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November 13th, 2004, 07:40 AM   #1
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Husaberg Reliability and Quality

Read most of the posts and I see am alarming # of them dealing with the Reliability, or more specific, lack of reliability of Husabergs. Because I have been riding 25 years, worked for American Honda as a pro wrench, and have been riding Husabergs exclusively the last 10 (I am on my 6th Berg),I feel it is fair to make some contradictory comments here.
I have seen the tremendous refinement Husabergs have gone through since my first 92 499. Power is now smoother, vibration is less, cluthes don't drag, suspension is close out of the box, handling is sharper, and quality is becoming somewhat "Honda like". Yet with all the refinements, they haven't lost their original charm of having big controllable power in a tight lightweight package. All positives in my eye, but little spoken of here.
As far as reliability goes, I have yet to have a catostrophic failure! Yes they do need good oil changed frequently, a few water pump seals, a stator now and then, the valves checked frequently, and regular inspection\replacement of the rocker rollers. I don't consider anything listed as excessive. I had to replace stators in my old 2 strokes now and then, clean power valves, replace rod bearings, and replace pistons on a regular basis. Not muck difference in my eye.
Not to say every one here is wrong, I simply wonder if all the proper maintainance is always performed? Working for Honda, I found the fellow that performs his maintainance like clockwork a rare bird and sometimes even if it is done, it wasn't done correctly. I also continuously saw riders doing some rather bizare things like riding/revving a 500 like a 125, riding a race machine on the Highway continuously at a high rate of speed, or revving the machine to the rev limiter at every shift. BIG SINGLES with old fashioned rockers don't take well to being continuous revved like a small dual overhead cam KLX 300! Hondas ridden under similar conditions tended to crap out as well. I also remember these fellows being rather vocal.
In summary, I just don't see the Bergs as a P.O.S. some make them out to be, and feel other unspoken factors could be at issue here. I would also hate to see too much bad press send Husaberg down the tubes, because I plan on a 7th. To those with real issues, I apologize in advance.
Dan
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November 13th, 2004, 08:01 AM   #2
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Re: Husaberg Reliability and Quality

Originally Posted by dsducati
Read most of the posts and I see am alarming # of them dealing with the Reliability, or more specific, lack of reliability of Husabergs. Because I have been riding 25 years, worked for American Honda as a pro wrench, and have been riding Husabergs exclusively the last 10 (I am on my 6th Berg),I feel it is fair to make some contradictory comments here.
I have seen the tremendous refinement Husabergs have gone through since my first 92 499. Power is now smoother, vibration is less, cluthes don't drag, suspension is close out of the box, handling is sharper, and quality is becoming somewhat "Honda like". Yet with all the refinements, they haven't lost their original charm of having big controllable power in a tight lightweight package. All positives in my eye, but little spoken of here.
As far as reliability goes, I have yet to have a catostrophic failure! Yes they do need good oil changed frequently, a few water pump seals, a stator now and then, the valves checked frequently, and regular inspection\replacement of the rocker rollers. I don't consider anything listed as excessive. I had to replace stators in my old 2 strokes now and then, clean power valves, replace rod bearings, and replace pistons on a regular basis. Not muck difference in my eye.
Not to say every one here is wrong, I simply wonder if all the proper maintainance is always performed? Working for Honda, I found the fellow that performs his maintainance like clockwork a rare bird and sometimes even if it is done, it wasn't done correctly. I also continuously saw riders doing some rather bizare things like riding/revving a 500 like a 125, riding a race machine on the Highway continuously at a high rate of speed, or revving the machine to the rev limiter at every shift. BIG SINGLES with old fashioned rockers don't take well to being continuous revved like a small dual overhead cam KLX 300! Hondas ridden under similar conditions tended to crap out as well. I also remember these fellows being rather vocal.
In summary, I just don't see the Bergs as a P.O.S. some make them out to be, and feel other unspoken factors could be at issue here. I would also hate to see too much bad press send Husaberg down the tubes, because I plan on a 7th. To those with real issues, I apologize in advance.
Dan

Hi Dan,
Lack of education regarding the proper care and feeding of a Husaberg does indeed influence said reliability issues.

Best Regards,
Dale
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November 13th, 2004, 08:03 AM   #3
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I agree with you. Since -02 the bike magazines have started to write about the improved quality. From model year -04 there should be less problems. This has big impact in the reputation.

A bunch of interested dealers and no problem to find spare part will lift the brand to another level. I wouldn't be surprised if within a few years you don't get the question if you have had a lot of problem as a Husaberg owner.
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November 13th, 2004, 08:15 AM   #4
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Ds ducati.

Good words spoken here.

We tend to see a lot of posts from riders who think changing parts that also fail in other brands, means that Husabergs are crap.


Although I do not share your experience in number of husabergs owned,
I have had two.
a 96 ´501 and a 01 ´550
Both owned for 4 to 5 years.

