Husqvarna is one of the oldest motorcycle manufacturers in the world. Its name may not be so familiar to the newer generation of off-road motorcycle enthusiasts, but there was a time when the Swedish company absolutely dominated the sport of motocross. Torsten Hallman, Malcolm Smith, and the great Steven McQueen helped push the rapidly growing company to the top. But in 1987 the Husqvarna motorcycle division was sold to the Cagiva MV Agusta Group and the company headquarters and production transferred to Varese in Italy. Since then, the company slowly started to slip out of the limelight and failing to dominate like it once did. However, with the recent purchase by KTM, Husqvarna has made quite the resurgence, and is looking to rise back to the top with their extensive lineup of motorcycles.
Now, if you look closely, you’ll see the new Husqvarna FE 501 looks very similar to KTM’s 500 EXC. However, once the plastics are removed you’ll see the differences. The subframe for the new Husqvarna is constructed entirely out of a lightweight, three-piece construction polyamide composite. This allows more flex when compared to the traditional aluminum subframe seen on other bikes. What this means is your ride will be a lot more comfortable in rough terrain, which is a plus when you’re logging countless hours out in the desert. And if your bike ever suffered from a hard crash, chances are the aluminum subframe was severely distorted. It’s almost impossible to get it back to its original shape. With the new polyamide subframe, though, Husqvarna states it simply bends back into place.
Powering this potent off-road steed is a 510.4cc SOHC engine designed specifically for the extreme demands enduro riding calls for. This brute of an engine is also fairly light due to its thinner walls and lighter crankcase. Don’t let the weight fool you: The Husqvarna FE 501 engine is still exceptionally strong and produces more than enough torque through its wide-ratio six-speed gearbox.
Husqvarna’s FE 501 also utilizes WP’s 48mm 4CS closed-cartridge front fork. The four-chamber system combines the performance of a closed-cartridge fork with the simplicity of an open-cartridge design. This allows for a lighter fork, better handling, and improved comfort.
So, if you’ve been in the market lately for a new off-road motorcycle, the Husqvarna FE 501 has everything you could want—and more. Plus, it comes with an electric start, which is always a plus in our book!