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Old 03-17-2011, 08:17 PM   #1
ThanatosF OP
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09 husqvarna smr450 street

So Im contemplating buying an 09 husqvarna smr 450 street legal motard. But while researching I've come across some things that have caused some confusion, and I'm here to see if anyone can help me understand.

First, apparently the maintenance is much more intense than say, a DRZ400. Why is this?

I came across some forums with users stating concern about overheating in traffic. I don't believe this is a common problem with other liquid cooled bikes, so why is it with the SMR 450? I realize this is more or less a total race bike thats street legal, but still I don't understand the difference, mechanically-wise.

My purpose for this bike would be just riding to work (20min. ride mostly on freeway) and also just freeriding around for fun.If anyone can help me see the light I would greatly appreciate it!
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Old 03-17-2011, 10:09 PM   #2
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I was looking at the same model to change over to a te (off road) setup. Mainly looking because of the huge discount from the mn dealership on ebay. For your purpose you might be better off with the sm610 for freeway riding and less maintaince.
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Old 03-17-2011, 10:19 PM   #3
ThanatosF OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Godfather View Post
I was looking at the same model to change over to a te (off road) setup. Mainly looking because of the huge discount from the mn dealership on ebay. For your purpose you might be better off with the sm610 for freeway riding and less maintaince.
Thanks for the reply Godfather. I'm also in MN, noticed an smr 450 at a dealer in barnesville. Would you mind explaining why a sm610 would be better, or why that bike would require less maintaince?
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Old 03-17-2011, 10:35 PM   #4
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First and foremost, the 610/630 family of bikes have a wide transmission, which drops down the revs on the highway, thus making them more comfortable vibe-wise.

The maintenance difference must be primarily due to the quantity of oil held in the engine, but I am not sure. Given the fact that the new breed 630 uses the same top as the previous 450/510 bikes, i would expect similar schedules.

The 450/510 bikes are barebones missiles and while they are a lot of fun, commuting on them might not be what they have been made for. The 610/630 are just as much fun and easier to live with. You can even travel on them with some seat mods.

The DRZ engine is a gem of a powerplant which can be brought to the same state of tune as the huskies while staying a lot less maintenance intensive. But the rest of the bike is not as graceful.
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Old 03-17-2011, 10:40 PM   #5
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Basically, the 610 (or DRZ400) has longer service intervals and doesn't overheat because it's designed to have longer service intervals and not overheat. More of the engine power is used to pump oil and coolant and put out extra amps to power an electric fan for when the bike stops.

The 450 is designed to put as much power as possible to the ground without giving up too much reliability. It pumps less oil and coolant and has no electric cooling fans. That saves a lot of weight and frees up a lot of power, but the flip-side is much more frequent oil changes and a lot of preventative maintenance.

As an extreme example, a '98 TE 610 puts as much power to the ground as possible (full stop). It pumps a little coolant and no oil (no mechanical oil pump, just a vacuum-activated reed) and barely drives the headlight. As a result, it requires a LOT of oil changes and constant maintenance.

Make any sense?

(That is, of course, massively simplistic, but it all boils down to that power/weight/reliability trade-off.)

Unless you're racing, I'd say go with the 610. There is an argument to be made for the smaller TEs over the TE 610 for trail use, but with supermotos and mostly street miles, the slightly bigger bike will provide almost all of the performance with a fraction of the hassle.

(That said, I'm in the market for a TE 510 at the moment.)
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Old 03-18-2011, 12:00 AM   #6
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Maintenance is much more intense on the SMR because its an ultralight, high performance bike. The SMR stands for Super Moto Race, race being the key word. A DRZ engine is designed to have moderate performance, great reliability, and good service intervals. Its also weighs close to 80 pounds more than a SMR, while making about 25% less power. If you want to commute 20 minutes on the freeway, an SMR is not for you, buy a DRZ.
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Old 03-18-2011, 07:05 PM   #7
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Thanks everyone for detailing why this bike would be a bad choice for me. Better to realize this now than after getting sucked into financing, etc! What was the world like before forums? I think I'll start looking for a DRZ400.
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Old 03-18-2011, 08:15 PM   #8
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Wholly misinformation in this thread.

1st off....DRZSM vs SM450R. Husky puts down about 30 more HP and weighs about 30 lbs less. To bring the DRZ to the same level of tune, your reliability is going to be in the same ball park, and so is your maintenance.

Starting in '08 the SM450R was delivered with a cooling fan, and can wait for lights and stuff, but it's gonna get hot. It's a race bike that is meant to move.

Oil changes every 500-1000 miles, valve checks every other oil change for the 1st 3k, then you can move to every 3rd or so. The Husky has to be one of the easiest bikes to check valves on, and rarely does more than one valve move more than once.

