Husky fe 501s vs fe 350s? Opinions wanted

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6/17/2022 6:54 AM

Straight to the point. I currently ride a 2021 MC450 and love it. Have a young son, new business and a wife who would prefer I didn’t race Moto for now. I can still do the occasional track day but am just very limited for time. My thought was to pick up a new Husky that I could ride from the house to the trails when I have a little window to sneak out for a rip. Looking for input deciding between the two bikes? Obviously the power of the larger displacement would be fun but would it turn like a tank in comparison to the 350? Thanks!

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Living single,seeing double,jumping triples.

6/17/2022 7:24 AM
Edited Date/Time: 6/17/2022 7:26 AM

I did a lot of research recently before buying a used 501 with 2000 miles on it.

Basically the 350 is better in technical singletrack, the 501 is better for general dual sport or faster terrain. Both are seriously neutered from the factory and need work to make them perform as you would expect them to. I’m in the process now. The expensive bits are the suspension and the ECU.

Exhaust, intake, ignition and desmog to get the engines running right and the forks need work, so figure on spending $2500 or so. That being said these bikes are great once you fix them and have earned a reputation of being incredibly reliable and bulletproof. Also stupidly light for a dual purpose. 30-40lbs lighter than the Honda which also needs a lot of work to uncork it.

Lots of guys ride them stock but you’ll be disappointed coming from your 450. You can buy a Beta RRS that works much better out of the box but will the engine go 600-1000 hours without needing any work? Maybe, but the KTM/Husky is proven.

What kind of riding will you be doing with it? I chose the 501 because I wanted something that would do it all AND I found a great deal on one. I would have happily bought a 350 instead for $1000 less in similar condition/mileage but the seller was very slow to respond and I missed out on it. Both sound like great bikes, Like everything else the smaller engine just has less reciprocating mass so is less tiring to ride if you do hard enduro type terrain.

I have not even ridden mine yet, nor have I ridden a 350, so don’t take my words as gospel.. I’m just repeating what I’ve learned from other owners’ experiences that helped me decide what to buy.

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6/17/2022 7:25 AM

Im in the same boat but I am looking for a 2020 and up FE450 that uses close to the same de tuned motor as my SXF. The way I understand it not every year comes from them as street legal.

I like lower RPM’s and torque so that pulls the 250 and 350 off my list.

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6/17/2022 9:19 AM

I feel the crank-mass on the 501 when I'm riding it in the tight-n-technical. It can make it feel a little heavier/slower to toss around than other bikes like the 350.

The GasGas 350 Enduro (Not a Street Bike out of the crate) is a smoking good deal. If you're gonna ride at night? Get a better headlight. Btw, you -can- register that bike for the street if you do it correctly...see some other forums for how people do that. But, if registering the bike is concern? Get the Husky FE350S.

Good luck!

ps-I'd get a better headlight, like a Baja Designs, for just about any enduro other than the CRF450RL or the new KLR650 (great headlights on both!).

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Nobody ever told me, I found out for myself. You've got to believe in foolish miracles. It's not how you play the game, it's if you win or lose. You can choose. Don't confuse. Win or lose. It's up to you!

6/17/2022 10:37 AM

Thank you for this topic.
I am in this exact same boat. I currently have a deposit on a Beta 500 RRS. But it has been 4 months. I really want that bike. But since it's taking so long I was considering either the 501 or a 350 as well. I ride from the HD up into Big Bear all the time. Love to hear more responses from peeps in the know.

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6/17/2022 11:57 AM

I would just plate that 450. My buddy has a MC 450 plated. He lives here in California and it’s plated in South Dakota.

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6/17/2022 12:16 PM

lumpy790 wrote:

Im in the same boat but I am looking for a 2020 and up FE450 that uses close to the same de tuned motor as my SXF. The way I ...more

FE 450 was discontinued after 2019. Then brought back for 2023.

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6/17/2022 12:35 PM

I went with the 501 and absolutely love it. It doesn't feel heavy. I've ridden it on super tight and technical single track, rocks, etc and it does everything. It can go very slow and tractor everywhere, but also have power when needed too. My best description compared to moto bikes is it feels like a 350 down low, but pulls like a 450 up top. It's extremely smooth and hands down happy with the decision on the 501. I have never once wished I was on a 350.

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From dirt to water

6/17/2022 12:44 PM
Edited Date/Time: 6/17/2022 12:45 PM

I’ve had both and have the 350 now, I prefer the 350 unless you are going to do a lot of riding over 60mph, if that’s the case get the 501.

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6/17/2022 1:41 PM
Edited Date/Time: 6/17/2022 1:41 PM

How do I go about acquiring a license plate? Currently at Mammoth Mx ✊🏼


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Living single,seeing double,jumping triples.

6/17/2022 4:32 PM

South Dakota will give anyone a plate, it’s talked about on many moto forums. If you were in Oregon I could tell you how to plate a “non-plateable” one here..

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6/17/2022 4:34 PM

I have a 2020 husky 501s. It’s awesome. I just rode some forest roads on it. Mostly just commuted to work on the street. I am currently trying to sell it. Nothing wrong with it at all just don’t ride it. If I have spare time I’m at the moto track with my kids. Bike hasn’t been rode since September. It’s a perfect all around bike.

