FIRST, I HAD TO FLY
11,000 MILES ROUND TRIP.
SECOND, EVERY MINUTE
IN SWEDEN WOULD BE
SPENT ON A MOTORCYCLE.
THIRD, I ONLY HAD
36 HOURS TO GET THE
STEFAN PIERER’S PLAN TO REVIVE
HUSQVARNA IS BASED ON THE AUTOMOBILE
BUSINESS MODEL, WHERE ONE CAR
COMPANY USES SHARED TECHNOLOGY
TO BUILD SEVERAL BRANDS.
sibility of his investment firm buying Husky—for a very
good price. Pierer jumped at the opportunity.
With Husqvarna as a sister company to KTM, Pierer
believes that Husqvarna will soon be selling 15,000
offroad bikes a year, which is like climbing from the
Marianas Trench to the top of Mount Everest. Pierer’s
plan to revive Husqvarna is based on the automobile
business model, where one car company uses shared
technology and parts to build several brands. For
example, General Motors owns Chevrolet, Buick,
Cadillac and GMC. What they learn from one brand,
they apply to the other brands. Stefan Pierer thinks the
same business model can be applied to dirt bikes—and
he wants to prove it with KTM and Husqvarna.
When I showed up at the famous Uddevalla track
the next morning, there were 22 machines lined up
ready to do some damage. The bikes ranged from
two-stroke 125s to big 501 four-stroke thumpers.
Husqvarna had flown in both TE Enduro and TC moto-
cross bikes for me to ride, not just on the GP track, but
on nine miles of offroad trails.
As I approached my first victim for the day, I couldn’t
help but notice the similarities between the Husqvarnas
and KTMs. Okay, I knew even before I left my house
for the airport that the Huskys were going to be
rebadged KTMs, but I had hoped that there would be
more to it than that. Unfortunately, the more I inspected the bikes, the more I realized that the Husqvarnas
were just KTMs in Husky cladding. The only visual differences were the white plastic and polyamide rear subframe, which they borrowed in spirit from the Husaberg
brand and will be sold as a third KTM-owned brand in
2014 before being phased out in 2015). Looks can be