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Husqvarna Pushes Forward With Development of New Dual Sport and Off-Road Models


Husqvarna FE 450

Husqvarna arguably makes the most aggressive dual sports in terms of light weight, chassis sophistication and engine output. We were extremely impressed by the FE 350 S when we tested it last year. We just received the following press release from Husky describing its 2017 off-road and dual sport line-up. You will see information on two-strokes as well, but the street-legal four-strokes are our focus. Husky has made several significant changes for 2017, including to the frame, engine and suspension. Husky claims the new bikes are lighter, more powerful and more dependable. Here is Husky’s press release:

Husqvarna Motorcycles has today officially unveiled their complete line-up of all-new off-road and dual-sport models at the historic brand’s homeland in Huskvarna, Sweden.

Embodying Husqvarna’s pioneering spirit, each off-road and dual-sport machine has been redesigned from the ground up for 2017. Featuring the most advanced technology they set the benchmark in terms of handling, power, weight and aesthetics.

Introducing completely new design, reduced weight, best-in-class handling and dynamic ergonomics, Husqvarna’s 2-stroke TE 150, TE 250, TE 300 and 4-stroke FE 250, FE 350, FE 450 and FE 501 models offer the ideal blend of functionality and Swedish-inspired style.

All 2017 models are equipped with new lighter and more compact engines. Fitted within redesigned frames, the engines offer class-leading performance that’s specifically tailored to ensure a next level riding experience.

Designed to blaze new trails, excel in all conditions and deliver a next-level enduro experience the 2017 Husqvarna off-road and dual-sport ranges represent the next step for the historic brand’s off-road motorcycle range.


Husqvarna’s 2017 TE and FE models feature new frames, which ensure increased rider comfort and confidence. Manufactured to the highest standards by WP Performance Systems, the lighter frames offer 20% higher torsional rigidity for improved stability and agility, while longitudinal stiffness is reduced by 30% for improved suspension functionality.

Remaining unique to Husqvarna, the composite subframe has been redesigned to fit the new chassis. Made with 30% carbon fiber, the subframe is 2.2 pounds lighter than the previous part. All 2017 Husqvarna models have CNC machined triple clamps with an offset of 22 mm fitted as standard. Completing the chassis package the new swingarm has a specifically machined rear axle that allows for the chain adjuster markings to be seen from above.

A major update in the suspension department is the all-new WP XPLOR 48 front forks. Featuring an open cartridge layout with a spring in each leg and split damping functions, all adjusters – including an innovative pre-load adjuster as standard – are situated on top of each fork leg.

At the rear WP’s new DCC linkage shock is 0.8 lbs lighter than the previous version.

Positioned 6 mm higher than on Husqvarna’s motocross bikes, new self-cleaning footpeg mounts prevent dirt build-up. Along with the new ODI lock-on grips and adjustable throttle assembly (4-strokes), they ensure an improved riding experience.

High quality Brembo calipers and controls combine with GSK discs to deliver optimum stopping power. The rear brake features a 24 mm piston (26 mm on previous models) and a 10 mm longer rear brake lever for better control while braking.

The airbox has a new design with precisely positioned inlet ducts aimed at preventing air deformation and ensuring maximum airflow and protection. The filter cage now features a simple fail proof mounting system for safe and accurate filter installation. In the FE models a new Velocity Focused Intake system utilizes a reed valve in the intake boot to dampen noise while improving power and ride-ability.

With futuristic new bodywork all models feature Swedish-inspired design and striking blue and yellow colors.


Husqvarna FE 350


  • New frame with optimized geometry
  • WP XPLOR 48 front fork designed specifically for endure
  • Three-piece subframe made from composite materials
  • Swingarm design optimized for easy chain adjustment
  • Completely new bodywork with modern colors & graphics
  • Self-cleaning footpeg mounts
  • Longer rear brake lever
  • ODI lock-on grips
  • New airbox design


From the lighter and more powerful TE150 to the class-leading TE 300, Husqvarna’s 2017 off-road models introduce a new era in 2-stroke technology. All engines have been redesigned from the ground up. Lighter and more compact, they feature a completely new construction that focuses on mass centralization. Updated pistons are designed to match the reworked cylinders, while new crankshafts and counter balancer shafts significantly reduced vibrations.

