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November 4th, 2018, 07:26 PM   #1
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Joined: Nov 2018
From: Oregon

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Newbie looking at a 97 FE501

Hello,

I have this strange desire for one of the older Husabergs. It may be my heritage speaking, or something! Lots of experience with open-class 2-strokes so I think I can do the power alright. Think I am large enough to start it.

My concern is parts availability. It is basically going to be a rip around after work bike here and there. Not a big group rider kinda guy. I don't mind some hassle, but I don't want to search for unobtainium parts either or part it out after a part breaks cause I can't find one.

I have read about the ignition issues, he says he replaced the stator. Not sure on the rocker arm thing yet. If that is an issue with these. He says it runs great.

He says the bike is great, and he'll throw in a pumper carb 39MM I think, for around $900. Seems fair. The seller is pretty straight forward and I think it has some mild carb issues or if it did he would tell me.

Two questions:

Are the carbs on these, the stock ones, poorly designed and finicky?

How does the power feel compared to your typical 500 CC 2-stroke? I basically want to relieve stress by ripping through the forest at obscene speeds a few times a week for an hour here and there. Not a big time rider really. Everyone says they are just awesome for power, are they really that memorable?
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November 5th, 2018, 10:23 AM   #2
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Joined: Nov 2001
From: Ely, England

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I Ride: Husaberg FE501e 2003
well i definately wouldn't take that carb for $900. just run the original. I now do a jetting kit for the 501 for like 1/10th of that so it worth a try.

I can cross reference or find most parts to keep one going.

cheers

Taffy
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November 5th, 2018, 05:26 PM   #3
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From: Escondido, Ca. USA

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I Ride: 2005 Fe450,2001 Fx470,1997 Fx600
The needle valve and seat are prone to wear (easy to replace).

Other than that they work very well and I would not replace it.

In 1997 Dirt Bike Magazine did an open bike shootout and the 600 Husaberg was the fastest of the bunch. A 500 cannot be far behind.
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November 5th, 2018, 06:30 PM   #4
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OK. The bike was actually quite a bit cheaper than $900 without the carb. I am not the kind of a guy who blows his bike up every week at all. In fact, I ride so little that I rarely have issues due to lack of use. I check things out, have a discerning ear and just ride.

Assuming that the bike is sound, it has had the stator redone very recently, and there are no other apparent issues what small parts should I have on hand that I could pre-order?

Also, assuming you bought a currently useable bike as it sat, what would you do to it before enjoying it? I get the check the oil and filters thing, but what else? Rollers on the cam followers?

It isn't the end of the world if I have to work on it or wait for a part, I just don't want a yard ornament is all.

I don't think I can get the performance for twice the money he is asking.

The intended use is an hour here and there and maybe a weekend trip to the dunes perhaps but that would be about it.
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November 6th, 2018, 12:00 AM   #5
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I Ride: Husaberg FE501e 2003
valve clearances
clean the carb
coolant, oil change, check filter
check the igniiton timing using the old strobe method (I ahve a video on the Taffmeisters FB page under 'videos').
set the idle on the PS.

parts; you'll probably have the waterpump seal go straight away up on the head requiring two new seals and a gasket. I'd stop at that. maybe a left cover gasket and have a plug ready for when the bitch doesn't want to start!

Taffy
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November 6th, 2018, 07:53 AM   #6
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Ok. I think I have asked enough questions other than one more. Taffy answered enough to help out. Thank you.

Last question: I know these have some rocker arm issues. If the bike is running well, but not currently having a problem, should I worry?

The seller knows the bike pretty good and seems to have pretty good knowledge of it. I can ask him if or when he replaced them. But if he doesn't know......what do you do? Replace or ride and hope?
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November 6th, 2018, 11:30 AM   #7
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I Ride: Husaberg FE501e 2003
the 97 was the last year of the soft valve springs (or 98 was?) and so you shouldn't have much trouble.

Taffy
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November 6th, 2018, 07:59 PM   #8
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Thank you. Like I said, I am not a "new top end" every other week kind of rider. Plus I pay attention.

I am going to look at the bike more seriously.

I will post up one way or the other with the outcome.

Thank you for your help.
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November 8th, 2018, 02:57 PM   #9
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The rocker issue referred to is likely the roller followers. Not an issue if replaced as per the manual @ 150 hrs IIRC. If not, they can fail. The 98 was the last with the dual valve springs, 99 went conical, once again IIRC.

I had issues with my 98 FE501's original Dellorto carb. I could never get a consistent float level, which I finally resolved with an FCR39.

My 98, which is pretty much the same bike as the 97, has done over 800 hrs and is still solid. I don't think they will run away from a 500 2t, but they have a nice 4t powerband that works well in an enduro/trail environment and is still competitive with current 450 enduro bikes IMHO.
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November 8th, 2018, 08:10 PM   #10
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Im scheduling to pick it up in the next day or two. I don't think for a second it is going to walk away from a CR500. Honestly, I like power but those things are enough. I've had a couple of 84's, a 490, kx 500 etc. The early Honda's were the nastiest.

I basically want to go as fast as possible for as cheaply as possible. If I ride a fair amount, I may get a newer bike or just keep this one. I just want to ride.

My biggest fear, which you fine folks have helped me to overcome, is that it will be unreliable or extremely difficult to get parts for. I am convinced it is a good roll of the dice. It isn't an xr200, but then it does not perform like one either.
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