2020 401 differences from 2018/2019


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    So….I bought a 2019 Vit 401 and a 2020 Svart 401 to develop parts for them and am running into some surprising differences between them. The 2019 I have is an Austrian built bike, the 2020 built in India.

    1. Entire exhuast configuration (obviously). Even the muffler uses a different flange. 2020 can be converted to 2019 if you replace everything from the cylinder head back. Actual muffler hanger point is the same between both, so passenger peg delete works fine on both.

    2. All body, including tank cover sides and center has a different spacing. You can not mount a earlier body on a 2020. Not even the tank luggage rack. This was quite surprising, and begged the question..Why? Do not buy the alternate body panels or blank body panels if you want to put them on the 2020. They will not fit.

    3. 2020 has a metal gas tank, 2019 plastic

    4. foot pegs use a very nice and precise splined pin on the 2019, 2020 is a pretty slop drop in pin with just a washer and cotter pin.

    5. rear luggage rack from 2019 svart will not fit a 2020 (because of the longer subframe).

    6. All hardware on the 2019 is torx, all 2020 is allen head and not as nice hardware

    7. swingarm and cylinder head on 2019 is nicely finished, 2020 is pretty thickly painted or powdercoated black, and not nearly as nice.

    8. Thing like the airbox cover say KTM on the 2019…not so on the 2020.

    9. Handlebars on the 2020 have a glued in threaded plug in the end, making mirror choices a little more limited. 2019 is hollow, with very nicely machined inserts.

    10. Many of the screw threads in the 2020 are pretty tight/rough, not threaded well. Rubber nutserts used on the gauge cluster were totally overtorqed and destroyed, side panel rear fixing grommet was very sloppy on one side. Nearly every bolt on the 2020 has a witness paint mark on it showing it was “torqued” correctly (kinda feels like someone was having their homework graded). Many pieces of the mounting hardware under the seat are very nicely machined on the 2019, 2020 has just basic bolts and washers. Hardware holding the muffler on is nicer on the 2019 than the 2020.

    11. Little things like the triangle plastic cover over the blinker relay under the headstalk are different on the 2020 and the plastic has very sharp edges on the 2020. It will cut you, if you don’t pay attention.

    Overall the fit and finish of the 2019 is more similar to a fine Swiss watch. A truly thoughtfully assembled piece of machinery with no expense spared on bits and pieces and incredible attention to detail. The 2020 is just a “standard” bike and what you would expect, nothing more, nothing less. If you didn’t spend a lot of time with your hands working with both the early and late bikes, you would never know the difference.

    There are very nice features on the 2020 that nearly or entirely make up for the other differences. The 2020 adjustable dampers alone are incredible and the fit and finish on the WP parts is flawless. The black 2020 spoked wheels and black muffler details on the 2020 are very nicely  done.

    The purist or collector side of me loves the 2019. If I were to just sit and look at the bike instead of ride it, the 2019 is it, hands down. The realist in me says that anyone intending to actually ride the bike a lot will find great advantage in the 2020. From 1 foot away, the fit and finish of both bikes is equal on both bikes. I have found no real flaws on either bike, and am completely satisfied with the build quality on both. Only until you get things under a microscope will you notice the exceptional quality of the 2019. In a parking lot or going down the road, both bikes will gather a ton of attention.

    Just my opinion, but the 2020 graphics and paint finish are a bit more high end looking than the earlier bikes. More grown up and refined, but also a bit more subdued. The finish seems to be a bit tougher as well.


    Great info!  Thanks for taking the time to list it all out like this.  Sounds like the price drop was attributed to savings in manufacturing and parts in some areas.


    Dude, great job assembling this information. Thanks


    I saw some pics of the 2020 bikes and it looks like the ABS rings that attach to the brake discs are silver colored vs the 2019 black color.

    Is this a painted silver color or a bare metal?

    Perhaps an improvement for ABS signal?


    Do you think the plastic rear indicator mounts from the 2020 model will fit on the earlier years?

    I am almost certain that they will as the manufacturer of the tail tidy I purchased has said it will fit on all model years so the mounting holes in the frame must be identical. I compared a 2020 model to my own and the holes in the plastic appear to be the same too. The staff at the local dealer said they had no idea and didn’t offer to check for me. The wiring ins’t an issue as I have already re routed the wiring harness to the tail tidy and indicators are a pretty standard fitment type, it would make no sense for them to alter the front parts as well.

    These are the parts I am referring to and would need to purchase; https://sparepartsfinder.husqvarna-motorcycles.com/ SVARTPILEN 401 2020 <2020><EU><F1303T5> Lighting System

    28 – 28114236010 – Blinkerholder tail right IN – x 1
    29 – 28114236020 – Blinkercover tail right IN – x 1
    30 – 28114235010 – Blinkerholder tail left IN – x 1
    31 – 28114235020 – Blinkercover tail left IN – x 1
    32 – J081040121 – CROSS PAN SCREW 4X12 PH – x 2
    33 – 28103002040 – Bushing turn signal bracket – x 4
    34 – J031080206 – Roundhead screw, M8x20 – x 4

    The reason for this is that mounting the indicators so low down was simply dangerous design. A lot of car drivers either cannot see them or just choose not to look. I already moved mine to a tail tidy but would prefer them on the body because it looks neater. I don’t like the wiring which is too bulky to fit through the hole properly and I may wish to re fit rear mudguard again in winter. There is also a potential issue of a gap right where the air intake is. If you are riding on wet and gritty roads a significant amount of water and dirt could find its way into the air-filter and i imagine the standard paper one could then split.


    • This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by mrlm.


    I used the Wunderkind rear signals (found the name on the forum).  They retain the tidy look on the bike and work very well.


