Vitpilen 401 Customized – BikeBound

Picture: Handbuilt Present / Revival Cycles

Customized Husky Vitpilen 401 from Whiskey Echo Moto… 

Over the previous few years, we’ve liked watching the rise of light-weight, nimble, and surprisingly succesful 300-400cc machines just like the KTM 390 fashions, Kawasaki Z400 / Ninja 400, and Yamaha R3 / MT-03. In 2018, Husqvarna joined the fray with the Vitpilen and Svartpilen 401, whose names imply White Arrow and Black Arrow, respectively.

Vitpilen 401 Cafe Racer

Husky is a sister model to KTM, so it comes as no shock that each ‘Pilens characteristic the 373cc single-cylinder engine from the beloved KTM 390 Duke, which put down 41.4 whp on the Cycle World dyno:

“The 373cc single-cylinder engine is a punchy, exceptionally entertaining powerplant. Twist the ride-by-wire throttle and let the low-end torque and 40 ponies carry you down the straightaway or round tight bends. The short-revving thumper has no subject getting as much as and sustaining freeway speeds both.” –Cycle World

Vitpilen 401 Cafe Racer

The Vitpilen 401 is the extra street-focused machine, with clip-on handlebars, Metzeler M5 rubber, and fashionable café racer styling. The place the bike actually excels is the twisties:

“Weighing in at simply 340 kilos on the Cycle World scales, the Vitpilen is very gentle. This minimal weight mixed with a compact metal trellis body and admirable WP suspension means the bike is simple to flick by way of fast transitions and intensely maneuverable at low speeds…” –Cycle World

Vitpilen 401 Cafe Racer

With these bikes nonetheless so new, it’s uncommon to come back throughout personalized variations, so our curiosity was piqued when got here throughout this ’21 Husqavarna Vitpilen 401 on the 2023 Handbuilt Present. It’s the work of Mark Hanson of Whiskey Echo Moto, who knew he needed to construct a motorbike since he began driving 10 years in the past.

“There may be simply no higher feeling that having the ability to construct one thing along with your palms that you could journey.”

Vitpilen 401 Cafe Racer

Given his expertise together with his KTM RC390 observe bike, Mark determined the Vitpilen 401 could be the right candidate for a metamorphosis. His imaginative and prescient was fairly clear from the beginning:

“Strip it down, add lightness and simplify the Neo-retro design language.”

Vitpilen 401 Cafe Racer

Nevertheless, the execution could be each extra grueling and rewarding than anticipated, as he leaned on his work ethic to be taught the varied abilities required to convey his imaginative and prescient to actuality:

“It was a journey. Whereas instructing myself the right way to mannequin, 3D print, manufacture, wiring/electrical woes, taking welding lessons, and scouring the web for the just about non-existing 401 info and elements, it took the whole lot I had.”

Vitpilen 401 Cafe Racer

Nevertheless, all of the arduous work was properly value it. Nicknamed the “Whiskey Arrow,” the bike was featured within the 2023 Handbuilt Present amongst a number of the most spectacular builds within the nation (and past).

Under, we discuss to Mark for the complete story on his hand-built Husky.

Vitpilen 401 Café Racer: Builder Interview

Vitpilen 401 Cafe Racer

• Please inform us a bit about your self, your historical past with bikes, and your workshop.

I began driving about 10 years in the past after drooling over bikes most of my life. I lastly determined it was time and it was a “get your license on Saturday and a motorbike on Sunday” sort issues. Even earlier than I began driving I knew needed to construct a motorbike sooner or later. There may be simply no higher feeling that having the ability to construct one thing along with your palms that you could journey.


So far as my workshop goes it’s only one half of a two-car storage that’s rapidly turning into too small. I attempted to be as deliberate to arrange as a lot as attainable right into a small house however, as my want to be taught extra grows so does the software checklist.

Vitpilen 401 Cafe Racer

• What’s the make, mannequin, and 12 months of the donor bike?

2021 Husqavarna Vitpilen 401.

Vitpilen 401 Cafe Racer

• Why was this bike constructed?

I selected the 401 based mostly on previous expertise with my RC390 observe bike and the dearth of true customized 401 builds round. This construct was merely to see how far I may go as a first-time “storage builder.”

Vitpilen 401 Cafe Racer

As a artistic by day I felt I had plenty of tangential abilities, the naivety to suppose it was attainable, and a shit-ton of labor ethic. It was a journey. Whereas instructing myself the right way to mannequin, 3D print, manufacture, wiring/electrical woes, taking welding lessons, and scouring the web for the just about non-existing 401 info and elements, it took the whole lot I had.

Vitpilen 401 Cafe Racer

• What was the design idea and what influenced the construct?

Strip it down, add lightness, and simplify the Neo-retro design language.

• What customized work was performed to the bike?
  • Customized triple clamp, customized 3D-printed sprint enclosure, steering bolt, probolt {hardware}
  • Headlight, headlight brackets, headlight bucket, probolt {hardware}
  • Clip-ons, customized 3D-printed covers, grips, Motogadget flip indicators and mirrors
  • Radiator cowl, upgraded cap, horn relocated to heart
  • Customized two tone paint by Correct Gabe: White with a blue pearl, metallic blue coloration matched to seat cowl.
  • Customized machined emblems
  • Personalized Luimoto seat cowl (coloration matched to rear fairing paint)
  • Upgraded entrance/rear brake discs, pads, entrance/rear sprockets (re-geared) with 520 chain
  • Modified header and exhaust
  • Modified Tyga rear units, kickstand
  • Customized 3D-printed air consumption/pod filter
  • Customized 3D-printed rear sign pods with Motogadget indicators
  • Modified Fast Bike Evo
  • Modified carbon case covers, carbon rear hugger, chain guard
  • Light-weight LiPo battery
  • Inventory wheels rebuilt and powder coated with outsized Michelin tires
  • Aftermarket license plate holder
  • Many different small modifications/upgrades
• Does the bike have a nickname?

I dubbed it the “Whiskey Arrow” as a play on Vitpilen, which suggests White Arrow, and my Instagram deal with, Whiskey Echo.

Vitpilen 401 Cafe Racer

• Are you able to inform us what it’s wish to journey this bike?

The very first thing you discover is simply how gentle and skinny it feels off the kickstand. The aggressive seating place, extraordinarily loud exhaust, and low gearing makes the journey fairly a memorable one. It was meant to be an thrilling bike to journey to espresso outlets on Sunday mornings and I might say I undoubtedly achieved that objective.

• Was there something performed throughout this construct that you’re notably happy with?

I’m fairly happy with all of the customized elements I designed for the construct, however I’m essentially the most happy with the rear gentle pods. They appear pretty easy however took a ton of labor to get proper. They had been designed to work on both facet of the bike and settle for most aftermarket flip indicators. They’re extraordinarily gentle attributable to being 3D-printed nylon and are instantly threaded with out utilizing any metallic inserts.

Observe the Builder: @whiskeyechomoto