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September 10th, 2008, 01:25 AM   #1
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FS650 for trip from Vancour, B. C., to San Diego, to Florida

Hello,

Informed opinions would be appreciated and explanations.

I am contemplating taking a trip at the worst time of the year, mid December, starting in the north west and doing the whole coast down to the boarder with off shoots to interesting places. From there I plan on working my way east along the border.

The reason for it is opportunity. I have been sizing up super motards and the Husaberg seems to be top dog for the money.

I can get a good deal on a mint one in B.C. and visit family, that will think I'm nuts. I need to be in Florida by the seventh of January so I thought I could make an adventure out of it.

Yes, it has a high maintenance schedule so every 500 miles the oil needs to be changed, so almost daily. The valves will have to be checked regularly also that is a given. It is a high performance machine so such things are expected. Motul 15/50 full synthetic is the oil intended to be used.

The good thing is that there is a line of dealers all along the route up to Alabama. There are also a few on the way back to Chicago.

I live in the city and believe this would be an incredible bike for the environment. Yes, it is a bit of overkill but so are most of the finer machinery in a 55- 70 mph limited environment. One of the benefits of city commuting is the lack of enforcement of menial, revenue producing laws. They get you to pay the tax in other ways.

Yes, I could have it shipped but there is no fun in that. I did it with an incredible sports car and was not satisfied with my decision.

Yes, I could make a bee line straight east for 2100 miles but I think I would be missing some incredible roads that this bike seems to be made to eat up.

The plan would be to avoid all highways unless absolutely necessary. After all, this is not what this beast was made to conquer.

Yes, gas tank could be an issue considering it would take me 90 - 100 miles. Have thought of picking up 4 gallon tank but it would only be used for this trip and then shelved so it doesn't sound feasible, though it would fit the theme of this trip.

It would be a 5500 mile trip or so in about 3 weeks.

The plan is for her to be a city bike for all seasons. If snow and ice than knobbies or possibly rain tires for the track since they are so soft.

It is not for transportation but for fun transportation. We only live once and it is always nice when the few mile ride to the office is a blast. I have snow tires for my Porsche and it eats up everything in the slop.

Questions:

What is the likely hood of the 2006 engine( less than 5 hours of use) making it?
Will the engine need a rebuild when I finally get it home?
How do the Bergs handle cold weather since I want to use it during the Chicago winter?
Yes, the designers are Swedes but the bikes are Austrian made.

Thanks for your time and opinions.
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September 10th, 2008, 03:23 AM   #2
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Absolutely good on you K2berg,

I think it is an excellent plan of action.

Back in the late 80s I rode from the middle of England to Sweden and then spent about 8 weeks in Sweden on a Husky 250wr two-stroke. I only had to rebuild the top end by replacing the piston and rings twice. It was a fantastic experience and everybody thought I was completely mad too!

So, yes, I think you are completely mad with your plan, but only for one reason. The saddle is far far too hard and narrow to sit down for 500 miles. You'll end up with a seriously sore bum and piles to go with it!

So first plan of action would be to sort out the seat.

The second plan of action would be to look at your schedule. According to your current plan you're looking at just over 260 miles per. I've done some long trips through Europe and doing that kind of mileage day after day get tiring so make sure you have some r & r days in their just to chill out and have a beer or two and take in some local fare

As for the 650, you might want to get the larger tank. That would help, I think.

The only bit I would have any concerns about regarding you journey would be the counter-balancer bearing and I would suggest you take that out as a precaution.

I know there are lots of scare stories and I'm sure there will be posts about how fragile and problematic these things can be, but by and large, in my experience, they are fairly capable and reliable engines. As long as you're not intending to cane the thing at max revs day in day out, I think your chances are pretty good that you'll have a good journey.

I would recommend a rebuild after your trip but that would not involve a complete replacement of everything, just a freshen up of some items.

Cold weather for these is no problem at all. I have personally raced in a winter supermoto series and races in temperatures of as little as -6 C although you might be experiencing colder......

All the best,
Simon
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September 10th, 2008, 04:34 AM   #3
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Thank you for sharing your experience and you recommendations.

In regards to the counter balancer bearing:

Do you mean to remove it or to replace it with an updated version?

Pardon my ignorance.


