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Before he had a family, my old man used to ride standard motorcycles such as the Honda CB series. Today, he doesn’t have any Hondas, but he does have a Husqvarna. It doesn’t provide the same kind of thrill, though. Instead of cruising the neighborhood in the breeze, he uses his Husqvarna chainsaw to cut up pieces of wood for backyard bonfires. Every time I’m back in his shed and see the logo, I drift off and dream of owning one of the Swedish company’s superbly designed naked bikes.

  • Motorcycle: Husqvarna Vitpilen 401 and Husqvarna FR 250 GP
  • Location: Red Bull Ring Racetrack, Spielberg, Styria, Austria
  • Photog: Rob Gray
  • Camera: Canon EOS-1D X Mark II

Husqvarna builds motorcycles that I lust after more than any other motorcycle brand, particularly its Svartpilen and Vitpilen lines. In Swedish, svart pilen means “the black arrow,” according to Google Translate, and vit pilen translates to “the white arrow.” Both models were previously offered in 401 or 701 sizes.

In this image, a Vitplien 401 (left) poses next to an FR 250 GP (seen without livery below) that’s made for the Moto3 racing series. The contrast between the two bikes is stark, yet both find their own ways to look sleek, handsome, and riotous. Unfortunately for all of us, the Vitplien and Svartpilen are now dead.

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