Husqvarna Motorcycle tests
Husqvarna used the Indianapolis trade show to unveil their latest 2011 models (that were first seen at the Milano trade show in November).
Although not motocross bikes, both the TE630 and SM630 represent the (now) Italian/German marques continued march into new market segments. With the release of the two new 630 models, Husky seems determined to take the battle over the bigger displacement dual-purpose market to KTM's front door.
Husky's main man in America, Scot Harden, said the single-cylinder engines provide “the perfect compromise between a big single, dual-purpose bike and a multi-cylinder street bike. Harden, himself a celebrated offroad racer and renowned adventure rider stressed that the TE630 “is not a dirt bike with lights. This bike isn't just for short road stints to connect dirt sections. You can do 200-400 miles a day on this bike easy. Thanks to the single cylinder, the bike is still agile enough to do some serious off-road riding without tiring you out. It's much easier to ride than a twin.”
Surprisingly, Harden also said that the Supermoto category is also one of their most successful and that the SM630 brings new life to their effort. “We still have the SM510 and 450, but this bike is all new from the ground up. “The 630 engine (actually just a 600) now has dual overhead cams versus the single overhead engine used on the 510.” Like the TE model, the SM has a six-speed gearbox and electric start. Scott said the bikes will hit the scales at around 328 pounds and that they'll be available sometime in April or May.
Except for the wheels and front brakes (and an optional white version for the SM630) both bikes are nearly identical. The SM is about 20 pounds heavier. Look for 45mm Marzocchi forks, a Sachs shock, and just over three gallon gas tank capacity. No retail prices were released.
A note to all Husky fans - Husqvarna has also been designated the AMA Marque of The Year and the historical brand will be featured at the AMA Vintage Days celebration this summer. For more, head to Husqvarna Motorcycles.
The Husqvarna booth was packed for the grand unveiling of their new 630 models.
Few people better represent the racing history of Husqvarna than Malcolm Smith (right). The ISDT gold medalist and star of On Any Sunday made the trip to Indy to join in the celebration along with famed Husky collector Tom White (left). The centerpiece at the Husky booth was a 1970 Husqvarna 400 Cross, similar to the bike ridden by Steve McQueen for Sport's Illustrated in 1971 (below). Husky was reported to have found the actual bike used in the photo shoot, but balked at the owner's request for a $600,000 insurance policy to use it. Tom stepped in and loaned out the version of the same bike he has in his Early Years of Motocross museum (one of twenty pristine Husky collectibles he owns). In typical fashion, just two days after the show, Malcolm was back riding in Mexico on a six-day adventure with his son Alex.
AS FOR THE BIKES: 2011 Husqvarna TE630
ALL HAIL STEVE MCQUEEN