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Old 01-20-2015, 02:13 PM   #1
wiswoodsguy OP
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Is Husky in for the long haul ??

Went and looked at the new Husky FE501 last weekend and instantly fell in love. I have deep Orange roots, so the jump would be easy peasy.

Whats not to love ?? Almost exactly the same as the 500 EXC with a few extra farkles. I even embraced the the white color more so than the overly orange 2015 KTMs. Being that its the fraternal twin to the EXC, and its really only a matter of choosing color, my decision should be quite simple. Right ??

Why can't I get over the fact that Husky has had a few owners over the past decade ?? Is KTM going to "create" a whole new entity with the Huskys as they did with Husaberg (which I'll always have love for them too) ?? Or are they going to continue to badge it a Husky when we all know that its truly a KTM under the plastic ?? Or even worse yet, would KTM sell off Husky to the next interested party creating a bike that will be worthless next to its orange brother in years to come ??

The subtle differences between the FE and EXC are not enough to make my vote sway either way. But the longevity of the brand will have a deciding factor in this fight.

Such a huge dilemma right ?? Im still buying a new bike. But would you have the same hang up ??
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Old 01-20-2015, 02:19 PM   #2
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Have you looked at the effort Husky has put into racing in both Europe and the USA this year?

They are sure spending money like this is serious. A Husky rider is ranked 3 and 4th, respectively, in the 450 and 250 Supercross points standings already. Not bad for season one of their return. My KTM dealer also said they are leaning hard on him to put Husky in his floor plan. So I believe they are back.

I found myself rooting for the white bikes in Supercross despite the orange ones in my garage. It was just cool to see the marquee back out there racing where it belongs. If you watch any European races Husky is a big sponsor now. I just can't see putting that kind money into a trial balloon for testing the waters.
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Old 01-20-2015, 02:28 PM   #3
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IMO, I can't see KTM ever selling or ending Husky. They have common roots that go back 2 decades so I think they have finally come home where they belong.
The prior 2 owners were never serious dirt bike makers; KTM is.
I would buy if it were me.
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Old 01-20-2015, 05:31 PM   #4
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profit margin will be the deciding factor. if husky makes them a good profit theyll keep it if not they wont
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Old 01-20-2015, 05:57 PM   #5
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Either way you can still go to the KTM dealer for most of the parts if they get sold off.

I agree with ya, the new 501 is a sexy beast. I rode with one last weekend and they appear to handle very well.
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Old 01-20-2015, 06:24 PM   #6
wiswoodsguy OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KDXfile View Post
IMO, I can't see KTM ever selling or ending Husky. They have common roots that go back 2 decades so I think they have finally come home where they belong.
The prior 2 owners were never serious dirt bike makers; KTM is.
I would buy if it were me.
They washed their hands with Husaberg awfully quick, so it could happen.

I get the points made about their race efforts, does show strong faith in keeping the brand around. But we all know that what wins on Sun sells on Mon. Guess it all depends on what type of racing they need to be successful at for Husky to persevere

...... Still got some heavy pondering to do
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Old 01-20-2015, 09:03 PM   #7
decooney
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wiswoodsguy,

