Anyone using a Husky FE501 for Moto & adventure rides?

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10/25/2020 12:05 PM

Considering buying ‘20 or ‘21 FE501 for mx & adventure use...is this a good bike to do both? Outside of suspension setup, can this engine be tuned for more power? The other alternative I’m considering is a CR450X or L. Thanks!

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10/25/2020 12:36 PM

I know a few guys with those and the KTM equivenlant that ride moto and off-road with them and have no complaints.

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1998 YZ250
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10/25/2020 2:06 PM

Or maybe a TE300i

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10/25/2020 2:35 PM

I run a CRF450L right now and I bought it simply because I did not want to deal with WP suspension. I rode it for about 400km before I threw on a Yosh system, and a Vortex ECU. I would not consider the bike against KTM or Husky without these mods.

I love the suspension, it is extremely versatile out of the box but I haven’t had it revalved so I’m sure it could be made much better. The engine is all mid range. I relate it to my previous KTM 350 EXCF with more meat all around. The brakes are not in the league of KTM. If you like to ride all in the low end of the power and short shift, the Honda is not for you. I came from a KTM 690R and wanted something more fun for Moto and single track. I enjoy the power delivery now as I find it more suited for MX and higher paced trails.

I would not consider going to a KTM or Husky after owning my Honda. Each to their own but for what I was looking for (fire roads/single track/Moto ability) this was the answer for me.

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10/25/2020 2:37 PM

I completely rebuilt a 07 crf450x that’s plated. I ride 90% single track with some big bear and some track when I take my son. It’s fun passing dudes and honking the horn.

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10/25/2020 3:04 PM

Joko wrote:

Considering buying ‘20 or ‘21 FE501 for mx & adventure use...is this a good bike to do both? Outside of suspension setup, can this engine be tuned for more power? The other alternative I’m considering is a CR450X or L. Thanks!

Regarding the engine: Yes, you can get good power out of it. Just a matter of taking off a few items (intake reeds, muffler baffles) and installing a new ECU (Vortex or GET).

The suspension needs help for MX. Pick your favorite suspension shop and let them do their thing.

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10/25/2020 7:58 PM

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10/25/2020 8:03 PM

Explorer fork isn’t great for Moto stock. Get ignition/ reed delete/ exhaust cap and pull the baffles and it’s a decent Moto bike.

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10/26/2020 10:05 AM

Any companies offering a more aggressive cam, maybe a hi comp piston?

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10/26/2020 10:14 AM

I'm so glad I live in Idaho and I can plate the XCW that doesn't come so choked up. I did not need to search for more power on my 500 laughing

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10/26/2020 10:26 AM
Edited Date/Time: 10/26/2020 10:33 AM

@joko - when you say "adventure" do you mean this kind of riding?

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Because to me that's adventure riding and I don't think the Husky/KTM 500 platform is the best for that. Now if you're talking about just general trail riding and off-road, than yes the Husky/KTM dual sport bikes are perfect for that and can also be ridden on tracks just fine.

I have ridden and raced my KTM 500 EXC in everything from technical single track to National Hare & Hounds and GP races. I had my suspension done by Kreft and it made a huge difference.

Do you specifically need a dual sport bike? If you simply need an off-road/MX hybrid (and not a street legal bike) there are better platforms like the KTM XC or XC-W or Husky FX and FE

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10/26/2020 10:44 AM

I have a 2017 KTM 500 exc-f that I have put thousands into. Recently I installed the Race Tech conversation kit with Gold Valves in the forks and revalved the shock with Gold Valves. I’ve been doing adventure riding, single track, dual sport gypsy tours, hill climbs and when I strip off the rack and all the extra stuff I rip the track! I can jump this bike just like a normal 450. It was a massive difference once I redid the suspension with Race Tech’s kit. It’s a blast to go anywhere you feel like and I’ve never had so much fun on a bike than this! The only thing I haven’t done is get the Vortex ECU and would like to try it but once I desmogged it and remapped it had so much power I went the other way and smoothed out the power so it likes to be lugged like a tractor. I run really tall gearing so when I have to hop on the highway or faster roads it’s never revved out and I love it that way! I’ve prepared it all summer to do long distances and I have everything I need in the second pic to get lost for months! Photo
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10/26/2020 11:59 AM

Joko wrote:

Any companies offering a more aggressive cam, maybe a hi comp piston?

I’m not sure these items are needed on the big 500. Yes it makes 40hp stock, but that’s totally due to the restrictors in place. Fully uncork it and it makes nearly 60hp.

I just went through all this on a dual sport Husky. If I had to do it over, I’d start with an FX450 and just swap the trans for the 6 speed. Honestly would have been easier than trying to make the FE moto worthy and having to deal with all the emissions garbage and xplor fork.

If your state allows you to plate offroad bikes, that’s what I’d do. But if you must start with an FE for street legal reasons, it can be done.

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10/26/2020 3:45 PM

IMO by trying to have one bike that does everything you end up with a bike that's a compromise at best in all situations. I tried it for a while with a CRF450X but ultimately was frustrated with how much of a tank it was for MX riding but still enjoyed it for desert and trail riding. I ended up finding a fair deal on a YZ125 to add to the fleet and now use that for track riding.

If you want suspension that's compliant and comfortable for off-road stuff it becomes too soft and unsafe for real track use. If you want aggressive, MX-style power it becomes difficult to ride on slower, tougher trails. Dual sport equipment is extra weight and more items to break in a tip over on the track. Gummy tires and mousses are good off road but not ideal for the track.

Now a counter argument could be, thanks to air forks and map switches, having multiple setups on one bike and changing between them is much easier than it used to be (even though EXC and FE/S models are spring fork and locked ECUs).

I also understand that its not always feasible to have multiple motorcycles but maybe consider looking for a used MX bike that could be dedicated to track use and keep the 501 as your dedicated off road bike.

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10/26/2020 4:23 PM

Looks like thumperracing.com has big bore/stroker kits from 590-660cc and respective mods. They say on their voice recordings they’re 3 months out on orders and aren’t accepting any tel calls or incoming work, so I’m not sure what type of output results the kits provide until I get a return email.


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10/26/2020 4:57 PM

Saw a totally built KTM yesterday, bags and all the orange bling. He didn't put it on the track, I might not either after putting almost $20k into it. The real problem is not IF it can do both, it can. You just don't want to take the time to strip it down and build it back up to switch from street to dirt.
I've got a stripped dual sport that does fine on the track, and we rode my buddies YZ450X that he uses as a tri-sport that we teamed up on the tag team on the track with. Lot's of ways to do it, but most of my street stuff has been in the box for years. Depends on what you want to do.

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2015 Beta 500 RS, history: 99 KTM 300, 87 CR250, 84 KLR 600, 82 GPZ 550, 81 KX 250, 80 KX 250, 79 Montesa 414 VE, 78 250 VB, 77 360 VB, 76 360 VA, 75 YZ 125, 74 TM 125, 72 TS 125, 60's West Bend Go Boy Kart