    I would prefer to keep closer to standard and personally I think the 2020 bike is exactly how it should have looked anyway. Some indicators I have seen would not pass UK MoT tests due to the placement width. Those Wunderkind ones look like they might just be Ok but even with Husqvarna excessive pricing all I really need are four small pieces of plastic, I would be shocked if that costs me £100.

    If I put them on the back I would have to swap the front ones as well, it would annoy me with them being different.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by mrlm.

    “Rubber nutserts used on the gauge cluster were totally overtorqed and destroyed”

    This is true on my 2020 Svartpilen. The bolt on the right side (one of the four you need to remove to put on the headlight protector) just turns forever, in either direction. You can pull it out much of the way with pliers but then it snaps back in like a rubber band. I’m hesitant to yank it out forcibly since I’m worried I’ll never get the new bolt to stay in once the headlight protector is fitted.



    So was with mine. It kept loosening and that protector is quite a rattler when loose. It is so annoying. I was able to buy a replacement blind plug nut but haven’t installed them yet. No time for my bike right now.

    Also, another ugly difference between ‘19 & ‘20 is the crossbar. The new crossbar is welded. Although the weld bead is perfect, I think the clamped version looks better. But that is ok, I might soon replace them because I want a lesser sweep angle. Any suggestions folks?

    Anybody here with 2020 pilens feels like driving a knockoff version of the Austrian build? It’s $2000 less but 95% look a like. I haven’t seen the Austrian version in person but looking at the small things like on nuts and bolts, wirings, spacings on clamps, I can’t help  thinking about the saying “you get what you pay for” in terms of quality.



    1967 R50-2

    I ride a 2020. It’s no knockoff. I think it is a serious upgrade just for the suspension if nothing else. I think the factory was probably addressing feedback from the markets with some of these changes.

    I’m not knocking The pre-20s. I considered getting one, they looked great… but the 2020 swayed me.

    1. Things like Allen fasteners vs torx means nothing to me.  One isn’t more premium than the other, it’s likely just availability from a local supplier in India, one which may already have had an existing contract. I don’t have a preference.

    2. I was completely sold on the adjustable suspension. This is a massive plus that would normally send the price up, rather than down.  I looked at at 19, and realized that my first upgrade was going to be the suspension. … so the WP Apex adjustable suspension made it a no brainer.

    3.  The rear grab handle is incredibly useful. I use it ALL the time. Whenever I need to back it into or out if a tight spot.

    4. The glued in plug in the handlebar can be pulled out relatively easily, but I just screwed my husky bar end mirrors right into it. … without the complicated multi piece expander. Which suggests to me that it was a factory decision to simplify accessory installation. I don’t have the 2020 instructions…. so don’t attempt at home folks! We’ll See when the 2020 accessories become more available.

    5.  The rerouted exhaust seems to be related to the extra catalyst necessary to meet emissions. Inevitable. What’s different about the duke 390 exhaust that it keeps the same routing? Not sure. Would have to inspect both. The radiators are not the same so clearly there are some clearance and probably tuning differences. That said, I do like the in frame LOOK better. The under body routing is STRAIGHTER… no hairpin turn coming right out of the head. Should be efficiencies there in terms of flow.

    6. The finely finned fasteners for the foot peg on the 19s is a mistake in my opinion. I didn’t know they had them until mentioned above. My old bikes have similar and once they get a little corroded, they are a pain to deal with. Maybe the factory had recognized this and simplified? My op.

    7.  The lengthened body was obviously designed to give the passenger more room. In some markets two up is EXTREMELY important. India is one of these markets… so home market for the bike and LARGEST motorcycle market in the world. Therefore an absolutely necessary upgrade.

    8. Does the 2020 look better? Subjective of course. However I don’t think the fluorescent highlight on the early models has aged well. My OP only. Who knows? In 5 years I may think the silver highlights in the 2020 look cold and dull.

    9.$2000 is A MASSIVE price cut in a bike that only cost about $8k. … plus a premium adjustable suspension?? This is an awesome bike!!!

    10. See #9


    • This reply was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by 1967 R50-2.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by 1967 R50-2.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by 1967 R50-2.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by 1967 R50-2.

    You forgot about the quickshifter too. 2020s have it, earlier bikes don’t.


    I think he has a fair points in favor since he has both models and can compare them meticulously. Also made in “Austria” is enough point. Well at least for me. But to give more arguments.

    Some accesories wont fit on the 2020 due to the extended subframe. Like the rear rack that looks like the concept model. And adds more options to wrap something in a safe way to the bike.

    Also there are not aftermarket exhaust systems for 2020 due to the change of route. This change also make it less desirable for offroad purpose, having the catalytic converter under the bike. I would think it have little bit of less clearence under. For examp, in 2018-2019 there are plenty of options for aftermarket systems, even there is an option for high mount that make it shorter route, flow and better offroad capabilty for obvious reasons.

    And last point Svartpilen means black arrow so the black decals are for a reason not only for esthetics is the personality of the bike and the whole purpose of his name. Dont know why they went to gray. For me it looks better with the original black with yellow stripes it gives a cyber punk vibe to the bike but that is just a matter of taste and preference.

    2020 model are great, but these details make the 2018/2019 a more desirable model. And overall a better bike for me.

    Daniel Taylor

    And everyone keeps saying the new one has a Quickshift- the 2018 also does- ive had 2 of these and both had the QS.


    the only difference i see is the 2020 has adjustable front forks- but im pretty happy with the standared set up so point upgrading there.


    The 701 always had a quick shifter, the 401 did not. I can clutch less shift with my 2019 401 but it is not a quick shifter.


    This thread might be dead, but I’ll try anyways, will the driver’s rear sets of the 2019 fit in the 2020/21?

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