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aaron January 27th, 2015 11:09 PM

Intro - Hoge's Husa (Australia)
Hey everyone,

Just like to introduce myself: I'm Aaron and I recently acquired a 2002 Fe501 in a state of disrepair.

I live in Melbourne Australia and having grown up on a farm not far outside the city I was fortunate to have dirt bikes when I was younger. I started off with a Suzuki DS80 in 1986. Had to give up my pony to get the bike and only on the provisio that I could pick the bike up from laying on the ground. Thankfully I wasn't trading a bike for a horse with that sort of rule imposed by my dad or that would have posed some difficulty to scrawny 10 year old me.

I think my last bike was a Yamaha IT175 which coincided with giving up riding around my late teens due to growing pains, studying and teenage lack of cash. Fast forward a few years and I was as keen to get away from farm life as could be. Fast forward to now, and I was at the point I figured I could afford to get out of the city more on some adventures with a close mate who had recently taken up riding a road registered Yamaha WR250 and bought a "cafe racer" project Honda CB500.

I'm a pretty handy guy and whiel I have a white collar job I also have a small factory space that I share with a former work colleague. He builds a few cafe style bikes and I mainly do car repairs, engine builds and generally just hang out in my man cave. Over the past 6 months I fully rebuilt a Toyota landcruiser turbo deisel engine for my parents. I have the same vehicle - a 1991 HDJ80r Landcruiser - pretty much bullet proof provided you maintain them and fantastic off road in standard form to get you all sorts of places.

As I was toying with the idea of getting a bike again I joined a local facebook group for buy-swap-sell dirtbikes and came across a 2000 Suzuki RM80 and swapped an old tool box full of worn and mis-matched tools for it. Jumped online and started ordering bits for an engine rebuild. Figured I could spin a few dollars on the venture and roll that over into a proper bike for myself.

At this stage I was looking for a KTM with a preference for 2008 or newer up to 2011 in a big capacity. Something like a 400 EXC with road reg would have been perfect. However these are still a $4000 bike and go up from there the newer and better maintained they are. Where you may save on a cheaper bike you can expect to be rebuilding.

While saving up and waiting for the right bike to come along I noticed an ad for a 2002 Fe501 in a nearby area. The bike was advertised for $500 with a "timing chain problem" and generated a lot of interest and half-serious offers but no solid takers. I read up on this model Husaberg and was mildly put off by the reputation.

When I got to look at the bike I was not put off by it all. Cosmetically it had repaired fenders but was otherwise really clean. It had been registered for road use in Victoria previously and still had lights, mirrors, indicators and horn. I was confident that the bike would pass a road worthy inspection if the engine was attended to.

My initial diagnosis of the engine was that the chain had broken and "whipped" the rocker cover, tearing a section out. The head was removed and in a box. There was no damage to the gearset as the side case was removed and all parts were present. I was told the seller had bought it in this state about a year prior but hadn't commenced the repair. The previous owner had purchased a replacement head and cover from the USA however these were the wrong parts and they gave up on the bike at that point, having bought a pair of them new for $14k, they had got their ten years of fun out of it.

Having seen the level of interest in the bike and the seller being a genuinely nice guy I paid the asking price of $500. I thought that was more than fair given what I saw parts going for.

Once I got the bike back to the factory I went right through the parts boxes and re-assembled the side case with all the gears so I could confirm everything was indeed present. I checked out the spare head and compared it to the 501 head. Definitely smaller and different.

The 501 head had more damage than just the chain whipping out through the cover. The cam was chewed up. One tappet (lash adjuster) was broken/missing the lower section. The inlet cam follower bearing was missing its needle rollers! One cam bearing was also a bit tight. The chamber itself looks corroded around the plug. I haven't yet removed the valves but i fully expect these to need replacement. The microfilter showed a bit of glitter as did the main filter. The bore /sleeve will only need a slight hone according to my eye but these may decieve me when measured with the bore guage.

I'll be looking to run the "08" cam, kibblewhite valve train, run an external oil line to the valve train and use any other upgrade parts I can along the way. The bike already has a few "upgrades" including Keihin FCR 39 carb, a dual battery system and an Acewell ACE-3100 digital speedo which is quite a score!

As soon as I had decided to buy the bike I signed up here. Although for some reason I had trouble registering (or at least getting the account activated). So I could read the posts but couldn't contact the site admins to sort it out - does nobody monitor the facebook page? Tried again today and registered under a slightly abbreviated name and with my work email.

Look forward to sharing the rebuild with you and keeping another Husaberg alive. Will really appreciate input and advice on the build as it's my intention to do it right the first time using only the best parts. My plans for it now include a full engine rebuild, road registration and enjoy riding for pleasure.

aaron January 27th, 2015 11:11 PM

2 Attachment(s)
....and here are the pics

tourist January 28th, 2015 01:10 AM


Not the worst intro post that :) Rather sexy bike too!! look forward to hearing more

Glad you got the registration sorted ... Nobody knows for sure but the administration is unfortunately a bit hands-off at times

Taffy January 28th, 2015 02:09 AM

G'day Aaron and welcome to UHE!

the membership delay was to get rid of spammers but all that seems to happen is that new members get pissed off and the spammers are still here! what a phuqed up site!

first of all i weld these up all the time. I also think it's a badge of honour to have it welded and it is after all out of site.