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6/19/2022 10:14 AM

My 2 cents…
I’ve owned a KTM 500 for the last 15 years.
Started with a ‘07 EXC500, then a ‘09 EXC500, ‘14 EXC500, ‘17 EXC500 and currently a ‘20 EXC500.
I have ridden them in tight/technical single track and just about every type of riding. I’m 56 years old
I went from riding a 450 at the track, to riding a 350 and will never own another 450. Best bike I’ve ever had for motocross, hands down !
Being that said, I bought a XCW300 in ‘19 and love it, it’s my 1st choice for tight/technical riding.
I’ve ridden the EXC350 in Costa Rica and I’ll have to say, I don’t think I will buy another 500. The 350 is a fantastic bike and is plenty of bike for me.
If I could only own one bike, it would be a EXC350, no doubt in my mind.

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6/19/2022 10:32 AM

Thank for all the input guys. I figured if I went the 350 route I’d be better off for random track days.

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Living single,seeing double,jumping triples.

6/19/2022 10:35 AM

troublebros wrote:

How do I go about acquiring a license plate? Currently at Mammoth Mx


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If you want a CA plate, I believe...you have to go thru the process of "Surrendering Title" and thru a self-build process...where you build a bike for yourself, like someone that builds his own custom shopper...for example, and you go thru a process where CHP inspects it, deems it legal (or not) and then you get a document from them that you take to DMV to obtain a title. Yes, it can be a pain.

Personally, and I know they've cut this off for now, a certain state that has Mt Rushmore on it's license plate has VERY friendly licensing rules(S.D.)...but, the county I used has STOPPED out-of-state resident plates. So, you could...look into that.

Note: I would NOT get caught by a CHP/any Bay Area LEO with an out of state plate!

As I said, you can just get the FE-S and be done with it.

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Nobody ever told me, I found out for myself. You've got to believe in foolish miracles. It's not how you play the game, it's if you win or lose. You can choose. Don't confuse. Win or lose. It's up to you!

6/19/2022 12:58 PM

In Washington it used to depend on the MSO/MCO that was issued for the bike and there was a little bit of time where they were revoking plates from bikes like KTMs that had been plated but were a little ambiguous and were resold. When changing the title the next owner wasn’t able to get tags for them anymore. The current owner was able to renew them, though, so they used the title transfer as the ‘filter’.

Now you can plate almost any bike as long as you can make it meet the equipment guidelines like lighting, horn, mirror, signals, etc. And you no longer have to go to the State Patrol for inspections, an authorized MC dealer can sign off on them.

Our little town has seen a big increase in SXSs and quads being plated, too. Those are mostly only allowed on roads with speed limits of 40-45 or less, though, but from the way it sounds law enforcement doesn’t really care as long as it isn’t a major highway and you aren’t doing anything stupid.

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6/19/2022 1:00 PM

Curious how the 500/501 does on the mx track after setup?

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6/19/2022 3:05 PM

I'm finishing my first year with a 501s and, like others, can confirm that I love it. That being said, I think you need to consider a bunch of other factors in making your decision, some of which haven't been mentioned here. For instance, I'm over 200 lbs and have a bit more of an MX orientation. I've decided at my age that time in the saddle - any time in the saddle - is a good thing, so I've made plenty of runs from my house to the track, done a couple motos, then ridden home again. Big fun, and reminds me of how it used to be in high school riding Yamaha Enduros everywhere.

On the track, I've done the suspension (as you would for the extra weight at least) but definitely notice the lack of power. While hot-rodding the motor is the next step, my friend's experience in this regard with his 350 suggests the gains for the 501 will be more accessible and easier to use, both on the track and the road. And if you want to be competitive at all on the track, you will definitely need that extra power. I've raced an MX once this year (riding to the track and back) but noticed the deficit immediately and won't try it again until the motor is tweaked fully. I'm told and would expect that deficit is even more noticeable on the 350.

In the woods (Eastern slope Rocky Mtns), I've been amazed at the tractor-like quality of the motor and the relative agility of the bike on the whole. While the fancy boys on their 300XC's can always run away from me, the 501 stays reasonably close, handles all the gnarliest and tightest trails, and has never let me down.

Frankly, I think you need to be a better rider to get the most out of the 350, while the 501 offers the broadest canvas for riders with varied skill sets. This might sound a bit counter-intuitive, but my experience bears this out.

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6/19/2022 5:10 PM

troublebros wrote:

How do I go about acquiring a license plate? Currently at Mammoth Mx


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Dude you can take my Beta 430 for a test ride any time you want!!! Hit Divide last Sunday and ran out of gas on the way back and luckily coasted to the gas station. Need a bigger tank...

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6/19/2022 5:54 PM

I have a 501 and i take it to the track sometimes. It gets around the track just fine, and it is fun to honk at buddies to get out of the way. Dual sporting is the most fun I’ve had riding since i was racing weekly as a teenager. I’ve explored some areas i never would have got to trucking my bike in.

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6/19/2022 6:35 PM

I’m ready for a bomb ass dual sport and just took a little peek at a Ktm six days 501.
I want it bad but I don’t want to spend the 13 or 14k and then have to do 3k more in upgrades to get it to feel like a 501 should feel.
They also had a 350 and the salesman even admitted it always really anemic off the floor.
Also looking at CrfRl too but same song different fiddle. Albeit a heavier fiddle.

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6/20/2022 4:56 AM

Check out the new 2023 450XCW-F and FE-450. They now come un corked and run like a proper 4 stroke should. No smog equipment or de-tuned ECU. KTM is now labeling them as "Close-Course Competition bikes. Only money you would need to spend is on a street kit, which is wayyy cheaper than a de-smog and a $1000.00 ECU. I was planning on a 501s until KTM/Husky introduced these new un-corked 450's. Only issue for the new uncorked 450's in CA, would be trying to obtain a plate. As others have alluded to, look no further than South Dakota for an easy registration/plate.


https://dirtbikemagazine.com/a-closer-look-at-the-2023-ktm-450xcf-w-the-wrap/

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