Both Svartpilen 250 and Vitpilen 250 are powered by a 248.8cc, liquid-cooled, single-cylinder petrol engine generating 30 bhp of maximum power @ 9000rpm and 24Nm of peak torque @ 7500rpm. The engine is paired to a 6-speed manual gearbox.
Husqvarna Vitpilen 250 is a cafe-racer styled motorcycle with low clip-on handlebar and aggressive forward-leaning stance. While Husqvarna Svartpilen 250 is a scrambler with dual-purpose tyres and an elongated single-piece handlebar. Husqvarna Vitpilen 250 weighs 154 kgs whereas Husqvarna Svartpilen 250 is lighter by 1 kg and weighing 153 kgs. Svartpilen and Vitpilen if translated from Swedish to English, means to black arrow and white arrow, respectively. This could be seen in the colour schemes the motorcycles come in, Svartpilen is painted darker while Vitpilen sports white paint.
Once the lockdown ends, we can expect the sales to pick-up. An interesting fact for the readers is Husqvarna is a Swedish brand producing motorcycles for over a century now. Husqvarna Motorcycles GmbH is owned by KTM AG. Bajaj tied up with Austrian two wheeler manufacturer KTM to sell Duke and RC in the Indian market. Since partnering with Bajaj, India is now KTM’s largest market. With Bajaj expertise, KTM sees India as an opportunity for its wide range of products.