Husqvarna Motorcycles

This article is about Husqvarna Motorcycles GmbH. For other uses, see Husqvarna.
Husqvarna Motorcycles GmbH
  • Manufacturing
  • Distribution
Founded Huskvarna, Sweden (1903 (1903))
Headquarters Mattighofen, Austria
Area served
Key people
Stefan Pierer, Oliver Göhring, Reinhold Zens
Parent Pierer Industrie AG

Husqvarna Motorcycles GmbH, designs, engineers, manufactures and distributes motocross, enduro and supermoto motorcycles.

The company began producing motorcycles in 1903 at Huskvarna, Sweden, as a subsidiary of the Husqvarna armament firm.[1]


1912 Moto-Reve advertisement of G. Magnani in Bucharest

Husqvarna was founded near the town of the same name in Sweden in 1689. As a maker of muskets, the logo still depicts a gun sight viewed from the end of the barrel.[2]

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. Around that time they secured a contract with the Swedish Army and began entering cross-country and long-distance motorcycle racing events.[1] 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. Although they once made motorcycles for street use, and raced at road circuits such as the Isle of Man TT prior to World War II, they are better known for producing world championship winning motocross and enduro bikes.

Husqvarna competed in Grand Prix road racing in the 350cc and 500cc classes during the 1930s and was Sweden's largest motorcycle manufacturer by 1939. All of the racing bikes were based on a 50-degree V-twin prototype built by Folke Mannerstedt in 1931. The company team beat the Norton Works team at the Swedish GP in 1931 with a 1–2 finish by Ragnar Sundqvist and Gunnar Kalen. This and the next year's success led to a full commitment to the GP tracks with Stanley Woods and Ernie Nott joining the Husqvarna riding team. That year, Nott finished 3rd in the 350cc Junior TT and Woods ran out of gas 8 miles before the finish of the Senior TT. In 1935 the company withdrew racing support, but new bikes were still produced and raced privately,[3] while the company focused on producing a new 2-stroke, 2-speed commuter bike.[1] That year, Stanley Woods won the Swedish GP (marking the fourth year in a row that a "Husky" had won) on a 500cc Husqvarna motorcycle that weighted 279 pounds (127 kilograms).[4]

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", were then produced in Varese. Husqvarna produces a diverse range of motocross, enduro and supermoto machines using their own two-stroke or four-stroke engines, ranging in capacity from 125 cc to 576 cc. Racing continues to be important to Husqvarna, competing in world enduro and world supermoto championships. Gerald Delepine, riding a Husqvarna SMR660, became supermoto world champion in 2005. In 2008, Adrien Chareyre took the title, riding an SM530RR.

In July 2007, Husqvarna motorcycles was purchased by BMW for a reported €93,000,000. BMW Motorrad planned to continue operating Husqvarna Motorcycles as a separate enterprise. All development, sales and production activities, as well as the workforce, remained at its location in Varese, in Italy.[5] BMW intended to position Husqvarna as "the two-wheeled version of what Mini is to the BMW's car division".[6]

Acquisition by Pierer Industries

Stefan Pierer’s ownership of KTM, Husqvarna and Husaberg

On 31 January 2013 BMW Group announced that Pierer Industrie AG has bought full stake in Husqvarna AG for an undisclosed amount. The company is headed by Stefan Pierer, current CEO of KTM-Sportmotorcycle AG. On 1 October 2013, Husqvarna AG was renamed to Husqvarna Sportmotorcycle GmbH. It was announced that the company will be based at Mattighofen in Austria where production started on 11 October 2013.[7]

Owing to the common ownership of Husqvarna (100% via Pierer Industrie AG) and Husaberg (51% via Cross Industries AG) by Stefan Pierer; Husaberg will cease to exist as a marque and will provide technical assistance to the newly resurrected Husqvarna brand.[8]

Historical models produced by Husqvarna
Moto-Reve model 1910 that belonged to Romanian aviation pioneer Aurel Vlaicu 
Engine detail Moto-Reve model 1910 
Husqvarna Moto-Reve 
Husqvarna Novolette moped 



  • 1959 – Rolf Tibblin, European Motocross Champion, 250 cc class.
  • 1960 – Bill Nilsson, Motocross World Champion, 500 cc class.
  • 1962 – Rolf Tibblin, Motocross World Champion, 500 cc class.
  • 1962 – Torsten Hallman, Motocross World Champion, 250 cc class.
  • 1963 – Rolf Tibblin, Motocross World Champion, 500 cc class.
  • 1963 – Torsten Hallman, Motocross World Champion, 250 cc class.
  • 1966 – Torsten Hallman, Motocross World Champion, 250 cc class.
  • 1967 – Torsten Hallman, Motocross World Champion, 250 cc class.
  • 1969 – Bengt Åberg, Motocross World Champion, 500 cc class.
  • 1970 – Bengt Åberg, Motocross World Champion, 500 cc class.
  • 1974 – Heikki Mikkola, Motocross World Champion, 500 cc class.
  • 1976 – Heikki Mikkola, Motocross World Champion, 250 cc class.
  • 1979 – Håkan Carlqvist, Motocross World Champion, 250 cc class.
  • 1993 – Jacky Martens, Motocross World Champion, 500 cc class.
  • 1998 – Alessio Chiodi, Motocross World Champion, 125 cc class
  • 1999 – Alessio Chiodi, Motocross World Champion, 125 cc class
  • 2014 Ben Adriaenssen & Ben van den Bogaart, Sidecarcross World Championship
  • 2014 – Tony Saunders, UK GT Cup, Youth Lites Class.
  • 2014 – Nathan Watson, UK Mx National, MX1 Class.