Yes, having to rebuild the thing half way through would put a damper on things. I would like to have $4k to spend on the trip but would hate to use a good chunk on a rebuild.

My butt I'm not too worried about since I've done 500 plus mile days on my Ducati 996 (stock seat) with friends on their Beemers. They thought I deserved a medal but if it's what you love it's only an inconvenience....and a pleasant one at that.

I will keep that in mind and have a plan A and B.

The temperature could easily be - 18C.

The bike will be under warranty so I have a little security.

The refresh would probably intertwined with another short adventure since three Husaberg dealers are 300 plus miles away. I guess the key would be to use the one with the best engine experience and reputation.

A friend wants me to meet one of his friends in the LA area that is a big biker. He has both sizes of GS's and puts about 40k miles a year on them. This bike should rip through the mountains

I have family, friends, and acquaintances close to my planned route so I can always make a little detour. If I need a familiar face.

Its my personality to get along where ever I go so taking days to just do a little maintenance and find a local watering hole wouldn't be a problem.

Thanks again for confirming my lunacy. My adventure would obviously be much easier than yours since the language is basically the same

It won't be as enriching compared to all the different cultures you encountered. The weather of the north west in December I'm sure will teach me a lesson about cold weather riding but living it Chicago may have already done that.

Cheers!
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September 10th, 2008, 12:13 PM   #4
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With regular oil changes along the way I would not worry about the motor.

Stock gas tank range is limited to 2.2 gallons. Consider the 4 gallon aftermarket tank.

I would seriously worry about your ass crack. You might need reconstructive surgery down there after long hours in the stock Husaberg saddle. Arrange for a custom well padded seat modification or something.

Enjoy.
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September 10th, 2008, 09:27 PM   #5
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Hmm? That's two for the seat upgrade.

Supertireguy's description indicates more than a mild discomfort.

Point taken.
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September 10th, 2008, 09:40 PM   #6
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Supertireguy,

I assume you may have minimal experience with snow and motorcycles being in northern Cali but since the mountains aren't too far you just may.

If you do, what do you think would work better in snow and ice:
soft knobbies or rain tires?

I would think soft rubber is one key and the other is a wide enough thread.

Ice is always a toss up and I know nothing beats metal spikes but since our city streets are usually pretty clear spikes are not feasible.

I did think about putting them off the center strip to help get grip if either tire starts to slide out. Opinion?

Thanks.
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September 11th, 2008, 02:18 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by K2Berg
Thank you for sharing your experience and you recommendations.

In regards to the counter balancer bearing:

Do you mean to remove it or to replace it with an updated version?

Pardon my ignorance.
You're very welcome.

No ignorance at all - I mean to remove it entirely. I have a phobia of the things personally and a few engines have too.....

Now, as for -18C, I think you're pushing the envelope, not for the bike, for you

Some type of knobbly tires are going to function better in the snow as you need to reduce the contact area as much as possible. The rain tires will simply fill up the grooves with snow. Just my couple of pennies worth.

Really, really sort the seat!

All the best,
Simon
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September 11th, 2008, 06:15 AM   #8
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k2

You should call BOSS, as he just finished a long, long road trip on a 650. He will have insight on how to set the bike up and your reliability questions. Also, Alternate Cycle in Kamloops BC, used an Fs 650 for a demo, and had some extensive road trips with it as well. Talking to Ken would also give you setup insight and since their bike was an 06, direct feedback about realibility would be had.

sounds like fun

cheers

fry
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September 11th, 2008, 10:37 PM   #9
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k2, cool plan! Thank's for the mention Fry!! K2 I will use this thread to only plug

the bottom issue. aka ass. Without getting a seat from renazco racing you will be

verry uncomfortable & i mean verry! contact James he has the real answer for seat's!!!

If you care to since the list is long, call me i would love to give some idea's to assist you

for your exciting trip!
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September 12th, 2008, 12:00 AM   #10
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I don`t wont to be a wet blanket but for that sort of trip get yourself something like a kl650r I did a 15000km trip of which 3000km was on outback roads. Mine had a 23litre tank so could go 450km on a tank, and have enough to drain about .5 of a litre to wash the air filter with and clean the chain each day while on the dusty stuff. The bike never missed a beat and is still running today, 12 years later.
Save the FS for short blasts on your favorite road.
That is my advice.

Cheers spanner.
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