So, at this point I feel like my days of racing sportbikes are comfortably behind me. I’m very happy with the experiences I’ve had on them, but don’t feel any burning need to be out on the track (or street) on them, chasing lap times, pushing the limits to the edge. I enjoyed the heck out of doing that for several years, but it’s out of my system.
I do, however, still love to ride any type of motorcycle, and probably always will. I’ve said for years that the most fun bike I’ve ever ridden, pound-for-pound, was the Aprilia SXV550 supermoto bike I had a few years back. Nothing else even came close as far as pure, ear-to-ear grin inducing fun. The trouble was, that bike’s motor was an absolute lemon mechanically. It spent far more time in the shop than it did on the street or track. Such a shame, because otherwise it was absolutely brilliant.
The only bike I’ve kept over the last six months or so has been the Multistrada 1200, which is just incredible. It does everything so very well. However, apparently I haven’t completely matured from my high school days, because I still seem to find myself always leaving my house for rides on the Multi with a big wheelie. That bike is a little big to be flicking around, sliding and wheelieing like a motocross bike. For that sort of hooliganism – er I mean fun, you need a supermoto bike. But are there any made that I can actually trust to not constantly break down like my Aprilia did?
Then, I saw it.
Researched it. Obsessed over it. Decided against it. Got over it. A month passed, and it started calling me again. “I’ll be reliable, I promise. Sure, I’m European, but I’m not Italian, I’m Austrian/Swedish. Trust me. We’ll be able to have so much fun together. All the fun you had on your sportbikes, but at lower speeds – both on the street and on the track.” Like an irresistible magnet, it kept pulling me back. When the price kept dropping, dropping, dropping… Well, I could no longer resist.
Introducing my new toy, the 2011 Husaberg FS570:
- It’s really quiet at idle, but is actually pretty loud and raspy sounding when you get on the gas – sounds meaner than I expected with a stock pipe
- Little bit of popping on decel which sounds awesome
- Brakes are ridiculously good at both ends. Bike stops like right now!
- Stock gearing is really tall. Still does roll on wheelies in first gear quite nicely, thank you.
- It’s tiny, and lighter than any street bike I’ve ridden. So agile it’s crazy.
- Handles really well, with very neutral steering. Put it wherever you want, and it’s already there.
- Suspension is really good for stock components. I rode over some very harsh speed bumps at a good pace and it just soaked them right up. Not as squishy as the Aprilia SXV was, it’s fairly stiff to start with.
- Other reviews I’ve read have mentioned that during break-in it felt a bit sluggish, then got progressively better and ultimately great. Lots of guys switch the rear sprocket too. I can see that. Between tall gearing and wanting to not go too crazy during break-in, the low end isn’t that strong yet.
- Mid range and top end is very impressive. You’re going fast before you know it. And sixth gear? That’s a surprise on a big single dirt bike platform. I took it up to about 80, and it just hummed along, remarkably stable with no headshake. Not nervous like the Ape could be. Maybe I won’t need a steering damper!
- Rear tire sure looks tiny. I’m so used to 180′s and 190′s, even the SXV had a badass looking 180. This bike has a 150/60! Previous gen Pilot Powers. Decent enough tires, but I’ll want something I can count on for being grippier when I start to really push it.
- Seat is hard as rock.
- Break in instructions say keep it under 7,000 RPM. Requires some guesswork, since it doesn’t have a tach!
- Thankfully, it has a much easier maintenance schedule than the Ape, and a one year warranty! Ape only had 90 days, as I recall.
- Owner’s manual is by far the best one I’ve ever seen. It’s big, very clearly written and illustrated, and is actually a combination owner’s manual and comprehensive service manual. Nice!
- It was SO nice to have the bike just fire up – quickly – every time I pushed the starter button. On the Aprilia, it was always a fingers-crossed moment. In fact, when I bought the bike from a guy in Las Vegas, with just 40 miles on it, I hoped to take it for a little test ride. Nope. No go. It wouldn’t start, no matter what we tried, and ultimately the battery died. In a leap of faith, I bought it anyway, knowing that everyone that had them had to learn the special little technique to start them. Even the next day, after charging it up, no start. Finally had the dealer put a new map in it, which helped. Definitely a nice relief to have the ‘Berg start right up for me every time.
Of course, I’m never content to leave well enough alone, so I had to do just a little bit of modding. Based on recommendations I’d seen from other owners, so far I’ve added the following bits:
- Akrapovic slip-on exhaust (which sounds awesome and improves performance)
- DNA air filter kit (helping it breathe better and giving improved power)
- 43 tooth rear sprocket (giving it more grunt down low)
- New chain, required by the size of the new rear sprocket
- AMR graphics kit (I wasn’t crazy about the stock graphics, and needed some red in there to match my gear)
- Cycra hand guards
- Removed the smog filter device on the right side of the head to eliminate the backfiring problem with the new pipe
- Added some red/white/blue numbers to the number plates to fill that giant white space in
The graphics aren’t quite finished yet, as AMR only had the front fender and fork guard graphics for the enduro version, which has a different shape. They’ve promised to get me them soon, so hopefully they will, as they told me before I bought them that they’d fit my bike, but they don’t.
Here’s the bike with the mods to this point. I’m really loving it so far, as you can imagine!