Svartpilen 401 as a second bike

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    Hello, fellow riders from everywhere in the world,
    I’m currently looking for a second bike for commuting.

    My main machine is the Yamaha Mt-09 Tracer (called FJ-09 in the USA) and I don’t want to replace it.
    I can go almost everywhere with it: I ride 30.000 Km/y, doing some road trips in Europe with friends (like 2500 km in a week) and using it every day to go to my Office.

    But I only have one complaint with it: It’s a big bike when it comes to filtering and sometimes, I’m a bit frustrated when a Vespa can go through the traffic when for me, the only choice is to be stuck behind a truck…
    That’s why I want a second bike.

    My commute consists of city driving (10km) and twisties in the countryside (25Km). I need something small to be able to lane split but something powerful enough to enjoy the curves when I’m out of the city. And after some searches on the web, I think I found the answer to all my questions: Svartpilen 401!
    This bike seems a tiny toy for grownup 😀 and the design is top-notch, but I still have some questions:

    -Do you think it’s a good choice for my needs?
    -What about reliability?
    -How many miles/kilometers are you able to do with a full tank of fuel?
    -Do you have recommended mods/parts?

    Hope you can help me 😉.



    Hi Marty,

    I’m not the most qualified to answer this but I think I can at least give you a little input. I’ve only had my Svartpilen 401 for a couple weeks now and it is my first street legal bike (only ridden dirt bikes before, 250-500cc).

    I bought the 401 as it seemed (And so far has met my expectations) as a perfect commuter bike. It’s light and nimble, can handle potholes and rough streets, and it feels happy to cruise at 65mph (100km per hour?). I weigh 265 lbs (120kg) and was worried that I might bog the bike down, but it feels very quick even with me on it. I have done some high speed up-hill turns and the bike seems to have plenty of power and handles well. Lane splitting is illegal where I’m at so I can’t speak to that, but I imagine it could handle that just fine (There are lots of test ride videos where I have seen plenty of lane splitting on the 401’s).

    I believe the 401s have around a 125 mile (200 km) range on a full tank (+/-), but I have yet to test this.


    So far my modifications have only been aesthetic (bar end mirrors, turn signal and licence plate relocate to remove the rear fender),  but I plan to do the bolt on cat-delete and new exhaust soon. So far to me, the svartpilen is a great light weight bike, but still has the power and can handle turns well. The seat high is nice and high (I’m 6′ 4″), and the rear suspension can be adjusted to raise or lower the seat a bit either way.  It is lots of fun, but doesn’t feel like a tiny bike for me, which was my main concern.


    Best of luck with your decision,


    – Jordan



    for what it’s worth :

    – I only do commute (108km each days) with my SP401, the only complain is the handlebar width.

    – If you are not afraid , you can easily do “interfile”

    – If i don’t go over 105km/h, i can reach 270 km with full tank. Going over 130 km/h will recude it to 220.

    – For the mods, it’s up to you ;-p

    – Except on highways, it’s really a pleasure to ride.




    Hey Marty,

    good idea 🙂

    I have a Svartpilen 401 for over a year, a Vespa S 125 for the short cruises, and was riding a Moto Guzzi T 850 T3 for 14 years, a BMW 850 GS for 4 years (and several others).

    The Svartpilen 401 is the perfect daily commuter; light in weight, easy to handle; a quick, sporty ride in the city.

    Has only 8,5 liters in tank, but I make nearly 280 km with one petrol stop (175 miles).

    The seat is hard, but o.k. for 30-50 km  a ride (good aftermarket solutions available like gel pads).  With the Puig windshield, U can easily drive 70 mph on a motorway, if needed.

    For me, it is the best (and good looking) motorbike on the planet, if it is “easy driving”.  There are some interesting after-market carrier solutions as well, if U need to store things; but it is no “travelling bike”at all  – if You want more “range” and comfort, consider a BMW F 850 GS (but that is more the double in price and would be near to your MT). Give it a go, bud.

    Cheers, Kyle


    Hi guys,
    Thank you so much for your answers.

    @Jordan, For sure I will do the same thing for the mirrors: I don’t like them, sticking out of the design. It’s so much more polish under the handlebar). But I don’t know if you can see anything …
    About the relocation of the license plate, I don’t think it’s legal in my country (France), I will check out, but yes, this will be much better.
    Cat-deletion seems mandatory too, for sound and weight I suppose.
    Is it possible to share a picture of your bike, Jordan?

