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April 4th, 2016, 08:40 AM   #1
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Is an earlier Berg the bike for me?

Hey everyone I'm new here--sorry in advance for the long post and newb questions. I'm trying to sell my KTM 640 Adventure. Like most bikes I've sold in the past all I can think about is what I'm going to replace it with. I ride my ATK 605 DSES everywhere. It is the bike I spend the most time on and I love it. I would like to get something to do the things that the ATK isn't great at.... Mostly sand dunes (the ATK hates those) and possibly rocky single track.

I've been interested in the the 98-08 Husabergs since they came out. I'm thinking I need an FE model so I can have a headlight and maybe a license plate some day. Electric start preferred but not a deal breaker. 450-650 I'm not too picky.

What am I up against? I've owned rare bikes and old bikes--even rare old bikes haha, but never a Husaberg. I want one with an oil pump and without an SEM, Ducati or Motoplat ignition-----00 and newer then? Am I going to kill the Husaberg in large sand dunes? My ATK is difficult to find parts for sometimes is a Berg better or worse? Would you take a clean ~00-04 over a well used ~05-08?

I'd probably be better off with a KTM RFS like everyone else right?


Thanks for any help,

Andrew

Last edited by Rot Box; April 4th, 2016 at 08:49 AM.
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April 4th, 2016, 10:10 AM   #2
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Hi Andrew,
I owned an ATK 605 and was not overly stoked about the bike. However, Dan at Motoxotica and Keith at American Dirtbike made it pretty easy to get parts. The ubiquitous nature of the Rotax and it's use in flat track racing made things relatively easy.

The Husaberg, well not so much. Still, parts can be found and it seems that every older 501 that quits ends up parted out and on ebay. Still, those parts are used and, I'm no expert on the older bergs, there is not as much KTM cross over as developed in the 2004 - forward bikes. You have to go 2004 and newer to get away from the SEM.

The electric start is really an electric assist. Dial in the valves and keep it in good tune and you'll only touch the starter when racing. However, it's nowhere near the long haul tractor that the Atk is. You have to check the valves much more regularly along with the oil changes. The power of the ATK was ok, and I wish I had a nickel for every person who told me I'd be amazed by it. Frankly, every Husaberg I've owned 450 . . . and 550 included would pass the old ATK like it was parked. I liked that it was unique, quirky, sort of American made and had novel ideas . . . like a Buell, but nothing about that bike would make me want another. I'd buy another berg tomorrow if i had the coin.

sum up:
1. Parts - about the same as the 605 atk.
2. Reliability - ATK checkups are less frequent and consumables (belt) are cheaper;
Performance - Perhaps a 700 2 stroke intimadator would beat my berg, but no 605DS would come close.
3. Likelihood of passing another on the trail? ATK, well, only in Utah and L.A. Unique and people wanna talk your ear off about them. Goofy left leg burning frame and all. Older Husaberg, about the same without all the gobsmacking talk (except of course some crack about reliability)
4. Simplicity of design - the berg is a nice engine that has known issues that all can be addressed. ATK, same thing. Likely able to find more "tuners" for ATK (Ron Wood) and tuner parts since it is a Rotax. However, a good KTM tuner can hook up a berg.

California girl or Swedish model? Plusses and minuses abound.
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April 4th, 2016, 10:42 AM   #3
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Do NOT sell your lc4 Adventure.
Youll be very sorry if you do it.

And yes, get a 2004+ 550 or 650 Fe...
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April 4th, 2016, 10:46 AM   #4
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what Goose said except that we have now licked ALL the issues with the 1994-2008 bikes.

it might cost you a lot and nearly half the bits on the bike can be renewed/made better etc but it can be a bike that you just touch the button and they go!

regards

Taffy
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April 4th, 2016, 10:54 AM   #5
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Goose, that helps a lot thank you for the reply.

Some say the 605 is a powerhouse and I'm sure it could be with some engine work. Mine though.. Reliable yes. Powerhouse uh-no. haha. I do like the engine though it's great for dual sporting and trail riding which is where the ATK spends most of its time.

The Berg on the other hand. I'm thinking no (or rarely ever) dual sporting. Sand dunes and single track or even desert riding is where it will be used. It probably won't be ridden a lot either which might help matters. I'm fine with frequent valve checks and oil changes. Extensive/expensive/frequent engine repairs, or known issues without a fix would scare me away though.

