Saturday, November 1, 2014

Husqvarna Motorcycles


Husqvarna MotorcyclesHusqvarna Motorcycles, a subsidiary of BMW, is a company manufacturing motocross, enduro and supermoto motorcycles.

The company began producing motorcycles in 1903 at Huskvarna, Sweden as a branch of the Husqvarna armament firm which had supplied the Swedish army with rifles since 1689.

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As with many motorcycle manufacturers, Husqvarna first began producing bicycles in the late 19th century. In 1903, they made the jump to motorcycle manufacturing. 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 more well known for producing world championship winning motocross and enduro bikes. 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 they were a dominant force in the motocross world, winning 14 Motocross world championships in the 125 cc, 250 cc and 500 cc divisions and 24 enduro world championships.

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”, are now 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 was purchased by BMW for a reported 93 million euros. BMW Motorrad plans to continue operating Husqvarna Motorcycles as a separate enterprise. All development, sales and production activities, as well as the current workforce, have remained in place at its present location at Varese.

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