Husqvarna Vitpilen 401 And KTM 390 Duke: What’s Different? - SUV VEHICLE

Husqvarna Vitpilen 401 And KTM 390 Duke: What’s Different?

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Summary

  • The KTM 390 Duke has a more aggressive and premium look than the Vitpilen.
  • Both bikes come loaded with modern features.
  • Surprisingly, the Vitpilen has a better power-to-weight ratio than the Duke.


No matter how hard you try, you can’t deny the 2024 KTM 390 Duke is one of the most sought-after sub-400cc naked motorcycles out there. Whether it’s a powerful engine or class-leading features, the streetfighter checks all the right boxes without burning a big hole in your pocket. Now, however, there’s another motorcycle that promises to do everything the 390 does (it even shares the same engine) and targets the same set of customers.

Of course, we’re talking about the just-revealed 2024 Husqvarna Vitpilen 401. The Swedish naked takes heavy inspiration from its Orange cousin (both bikemakers come under Pierer Mobility), which can make your life really hard if you’re in the market for such an entry-level motorcycle. So how do you choose between them? Simple, read the story below and check out everything that sets them apart.

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The Husqvarna Vitpilen 401 Has A Neo-Retro Design, While The KTM 390 Duke Is Sharp As A Knife

2024 KTM 390 Duke
KTM

In typical Husqvarna fashion, the Vitpilen follows a neo-retro approach. But with its own spin on the idea. Up top, there’s the company’s bespoke horizontally split round LED headlight, complete with a halo-like DRL. This is topped by a chunky front fender, somewhat reminiscent of old-school sport bikes. In the middle lies a distinct fuel tank with muscular protrusions–a specialty of the Swedish brand. For 2024, the design extends to the forks and joins hands with new radiator shrouds. Topping these are a set of thick, five-spoke alloy wheels, round mirrors, and a copper-finished clutch case.

Meanwhile, the 390 Duke paints an entirely different picture. You get an uber-aggressive LED headlight, partnered with edgy tank extensions (these go well beyond the forks) and a sleek fender. The tank itself is shaped to help you lock your knees in place as you power through the canyons. It’s a trend you’ll find everywhere else too–be it the alien-like cast subframe, the premium mirrors, or the wide radiator shrouds. A special mention also goes out to the sleek alloy wheels.

Add to this the Duke’s two color options (the 401 has a single livery), and there’s no denying the 390 comes across as the more premium offering. However, if you like your motorcycles subtle, the Vitpilen certainly needs to be your pick. We also think the Husky will turn more heads since it’s a rather standout design in the 400cc segment.

The KTM 390 Duke Is More Feature-Loaded Than The Husqvarna Vitpilen 401

2024 Husqvarna Svartpilen 401 TFT
Husqvarna

Next up, features. Both motorcycles come with plenty of equipment for their size, but there’s a clear winner here. It’s the 390 Duke, as the Orange naked has a few handy inclusions the Vitpilen misses out on. That said, we find the Husqvarna’s TFT layout somewhat better than the 390’s comparatively complex display. Check out the standard features of these bikes below:

Feature

KTM 390 Duke

Husqvarna Vitpilen 401

Instrument cluster

Five-inch bonded glass

Five-inch bonded glass

Quickshifter

Bi-directional

Bi-directional

Smartphone connectivity

Yes

Yes

Traction control

Yes

Yes

Cornering ABS

Yes

Yes

Ride modes

Yes

Yes

Adjustable levers

Yes

Yes

Launch control

Yes

No

Track layout

Yes

No

All-LED lights

Yes

Yes

The KTM 390 Duke Is Heavier Than The Husqvarna Vitpilen 401

2024 Husqvarna Vitpilen 401 Hero
Husqvarna

The 390 Duke and Vitpilen 401 share the same underpinnings. A trellis chassis, WP Apex forks, WP Apex monoshock, and ByBre brakes are all common between them. These give the motorcycles the same suspension travel, saddle height, and ground clearance. But there are notable differences.

The Vitpilen has a claimed weight of just 339 pounds–a sizable 25 pounds less than what KTM claims for the Duke. This means the Husky would be easier to live with, especially when moving around tight spots. More importantly, if the weight difference is correct (no website typos), the Swedish offering should be faster in a straight line too. After all, both offerings have the same 399cc powerhouse, with 44.2 horsepower and 28.7 pound-feet on tap. Even the six-speed transmission is the same. So by virtue of the power-to-weight ratio, the ball is in the 401’s court.

An additional plus point is the 401’s single-piece saddle and upright riding triangle. The former appears longer and more spacious than the Duke’s split seat, while the latter comprises a new flat handlebar and low footpegs. That said, the slightly sporty riding triangle would mean sharper riding dynamics for the Duke, at least in the corners. This, plus the performance, are both things we can only corroborate after a proper road test, though.

Final Thoughts

2024 KTM 390 Duke Action Donut
KTM

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So which one do you pick between these two? It’s simple. If you’re not looking for an out-and-out hooligan machine, the Vitpilen 401 would be our recommendation for you. It can walk alongside the 390 in almost all verticals while offering a simple yet likable design. For everyone else, the Duke is the way to go. You should also know the Vitpilen has traditionally undercut its Orange cousin, which can further cement its case in 2024. Speaking of which, both bikes have been announced in America, but the prices remain TBA.

Source – KTM, Husqvarna Motorcycles

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