2013 Husaberg Off-Road Lineup First Look

August 8, 2012
JC Hilderbrand
JC Hilderbrand
Off-Road Editor|Articles|Articles RSS|Blog |Blog Posts |Blog RSS

Hilde is holding down the fort at MotoUSA’s Southern Oregon HQ. With world-class dirt bike and ATV trails just minutes away, the hardest part is getting him to focus on the keyboard. Two wheels or four, it doesn’t matter to our Off-Road Editor so long as it goes like hell in the dirt.

2013 Husaberg FE 450
The 2013 blue and yellow dirt bikes have a host of big engine, chassis and suspension changes.

Husaberg has expanded its off-road motorcycle lineup for model year 2013. Last year was limited to cosmetic changes so the ’13 squadron is welcome refreshment. The Swedish brand owned by KTM is sticking to its plan enacted last year of providing only enduro models. There are no cross-country or motocross versions available. ‘Berg has added 250cc and 350cc models to its team of 4-stroke off-road bikes which also includes the 450 and 501. Husaberg is again utilizing the influence of its parent company by dropping the inverted cylinder engine design on its biggest thumpers in favor of the new single-cam powerplant. Also, the 390 (which debuted in 2010 as one of our editors’ favorites) has notably been eliminated. Basically the FE models all get KTM engines. Additionally, the 2-stroke field includes the 250 and 300 we’ve come to expect, but still no 125, 150 or 200 which might have been rebadged from the Austrians.

The Swedes have dropped the bright yellow color on the frames and switched to a more traditional grey coating on the new chromoly steel chassis. The double-cradle, central tube frame is redesigned for increased torsional stiffness and stability. Husaberg also says that decreased longitudinal stiffness helps absorb hard impacts from the 18-inch rear wheel. The ‘Bergs retain their plastic subframes (fiberglass-reinforced polyamide) and has adopted it for the 2-stroke models as well. This is a second-generation version of the subframe which consists of three components held together by bolts, and the handholds are reworked. The swingarm is over half-pound lighter and moves the shock mount 5mm toward the center.

All of the bikes get new bodywork, seat and fuel tank. The 4-stroke tanks are very different with the upright cylinder arrangement allowing the airbox to be placed in the traditional location under the seat. It does not require tools to access. All models keep their plastic skidplates (come on, KTM), and are equipped with headlights and handguards.

WP is the suspension provider but 2013 brings a new fork and shock. The PDS shock is 7mm longer, but the fork delivers the biggest news. A new 4CS closed-cartridge unit graces the front end. This fork uses four-chamber technology which KTM says lowers the weight. Rebound and compression adjustments are both accessible from the top of the fork legs.

2013 Husaberg FE 250
Husaberg finally has a small-bore 4-stroke, the 2013 FE 250.

2013 Husaberg FE 250
The FE 250 is the first quarter-liter thumper ever produced by Husaberg. In the past Husaberg has claimed it didn’t need a 250F because its big bikes handled like small bikes. Apparently that has changed for 2013 as the big bikes get new engines. The smallest FE uses a fuel-injected DOHC engine with a 42mm Keihin throttle body to handle the varying riding conditions and climates that come with off-road riding. A six-speed transmission ensures usable gear ratios for tight or wide-open terrain. Like the rest of the Husaberg 4-strokes, the FE 250 uses a double-cradle Chromoly chassis with cross-linked polyethylene subframe. It rides on the 48mm closed-cartridge WP fork and WP-PDS rear shock. Brembo brakes and clutch provide hydraulics and it carries 2.5 gallons of fuel in a translucent gas tank. Husaberg claims it weighs 236 pounds but does not specify if that is wet or dry.

2013 Husaberg FE 350
This bike is essentially borrowed from KTM and takes the place of the 390. Like the 250 it uses a dual-cam engine which will allow for very high rpm. Titanium valves are used in the 250/350, but steel exhaust valves grace the larger engines.

2013 Husaberg FE 450/501
KTM’s new 450/500 platform has been a resounding success. The FE 501 is actually 510.4cc displacement and replaces the former 570 model (565.5cc). The power generated by the single-cam engine is extremely usable and has peak horsepower and torque numbers that are impressive. By switching to a SOHC layout, the rotating mass is reduced as are the overall exterior dimensions. A more compact motorcycle with lower center of gravity ensures that “the handling advantage of the previous 70-degree engine layout was able to be more than compensated for.” Switching back to the traditional layout opens up the header pipe routing for less heat transfer, increases airbox capacity and lowers the intake noise.

2013 Husaberg chassis2013 Husaberg FE 5012013 Husaberg TE 300
All the bikes get new frames for 2013. The 501 is now Husaberg’s big-bore brute. Extreme enduro riders seem to favor the 2-stroke.

2013 Husaberg TE 250/300
The popular 2-stroke that has taken over as the preferred racing platform for ‘Berg riders returns in the 250 and 300 displacements. The 300 has been Graham Jarvis’ preferred competition-destroyer for the past year as he tackles the most difficult terrain on the planet. Both models come with electric and kickstart options, where the 4-strokes are e-start only with kickstart available as a retrofit kit. A V-Force 4 reed valve block smooths power delivery from the intake side. A new triple clamp shortens offset from 22mm to 20mm.

Pricing is not available yet but the bikes are slated to be in dealers around September, 2012.