I cut all the jagged metal out, chase cracks with a rotary file, make a strip of metal to be welded in. bolt it to the head. get it welded.

good as new.

the reason the engine went is because the cam follower bearing was allowed to disintegrate.

suggest the following
use mole grips and valve grinding paste to remove the broken tappet. grind one end down to the rocker making it flush.

weld cover as said.

cam bearings with the seals in

later ADC and my modified ADC spring

I can still get the early cam follower bearings but you need to check the pin diameter with a vernier. 7.6mm is later and 7.8mm is earlier.

pull the rocker shafts. they'll be shaged on one face if not both coz someone turned them over. the answer if you have one good side is to put the good side underneath.

these rocker shafts are no loner available but you can get a later rocker shaft with no holes in it. I'm about to have a price on upgrading the later ones so they have the oil feed etc in 48 hours...........

I do a modified cam chain tensioner blade - far better.

I do a jetting kit for the carb.

the DVSK I do are better than the conicals and there's no damage to the valves or seats. the bike turns on the button quicker - the lot.

your inlets will be tuliped

your exhaust valves are unlikely to seal all 360 degrees.

if you put your two index fingers on the piston and steer the piston I bet the little end is toast...........

engine rebuild.

all due to the fact that the guy didn't change oil..........



aaron January 28th, 2015 03:00 PM

Thanks Taffy,

At this stage I have the engine ALMOST ready to pull from the frame bar one thing. I can't seem to get the swing-arm bolt out. Bike is on a stand, rear wheel off, shock undone. Using a suitable BFH (Big F'n Hammer) and a pin punch only manged to shift it 3mm either side. Do they hang up on the threads? Might try an easy-out and rotate the bolt while tapping it gently with a plastic mallet.

No idea how many hours on the bike and as you say, poor maintenance is evident when you have a failure of this magnitude.

I haven't tried to twist the piston yet but just assumed I would be using a new rod kit (recommended @ 100hrs anyway). I'll size up those cam followers. I salvaged the rockers/shafts from the spare head. I do have a range of quality Mitiutoyo micrometers/verniers/dial guages. Regrettably I don't have a hydraulic press on site but do have access to one at a friends home.

Is there anywhere I can find a list of the SKF bearing part numbers for this engine? I was planning on sourcing these through a friend who works in an Industrial Bearing Supply shop. Or do I have to rely on ordering them under a Husaberg/KTM part number?

I've started a big spreadsheet of part numbers ready to place orders in the coming weeks.

Taffy January 29th, 2015 01:22 AM

when it gets like that I lay it on its side over a socket on my concrete yard and then hit it but if it doesn't move immediately I get it pressed out by the local engineers by laying the whole bike in a press.

the rockers from the older head are different. check the fork centres.



bahnsy January 29th, 2015 02:11 AM

Some small advice. Before you go spending money on this bike, work out what con-rod is fitted first. The 501 had 3 different rod lengths between 1998 and 2002. If your bike is an early 02 build, ie it was built in 2001 it may have the rod that was fitted to the 00 & 01 model that is near on impossible (if at all to find) i have shelved 2 x 501 projects purely because of the availability of the con-rod. If the rod IS the early rod & some one tells you that supply is not an issue as the part supersedes to a 550 rod you will be taken up the garden path as the factory super-cession is incorrect, trust me as I have a brand new 550 rod kit that the dealer wouldn't return. After 2 years I was able to locate a NOS item in the US via Rick Bozarth & for the last 18 months I've been trying to find another without success. There are a few options, 1. You send your old rod to a company in Germany and they'll resize your old rod, fit a sleeve into it to bring it back to OEM specs and fit a new small end bush. 2. Have a custom rod made but that takes you into the stratosphere when it comes to the cost.

Taffy January 29th, 2015 02:52 AM

Hello Bahnsy

are you saying that the 2003/4 501/550 rod can't be retro fitted back to the 2001/2002 model?

I didn't know that?

I have a 550 rod here right now ready to go to Oz!


bushmechanic January 29th, 2015 04:15 AM

Bahnsy PM ORANGEBERG about those rods

bahnsy January 30th, 2015 01:21 AM

A couple of points (from my reference & opinion - I'd love to be proven wrong)
1. The capacities available in 2000 were 400/501/600
2. The capacities available in 2001 were 400/550/650
3. The capacities available in 2002 were 400/501/550/650
The conrod in the 00 is unique to that model, 117mm from memory. When the 02 501 was introduced it shared the same bottom end, i.e. conrod, that was 3 or so mm longer than the 2000 501 rod and was shared with the same year 550. Guaranteed, the later 501/550 rod cannot be retrofitted to the 2000 501 even though Husaberg's own parts literature & catalogues nominates that it can.

However.........2001 model year bikes & 2001 production units were a reliability disaster with the new engine. I've also seen some weird combinations in Australia with things like a 501 engine produced in 2001 that differed from the later 501's re conrods and pistons than what was found in the later 501/550 engines, 4 speed motocross models that were advertised & sold as 6 speeds, full electrics fitted to MX models but not used, etc.

As far as I know the 2003/4 501/550 rod CAN be retro fitted back to the 2001/2002 model as long as it's not an early production 2001 501. I have told Husaberg many times over that there supercession of the 20 series number for the 2000 501 rod that supersedes to the 80 series number of the later 501/550 is incorrect as they are two completely different rod lengths. I guess the now Husqvarna management team have no interest in the early Bergs, witnessed in part by the lack of availability of parts for models up to the 70 deg engine.

Re the rod going to Australia, to be 100 o/k, just get the purchaser to check the rod length and confirm with your stock.

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