A major upgrade across the 2017 2-stroke range is the new 38 mm flat slide Mikuni TMX carburetor. Providing an even smoother and more controllable power delivery the new Mikuni carburetor is less sensitive to temperature and altitude changes.

One of the most significant upgrades for 2017 is the lightweight electric start system, which is now placed and well protected under the engine on all the TE models.

A complete new exhaust system on the TE 150 is designed to match the specific characteristics of the new engines to deliver top-level performance. The larger displacement TE models have new pipes for optimum durability.

For the smaller displacement TE150 the gearbox is completely redesigned. All the updates have brought massive reduction in weight across Husqvarna’s 2017 2-stroke range.


  • Completely new 2-stroke engines
  • New piston TE 150
  • Updates on power valve systems
  • Counter balancer shaft for reduced vibrations (TE 250 and TE300)
  • New 38 mm Mikuni TMX carburetor
  • Electric start system placed under all engines
  • Completely new exhaust system (TE 150)
  • New pipes (TE 250 & TE 300)
  • Redesigned gearbox TE 150
  • Massive weight reduction

Russ Somers testing the 2015 Husqvarna FE 350 S for MD.


For 2017 all of Husqvarna’s 4-stroke dual-sport machines feature redesigned engines that reach new standards in terms of performance and reliability. Focused on providing dual-sport specific and rider-friendly power characteristics, all engines are lighter and more compact.

In repositioning major engine components Husqvarna Motorcycles’ engineers have managed to further enhance both the performance and handling of these new bikes. The 2017 Husqvarna FE models feature reworked cylinder heads, updated cylinders and new crankshafts, which ensure optimum durability and guarantee long service intervals of 135 hours.

The Keihin Engine Management System (EMS) on all 4-strokes is specifically designed to be smaller, lighter and faster at processing data. Combined with the new gear sensor, power delivery is tailored for each gear.

An all-new Keihin 42 mm throttle body sees its injector placed to provide an even more efficient flow of fuel to the combustion chamber.

All 4-stroke models are also fitted with updated header pipes and shorter mufflers, which are placed 50 mm closer to the engine. The redesigned gearbox now has a gear sensor that allows for specific engine mapping for each gear.

All the latest updates in the 2017 FE engines have brought significant weight savings, ranging from 1.5 lbs to 3.7 lbs.


  • New engine design focusing on mass-centralization
  • Increased power & torque across the range
  • Faster data processing Keihin EMS
  • Gear sensor allowing for specific engine maps
  • Revised injector positioning
  • New header pipes, shorter mufflers
  • New crankshafts
  • Longer service intervals of 135 hours
  • Massive weight savings

Detailed technical specifications can be found on

See more of MD’s great photography:



  1. -D says:

    I say, when Husky decides to build a dual sport that has service intervals measured in miles instead of running hours, then I’ll consider owning one. In this respect, the Yamaha WR250R is a better dual sport machine. If I want Husky performance I’ll buy an off road bike from them without the street legal trim. Whats the point of owning a Husky DS if I am still servicing it as a dedicated off road bike!?
    My 2 cents worth… 😉

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      It is getting to where you need a street legal machine just to be able to ride in a lot of places. There are some excellent unpaved routes that can be ridden in Big Bend National Park for example, but you are not allowed to go on them without a street-legal motorcycle.

      So the way I see it, there are:

      1) Street legal dirt bikes (Husky/KTM) for riders who really just want a dirt bike but need the blinkers for one reason or another, and

      2) Dirt-worthy street bikes (WR250R) for riders who really just want a durable street bike than can be used in the dirt.

