The Husqvarna Vitpilen 250 is one of the most striking and value for money motorcycles in the 200-400 cc segment in India, and that's something which we have previously said for the KTM 250 Duke. Priced at INR 1.80 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), it undercuts the naked quarter-litre Duke, a motorcycle with which it shares the powertrain and several cycle parts, by INR 20,576.
This has complicated situations for many. Fret not, here’s a quick comparison between the newly launched Husqvarna Vitpilen 250 and its mothership, the KTM 250 Duke, to help you make an informed decision.
KTM’s Kiska designs have produced some of the most iconic and appealing motorcycles. However, they have often been blamed to stick to a single design language for the whole family of products. In this case, we are talking about the 390 Duke, 250 Duke, and also the recently updated 200 Duke. Of course, this advantage will wane to an extent once the Vitpilen 401 is launched in India.
This is where the Husqvarna Vitpilen 250 pulls one up against the KTM 250 Duke. While the 250 Duke is an all-out street naked, sports motorcycle, the Vitpilen 250 bears a unique, retro yet contemporary look. This café-racer styled motorcycle brings to the table a unique design language previously unseen in India, save for the Honda CB300R or the significantly more expensive CB1000R.
The elegantly designed Husqvarna Vitpilen 250 has been created with a minimalistic approach, typical with Sweden, Husqvarna’s home country. This fresh take on motorcycles feels like a fresh breath of cool wind on a hot summer day. The headlamp is an LED unit which is surrounded by a circular daytime running strip.
Using a narrow body, the Husqvarna Vitpilen 250 aims to be a city-riding oriented motorcycle with a slightly rear-set footpeg position giving it a sporty stance. The café racer-style motorcycle also boasts clip-on styled handlebar which further accents its sporty character. The 250 Duke features a halogen headlamp and a rod-styled handlebar.
Cycle parts and features
Both the KTM 250 Duke and Husqvarna Vitpilen 250 are shod with the same 43 mm upside-down fork sourced from WP Suspensions with 142 mm of wheel travel. In case of the rear setup, both use the same WP-sourced monoshock with adjustable preload. However, the Husky boasts 142 mm of travel at the rear while the KTM 250 Duke has rear-wheel travel of 150 mm.
The chassis, too, is the same steel trellis frame unit. However, the KTM 250 Duke is fitted with a bigger 13.5-litre fuel tank as against the 9.5-litre capacity tank in the Husqvarna Vitpilen 250. This means less frequent fuel stops on the Austrian bike.
Interestingly, the Husqvarna Vitpilen 250 is shod with a better braking setup with a bigger 320 mm disc at the front. The KTM 250 Duke is fitted with a 300 mm disc at the front, which means that the Husky, in theory, should offer more bite and hence stop faster. The rear brake is the same 230 mm unit. Besides that, both the motorcycles are shod with dual-channel ABS.
The quarter-litre Husqvarna Vitpilen is 3 kg heavier than the KTM 250 Duke and tips the scales at 153 kg. However, with a 185 mm ground clearance, the latter beats the former hands down. Also, the seat height of both the motorcycles are almost at par with the Husky’s seat at 835 mm and the 250 Duke having a seat height of 830 mm.
Both the motorcycles feature an LCD instrument cluster. However, the orange backlit unit of the KTM 250 Duke, though very informative, has begun to look dated. The same unit has been on duty since 2012 when it was first seen on the KTM 200 Duke.
Both the Husqvarna Vitpilen 250 and KTM 250 Duke are powered by a 248.8 cc single-cylinder, liquid-cooled, DOHC unit which traces its origins to the 390 Duke. This re-sleeved unit dishes out 30 PS of maximum power at 9,000 rpm. The peak torque output of 24 Nm is reached at 7,500 rpm. The gearbox is a six-speed unit, and both the Husqvarna Vitpilen 250 and KTM 250 Duke get a slip and assist clutch.
The compact engine has been a delight to ride on the quarter-litre Duke. In fact, it will not be wrong to say that the engine is the most fun mills to ride with, both during city rides and highway touring.
Price and availability
The Husqvarna Vitpilen 250 has been a pleasant surprise in terms of pricing. The Bajaj-KTM duo had earlier hinted that the Husqvarna models will be priced at a premium over the corresponding KTM products. However, the Vitpilen 250’s price tag undercuts the KTM 250 Duke by a huge margin.
That’s not all, at INR 1.80 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), the Husqvarna Vitpilen 250 is just INR 7,251 costlier than the new updated KTM 200 Duke! The Swedish machine offers better equipment than both the KTM 200 Duke and KTM 250 Duke. The latter is priced at INR 2.0 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi).
The catch, though, is that KTM-Bajaj has confirmed that the price of the Husqvarna Vitpilen 250 is applicable for an introductory period and will be increased at a later date. However, they have not revealed by how much and when. If KTM’s track record is taken into account, we doubt that the Husqvarna Vitpilen 250 will be priced higher than the new BS-VI KTM 250 Duke.
If we talk about availability, that is where the ballgame changes. The new Husqvarna Vitpilen 250 will be available from March 2020. They will be sold out of KTM showrooms which have been upgraded to sell both KTM and Husqvarna models. Initially, the Husqvarna motorcycles will be available only at 100 showrooms across 45 cities. This will be increased to 400 showrooms in 275 cities in the next five months. In comparison, the KTM 250 Duke is available at all 450+ KTM dealers across India.