As we embark on Husqvarna’s 100 years anniversary we celebrate a century rich in sporting success and technical innovations for the oldest motorcycle brand. The origins of Husqvarna date way back to 1903, when a single cylinder engined bicycle was produced boasting 1.5hp and with a maximum speed of 50 km/h.
In 1916 Husqvarna rallied for the first victory in a motorcycle competition, the Novemberkasan. In 1921 the first motorbike made entirely in the Swedish factory using a 550cc engine ultimately became the launching pad for production of two cylinder engines of larger capacity.
At the end of the twenties, Husqvarna began efforts in more international competitions sparking interest in the European market for this Swedish manufacturer and selling over 1000 motorcycles. Between 1928 and 1936 the single cylinder models were still equipped with engines by Jap or Sturmey Archer because of the low production volumes did not justify the cost of special tooling. Using production methods that where state of the art for the time, Husqvarna attained a level of commercializationthat lasted decades and earned the brand a heralded spot in motorcycle history. In fact, from 1938 to 1954, production of the "Black Mill" model continued uninterrupted totalling in sales of over 60,000 units.
In the '50s Husqvarna further confirmed their commitment to the sport by directing more resources to the competitions in Enduro and Motocross racing. The "Dream Bike", a 175 cc. single cylinder, two stroke, 9hp machine was the first representation of this commitment. Subsequently, the "Silverpil", boasted telescopic forks, hydraulic dampers and an engine which worked as a stressed element of the frame, resulting in a good combination of reliability, power and handling for the era.
Riders such as Tibblin and Nilsson are still today remembered not only for their exceptional driving abilities, but above all to have given the first laurels to Husqvarna in the Motocross: the former won in 1959 the World championship of the 250 class and the latter won in 1961 in the 500 class. During these years the production capacity had gown to a level that necessitated export not only to the European markets, but also, and most significantly, to the U.S. market. This direction in the 60’s and 70’s, saw Husqvarna producing machines unique to the motorcycling world, hallmaking riders like Mikkola, Aberg and Hallman and writing unforgettable pages in racing history for the legendary brand.
1979 marked the passage of Husqvarna to Electrolux which maintained control until 1986, when the motorcycle division was sold to the Cagiva Group. Since then, Husqvarna motorcycles have been conceived, designed, and created entirely in Italy. This new course brought a gust of technological innovation that married a prestigious manufacturer with a premiere brand.
The addition of Husqvarna kick-starter the company’s expansion in the international market-place and reinforced the commitment to racing. As a result, victory in the Motocross World Champion-ship 500 class in 1993 was achieved with a four stroke 600 cc Husqvarna, following twenty years of 2 stroke dominance.
The new 250 - 450 engines with electric start signify the new generation of a completely redesigned Husqvarna range, triggering fantastic press and public appeal when introduced at the last Munich Intermot Show. The data from the racing division being increasingly implemented in mass production, translates into vehicles which are better in performance and reliability. This has had an enormous impact especially in the last several years, thanks to the exceptional results achieved by champions of the caliber of Jonsson, Merriman, Eriksson, Silvan, Chambon, Seel, Martens, Chiodi and Puzar.
2004: Husqvarna introduces a complete new range in the 4 stroke field. The new models present the same style of the TE 510 Centennial. 2005 signs the introduction of the new Husqvarna SM 610 version, derived from the Supermoto experiences. Perfect synthesis between racing technology and comfort development, the SM 610 immediately gains success both on the tracks and urban streets. In the races, Gerald Delepine wins the S1 class World Title and Husqvarna gains the S2 Manufacturer Title as well.
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