Sydney Motorcycle Convention. The smoky scent of new leather and the cool metallic tang of machinery hang heavy in the air. The hall stretches out in every direction, populated by sleek machines, racks of riding leathers, screens flashing various brand colours. Amongst them, the distinctive yellow and blue of Husqvarna. Husqvarna is one of the oldest bike brands on the block. Established in 1903, it pioneered road bikes in the 30s, and more recently the lightweight two-stroke motocross bikes. Anticipation thrummed through the onlookers gathered around the Husqvarna stage, as the time to unveil the new bikes drew nearer.
With aesthetics designed to attract both the familiar and untrained eye, the goal of the new collection was to appeal to both seasoned and novice cyclists alike. In keeping with this aim, the unveiling of the new bikes was paired with a competitive runway event, featuring designs from Whitehouse Institute of Design alumni. But before the fashion, the machines. After their dramatic unveiling, the gathered crowd learned a little about the two featured motorbikes.
The Vitpilen and Svartpilen. The Vitpilen is a sporty style with a powerful 701 engine and a stretched out riding style. The Svartpilen, on the other hand, is designed more for beginners. It features a 401 engine, with power more suitable for novice riders, as well as a more upright riding position, and motocross style handlebars– perfect for zipping around busy city streets. Even to an untrained eye, the bikes are beautiful to look at. Disposing of unnecessary metal, the stripped back design features exposed headlights and indicators. The aesthetic appeal has not been at the cost of functional safety however, both bikes featuring ABS brakes and slipper clutches (to prevent the rear wheel locking up if the rider accidentally changes down too many gears). Next, the models took over the stage, in blacks and yellows and blues, with the winning design being chosen by 2013 Miss World Australia, Erin Holland.
After the main event, everyone had a chance to get up close and admire the bikes, before dissipating to enjoy canapés on the sunny rooftop, and the rest of the convention.
Liv S. is a creature of warm weather and negronis. Her interests include conventions, trying new things, and triple utterances. Follow her frolics on @callmememphisjones.