Yes, I sure hope so. The Husky brand seems to be back in force, and thanks to KTM's owner and some diehard engineers taking the best of the former Husaberg and KTM 500 drivetrain and chassis. Don't "ponder" too long before your local dealer stock is gone through summer. Five dealers in my surrounding area were sold out of the 501S bikes with Orange 500EXCs on the floor. This new Husky bike seems to be attracting former Husaberg, KTM, and Beta riders. Rides and handles good with the linkage and new WP 4CS suspension. Has nicer billet triple clamps, the updated Trailtech enduro computer like Beta, rear composite subframe design of the former Berg. The updated plastics are nice too. I was on the fence until I rode one and really started studying this bike. Chilly on enduro360 did a nice review on them too and says today's Husky engineers were very serious about designing and building this new bike. Seems like it. I really like this bike, it's bad ass, looks great too. Can't wait to ride it again. Really appreciate what KTM did with this bike. My first Husky after owning KTM, Beta, and several Yamahas, Suzukis, Kawasakis, and Hondas.
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Old 01-21-2015, 04:10 AM   #8
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I do wonder if KTM are doing what BMW have done for years. When they wanted to develop the X5 they bought Landrover sucked out all their engineering history and development records released the X5 then sold. When they wanted to get more serious offroad they bought Husavarna and did the same. KTM just did that with Husaberg, they even took their punchline 'Ready to race' then sold them. Now they have bought Husqvarna (the only other biggish company with serious two-strokes) so in a few years if they sell them we'll know........
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Old 01-21-2015, 05:45 AM   #9
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I seen a FE511 in action the other day, magnificent machine. The gas tank is under the seat and in the frame. The FF who rode it says it lowers the center of gravity but he can't get a bigger tank. I bet that bike is so easy to turn, the seat goes damn near all the way to the handlebars.
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Old 01-21-2015, 08:31 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdventureDave View Post
I do wonder if KTM are doing what BMW have done for years. When they wanted to develop the X5 they bought Landrover sucked out all their engineering history and development records released the X5 then sold. When they wanted to get more serious offroad they bought Husavarna and did the same. KTM just did that with Husaberg, they even took their punchline 'Ready to race' then sold them. Now they have bought Husqvarna (the only other biggish company with serious two-strokes) so in a few years if they sell them we'll know........
Husaburg got sold off, that's news to me. I understand Pierer merged Husaberg & Husky back together and dropped the 'Berg name. To me that route is totally logical, not much room for the 3 to compete saleswise and since the 'berg engineering was a split off of the original Husky engineering group years ago, it makes total sense to reunite those guys.
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Old 01-21-2015, 08:45 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdventureDave View Post
I do wonder if KTM are doing what BMW have done for years. When they wanted to develop the X5 they bought Landrover sucked out all their engineering history and development records released the X5 then sold. When they wanted to get more serious offroad they bought Husavarna and did the same. KTM just did that with Husaberg, they even took their punchline 'Ready to race' then sold them. Now they have bought Husqvarna (the only other biggish company with serious two-strokes) so in a few years if they sell them we'll know........
This too makes me question myself about buying a first year bike. Will they make significant changes in the next 2 years where I would regret buying a 2015 ??

On the other side of the coin, would KTM incorporate linkage onto the EXC line and the billet triple clamp as well for next year ??

Like I said earlier, I can't lose choosing either route. The first incentive for considering the Husky was the dealer is offering a sweet intro price so he can get more white bikes into the sea of orange. My KTM dealer seems to hold strong on the price, but he is a great sponsor to our DS club. I haven't talked price on the KTMs yet, but the Husky was already almost 1K lower (thats a lot of accessories I could add). The downside to that is, they had 2 501's at the dealer and 1 was already sold.

Ive got about month to sort things out as we still have at least 2 months of snow here in the midwest.
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Old 01-21-2015, 08:52 AM   #12
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I thought I read somewhere that these first (blue KTM's) bikes were just to get Husky's on the showroom floor immediately, and that the "fork in the road" would widen in a few years once Team Husky had some R&D time under their belt...
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Old 01-21-2015, 09:23 AM   #13
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It only took a year from 701 SM concept bike to 701 SM production bike here for summer sales. So I wonder if those 401 concept bikes will see production for 2016. If they put a real seat and a rear fender on the 401 enduro it would be a cool little bike. But whoever designed the ass on that bike has never ridden in mud or gravel.
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Old 01-21-2015, 09:32 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wiswoodsguy View Post
They washed their hands with Husaberg awfully quick, so it could happen.
I don't think this is the best way to put it.

Husqvarna was a Swedish bike manufacturer, and in the 1980s some of the employees left Husqvarna when the company was bought and moved to Italy and founded Husaberg. So in reality Husaberg was the old Swedish Husky (until 'berg was bought by KTM in the early 00s).

KTM's philosphy from their website propaganda that I read was they were finally reuniting the brand and there was no need for the "Husaberg" name anymore. So they didn't really "wash their hands" of Husaberg they just changed the bikes from Blue Plastic to White and put the Husky Logo on them.

From what I've read the Husky line should start developing its' own bikes that are different from the KTMs kinda like how we had the 70* Bergs and no KTM equivalent. I don't know if we'll see anything that radically different in the future, but I'd expect to see maybe a bike like the FE to be equipped with some higher spec parts where the KTM XC equivalent will be of a lower spec (Ohlins vs WP maybe?, no way to know for sure).
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Old 01-21-2015, 09:58 AM   #15
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I'd say Husky, among other things, will be a KTM test platform for future parts and technologies. Prove the design with hardcore Husky racing and release a solid KTM to the market, for which most are sold not as racers.

Don't forget Pierer spoke heavily, when Husky was bought, about VW/Audi/Porches vehicle sharing system with different trim levels. He admired that system. This was before Berg was announced going away. I thought he was going to make it like Husky = VW, KTM = Audi & Berg = Porsche...but he had other plans. Still he wants to use that platform sharing methods so expect it!
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