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.
Tue, 09 Jul 2013
Few things rev up true motorcyclists like an amazing vintage bike or that elusive factory part that they pick up for a great price. On July 19-21, AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days will host one of the largest vintage motorcycle swap meets in the world at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio, as hundreds of vendors and thousands of buyers converge at the largest celebration of motorcycle heritage in the US. “For many attendees, the swap meet is the top draw at AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days,” said AMA Vice President of Operations Jeff Massey.
Thu, 23 May 2013
Husaberg may soon be no more, but that hasn’t stopped the Austria-based Swedish brand from unveiling its 2014 lineup of seven models. News broke last week of plans to reunite Husaberg with Husqvarna, to be known as Husqvarna Sportmotorcycle GmbH as of October 2013, making lineup of of seven off-road bikes including both two- and four-stroke models the final traces of the Husaberg as an independent brand. These 2014 models will also give us some indication of what to expect from the new Husqvarna models.
Thu, 16 May 2013
When Pierer Industrie AG purchased Husqvarna from BMW in January, it was obvious some major changes were on their way. Pierer Industries AG is owned by Stefan Pierer, who happens to be chief executive officer of KTM, which also happens to be the parent company of Husaberg. That’s three European motorcycle manufacturers with strong off-road lineages in the same family.
Wed, 08 May 2013
American motocross pioneer, race team manager and motorcycle industry executive Mark Blackwell is getting another honor: being recognized as an AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Legend. Blackwell, who was inducted to the Hall of Fame in 2000, will be feted alongside the 2013 induction class during AMA Legends Weekend, Oct. 18-19 at the Green Valley Ranch Resort, Spa and Casino in Las Vegas.
Tue, 30 Apr 2013
CRP, the Italian company who made a splash last year when it announced it would make a production electric motorcycle, has been strangely quiet lately. With no news coming from the team in Modena, Italy, we wondered, what’s CRP been up to lately? While not much has been said publicly for months, CRP has been working feverishly behind the scenes to strengthen its staff.
Sat, 06 Apr 2013
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
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
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
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
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.