As the speeds pick up the Husaberg feels like it does not have the stability of a lot of other bikes, but it is a feeling more than a reality. The bike is compact and riders over six feet tall will really be scrunched on the FE making stability even more of an issue. But for those that fit, as you push the bike you start to realize that it goes straight just fine and it is still very active and precise handling at speed, just a whole lot lighter feeling and more flickable, hence that less than confident sensation till you get used to it. It is different that any other bike and most riders felt that the KTM would be a better choice for high speed work. Until a few of them spend a lot of time on the Husaberg and then they changed their opinion about higher speed riding and stability.Like we mentioned before, the suspension is good, but a lot more focused on a trail setting that anything that you’d want to go fast on a motocross track on. It is too soft there. The rear spring is on the light side for riders over 190 pounds and we had our preload cranked to get the proper ride height. Removing the shock to change preload is a bit of an issue, but it only takes three or four minutes. We also tried stiffer fork springs and then the setting turned more towards a KTM XC-style feel, stiffer and more track capable, but we wanted a matching shock spring now too. Overall the suspension performance is the best trail suspension most of us have ridden lately and we didn’t even need to mess with the clickers all that much.The other parts of the bike worth noting are the brakes which are KTM strong and really have great feel now too. The skid plate is brilliant and protects the underside just fine. The bike is narrow and thin, but it does bulge right at the lower side panel and you can feel it when getting back on the bike.The seat pops off by pulling a cord, the air filter, located in the center of the gas tank area, under the tongue of the seat is a tool-less affair. The bike can pump some motor oil into the air box if the engine is overfilled or if you flip the bike over. It will make the bike smoke and run a little funny if you get a lot of oil in there. Changing the single compartment motor oil is a double drain bolt deal, one has a screen filter and there is the typical mesh filter on the motor to keep the oil clean. We’ve got nearly 20-hours on our test bike now and it has been going perfect without as much as a fuss.Yes, we like this bike; yes it is the top performer in our 450 off-road shootout. The Husabergs have been decent bikes in the past with spotty reliability records, bikes known for a higher maintenance schedule for sure. Their handling was only appreciated by a few and sales never got thicker than a core group of riders willing to put up with the quirks to enjoy the magnificent motor the Bergs were carrying all along. But that is all going to change starting with this bike.Don’t ride one unless you have the cash or you will be thinking about the Husaberg every time you ride your other bike. And likely not in a good way.MSRP: $9498
Claimed Weight (dry): 250 lb.
Actual Weight (tank Full): 267 lb.
Seat Height: 37.4 in
Footpeg Height: 16.7 in
Ground Clearance: 13.0 in.
Street Legal (y/n): N
Fuel Capacity: 2.2 gal.
Manufacturer Website: www.husaberg.comAs a magazine test person I can separate my personal feelings about a machine and appreciate the strong points even when they don’t particularly mesh with my style. A case in point is this Husaberg 450. It is an incredible bike, and I have advised any rider who would listen to get a ride on one if possible, and to buy one if they could. I rode it for less than 50 feet before I realized that this was how FI should work, and that FI makes the engine superb. The handling is super nimble and belies the size and weight of the bike. Husaberg has certainly raised the bar. That being said, it doesn’t really work for me personally. I’ve never liked the intake moan under the tank, and this ‘Berg feels to small ergonomically for a rider my height. The Husaberg is a clear winner of this comparison, but for me it’s more like fourth on the list of bikes I would buy.
6’1″/225 lb./B rider
The Husaberg 450 had an overall super smooth and easy ride feel for me. The power delivery was easy to control with an almost under-power feel but during cornering and riding ruts the Husaberg would send you straight every time. This bike I feel would make a great Hair-scramble / Enduro bike with the current set up. The Husaberg fuel injection system was spot on with no hick-ups or misses now only if KTM could switch over. Overall I like the Husaberg and would own / race one with some minor changes for my style of WORCS races. One change would be a little more overall Power with an exhaust system perhaps and some gearing changes. Second would be the factory suspension is way to soft I hit the stoppers on both forks and shock numerous times riding the Moto track and feel this would carry over on off-road when a sand whoop section arose. I liked the feeling of the suspension just need a little more overall stiffer feel to soak up moto jumps and fast off-road chop. In comparing this bike to another the Husaberg 450 feels just like the KTM 400EXC just with fuel injection which is a huge plus. The Husaberg would make a great ISDE bike with little preparation just only need that secondary option of a kick starter.Jeff O’Leary/ 6ft 1in/ 172lb/ Regional / National Pro AAMy initial impression of the Husaberg 450 was a bit of mushy suspension. Now I am factoring in that no sag was set, and nothing was clicked. I weigh about 210 lbs so that could attribute to the overall suspension feel. The ergos were fine to me; the bike was comfortable as I began to ride it. It seemed like a good bike for trails but after 3rd gear it didn’t have anything left in so far as hit or motor. I am riding a punched out Suzuki 450 at home and it is a ripper. This bike was good on the tight Rynoland 2nd and 3rd gear twisty turns but I don’t think that it would be a good desert or grand prix bike. I was told that the Husaberg had a sensor and you had 3 available settings. I just ran it as it was set. This could have (I assume) been a major performance factor. I have heard many great things about this revolutionary bike but I just wasn’t feeling it. The brakes and the clutch worked very well but I had nothing to compare it to as it was the only test bike I rode. I could only compare it to my Suzuki. My Suzuki is far from stock in the motor department and I missed that available power. I rode it a bit and then I decided to ride Jerry Bernardo’s Honda CRF450X which is also stock but has a F2 jet kit in it. That bike was fun to ride also until I fried the clutch out in the woods.All in all I would say the Husaberg is a good bike, a bike that if you tweaked it here and there would be a great trail bike. In so far as racing the desert in Lucerne, I think I would rather ride a Honda XR650 than the Husaberg. If I had time to change the sensor settings with help I feel the bike possibly had more to offer. I just did not know how to assess it.“Burly” Bill Maxim
Apple Valley, CA