I don't think I can bring myself to own another SEM equipped bike. If that is the only drawback to the earlier models (I like Dellorto's etc..) than I might give SEM another chance. I'll keep the 04-08 at the top of the list for now though. I'd look for another TE610 as well but no part of me wants to deal with magnets falling off the flywheel---yuk. Thanks again,

Andrew
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April 4th, 2016, 10:59 AM   #6
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Thanks everyone.

Originally Posted by makazica View Post
Do NOT sell your lc4 Adventure.
Youll be very sorry if you do it.

And yes, get a 2004+ 550 or 650 Fe...
I know I know. It really is an outstanding bike. Not an easy decision but I just can't bring myself to keep it. I'm not able to go on multi-day rides with it anymore and that is where a bike like the 640 Adventure really shines.


Originally Posted by Taffy View Post
what Goose said except that we have now licked ALL the issues with the 1994-2008 bikes.

it might cost you a lot and nearly half the bits on the bike can be renewed/made better etc but it can be a bike that you just touch the button and they go!

regards

Taffy
Good to hear. My worry with the earlier bikes is not having an oil pump... Do you think I'd kill the valve train in the sand dunes? I might be able to look past the SEM... yikes bad memories haha.
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April 4th, 2016, 11:24 AM   #7
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certainly a repaired SEM is a 95% cure over the original SEM. they aren't perfect either but they are very good. they can't help but fail if everyone sprays them with the jet wash and makes no attempt to keep them dry.

all in all, those that atke a little care are OK but eventually "can't be arseed" always wins one day. you have to keep the water out ALL the time.....the water only has to be lucky once.

Taffy
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April 4th, 2016, 01:47 PM   #8
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For what it appears you want to do, I'd look for a 450 or 570 slant motor bike from 09-11. Rare, unique, powerful and reliable (for what it is). I want one desperately (though, not enough to part with my 04-08s). Still Husaberg and not just a Ktm with white and blue plastics. Still expensive on the private market but not so bad given the lower maintenance, ease of acquiring parts, performance similarities and practically civilized manners. Angry enough to know it's a berg, but you don't have to start making all the "fixes" from the day you bought it like you do with older bergs. I confess though, I like making the fixes (it's not like you're polishing a turd). Confession number 2? Those "inexpensive" lil fixes add up fast and suddenly you realize you could have bought a 570. Just a thought
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April 4th, 2016, 04:34 PM   #9
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I had an ATK605 for a while myself. Never quite warmed up to it but I still have a friend with 2 of them. He bought mine for cheap after I swapped on Ohlins forks and a pumper carb.

I like the 570 a lot for everything I do. It does feels heavy when it's on the ground (it is) but pretty good when it's moving. Tons of torque too. The 70 deg Bergs are also a good option if you want better misc parts availability than the older Bergs - but not as unique.

Good luck
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April 4th, 2016, 09:15 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Taffy View Post
certainly a repaired SEM is a 95% cure over the original SEM. they aren't perfect either but they are very good.
Taffy
Good to know I wasn't aware of them being repairable. I don't think I had the internet back when I was messing with those.. I guess things have changed for the better. I would not be opposed to spending more time making sure it stays dry.

Originally Posted by Goose916 View Post
For what it appears you want to do, I'd look for a 450 or 570 slant motor bike from 09-11.

I confess though, I like making the fixes (it's not like you're polishing a turd). Confession number 2? Those "inexpensive" lil fixes add up fast and suddenly you realize you could have bought a 570. Just a thought
Yeah I think you're probably right on that one. I don't want to know how much money I've spend on little fixes for my ATK. A lot of that crap was/is made from solid unobtanium and takes forever to track down. The payoff is worth it though I really love the bike.


Originally Posted by funmachines View Post
I had an ATK605 for a while myself. Never quite warmed up to it but I still have a friend with 2 of them. He bought mine for cheap after I swapped on Ohlins forks and a pumper carb.

I like the 570 a lot for everything I do. It does feels heavy when it's on the ground (it is) but pretty good when it's moving. Tons of torque too. The 70 deg Bergs are also a good option if you want better misc parts availability than the older Bergs - but not as unique.

Good luck
I think I'm going to look into the 70 bikes more. I like them.. They are much more expensive though. Probably worth it though if they share a lot of the same parts with the more common KTM's.

Thanks again you guys I appreciate all the help and advice.
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