      I’d like one of each, personally. 🙂

    • HalfBaked says:

      KTM, Husky, Beta and other street legal dirt bikes are called 90/10 machines for those that spend 90% of their time in the dirt and the other 10% connecting those dirt trails with short stretches of pavement.

  2. GP says:

    I love all of the new KTM and Husky dual sport bikes. I do wish that my ’12 350 had broader 5th and 6th gears, though. Once geared properly for woods performance, the “comfortable cruise” speed has been reduced to around 45 MPH. The 500’s seem to have a broader spread of gear ratio’s, but most people still gear them down and lose some of the easy cruise ability. The fuel capacity has not been an issue for me. FI has these bikes getting up around 90-100 miles out of 2.2 gallons.
    Overall, these bikes are a dream come true, but there has not been enough improvement to warrant trading in my ’12 model yet. I don’t miss the XCF-W models at all. In fact, now maybe there will be more *street titled* dirt bikes on the used market in a few years.

    • GP says:

      “In the FE models a new Velocity Focused Intake system utilizes a reed valve in the intake boot to dampen noise while improving power and ride-ability.” – This is the feature that intrigues me the most. Does anybody here have any idea what this looks like?

  3. Stuki Moi says:

    Are they still just different colored KTMs with linkage rear suspensions, and a different subframe?

    Some Chinese or Indian upstart should start competing in this space. The Big4 just won’t, as they’re afraid the implied maintenance requirements and lack of neglect-proofness will tarnish the reliability reputations they have carefully built up. But there are plenty of suitable parts, currently relegated to non-street-legal off road bikes, available. Which could be combined with just enough engine and noise tweaking, to pass US/European street legal requirements. That’s is pretty much exactly how KTM does it, after all.

    • HalfBaked says:

      All the KTM SX models have been linkage for a while and about half the off-road models do also. Basically they have different plastic and some Husky;s are tuned differently then their Katoom equivalent.

  4. notarollingroadblock says:

    Knock Knock
    Who’s there?
    Orange who?
    Orange you glad KTM bought a better looking color scheme?

  5. WSHart says:

    How about a fuel tank that holds 5 gallons instead of the usual 2 or so, hmmmmm? Dual Sport or as we older MEN used to call ’em, “enduros” need to be able to get to the dirt on their own power and not in a truck with the bike in the bed or on a trailer.

    What the hell is so difficult about equipping the motorcycle with a freaking gas tank that holds more than a thimble of fuel? And for all of you that whine about the weight of the gas, just don’t fill the tank up and ride back and forth to the Piggly Wiggly like the peanut tank cruiser crowd does because they have the range of wino in a dry town. The rest of us like to make a day of riding without having to stop for fuel every 50 or so miles. The bike should not dictate when you stop. And as Tom R said, lose some weight yourself. Bicycle riders are even bigger wimps than motorcyclists. Bench racer the lot of ’em.

    And give them usable gearing for the streets and highways of the USA for Buddha’s sake! A bike shouldn’t wind out like a screaming banshee at 65 mph!

    And in this day and age a bike equipped for the street needs tubeless wheels and tubeless spokes can be made standard. Don’t want tubeless, Mr. Luddite? YOU pay extra for the tubes then.

    This probably won’t get past the MD censors as they’re sensitive to the truth of what is needed in a road and trail worthy motorcycle. Trail, not Supercross. Trail, not dunes. Trail not motocross. Yeah…Road and trail. It’s called versatility and it used to come in many flavors from many manufacturers and we called them enduros and scramblers.

    • Bill says:

      +1. Some domestic Japanese dual sports have had large fuel tanks.

    • FleetPete says:

      Oh look!! There’s a kid on your lawn!

    • bmbktmracer says:

      You can get all your needs met with one of those big adventure bikes. Big tank. Tubeless tires. Tall gearing. The Husky and KTM dual-sports are the response to many peoples’ long-standing desire to have a street-legal dirtbike. Plus, if you live in Kalifornia, komrade, it’s dang near impossible to go offroading without a catalytic converter and a notarized release form signed by your mother and your lawyer. So, here we are. Street-legal dirtbikes.

