After our raving test of the ‘Berg 650 (April ’06), we were literally shaking in our boots when Husaberg representatives asked us if we wanted to throw the bike into our Long Haul fleet. We were shaking because we were sitting on the bike and it was idling. Yes, Husabergs are quirky and exclusive, and now we are going to find out for sure about their durability.Our vib’en good time on the bike started during our test. And yes, we will joke about the vibration till we’ve shaken every last clich out of us. There isn’t much to do when you cram such a giant piston inside such a small motor. But all of the riders became used to the vibes pretty easy; in fact, they are only bothersome when you really rev the bike, which seems to happen only when racing. The downfall is that the shakes have taken their toll in a number of ways. First in loosening the fuel screw. Then vibrating the bar-clamp mount bolts loose. The giant nut holding the primary gear was next, followed by one of the bolts holding the starter motor. Could we have caught this stuff if we checked these things more? Yes, but we’re not used to doing that. But the 650 is training us.With this bike you learn to change the oil every ride. There is very little in the motor (1 liter), and it gets hot and the motor actually uses a bit. Although the filters do a good job, it is just plain simple to change it often, especially considering what this bike costs in the first place. We are doing an oil filter about every three changes just to be safe. Another thing we are noticing is there isn’t much aftermarket stuff available for the Husaberg and that includes things like sprockets, skid plates, chains and brake pads. And even if parts from other bikes fit, as a lot of the stuff is the same as on a KTM, it isn’t listed as fitting. Plus, the specific stuff is so specialized that it is in demand and always on backorder.Even though we were being hard on the bike in our trail rides, we wanted to really throw a thrashing on it, so we entered it in the Six Hours of Glen Helen. Basic prep included removing the headlight lens (we’ve already broken one from roost) and mounting a set of Michelin tires, an M12 and an S12. We replaced the stock bar with a Fasst Company Flexx Bar for more comfort, zip-tied a cracked radiator shroud and signed up. The race was a muddy mess that turned into perfection by the end of the event. Together with Ryan Orr, I finished third overall and might have won it had we not suffered a flat tire, which we changed (not swapped wheels like some serious guys might have-we didn’t have a spare in the first place!), and that put us a lap down. We unlapped ourselves and got back in the game but never within striking distance of the lead. The ‘Berg surprised a lot of people by finishing and even more by running so strong the whole time.After that, it was time for some maintenance. The biggest issue was that it had used up most of its coolant from mud-clogged radiators. Second was this death-knock coming out of the motor. That was traced to the loose primary gear nut by Rick Bozarth at BOSS (www.husabergheadquarters.com). And the sprocket and chain were shot! We’d also eaten up another set of rear brake pads (I blame brake-dragger Orr).We replaced the broken radiator shroud and matched it with a fresh one on the other side and put on an MSR Hard Parts Z-ring chain mated with stock replacement sprockets. Now it’s back to more trail riding because I have a bunch of kids who don’t think an old guy on a Husaberg can keep up with them. I hate to make kids suffer, but they have no idea!Running Tally #1
Hours on Bike: 45
Sunline Pro Grip Kit: $16.95
Fasst Company Flexx Bar: $299Maintenance and Repairs: $565.10 (not including tires)
3 Radiator shrouds: $50.87 ea.
Clutch sidecover gasket: $22.77
2 Oil filters: $8.38 ea.
5 liters Silkolene Pro-4 Plus 10w50: $15.99 per liter
2 sets of rear brake pads: $39.88 ea.MSR Z-ring chain: $130.35
14T Front sprocket: $32.95
44T Rear sprocket: $49.95
Michelin M12, front tire: $85.22
Michelin S12, rear tire: $94.53