    @Leo, relating to your link I suppose you are French too 😉. Your complaint is about the handlebar: Is it difficult to filtering because of the size/position?
    And wow, 108km/day it’s a big commuting trip :D. On such a daily trip, Do you get sore when you’re back home?

    @Kyle, 14 years with a Guzzi, my gosh 😀 : It’s all about love I suppose 😉. Is it the T3 from 1975 with the V-twin?
    Your description of the Svartpilen 401 is exactly what I’m looking for: light, easy to handle and sporty, and considering your experience with other bikes, I have the feeling that you understand what are my concerns for a second bike.
    You pointed out a topic that I forgot: Traveling with your stuff around town. I need to be able to transport a bag with a laptop and rain gears (pants and vest). I can take my helmet with me so, I don’t really need a top case (but it’s a nice item to have for sure). Will the standard luggage rack be able to support a backpack (without scratching the tank of course)? I will use a cargo net to keep it in place.

    Again, thanks a lot, folks, for your inputs, it’s a real pleasure to have this kind of community for such a special bike 😉.


    relating to your link I suppose you are French too 😉. Your complaint is about the handlebar: Is it difficult to filtering because of the size/position?
    And wow, 108km/day it’s a big commuting trip :D. On such a daily trip, Do you get sore when you’re back home?

    – Guidon pas adapté pour faire de l’inter-file sur le périf pour être précis. J’ai déjà tapé deux rétros alors que le reste passe sans soucis.

    (handlebar too large go on narrow space)

    – 54km par trajet mais presque 2h en transport et 45min en moto.

    ( 2 hour travel versus 45 minutes on my bike).

    – Pas de fatigue physique si je roule en dessous de 110 (le petit deflect-air Puig aide bien), mais le périf demande beaucoup d’attention 😉

    (Puig windshield is very effective if you stay below 110 km/h).


    • This reply was modified 2 years, 1 month ago by Léo78.

    Here’s mine. I think the bar end mirrors are a little safer as well and offer a better view behind. My biggest fear is being rear-ended by someone at a stop, so these help (And look much better.)

    Svartpilen401tail tidy 4


    @Jordan – I love those mirrors, I think they are exactly what I am looking for. Do you have a link to where you bought them? How hard was the instalation?

    Edit – I’ve been digging around, pretty sure those are the CRG hindsight, correct? question, did you also need to get the CRG Billet Internal Adapters ?

    Thanks man!

    – sorry to piggy back on your post, but based on what you are looking for, I am pretty sure you wouldn’t regret getting the svart. I’ve had mine for about a month, but it’s my first bike ever so I can’t really compare it to anything else.

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 1 month ago by SZ8888.

    @SZ8888 Thanks! They were very easy to install once I figured out how to make them fit. Here’s a photo of what I did and a link to the mirrors. Let me know if you have any other questions but it’s pretty simple.

  end mirror svartpilen fit


    Hey Marty,
    below I put a picture of my beloved MG T3, built 1975, re-imported from Italy in 1994, and with 40 Dellortos, open Lafranconi exhausts, 1.100 ccm engine and much more it was a terrific bike. Sold it in 2010 when my youngest son was borne…

    Concerning your question:
    U can store a bag pack on the tank rack, if it is not to big (no 17 inch Laptop).
    I have a water proof 8l bag for my rain jacket attached to the end (with two stripes under the passenger seat, easily accessible by a lock under the tank left side). My laptop etc. I have in a water proof bag pack, and that is on my back 🙂 – I find it more convenient that way.

    In the forum section here someone from Canada showed his solution with a luggage tail rack (from Italy); which fits very nicely to the Svartpilen design, to my mind.

    Cheers from Germany, Kyle



    I bought my Svartpilen 401 as a second bike for commuting and it has been a very good decision. My other bike is a Yamaha MT-07 which is lovely for those longer faster weekend rides out of town but I found it a bit too heavy and unwieldy for my congested city commute.

    My commute is only 15 miles each day total, and 40mph top speed only is advisable because there’s so many average speed cameras where I live 🙁 Lots of filtering (lane splitting) too, which the 401 handles just fine. It’s so much lighter and more nimble through the city than my MT-07.

    I have done lots of mods to my bike, which I want to post about just as soon as I can work out how to get this forum to accept my photos. Most important one was to replace the next-to-useless stock mirrors. They look daft, vibrate all the time making the vision blurred and they are too small and set too far inboard. I replaced them with a set of KTM Duke 390 ones, which have been much better, and I think they look better too.

    I love my 401, it’s my ideal city bike.

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