HUSQVARNA'S FIRST MOTORIZED TWO-WHEELERS – THE FIRST 50 YEARS
The two-wheeled history of Husqvarna started in 1903: the first model was capable of attaining 5 km/h (3 mph). Power was provided by a 1-1/2 horsepower engine made in Belgium. In 1919, the company presents its first motorcycle fitted with Husqvarna's own engine, a motorcycle with "modern" characteristics: 500cc v-twin, 12 horsepower and a three speed gearbox. It was a best seller with 150 units sold in one year.
Throughout the 1920s Husqvarnas were used mainly for transport and had little competition success. The breakthrough came in 1929 with the arrival of a young mechanical engineer named Folke Mannerstedt: under his direction and supervision the racing department was born. In 1933-34 Husqvarna found success in road races across Europe. They raced and often beat competitors such as BMW, DKW, NSU, Norton, Rudge and Velocette. Victories were scored in national competitions such as the Grand Prix of Sweden as well as international races such as the Grand Prix of Nations at Monza in 1936 and the Isle of Man TT, a race which still attracts the attention of fans. These are the years preceding World War II during which Husqvarna halted product completely. It resumed in 1946 with a 98 cc model followed immediately by a 118 cc. After the war, interest in motorcycles was high: the Svart-qvarna model, a further development of the 118 cc, is a success with over 100,000 units sold. Models with different colours were introduced, Black- qvarna, and Red-qvarna and so on. The "qvarna" series ends in 1954. A few years developing the 175 cc engine follow, while 1953 is the year that ties the Husqvarna brand to off-road disciplines.
HUSQVARNA. A HISTORY OF SUCCESS. 1953 TO 1973
These are important years. Not only for the production of innovative and reliable models, but also and especially for their performance in racing. These are the years that crown the Husqvarna brand as one of the strongest in competitions.
Since the 1950s, Husqvarna confirms its dedication to the world of sports competitions, dedicating more resources to enduro and motocross racing. The Drombagen or "Dream Bike", a single cylinder 175cc two-stroke with 9 horsepower, is the first result of this commitment. The Drombagen is the first model to incorporate a European style, with its elegant pressed steel frame and front forks.
In the mid-1950s, Husqvarna produces a new model that had unique features: the Silverpilen (silver arrow). With a total weight of only 75 kg, the Silverpilen was defined as light, reliable and maneuverable. Among its main features were a telescopic front fork, hydraulic dampers and an engine mounted directly in the frame.
Like any self-respecting great history, Husqvarna has an important date: 1959, when its top rider Tibblin won the first World Championship in the 250cc class. From this moment onwards Husqvarna becomes one of the undisputed champions in racing. Only two years later, Husqvarna won the 500cc World Championship class with Nilsson. These two riders went on to win several more titles and become crowd favourites of all motorcycle fans.
In the following years, the success in competitions was joined by sales success. The production capacity reached such high levels that it became necessary to export to markets in Europe and especially in the USA. It was in the 60s and 70s that Husqvarna, thanks to the production of unique motorcycles in the international industry, and thanks to talented riders like Mikkola, Aberg and Hallman, marked some of the most important pages in motorcycling history.
FROM THE 1970s TO PRESENT DAY
In 1977, Husqvarna was acquired by the Swedish industrial group Electrolux, a leader in home appliances. In 1987, the Husqvarna motorcycle division was sold to the Cagiva Group, and left Sweden for Italy, in the province of Varese. On the 1st of October 2007 BMW acquired control of Husqvarna, and on the 2nd of July 2008 construction of the new headquarters started at Cassinetta di Biandronno (Varese). The Husqvarna Motorcycles headquarters was inaugurated on the 21st of September 2009.
1st February 2013 the Austrian Pierer Industries AG acquires Husqvarna Motorcycles.
50 YEARS OF RACING HERITAGE AND 82 WORLD TITLES
With over 50 years of racing at world level, Husqvarna Motorcycles boasts 82 titles in Motocross, Enduro and Supermoto, including the recent World Enduro Championship won by Antoine Meo onboard the Husqvarna TE250.
HUSQVARNA MOTORCYCLES TODAY
Husqvarna Motorcycles has 260 employees and its headquarters at Cassinetta di Biandronno occupy a total surface area of 35,000 sqm. The result of a strong vocation for innovation and a massive racing heritage, the current range includes 20 models divided into Enduro, Motocross, Supermoto, Mini and Street categories. Husqvarna Motorcycles also has a complete range of accessories and aftermarket parts.