Husqvarna Vitpilen 250: Should You Wait For It Or Buy The KTM 390 Duke?
Husqvarna surprised us with the unveiling of the Vitpilen 250 at India Bike Week. Is it worth waiting for the official launch or should you go for the venerable Duke?
While all us enthusiasts were eagerly waiting for the Husqvarna 401 twins to break cover, the Swedish brand surprised us with 250cc twins instead. Husqvarna says it will launch the motorcycles by the end of February. The Vitpilen 250, in particular, is a road-biased cafe racer whereas the Svartpilen 250 is a scrambler-themed motorcycle.
It is likely that the Vitpilen 250 will be the more expensive bike with an expected price tag of Rs 2.5 lakh ex-showroom. Interestingly, this falls under the ballpark pricing of the KTM 390 Duke, which is Rs 2.48 lakh (ex-Delhi). So, is it a good idea to wait for the Vitpilen 250 or should you go for the 390 Duke?
Vitpilen 250: BUY for its premium quotient
Husqvarna has been positioned as a premium player in the Indian market, sitting above the small-capacity KTMs. Reasonably, Husky’s motorcycles look quite premium and even the India-only Vitpilen 250 retains the premium quotient. It gets the same kind of design as its elder brother, the Vitpilen 401, and even the feature list has been carried over. The motorcycle gets an info-laden LCD instrument cluster, clip-on handlebars for sporty ergonomics and an all-LED lighting system. The overall build quality of the bodywork feels certainly a notch above the Duke. It may not be as premium as the BMW G 310 R but it is still well made. The plastics feel solid and the seat also feels superior to the 250 Duke.
It borrows the engine from the KTM 250 Duke, so it makes the same amount of power and torque as the quarter litre Duke (31PS and 24Nm). It also gets the same brakes and suspension components as the Duke. However, at 153kg dry, the motorcycle weighs 7kg more than the 250 Duke. Husqvarna will sell the motorcycle at KTM-Husqvarna co-branded showrooms, so the brand is expected to offer a reasonably healthy sales and service network as well.
KTM 390 Duke: BUY for its raw performance & features
While the KTM 390 Duke’s ex-showroom price (Rs 2.48 lakh) matches with the expected price of the Vitpilen 250, it offers a lot more in terms of pure performance. The bike gets a bigger 373.2cc single-cylinder liquid-cooled motor which churns out 43.5PS and 37Nm (12.5PS and 13Nm more than the Vitpilen 250). Moreover, it also gets the advantage of ride-by-wire which ensures a crispier throttle response.
In terms of tangible features, the bike gets a full-colour TFT screen with smartphone compatibility. Its ergonomics is a lot more relaxed than the Vitpilen 250 but is still sporty enough for spirited riding. To ensure good riding range, the Duke packs a 13.4-litre fuel tank as opposed to the Vitpilen 250’s puny 9.5 litres.
The biggest advantage of the KTM 390 Duke is that you can get your hands on one right now. This coupled with the segment-leading performance make it a really sweet deal.