Baja 1000

Antoine Méo at the 2010 GP of Turkey
  • 1967 – J.N. Roberts, Malcolm Smith
  • 1969 – Gunnar Nilsson, J.N. Roberts
  • 1971 – Malcolm Smith, Gunnar Nilsson
  • 1972 – Gunnar Nilsson, Rolf Tibblin
  • 1973 – Mitch Mayes, A.C. Bakken
  • 1976 – Larry Roeseler, Mitch Mayes
  • 1977 – Brent Wallingsford, Scot Harden
  • 1978 – Larry Roeseler, Jack Johnson
  • 1979 – Larry Roeseler, Jack Johnson
  • 1981 – Scot Harden, Brent Wallingsford
  • 1983 – Dan Smith, Dan Ashcraft


Bartosz Obłucki at the 2008 GP of Italy
  • 1990 – 350 cc World Enduro Championship
  • 1991 – 250 cc World Enduro Championship
  • 1992 – 350 cc World Enduro Championship
  • 1993 – 125 cc World Enduro Championship
  • 1993 – 350 cc World Enduro Championship
  • 1994 – 125 cc World Enduro Championship
  • 1994 – 500 cc World Enduro Championship
  • 1995 – 125 cc World Enduro Championship
  • 1995 – 500 cc World Enduro Championship
  • 1996 – 350 cc World Enduro Championship
  • 1998 – 500 cc World Enduro Championship
  • 1999 – 500 cc World Enduro Championship
  • 2000 – 250 cc World Enduro Championship
  • 2001 – 125 cc World Enduro Championship
  • 2001 – 400 cc World Enduro Championship
  • 2001 – 500 cc World Enduro Championship
  • 2002 – 125 cc World Enduro Championship
  • 2002 – 250 cc World Enduro Championship
  • 2002 – 500 cc World Enduro Championship
  • 2003 – 400 cc World Enduro Championship
  • 2010 – E1 World Enduro Championship with Antoine Méo
  • 2011 – E1 World Enduro Championship with Juha Salminen
  • 2011 – E2 World Enduro Championship with Antoine Méo
  • 2014 – E2 World Enduro Championship with Pela Renet


  • 2005 – Gérald Delepine, SM1 World Supermoto Championship
  • 2007 – Adrien Chareyre, SM1 World Supermoto Championship
  • 2007 – Gérald Delepine, SM2 World Supermoto Championship
  • 2008 – Adrien Chareyre, SM2 World Supermoto Championship
  • 2009 – Adrien Chareyre, SM2 World Supermoto Championship

Moto3 results

Year Rider QAT
United States
United States
Czech Republic
United Kingdom
San Marino
Valencian Community
Pts Position Cons
2014 United Kingdom Danny Kent 13 8 9 11 13 15 17 8 5 12 3 9 12 3 6 20 4 4 129 8th 4th
Finland Niklas Ajo 26 14 8 10 Ret 5 8 Ret Ret 12 10 Ret 25 Ret 9 Ret Ret 52 15th
2015 Spain Isaac Viñales 6 9 3 11 7 8 7 Ret 18 115 9th 4th
Italy Lorenzo Dalla Porta 28 19 8 11 24 24 Ret 16 22 13 25th
Spain María Herrera 22 17 Ret Ret 19 21 15 Ret Ret 24 23 Ret 24 13 26 11 18 21 9 29th

Automobile manufacturing

Toward the end of World War II, a team comprising Bengt Magnusson (head of R&D), Stig Tham (engineer), Calle Heimdal (engine designer) and Birger Johansson investigated manufacture of a small, simple, inexpensive car. The design looked similar to the Saab 92, but with three wheels (two front, one back), and an unusual split rear window. According to some sources the similarities with the Saab 92 may have had something to do with Sixten Sason working as designer at Husqvarna. A prototype was built in 1943, powered by a 20 hp (15 kW) two-cylinder 500 cc DKW motorcycle engine with chain drive to the rear wheel. The wheels came from a Fiat 500. The project was cancelled in 1944, and the prototype was scrapped at the end of the 1950s.

Bicycle manufacturing

Husqvarna coaster brake

Husqvarna is also prominent in Swedish bicycle history.[9] They have been one of the Swedish military bicycle manufacturers. Husqvarna's Novo hub competed well with imports, but bicycle manufacturing was discontinued in the early 1960s.[10]


Enduro. Husqvarna WR250 from 1996
Husqvarna WR125




See also


  1. 1 2 3 Walker, Mick. Motorcycle: Evolution, Design, Passion. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Valtimore. p. 56. ISBN 978-0-8018-8530-3.
  2. Group, Husqvarna. "History - Husqvarna Construction Products". Retrieved 2016-10-28.
  3. Cathcart, Alan (May–June 2012). Historic Racer: Riding Sammy Miller's 1934 Husqvarna 500 GP Racer. Motorcycle Classics. pp. 46–51.
  4. Cathcart, Alan. Historic Racer: Riding Sammy Miller's 1934 Husqvarna 500 GP Racer. Motorcycle Classics.
  5. BMW Buys Husqvarna From MV Agusta retrieved on September 30, 2007
  6. Ash, Kevin (13 November 2011), "Husqvarna to emulate MINI in BMW stable; The Swedish/Italian manufacturer's new boss explains how the brand will sit in BMW's two-wheeled portfolio", The Daily Telegraph, retrieved 2011-11-13
  7. "A historic reunion – two become one again!".
  8. "Husqvarna and Husaberg Reunited". 2013-09-27. Retrieved 2014-02-12.
  9. "Swedish bicycle history". Retrieved 2011-06-05.
  10. Ake Stenqvist. "A small history of Bicycles in SWEDEN". Retrieved 2011-06-05.

External links

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