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July 1st, 2008, 06:45 AM   #1
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Power related questions FE 450 vs. FE550.

I currently own an FE 650. I upgraded from a KTM 525.

I like the 650 for everything but very tight technical trails. There I think that the torque works against me.

So I am thinking of getting a second berg. FE 450s and 550s are on sale now. I've never ridden a 450 of any brand. But that is what I am looking at.
So here are some questions.
1, Does the newer 450 have the same slow turning over starter issues as the 650s?
2, How does the power come on on the 450 and the 550? The 650 seem linear all the way up. It pulls hard with almost no hit.
3, Does the 450 do better than the 650 in tight clutch slipping conditions? If I ride the clutch to much on my 650 the temp spikes. I am installing an oil cooler. And I have a fan. But I would like to have a bike that doesn't do that.

Good points on the 650 include: The valves are stable as hell. The motor is very quite when compaired to the 525 or now worse the 530. I don't know how KTM can build a motor that makes even more noise than the 535 and at the same time keep it together. But the 530s have done just that.
The first gear on the 650 is a great climbing gear. This is the main reason that I want a second berg. I really like this gear for gettting out of trouble on the trail.

My heart suggests that I go for a 550. But my head thinks that tires will last longer on the 450.

Maybe your feedback will help me decide. Once I get a trail bike. I will set the 650 up for the dirt side of DS riding.
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July 1st, 2008, 09:18 AM   #2
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The 450 will be much, much better in tight, technical trail conditions. It will be less prone to overheat. It will handle easier, and be less work to ride.
Power-wise, the 450 is plenty. It builds revs quickly and pulls without any "hit" as well.

The 550 is great too, but it will wear you out at the end of a long day or race, no question. It is just so fun to ride that I accept the tradeoffs.
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July 1st, 2008, 09:32 AM   #3
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What I really wanted to know was how linear the 450 is. Sounds like it makes the same type of power that the 650 does. Just less of it.

I am leaning more toward the 450. I need a bike that just gets the job done. I think that the 450 is that bike.
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July 1st, 2008, 03:58 PM   #4
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Hair, Sounds like a 496 is what you are looking for.

p.s. Do you ride in or near Bandolier NP ?
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July 1st, 2008, 05:22 PM   #5
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the 450 Berg power delivery is very linear, my 06 Fe450e was just identical like my 06Fe550e only less power which I suspect is just like your 650 only more.

The difference in the 450 and 550 is the power and in open trails the 550 fills the wide ratio tranny gaps better then the 450 does in open trails BUT in single track the power tranny gaps in the 450 are non-existant and I was faster on my 450 in the trees then my 550, but then the 550 is mo better in the open. I would say get the 450 if your riding is more then 50% single track unless like me you like that fun power factor, but I think you got plenty of that with your 650 so I say for u get the 450 little brother. Its quick in the trees and single track or tight stuff.
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July 1st, 2008, 05:29 PM   #6
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Your size and weight should help you make the right decision also. For me at 5'10'' 205 lbs and lots of big power bike experiance the 650 was my obvious choice. I used to ride a 2001 CR500, try that in the tight, and I own an 07 CRF450r that I trail ride sometimes also. It has a 19 rear wheel. I lifted weights 5 days a week for 10 straight years. Strong upper body strength is was you need to toss a high powered bike around without getting worn out. Either you take it for a ride or it'll take you for a ride. If your not able to gun the bike when on your trail ride you need something less powerful and fun to ride. You sound like you need the 450, but im afraid you will want more power later, so I would recommend the 550
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July 1st, 2008, 06:10 PM   #7
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Dirt Bike magazine had an artical in April 08 with Husaberg , Honda, 2 KTMs, Kawi and Yamaha 450s for an off road shootout. Among the Husaberg 450's weakenesses they noted that it isn't the fastest one on the block. Of course I believe it has a lot of good traits. I own a 650, but if the 450 is slower than most of the other 450's someone will want more power. It tied with Kawasaki in 5th place in the power dept. They said the Berg has a strong belch in the middle but seems to just make noise after that. (How dare they!) Overall was 5th out of 6th. I can't believe it!
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July 1st, 2008, 06:30 PM   #8
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The 450 is an enduro machine, its light, fast and fun. Its not for everyone. Its about the ride, not about power and besides you can trust American mags to say nothing bad about jap bikes, unless it's a DRZ
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July 1st, 2008, 06:35 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by pollo
I own a 650, but if the 450 is slower than most of the other 450's someone will want more power.
Who cares what a magazine says. Several people have answered that actually have ridden a Husaberg 450, no offense. We are talking about off road racing/riding, not drag racing.

At the last Force Ride in Moab, I recall several pretty fast guys on 450 Husabergs. One in particular was on several USA Trophy Teams for the ISDE in the 80's.

Umm, he sure didn't look to me like he needed more power, and I had about 150 miles of (not so) close up observation, from behind!
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July 1st, 2008, 06:36 PM   #10
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how do you all like my new avatar? That was my ole trusty 2006 Fe450e on its maiden woods ride in 2006
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