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November 19th, 2006, 10:00 AM   #1
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Joined: Mar 2005
From: Rancho Cucamonga, Ca.

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2005 fe550e First-Ride Report

Had my first ride on my new/used 2005 fe550e. I have to say that I was extremely impressed with this motorcycle. I’ve been riding an fe600e for almost six years, raced hare and hounds and grand prixs a few times, had it on a few several hundred mile dual sport events, and logged many hours of riding in the desert. Prior to that I owned a 1996 fc600 and have been riding Husqvarnas since 1973. So I have a lot of experience with many generations of European dirt bikes. My first ride on the 550 was truly a phenomenal experience.

Stability in a sand wash was amazing even at sustained speeds of 75mph. It was stable with no desire to fish tale, like my friends yz426f. Deep whoops were eaten alive by the 550 even at high speed, i.e. 50mph, no tank slapping or head shake. The 550 is not equipped with a steering dampener. Man, sitting here writing this brings back the riding experience. Makes me want to load up and leave now.

On choppy trails when the 550’s rear tire would encounter the sharp edge of a shelf in the middle of the trail the rear end would get thrown to one side just as it would with any bike but as soon as the rear tire would touch down the rear end would straighten out immediately. This happened several times and every time the bike corrected itself. Amazing! I have hit this type of obstacle while riding other bikes and would have to prepare for one hell of a ride for the next 50 ft or end up picking myself up off the ground.

Deep sandy up hills were not a problem for the 550 as the bike just trailed up them straight as an arrow. I’ve been on bikes that would get squirrelly in conditions like this requiring the throttle to be shut down thus loosing the necessary momentum to make it to the top.

Power delivery was superb. It was no problem to launch the bike off of small mounds clearing whoops on the opposite side and the 550’s all around acceleration kept me smiling.

The front end felt much lighter than my older 600’s. There was little effort dancing over fifty feet of deep whoops.

Cornering was equally as impressive. I’m talking about high speed cornering on single track and jeep trails. I’m not a motocross rider so I can’t say how the 550 reacts in tight corners found on a track but I can tell you that at 50 mph the bike sticks to the trail with no sign of front wheel wash out. Wow, truly amazing.

I could go on but I think I’ve made my point. Husaberg has done one hell of a good job engineering a great off road bike. Despite any mechanical short commings the bike may have I am looking forward to having a lot of fun with this bike as I have with all my dirt bikes over the past 35 years.
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