    • Pacer says:

      IMS is here for you.

    • Hot Dog says:

      Gosh, I wish you’d just say what’s on your mind and get it off your chest. Oh, by the way, you’re 100% correct.

    • Fred_M says:

      So you want a huge tank, tubeless tires, and gearing that lets the bike cruise at a relaxed RPM while going 65 mph on the highway and that also works well off-road for slow trail riding?

      The tank is small because it needs to be in order to keep the bike narrow for people who are serious about off-road riding.

      What tubeless dual-sport knobby tires have you identified? You want a dual sport bike set up for tires that don’t exist. And if they did, how well would they work when aired down to 12 psi for off-road riding? Do you think that bikes that need rim locks will keep air in tubeless tires when ridden off-road? How well will they hold air if you put a big dent in your rim on rocks? Insisting on tubes is not being a Luddite; it’s choosing the best technology for off-road riding.

      You think you can just change the sprockets and somehow get a magical ratio that works on highways and tight trails? Or did you want gears so widely spaced that you had to scream the engine to red line before up-shifting lest you bog the engine when riding off-road?

      This Husky isn’t the bike for you. It’s aimed at serious off-road riders who want something that’s street legal without compromising the bike’s off-road abilities.

      As bmbbktmracer said, what you’re looking for is one of those “adventure bikes.” The BMW R1200GS with its 5.3 gallon tank, cast wheels, and highway gearing is a good example. Sure, it’s 525 pounds, but it’s fine for the kind of slow trail noodling that it sounds like you want to do.

    • KenLee says:

      Just go and buy new KTM 690 Enduro and then online, rally kit from
      … or simply used TT, XR, DR with big Acerbis tank.

    • HalfBaked says:

      Scramblers came without any street trim. Enduros had minimal lighting but no turn signal, horn, mirrors, battery etc but could be made street legal fairly easily. What we called dual purpose is more the equivalent of a modern day dual sport. DP machine were completely road legal off the show room for and licensed for the street when you left the dealer.

  6. John says:

    Any of these with a 34″ seat height?

    • Stuki Moi says:

      They’re so light and narrow, have so much suspension travel, and are sufficiently hardcore, that all those willing to spend the coin and implied maintenance and upkeep, for the pleasure of riding one, really ought to get it properly set up for them. Height and weight. The dealers are much more accustomed to doing this, than the average volume brand sellers. Also, unless/until one has the skills to comfortably slide off at stops, one is better off practicing on a cheaper and more inherently rugged mount.

      • John says:

        I’m fine riding even a 38″ seat height except that I absolutely have to jump on and off as “not even on tiptoes”. However, I find that these bikes feel awkard and handle poorly on the dirt compared to a lower bike, because they feel as though they are on stilts. I can ride 34″ is my ideal compromise between suspension length, handling, comfort. And a KLX250S is perfect in that regard. I would just like to see a little more powerful engine, more capable of highway speeds. If the suspension is top notch, even better. Same thing with the CRF250L. Heavy enough to be a 350, so they ought to drop in a stroked version of their CB300R engine and I think they’d have a big hit.

  7. Tom K. says:

    You can take my double quarter pounder with cheese when you pry it from my cold, dead, snout….

  8. EGS says:

    BTW – could the site admin move the ‘edit’ link so it doesn’t sit on top of the ‘report post’ link? I just tried to edit (should say riding buddies) and flagged myself…

  9. Tom R says:

    “All the latest updates in the 2017 FE engines have brought significant weight savings, ranging from 1.5 lbs to 3.7 lbs.”

    That’s amusing. It would be far more beneficial for most riders I know to skip a few of their usual fast food combo meals during the week instead.

    • MGNorge says:

      Not only that, but rider weight is concentrated up high. Losing 10, 20 or more “L-B’s” would not only help performance but reduce it up high, away from the CG. An added benefit would be that you just might live longer to enjoy the ride.

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