Husqvarna is a Swedish motorcycle manufacturer, derived from the Husqvarna Vapenfabrik, (the Husqvarna weapons factory) which was founded in the 17th century by King Karl XL. Like many other motorcycle manufacturers, Husqvarna first produced bicycles, slowly moving on to motorized vehicles.
The first bike from the Swedish manufacturer came in 1903 and had a 1.2 horsepower engine. Although it wasn't quite popular, this model was about three times more expensive than a bicycle. A few years later, in 1907 and 1908, Husqvarna came up with more powerful models, managing to sell 14 units.
Husqvarna came up with their first 500cc engine in 1919 which was kept in production until 1932. Two years later, the company developed another engine, a 994cc one, but Husqvarna remained mostly focused on small bikes for the general public. These models had 175 and 250cc engines and thanks to them, the Swedish firm recorded an impressive success during the 20s and the early 30s.
After World War II , in 1946, Calle Heindahl became the Managing Director of Husqvarna. Under his management, two new models were launched, namely the Black Mill and the 1954 Red Mill. In 1953, Husqvarna continued the production of new motorcycles with the Drombagen bike, followed by the Silver Arrow two years later.
In 1962, Husqvarna stopped manufacturing bikes, re-entering the market in 1965, when it was mostly focused on motocross, cross country and enduro bikes. Electrolux bought Husqvarna in 1977, the whole motorcycle factory moving in Odeshog. Another major change in Husqvarna's ownership came in 1987, when Cagiva purchased the Swedish company.
During the 1990s, Husqvarna focused more on the Enduro World Championships, managing to win at least in every single category between 1990 and 2003. However, the 1997 season was extremely disappointing for the Swedish company because they were defeated in every possible category. The most recent win for a Husqvarna bike in motorsports was obtained in 2005 by Gerald Delepine who became the World Supermoto Champion riding a SMR660.