The sub-500cc motorcycle market has grown immensely in India in recent years as the Indian motorcyclist now yearns for more than just good fuel economy numbers. The quarter-litre segment, for example, now offers a wide variety of choices and four of them are sold by Bajaj Auto. There’s the Austria-designed KTM 250 Duke and then came the Swedish twins – Husqvarna Svartpilen 250 and Husqvarna Vitpilen 250. They were both launched earlier this year and both carry the same introductory price tag of Rs 1.8 lakh (ex-showroom).
Both Husqvarna Svartpilen 250 and Vitpilen 250 are powered by a 248.8cc fuel-injected, liquid-cooled, single-cylinder, 4-stroke DOHC engine that puts out 29.5 hp at 9,000 rpm and 24 Nm of torque at 7,500 rpm.
The motorcycles get 43mm upside-down forks upfront and a monoshock at the rear. Braking comes from a 320 mm disc with Bybre four-piston calliper on the front wheel and a 230 mm disc with a single-piston calliper on the rear wheel. While the Svartpilen weighs 154 kg (kerb), the Vitpilen is one kilogram lighter in comparison.
The basic difference between the two is that of form. While the Svartpilen 250 is a scrambler with dual-purpose tyres and a tall single-piece handlebar, the Vitpilen 250 is a cafe racer with low set clip-on handlebars and rear set footpegs for a forward-leaning riding stance.
Design and styling are distinctive as the Svartpilen sports a darker paint job and the Vitpilen wears a white one. In addition, the Svartpilen 250 gets a tank rack to strap on a tank bag. Alloys are different on the two – Svartpilen has eight-spoke rims with dual-purpose MRF Revz FD tyres and the Vitpilen has five-spoke alloys with road-focussed MRF Revs FC 1.
Both Husqvarna Vitpilen 250 and Svartpilen 250 are priced at Rs 1.8 lakh (ex-showroom). The closest rival to the two is KTM 250 Duke with the same power figures, however, the Duke is priced at Rs 2.05 lakh (ex-showroom). The other 250 under the umbrella is the Bajaj Dominar 250 priced at Rs 1.6 lakh. However, it makes slightly less power at 27 hp and weighs more by about 15 kg. For a similar price bracket as the Dominar 250, one could consider the Suzuki Gixxer 250 priced at Rs 1.63 lakh (ex-showroom). The Gixxer makes 26.5 hp and weighs in at 156 kg.
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