Husqvarna, an old and diverse manufacturing company in Sweden dating back to the 18th Century began to manufacture motorcycles in 1903.
Though never distributed in the United States, the 1928 Model 180 Husqvarna is an exceptionally well designed and detailed machine. Its features are on par with the V-Twin BSA Y13 from England and the J Model from Harley-Davidson, the Scout from Indian. Individual design elements make it a somewhat lighter weight machine, more in the European taste for the time. The tank is housed within top frame tubes as were American bikes of the era. Foot clutch and tank shift along with floorboards are conventional as well. The girder fork offers an interesting alternative springing design.
The year Husky got into motorcycles in Sweden was a big year for transportation breakthroughs in America. In 1903 William Harley and Arthur Davidson made their first running bike, the Wright brothers flew and Henry Ford made his first car. Husky, as we now refer to it, has roots in arms manufacture much like BSA and Royal Enfield. Their first bike used a small “clip on” engine, but driven by the requirements of Swedish government contracts, Husky began to make its own engines in 1918. The first engine from their new factory was similar to the 550cc side-valve v-twin in this motorcycle.
Like most car and motorcycle manufacturers of the time Husky believed racing could help with engineering advancing and had potential to provide positive publicity. Hiring some of the best riders available, the marque won Grand Prix road races in the 1930’s. But that decade was the end of the four-stroke Huskies and the company then focused on the development of lightweight two-stroke motorcycles. These would later prove to be extremely successful in motocross and enduro competition.
- Engine – Side-Valve 50 Degree V -Twin
- Bore & Stroke – 65mm x 75mm
- Displacement – 550cc’s
- Lubrication – Dry Sump/Hand Pump
- Valve-Train – Exposed Lifters & Pushrods
- Carburetion – Amal
- Ignition – Bosch Magneto
- Starting – Kick Lever
- Horsepower – 15
- Transmission – Tank Shift 4-Speed
- Clutch – Dry, Foot Operation
- Primary – Chain
- Final Drive – Chain w/ Lubricator
- Frame – Lugged / Steel Tubular
- Front Suspension – Dual Sprung Girder Fork
- Rear Suspension – Rigid w/ Sprung Seat
- Brakes – Band Type, Rear Only
- Wheels/Tires – 3.50 x 19 / 3.50 x 19
- Wheelbase – 59 Inches
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If you ever need a very early Suzuki for your collection please let me know. I have a 1958 SJK Colleda 125. As far as I can determine, it is the only one known to exist outside of Japan.