GOOD OLD TIMES BLOG – 1961-70: BY A WHISPER

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THIS PRESS RELEASE HAS 17 MORE IMAGES OF HUSQVARNA HISTORY from their Good Old Times Blog
THIS PRESS RELEASE HAS 17 MORE IMAGES OF HUSQVARNA HISTORY

In this issue of the Husqvarna Good Old Times Blog: During a time when their intrepid riders were winning world motocross titles, Husqvarna board of directors had a limited understanding of the potential of motorcycling. The Good Old Times were over.

With production of the brand’s ‘standard’ motorcycles woefully low, a chance meeting between Swedish motorcycle dealer Stig Ericson and US Bike salesman Edison Dye ultimately led to a significant upturn in the fortunes of the Swedish company and its pioneering machines.

An excerpt from this issue of the blog:

By Kenneth Olausson

After 1960 things looked gloomy for Husqvarna. The R&D department was in idle mode and the factory had given up hope and interest on their motorcycle division. The street-Huskys didn’t sell as the best days of the Silver Arrow were gone. No new products lay in the pipeline and the market was under the weather for the Swedes. It was time to ride out a tropical storm.

In the production statistics we can see that the factory only churned out 423 units in the year of 1961. The Silver Arrow street machines had stopped selling by now and the mopeds also showed a deep decline in output. The overall sales dip was a stunning 85 percent compared to the successful introduction period of the Silver Arrow some years back. The forecasts for the future were pessimistic and the board of directors contemplated giving up the twowheel division entirely. A last-minute decision gave it another try, much due to the successful history of the company’s motorcycle adventures from 1903. But future manufacturing would be performed on a very low scale.

After having scored motocross success both in 1959 and in 1960 with two championship titles, 1961 proved to be disastrous for Husqvarna with limited results in motocross. Especially, the 250cc bikes were inferior on the market while the bigbore beast still showed a competitive potential. After Torsten Hallman’s first 250cc world title in 1962, sales of motocross machines picked up in the following year. Husqvarna made a nice replica and sold a hundred units of this bike, mainly in Sweden, Norway and Finland. We were now in the beginning of 1963 when the replicas hit the market and the demand for this machine was higher than expected. The newcomer was by far the best and most competitive motocross product for sale on the market. As there also were substantial leftovers from the production of the Silver Arrow, sales continued with this unit until 1965, when street machines were abandoned for good. At least, that was the thinking from the management in Huskvarna.

Read more about Husqvarna’s motorcycle history in their blog here.