Lemberg Law is investigating complaints regarding shifting issues with the 2020 Husqvarna Svartpilen 701. Vehicle owners are reporting to the NHTSA that their bikes slip into false neutral when on the road.
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Are there problems with shifting in the Husqvarna Svartpilen 701?
Yes, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has received consumer complaints that their bikes slip out of gear into what they describe as a “false neutral.” There are also complaints about faulty clutch slaves that may be linked to the false neutral shift problem.
On October 1, 2021, Husqvarna Motorcycles North America, Inc. issued a technical bulletin HTB2110, alerting dealers to a defect that relates to motor vehicle safety with certain 2018, 2019, and 2020 motorcycles including Svartpilen 701, Vitpilen 701, and both the 701 Enduro and Supermoto.
The NHTSA report, ID Number: 10203682, states that damage to the bellow-style gasket may affect the function of the clutch slave cylinder. “This could result in the rider noticing a change in shifting behavior and the clutch becoming inoperable to the point where the clutch will not disengage when the clutch lever is pulled in.”
The technical report warns that if the clutch slave cylinder is impaired “this may prevent the rider from shifting the motorcycle in a normal manner,” This, in turn, “may make it difficult to operate the motorcycle or difficult to stop or start which could cause injury to the rider or others and/or damage to property.”
An interesting observation: In February 2021, 9 months before they issued this particular technical bulletin, Husqvarna announced it was discontinuing both the Vitpilen and Svartpilen 701 after only 2.5 years of production.
What Problems are Husqvarna Svartpilen 701 Owners Experiencing?
The primary shift problem 2020 Husqvarna Svartpilen 701 owners are experiencing is the bike slipping out of gear into a false neutral.
An owner from Oregon States:
“Husqvarna has a widely known issue (to them and owners) for false neutrals in the gearbox on the 701 and 401 Svartpilens and Vitpilens. In the 1,500 miles I have owned this motorcycle, I have had 8-10 false neutral circumstances while in operation, cornering. This has mostly taken place when upshifting from 4th to 5th or 5th to 6th gears. Very dangerous. I have advised KTM and given them a spreadsheet of 19 other people (owners) willing to speak with them as the parent organization for Husky. I have received no information that this is being seriously evaluated as a dangerous engineering issue to be remedied.”
Another owner from Oregon filed a complaint on the NHTSA website stating:
“KTM, as the parent company of Husqvarna, has continued to put models on the road with problematic clutch slaves from Magura as the OEM clutch slave. This part is known to be a significant engineering problem and results in (a) loss of clutch functionality on these motorcycles while in operation. That is what happened to me Friday, July 16th in Redmond, Oregon in traffic. Fortunately, I was able to get the vehicle, very luckily, out of traffic after the power train completely failed with a failed clutch slave at that time.”
Owners on Husqvarna Svartpilen 701 forums have similar complaints:
Most say the motorcycle slips out of 5th gear under acceleration.
“Periodically, under medium/hard acceleration, the bike will slip out of 5th into a false neutral. It makes a terrible sound when this happens. The mechanic at the dealership in Langley, BC, Canada took a look at it. He was able to replicate the issue I was having on my bike and another one they had there waiting to be picked up. I was told that they saw nothing wrong with the bike mechanically, and it may be an ergonomic issue, i.e. I’m not shifting hard enough into 5th.”
“I’ve had the same issue multiple times on mine as well and not just in 5th. It’s embarrassing as hell at the track with your buddies watching. So here is the condition it happens in: Throttle is wide open. You upshift. False Neutral or goes back down into lower gear.”
“Mine is slipping out of 6th gear when using the quick-shifter. This happened three times today under medium/hard acceleration.”
“I had a false neutral between 5th and 6th today.”
“Went out for a ride yesterday and this thing happened to me for the first time (3 times during the ride) on the 5th and the 6th. Very disturbing and dangerous if you are overtaking a car…”
Some owners maintain that the shift problem is caused by a faulty internal spring:
“I have had a lot of failed shifts from 5 to 6. It’s a PITA when overtaking, I adjusted the shifter lower thinking it was me… Watching the video I see it’s the spring.”
“I ordered and had fitted the spring from Pirate Racing. One month in and I have not experienced one slip at all. None. I used to frequently slip when changing (from) 5th to 6th at speed. Initially, I thought the shift lever was too high so I adjusted it down so that I used more force shifting up… The internal spring is the issue.
This owner highly recommends having the spring from Pirate Racing installed. This is a motorcycle repair shop in Hoffeld, Germany. His Husky-dealer mechanic fitted his, and he says: “I have all but forgotten about the slip issue and it has restored my confidence in the bike…”
A few owners on the Vitpilen forum want to know if Husqvarna will honor the warranty if they replace the spring with a shift spring from Pirate Racing.
What should you do if your Husqvarna Svartpilen 701 is experiencing false neutral shifting issues?
It is possible that your Husqvarna Svartpilen 701 is a lemon. Every year, automakers agree to thousands of settlements because of lemon cars. Allow our team to work on your lemon compensation at no cost to you. The law requires Husqvarna to pay the legal fees for your claim.
If your Husqvarna Svartpilen 701 is experiencing shifting issues, you may have a lemon. Complete our case evaluation form or call us at 877-795-3666
About the Author:
Brian Jones spent more than 20 years working as an ASE Certified Master Tech and Parts Specialist at multiple dealerships. Brian has become an authority in the industry, traveling across the country to consult for car dealerships and contributing his expertise as a writer for several major automotive publications. In his spare time, Brian enjoys working on pickup trucks, muscle cars, Jeeps and anything related to motorsports.