Husqvarna Motorcycles, a wholly owned subsidiary of Pierer Industrie AG, designs, engineers, manufactures and distributes motocross, enduro and supermoto motorcycles. Husqvarna company started in 1689 in the town of Huskvarna, making weapons.
As with many motorcycle manufacturers, Husqvarna first began producing bicycles in the late 19th century. In 1903, they made the jump to motorcycle manufacturing. The first "Husky" motorcycles used imported engines, and it wasn't until 1918 that Husqvarna began producing machines built entirely in-house.
In 1920, Husqvarna established its own engine factory and the first engine to be designed was a 550 cc four-stroke 50-degree side-valve V-twin engine, similar to those made by companies like Harley-Davidson and Indian.
Husqvarna was Sweden's largest motorcycle manufacturer by 1939.
Motorcyclists had to be 18-years-old to ride, but bikes under 75 kilos (165 pounds) were deemed appropriate for riders aged 16 and up. Husqvarna first targeted the lightweight motorcycle realm with a 98cc moped, inadvertently starting down a path that would change off-road racing. In 1955, the “Silverpilen,” or “Silver Arrow” was introduced in Sweden with a 175cc motor and three-speed transmission. Consumers immediately began modifying the 2-stroke for off-road use, and by 1959 the factory produced five special machines for its racers which featured an enlarged 250cc engine and 4-speed tranny.
In the 1960s, their lightweight, two-stroke engined off-road bikes helped make the once dominant British four-stroke motorcycles obsolete. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Husqvarna was a dominant force in the motocross world, winning 14 Motocross world championships in the 125 cc, 250 cc and 500 cc divisions, 24 enduro world championships and 11 Baja 1000 victories.
In 1987, the Husqvarna motorcycle division (not the other arms of the brand such as chainsaw production) was sold to Italian motorcycle manufacturer Cagiva and became part of MV Agusta Motor S.p.A. The motorcycles, widely known as "Huskies"/ "Husky", are now produced in Varese. In July 2007, Husqvarna motorcycles was purchased by BMW.
Sat, 06 Apr 2013 00:00:00 -0700
Back in the 60s, American Honda tested the durability of its motorcycles by sending a CL72 Scrambler on a 950-mile trek through rocks, sand washes, dry lake beds, mountain passes and paved roads. Fifty years later, that legendary run is remembered for inspiring one of the most significant off-road races in the world—the Baja 1000. In celebration, the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles is hosting a tribute dinner, one-day off road show, and summer-long exhibition called Braving Baja, 1,000 Miles to Glory.
Wed, 06 Mar 2013 00:00:00 -0800
John Penton was one of the most influential figures in the development of off-road motorcycle racing in America during the 1960s and ’70s. His life’s story is triumphant and tragic. When his attempts to convince Husqvarna to produce a smaller, lighter motorcycle fell on deaf ears, Penton created his own design and commissioned KTM, a small moped and bicycle maker in Austria, to build it. The motorcycle was an instant success in off-road competition and led KTM to expand its efforts in the motorcycle realm, initially in conjunction with Penton and ultimately on its own.
Thu, 31 Jan 2013 00:00:00 -0800
The BMW Group has announced the sale of 110-year old Husqvarna Motorcycles to Austrian-based Pierer Industrie AG. “The BMW Group signed a purchase agreement with Pierer Industrie AG (Austria) for the acquisition of Husqvarna Motorcycles. The acquisition will proceed subject to approval by anti-trust authorities.
Mon, 21 Jan 2013 00:00:00 -0800
Cyril Despres won his fifth career Dakar Rally while helping KTM win for the 12th consecutive time, in taking the motorcycle class in the 2013 edition of the famed off-road race. KTM was again the dominant manufacturer with the top five finishers in the motorcycle class riding motorcycles from the Austrian manufacturer. Despres finished with an overall time of 43:24:22 for the win, including a 15-minute penalty for swapping an engine after the one he was using in his KTM 450 Rallye failed.
Wed, 16 Jan 2013 00:00:00 -0800
Troy Bayliss is hosting a dirt track race in Australia featuring 24 current and former racing stars. The inaugural Troy Bayliss Classic takes place Jan. 19 at the three-time World Superbike Champion’s home town of Taree, Australia.
Wed, 05 Dec 2012 00:00:00 -0800
ONE question - where can we get one? The video shows Swedish army issue Husqvarna 258's (1981) fitted with 'ski-stabilisers'. The riders put their feet on the skis and slide in confidently, despite the snow and ice. Apparently these are pretty common in the Swedish military which is as good a reason as I've ever heard to do your service for King Gustaf. Check out how he opens it up at about 45 seconds in...
Wed, 05 Dec 2012 00:00:00 -0800
This it the Husqvarna TE449RR 2013 Dakar contender by German tuning shop Speedbrain. It's based on the Enduro TE449 but you know with a double-R in the title, it's gonna be serious. It looks serious and moody - it doesn't look like it's interested in small talk and I'm betting it doesn't give a shit how your day's going.
Thu, 22 Nov 2012 00:00:00 -0800
The 2013 Dakar Rally will again be held in South America with event organizers announcing a new route for the 34th running of the off-road race. Now in its fifth year in Latin America, the 2013 edition of the Rally will feature a new route running from north to south, starting Jan. 5 in Lima, Peru, and ending Jan.
Fri, 16 Nov 2012 00:00:00 -0800
Thirty-two years after his death, Steve McQueen still reigns as the coolest movie star to ever ride a motorcycle. One of his preferred brands was Husqvarna (another, seen here, was Triumph) and to the delight of motorcycle enthusiasts and McQueen fans alike, one of his bikes will soon be in the hands of a new owner. This 1970 Husqvarna 400 Cross owned and ridden by Steve McQueen will be up for auction on January 10th, at Bally’s Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, by Bonhams. The motorcycle comes with an exhaustive quantity of documents supporting its provenance and authenticity.
Thu, 15 Nov 2012 00:00:00 -0800
You’d be forgiven if you thought the motorcycle pictured here was a Husqvarna on steroids. No, despite the red and white colors and Husky’s recent reputation for showcasing surprising concept models at EICMA (such as the Mille 3 in 2010 and the Baja at this year’s show), the bike shown here is an all new model called the Brutus from a company called Over. Designed by Alessandro Tartarini, formerly Lambretta designer and son of the founder of Italian motorcycle company Italjet, the Brutus is a pre-production concept that has been described as being a two-wheeled SUV.