It will do 20 mins each way on the freeway, but it isn't gonna like it. To be honest, I avoid the freeway at all costs if I can. These bikes weren't meant for that. The 610/630 is better suited to slab work, but it's not nearly as nimble off the slab.

I've put over 9k miles on mine, and still get excited to ride it.

The DRZ is a fine machine, but it's like pitting a Mustang against a Ferrari.

Godfather....The SMRs have shorter swing arms for quicker handling. I don't think a knobby will fit. I am running a 150/70 Distanzia (factory is 150/60), and there is only about a 1/2" of clearance.

Here's a pic from a ride last year (150+ mile day with some muddy rocky trails thrown in).

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Old 03-18-2011, 11:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SwitchThrottle View Post
Wholly misinformation in this thread.

1st off....DRZSM vs SM450R. Husky puts down about 30 more HP and weighs about 30 lbs less. To bring the DRZ to the same level of tune, your reliability is going to be in the same ball park, and so is your maintenance.


For the records, an fcr'd DRZSM will pump out 40hp without giving away an inch of reliability and infrequent maintenance. The SMR is about 10hp more than that at best, unless you think yours has 70hp!!!

Cubes for cubes, the drz with a 450cc kit will be close to 45+ hp, again without giving much away in terms of maintenance. Granted that the drz engine is heavier than the smr (I guess) but the former is one jewel of thumping reciprocal action.
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Old 03-19-2011, 07:16 AM   #10
SwitchThrottle
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You caught me, the difference is only 20hp.

But that is still almost double the power to weight ratio right off the showroom floor.

I'm not saying you can't get a DRZ into Husky (or any other performance 450) territory. Sure you can, but you can't build a motor and treat it like a stock mill, and expect stock longevity from it.

We won't even address the weight difference, the premium suspension and braking components etc.

For the cost of a DRZ with all the hop ups, you could buy a lightly used Husky and just ride the piss out of it, and with good regular maintenance it will last you a long long time.

Again I am not knocking the DRZ. It's a great bike. I've ridden one, and ridden with people who own them. Heck, I would have probably bought one if I wasn't able to afford the Husky when I was shopping for a motard.

Oh....and one other thing for the OP. The frequent oil changes are a necessity because the bike only carries around 1.75 quarts. It has 3 prefilter screens and a paper filter.
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Old 03-19-2011, 08:01 AM   #11
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Get the husky, it's a very fun bike. The manual states oil changes aren't any closer together than any other bike, except under "race or severe use" which then drops it down to the 500 mile interval range. It is well worth the smiles it will put on your face. And yes, they do run hot if you are in stop and go traffic sitting at lights for minutes on end but just don't ride in traffic. That's what the shoulder is for anyway..."officer, I swear this bike can't sit or it'll overheat, that's the only reason I was going down the dirt shoulder at 60mph!"
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Old 03-20-2011, 07:28 PM   #12
ThanatosF OP
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A quick follow up question...is the gas mileage just terrible on the SMR? Not even comparing to the DRZ, but motorcycles in general. If I'm going to get the same MPG as my ford fusion gets, the appeal really drops off.
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Old 03-20-2011, 07:45 PM   #13
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Depends how you ride it. I was getting around 45-50mpg when I first got it. Now that I've had it for a while, that has dropped back down around 30-35ish. I find it hard to be civil on it.

You will never have as much fun in your Fusion while trying to eek 30-35 out of it.

They will happily swill 89 all day long, and just seem to run a little hotter with 91+. I wasn't happy with the performance that 87 provided, but that's all they had when I rolled in on fumes so.....
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Old 03-21-2011, 08:24 AM   #14
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Y'got me on the fans. Must have looked at too many KTMs. Makes your brain turn to mush.

My point was just that oil capacity is a small part of a bigger picture, and that there's no easy way to make a high-maintenance engine into a low-maintenance one. With more oil, the SMR's engine could go longer between changes, but still would not be a low-maintenance engine by any stretch. That would require further modifications to the oiling system, upgrades to the cooling system, and a tune that would allow it to run cooler, which will lose some horsepower for sure.

Thanatos, I'm sure you'd get a kick out of an SMR, and I'm equally sure it can be used as a daily rider, but it's not a bike I'd choose if my priorities were freeway commuting and gas mileage. It's not a bike I'd choose if my priorities were anything but riding a race bike on the street, and I say that as somebody who rides an older, needier, even more cantankerous race bike on the street, every day, to and from work and wherever else I go. There's no practicality about the thing; the joy comes from being able to do it at all. If that alone doesn't do it for you, go with something a little mellower that'll give you long tanks and long service intervals.

Just my thoughts on the matter.
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Old 03-21-2011, 06:26 PM   #15
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Get the Husky, it's a great bike.

dirtRiderGuy screwed with this post 04-07-2011 at 03:10 PM
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