For Sale: Stealth Black 701 built for The Bike Shed Show!
The Husqvarna 701 series includes the Vitpilen (White Arrow) and Svartpilen (Black Arrow), sibling cafe and street scrambler machines that borrow heavily from one of the baddest singles ever to lay down a strip of black rubber, the KTM 690 Duke. Their 693cc single-cylinder engines make 74 horsepower and 53 lb-ft of torque, complete with dual balancing shafts — all set inside a first-class chassis.
“Weighing in at around 166kg, both of the road-going Huskies feel incredibly light and nimble on the road. The frames are so easy to throw in and out of the curves, it sometimes feels like riding a mountain bike with an extremely powerful engine bolted to the frame.” —Flat-Out
Enter Outsiders Motorcycles of the Netherlands, founded in a Zwolle in 2011. In the last decade, they’ve grown and grown. Now based in Groningen, they have six rentable workstations and handle everything from TiG welding stainless exhausts and frames to 3D-printing and CNC machining one-off parts, rebuilding engines or lacing wheels — all in-house!
“With every bike that comes in here, our goal is to make the customer as happy as possible. Our core values are safety, thought-through engineering and proper design. No hackjobs, no shortcuts. All or nothing, always.”
The build you see here started life as a brand-new 2019 Husqvarna Vitpilen 701, fresh out of the crate from Mulders Motoren. They had 90 days to transform the bike for one of the world’s most prestigious shows. Says headman BertJan Blok:
“It was three months before the 2019 Bike Shed show in London and because it’s a crazy cool opportunity to grow and expand our brand, it was the perfect thing to do.”
BertJan says he and the crew have learned to love working on newer bikes. Half the budget doesn’t have to be spent on getting the bike to run properly, and there are no bodge-jobs from the previous owner to sort out. The team was incredible impressed with the Vitpilen out of the box:
“The 701 is, completely stock, quite a stunning bike. You can see at first glance that a team of new-wave designers –Kiska from Austria — had their way with it…. The 701 is one of the first bikes where the design is so much more than functional. The details are crazy good — not only the visual ones, but also the tech parts. All the way up to the brazed-on tabs for the tie-wraps.”
They got the bike and the very same evening they tore it completely apart — an especially scare point of no-return given that the bike still had the transport lock on and wouldn’t even run yet! That said, BertJan and team were even more impressed at what laid beneath the stock bodywork:
“Now, I want to give some massive props to the designers over at Kiska and Husqvarna, cause this machine is an absolute joy to work on for customizers. It looks like it was designed solely to get it customized. Everything is SO WELL thought through!”
They were able to remove the subframe with just four bolts, and 85% of the wiring is in the main frame. They built a jig using the stock subframe and fabricated a lighter one that matches the tubing of the main chassis, housing the battery, starter relays, and some tuning/canbus plugs.
Then they moved on to the swingarm. The milled box-type unit didn’t fit the look they had in mind. They wanted a tube swingarm to match the chassis and subframe:
“Again, a jig was built with the original swingarm as mold, with the only big difference being the new one is 30 mm shorter. The stock one is so freaking long, and 30mm might not seem like much, it is. Visually and Wheelieally. (Is that even a word?)”
Next up was the tank. BertJan had had a vision in mind for a long time, and here was the opportunity to execute it.
“Massive undertaking, took two weeks to design, cut, weld and pressure-test but it came out pretty good.”
The stock fuel pump, fuel level meter, and cap were re-used. BertJan says they like to mix the OEM parts with the new ones:
“Gives it a prototype vibe if done right.”
Forks were kept stock, as they’re already quality pieces: USD, WP suspension, and Brembo radial. That’ll do. The front fender is custom, made out of two pieces of mild steel welded in the middle.
“Took a whole day designing, another one to cut and 2 more to weld and shave. We wanted a clean straight line along the subframe, tank and fender and although it’s hard to see on the pictures, the line is there.”
The handlebars and risers are from Neken, since BertJan says “clip-ons suck balls on a 690cc single.” Ha! The top clamp is made by Scheffers Engineering in Norway.
The 701 series have a fly-by-wire throttle system, but the team wanted to get rid of the big chunk of plastic on the handlebars. They relocated the system underneath the tank and made a cable-operated pulley system. They used Motone buttons on the stock wiring, which with some motogadget magic, makes everything work flawlessly.
The exhaust system is completely custom, fabricated from 42mm 316 stainless with elbows:
“We wanted the hard corners in the exhaust without sacrificing performance. A full day of grinding the welds made it look like one piece.”
All in all, this is one of the most stunning 701 machines we’ve seen, and the Outsiders crew learned a ton in the process:
“As with all our builds, we don’t take off with a clear plan but like to see it evolve throughout the build. Massive learning curve for us and we hope you like it as much as we do!”
At this moment the bike is still for sale. Email Outsiders Motorcycles for more information.
Winchester Creatives: winchestercreatives.nl | @winchestercreatives
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9723 BR Groningen
They ruined a great bike.
You gotta admit the original styling is very polarizing. I hate it and can’t understand one iota of it. I know others like it. This bike at least is a true slimming down. I’m always good for that if there’s functionality beneath. Honestly, if I saw this on the street I wouldn’t know that it originally was a Vitpilen/Svartpilen. It just looks like a light, purposeful bike with a nice trellis frame and subframe with the ergonomics and design that invite me to ride. With the original I’d be shaking my head every single block, trying to reconcile the performance with the original, gaudy lines.
Yay, a Vitpilen that doesn’t look hideous! Not crazy about the colors nor the tank shape nor the swingarm design, but the trellis work is great along with the deletion of the original weird bodywork/tank wings/general fairing shapes.
Can’t see the bike