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This year’s Dirt Rider Torture Test was set it up like a screening for a reality TV show: Bring what you have and prepare for whatever happens. The idea was to show up at the Torture Test with the best all-around, one-bike-does-it-all off-road dirt bike, with no guidelines or requirements from our side. It was wide open, but everyone knew going in that it would be tough to make the cut to get into the final group of bikes you see in the magazine. Of course, they didn’t all make it to the pages of Dirt Rider. Some missed out ever so slightly, some by a longer ways. This is a full test of one of the bikes that missed the final cut. The competition was tough but lurking in this field of bikes you can likely find an example of the perfect bike that fits your needs, or learn what other riders or people in the industry think is the best bike in the whole world. For the people and companies that built each of these bikes, it was the best bike they could deliver.-Jimmy Lewis, Editor Dirt Rider MagazineDirt Rider Post Torture Evaluation:The best all-around bike because:
If you’re interested in all out speed and the unbeatable stability of an open-class bike the Zip-Ty Racing TXC450 is all you. It’s got more go than show and it has quite a bit of show! But it isn’t all top-speed. The bike is precisely wonderful and well-mannered in the tightest of trails. Traditional-feeling four-stroke chug is an effective tool. Add in the increased presence of the Husky brand in the states, some serious contingency bucks and a stellar history and you’ve got a race bike that just might fit your mold. Ty Davis brought a showcase to this year’s Torture Test and it’s a worthy display of what he knows about hauling ass.Not the best all-around bike because:
The Husky’s aged design holds it back in a few key areas most centered on rider comfort and confidence. The front end suffers in this type of comparison with almost all test riders commenting on stiffness and rigidity on the track and trail and overall bike heaviness. Also drawing complaints is increased vibration throughout the chassis. That was enough to keep it out of the top six.
Dirt Rider Says:
Husqvarna is making a big push in the United States. As part of their racing effort they’ve teamed up with Zip-Ty Racing to attack the vast expanses of western off-road. Wide open spaces and plentiful sharp and hard obstacles await these bikes every weekend as Ty and his rowdy crew of racing hooligans goes all out. These bikes are built for one thing: To survive and shine in this chaotic world.As such, the list of modifications applied to this bike is Ty-approved and often Ty-applied and Ty-designed. There’s a reason his company sells off-road parts you see featured on most off-road racing teams’ bikes. Ty is also one of few race team owners/racers that can and does rebuild every part of the machine himself (including total suspension revalves). In fact, he’s one of a very few race team owners/racers in general.In all his racing endeavors Ty’s experience in improving stock machinery may be needed now more than ever. With all it’s endearing qualities (tractable smooth power, capable transmission ratios, anchored straight-line stability and high-quality control components) the modern day Husqvarna is a couple years behind the class leaders in research and development. Chassis rigidity, suspension compliance and reducing the heavy weight feel top the list of things riders often want to improve.The Zip-Ty crew definitely enhanced the Husky’s strong points. In fact, in all-out top speed this Husky is amazing. And the stability up there is great, too. The bike out-accelerated our entire field of Torture Test bikes from MX bikes to trail hounds. It is bomb-run ready and its internal motor magic is churning perfectly.Amazingly, the bike also turns like crazy in tight trails. Just a light pull on the bar initiates the corner and the bike happily follows. The still feels heavy but the suspension performance isn’t bad at all, and most of the time it is supple and controlled while going all out or creeping through trees. It seems the bike has the high and low speed realms handled, but what about the middle?In the middle is where the Husky stumbles a little. For instance, inside the microenvironment of a motocross track (with acceleration, braking, acceleration drills going off lap after lap) or the timed-element of a high-speed special test the big 450′s chassis starts to fight back. The fork becomes harsh and the front end gets in-your-face and the flex in the frame seems to be zero. It starts to deflect out of the stroke and just isn’t happy confronting a barrage of bumps. Brake components can start to heat up and lose their peak performance. And with more gear shifting from high-revs to low, the bike’s tendency to shake rears its vibrating head.Not all is lost, though. If your trails flow or your open desert runs are wide, you’ll easily find a happy spot in the rpm to keep the chassis balanced and the vibrations down. Bump compliance will never be on par with the best offerings from the other brands but slow speed gnarly trail riding is handled nicely by the smooth power and Zip-Ty modified suspension components, just find a gear and stick with it. The bike will chug and go. It also fits larger riders well and is more than comfortable for average-sized guys.
–Jesse ZieglerThis bike was WAY better than I thought it was mostly because the motor was so smooth and easy to use, just forget about the clutch and ride. The handling was mellow and easy to feel comfortable on even though the bike was a little heavy. One of my favorites.
-Jimmy Lewis in Extreme EnduroTy rode it first admitting it was jetted to rich then I rode it. Latter Ty discovered that the choke was on & that is why it felt like the air filter was clogged, but the motor was powerful on top & the over all feel was a bit harsh but handled the high speed sections with out deflecting off the chop. It cornered easily with a point and shoot feel. On the trail the choke was off and what a big difference! The motor made good low rpm power, traction was great but the over all feel of the bike was a little tiring to ride.
-Dave Donatoni Zip-Ty’s Husky 450 has great straight-line stability. Its roll-on power was smooth with a nice, long mid-range, but it fell flat up on top. The bike had to be backed in more in corners than trying to front-end-steer this bike. Fork was soft under heavy braking, but could soak up smaller chop really well. The shock seemed like it moved a little too much for me, but I still logged one of my fastest times aboard this bike.
–Kris KeeferThe front end on the husky felt rigid but it still turned well while sitting down in the trail. The motor was very strong and pulled really hard from bottom to top, it was great for a wide open track. The suspension was all over the place-deflecting off of bumps and I couldn’t get it to calm down.
-Chris BarrettAs a desert guy who occasionally goes to the track this was my glass slipper. The bike handled excellent, was well mannered in the bumpy stuff and was ridiculously fast. It did have some issues that need to be addressed-mainly the rigid front end and some bad vibrations.
-Ryan HannaTy, are you sure this isn’t a 510?-Jimmy Lewis after radar run.