Nov 14, 2008

The 2009 Husaberg FE 450 Gas Tank?

OK, by now you can tell that west coast dual sport loves the new 'Berg. Besides the fact that the Crank Location is 4 inches higher and 6 inches rearward than last years already relocated and redesigned engine, the bike is revolutionary both for stree and dirt. The cylinder lays flat ala boxer allowing the single cylinder roon for a new airbox/tank/fuel injection system. The rear subframe is an all plastic unit, making it lighter and also allowing the posibility to mold any number of mounting scenarios required for the electronics. Brilliant!
The only problem from the Swedes (although Husaberg is owned by KTM)is that yes...the bike is red sticker. Where can you ride year round in AMERICA with a red sticker? My local dealer; Fator's KTM Suzuki, here in Redding Ca took delivery of the 450's last week and i had a chance to chat with the owner, Craig Fator as to the reasoning behind the lack of green sticker status and/or the non dual sportability of the mighty blue and yellow ride. Craig explained that "it has something to do with the gas tank and the inablility to get it DOT approved, somithing about it not being cost effective". Cost Effectiveness aside, if this bike had a green sticker, it would make it dual sportable in many states and perhaps would have resulted in an additional Hundreds of Thousands Dollars of increased income at a time when even a hundred units can make or break a project like the FE 450.

One thing in question that isn't really covered in any of the reviews you have to stand up to ride it? The 'Berg has a "linkless" suspension like the KTM's and in order to go real fast, you have to stand up to make it track.
After reading the various reveiws on the FE 450 (being a nobody and not being able to actually test the bike)it sound like a shoe-in for bike of the year. Also in the line-up, a 570 - how perfect is that for a two day 500 miler?

Just my opinion. Perhaps the Husaberg HQ is just a testbed for KTM to glean new innovative tech and turn it orange. One thing is for sure, if you're thinking about a Dual Sport in '09 the Beta is probably your best bet.

Let's run it down:

Honda - fuel injected - who cares, it's a Honda, your top end won't last a season if you really ride.

Suzuki - you've got to be kidding, a 250 or a pig or a bigger pig? not

Yamaha - a good choice, the WR is reliable and a work horse

Kawasaki - KLX? it's more of a race bike and very uncomfortable

Aprilia - Don't know about you but i didn't graduate from Davis as an Ortodontist.

BMW - I'm on the fence about reliability - great design and goemetry, still needs suspension upgrades by the looks of it.

That leaves the Beta, they took a great, reliable bike and made it better by adding a linkage in the rear and upgrading the fork to the Shiver and also the rear shock to an Ohlin. And by keeping the already reliable KTM motor, it's bulletproof and very rideable.