The ´96 was reliable as a rock. Just "usual maintainance"
The ´01 also reliable ( twice changed chrankshaft bearings / rocker arms once, two timing chains / camshaft bearing once)

The 01 bike has only once stopped due to mechanical failure (crankshaft bearings) The other parts I changed were done as a precation.
That´s it

At the sametime I have enjoyed a truly light, powerful, well handling (although not japanese handling) thumper, for all conditions now for 9 years!!

Best

Heimir Bardason
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November 13th, 2004, 10:05 AM   #5
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Here! Here!!

For what it's worth, in my type of riding I DON'T WANT a bike that handles like a japanese bike. So many times I am coming up on competitors in desert races and the jap bikes they are riding are all over the place through the high speed chop and whoops. My Husaberg is going straight as an arrow, as I cruise by.........
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November 13th, 2004, 01:03 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by DaleEO
Here! Here!!

For what it's worth, in my type of riding I DON'T WANT a bike that handles like a japanese bike. So many times I am coming up on competitors in desert races and the jap bikes they are riding are all over the place through the high speed chop and whoops. My Husaberg is going straight as an arrow, as I cruise by.........
I agree 100%

Nothing is as gratifying as blowing past the 'real' dirt bikes in the sand washes; that is where the Husaberg's performance really shines!
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November 13th, 2004, 01:23 PM   #7
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Re: Husaberg Reliability and Quality

Originally Posted by dsducati
Read most of the posts and I see am alarming # of them dealing with the Reliability, or more specific, lack of reliability of Husabergs.....
You should remember that a site such as this or KtmTalk is an open forum to exchange ideas. As a result, whenever a person has any problem, they are likely to seek help or advice on the site. So it is natural that a large percentage of posts will involve breakdowns and repair issues.

I know of several people that ride jap 4 strokes. Their bikes are less reliable than the Husabergs. New CRF250x needs a complete valve train after 6 monthes. It cost him $800. Numerous reports (literally hundreds) of CRF450 engines dropping a valve due to fatigued valve springs. The aftermarket springs don't fatigue as quickly as the oem, so it would be far to call that a factory defect.

As you mentioned, people rarely follow the maintenance schedule properly. I use only the recommended Motorex oil and I change it per schedule. I have 2000 miles on my 2003 FE501e and have had no engine problems (other than the engine producing too much power for some of the tight trails around here )

Another reason is that the percentage of Husaberg riders that are 'high power users' is probably 4 or 5 times that of the typical jap bike. If every one of the Husabergs were idled around and never revved past 4000 rpm, wouldn't they be more dependable and last much longer? Look at the average rider on the trail, they rarely push their machine to the limits as do the Husaberg riders.

It's like a Ferrari, it begs to be DRIVEN!

"TWIST MY THROTTLE!" it screams! "I'll show you a good time."

How can any man resist her?

None of this putt putt around pansy riding garbage like the jap trail bikes.
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November 13th, 2004, 02:03 PM   #8
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reliability

I had 2 2000 Bergs, now just one. The FX600E I had for 4 Years. I replaced one stator, 1 starter sprague (worn out after 4 years) and 2 intake valves. I did update the rollers even though they were still O.K.
The second Berg I still have after 3 years, only 1 stator, 1 ignition module and 1 intake valve. Everything else I replaced was either from my own fault (not replacing wheel bearings in time) or from crashing. I ride at least ONCE a WEEK! Things I found I needed to replace often (BEFORE) they failed were Waterpump Seals and Cam bearings. Thats It! I did re-engineer alot of little things to make the bike easier to work on--or more stout, but I do that on ALL my bikes.

I have worked as a mechanic on these bikes, and it appears the 03-05 models are pretty dam reliable. We always say the same thing--They're as reliable as the OWNER.
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November 14th, 2004, 06:30 AM   #9
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?

Well said splatt, I know I have had a moan from time to time about my beloved Berg (was an 02/501) mostly because I hate spending money. But I didnt have it from NEW so this time it is gonna be a whole lot different with my NEW bike, because I have no-one else to blame with maintenance issues but me. I love em, that induction sound got me the first time I fired one up, they look the best enduro bike on the market and thet bloody go, and they're NOT orange.
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November 15th, 2004, 04:38 PM   #10
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Hi Gang,
Maybe I've been lucky, but maybe I'm one of those who does book maintenance, or more, but my 98 FE501 is now about 25,000 km. Its been raced, mx and enduro and trail ridden and has never failed to get me to the finish. The major problem was valve seats early on which meant new seats, valves and a piston. I did the crank as a precaution as well. 1 stator, 1 set of rollers, 2 sets of tappet screws and 1 camshaft since is bloody good compared to many of the Jap bikes I've come across. The valves never lose adjustment, even though I check them every 10 hours, mainly to monitor the rollers, just in case. I've lost count of the number of 250Fs I've seen blow up.

I've ridden all the latest bikes, but my 98 as currently set up for me, particularly the FCR, still does it. The only thing I may do is replace the Extreme forks with something better, but no rush. I'm a bit like Scully in that I'm in no hurry to spend money if I don't have to, but I know forks can be better, even though they've been reworked a number of times by the best in the country. The Ohlins on the VOR come to mind.

Cheers
Steve
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