Four stroke, single cylinder, OHC, 4 valves per
549.8 cc / 33.5 cu-in
Bore x Stroke
100 x 70 mm
Keihin MX FCR 41 TPS
Pressure circulation, trochoit oil pump
WP 4860MA HUSABERG SUPERMOTO
Front Wheel Travel
275 mm / 10.8 in
WP 5018 DCC PDS HUSABERG SUPERMOTO
Rear Wheel Travel
288 mm / 11.3 in
Single 310mm disc 4 piston caliper
Single 220mm disc 1 piston caliper
1490 mm / 58.7 in
870 mm / 34.2 in
112 kg / 247 lbs
/ 2.4 US gal
Husaberg FS550e - Quick Ride
With the way supermoto has taken off across the globe, manufacturers are on the
gas for 2007. As the sister company of arguably the most advanced SuMo machine
producer, KTM, Husaberg has upped its bet in the Unlimited class with this 550cc
You'll notice a distinct lack of any kickstart lever in this photo. That's
because it's on the other side, but that doesn't mean the foot lever gets used
regularly. Electric starts were fast, easy and very useful for SM purposes.
Stalling the motor is easy to do in dirt sections where a lack or traction
allows the rear tire to lock up easier than normal.
By JC Hilderbrand
I arrived at the track to find that only perhaps a dozen riders were on hand for
this particular Thursday afternoon supermoto session. With so few riders,
finding my target in the pits was an easy task. The guys at Bike Barn
Motorcycles had invited me to try out their latest machine, the brand-new
Husaberg FS550e. As the only Husaberg dealer in the Rogue Valley, I jumped at
the chance to ride a bike that remains relatively scarce in our neck of the
Southern Oregon woods.
Having collaborated with the Bike Barn during our 2006 450 Enduro Shootout I
knew exactly what to expect from, and who to look for, owner Kurt Beckman. I
found him under the bright yellow and blue E-Z Up, but I didn't recognize the
Knight Rider-looking dude beside him dressed in black leathers and riding some
sort of black supermoto steed.
By the time I parked the van and made my way over for a handshake, the man was
gone. Surveying the area from behind the dark anonymity of my sunglasses, I
noted with a sense of worry that Beckman's trailer was devoid of the Husaberg I
was slated to ride. Scanning the track revealed a few KTMs, a Yamaha and the man
in black, but no yellow-and-blue Husaberg. As my visual search became
increasingly frantic, the black machine came rumbling back and slid into our
small square of shade. Only then did I recognize that this would be the machine
I'd be riding.
The FS550e gets a healthy dose of Mad Max 'tude with its black bodywork, fork
tubes and 17-inch wheels along with blue graphics. Combine that with the stubby
front fender, squatty SuMo stance and Husaberg's signature chassis design, the
FS550e is a stark outline of wicked intent. Judged solely by glossy photos
against a white background, the new bruised motif is a hot ticket. In the real
world, however, that indistinguishable color scheme yet distinctive body style
come off differently against a natural backdrop of dirt and asphalt. By the end
of our short test session, the Berg was still very fresh, but as we all know,
that black plastic is going to morph from hot to horrid in the span of only a
The graphics package this year only tells half the story, no matter which way
you look at it. The left side is adorned with a large, blue block-lettered HUSA,
while the right side finishes the label off with a titanic-worthy BERG. Like the
2006 enduro model, the 550e has a visually bulky tank, though the capacity is
the same on the new bike. The 2.8-gallon tank is different however in that it
feels slimmer between a rider's knees as they straddle the 34.3-inch seat
With an emphasis on the Unlimited class in American supermoto racing, Husaberg
offered only the 650cc machine in 2006. For'07 the company has created the new
street-legal FS550e based on the existing enduro machine. Only the street-legal
versions of both the 550 and 650 will be imported this year, though Husaberg is
making an FS650c competition model overseas. Since having one of these bikes and
not being able to ride it around town would be a crime, we weren't even
disappointed that 550c models aren't available at all this year. The only
difference between a FSe and FSc models are the inclusion of a headlight,
taillight and plate holder, kickstand and more street-oriented Michelin Pilot
Sport tires, which add up to a claimed 4.4-lb difference. According to the spec
sheet, our 550e has a claimed dry weight of 247 lbs.
All 550 cubic centimeters come from an oversquare,
single cylinder with SOHC that boasts a 100mm x 70mm bore and stroke and an
11.8:1 compression ratio. Horsepower and torque figures weren't available, but
the 550e definitely has some stink. Unlike the V-Twin motor we tested on the '07
Aprilia SXV550, the Berg has a punchier delivery. For those of you looking for a
smooth, easy lover, the Berg can fulfill that role. Just know that it likes to
play rough and isn't shy about it. Several changes for 2007 ensure that the Berg
keeps on playing dirty, such as tighter tolerances on the crankshaft, reinforced
crankcase and a single-piece counter-balancer that does a good job at
eliminating vibes. All of the 2007 550cc and 650cc engines are fed by the same
Keihin FCR 41mm carburetor, including the enduros, FSe and FSc SuMo models.
Did I even bother kickstarting it? Hell no. The electric unit was plenty
sufficient to keep me from attempting a lame, left-footed stab. The only
aluminum I bothered to fondle with my left toe was the forged shift lever.
Combined with a Magura hydraulic clutch, the two components make shifting the
6-speed transmission a pleasure. Even on our barely-broken in bike, I never
missed a shift whether it be a late-corner pounding or rabid straight-away short
shifting, not once did I find false neutral.
Extra attention has been paid to the bike's handling characteristics. A
CNC-machined adjustable-offset tripleclamp holds a 48mm WP fork with Husaberg's
supermoto internal specs. Spacers on the stiffer springs shorten the fork travel
by 0.79 inch compared to the enduro model. Like the new KTMs, the 550e is
adorned with a 12mm aluminum piston rod instead of last year's 2mm-larger steel
version, giving the new WP fork less weight and has reduced friction.
Where there was once plenty of yellow to be found on a Husaberg, the remaining
spark on the 2007 FSe is quickly spotted at the gleaming yellow shock spring.
The fully-adjustable 50mm rear shock also offers less travel than the enduro
machine, this time 1.26 inches less, to 11.34. The linkageless shock kept things
in check very nicely with only a small amount of rear-end chatter. Where
skipping into a corner was often the primary sensation while riding the Aprilia
SXV machines at Oakland Valley Race Park, riding the Husaberg a month later left
me noticing how little the 4.25-inch rim was hopping on deceleration.
Our short ride indicated the fork is adept at handling varying course obstacles.
Uneven pavement was readily available, but the front end stayed well-planted at
all times, and front end dive was minimal. Our meager attempts at jumping
tabletops on a set of 17-inch street meats were nothing spectacular; the
suspenders' ability to handle air time was much more impressive.
Not only was the bike stable around the entire track, but tossing it into turns
was a simple procedure thanks to a 58.3-inch wheelbase and acute 26.5 degrees of
rake. Both figures are identical to the '06 KTM 560 SMR, which according to the
race standings in the AMA Unlimited class, is a very popular and capable
Wave rotors front and rear add to the visual appeal of the bike but are more
than simple eye candy. The 310mm front disc is at the mercy of a powerful,
four-piston radial-mounted FTE caliper. An oversized master cylinder and brake
lever and the steel-braided line provide consistent, strong braking that slows
things down in hurry. Out back, the 220mm rotor is handled by a single-piston
caliper. Both reservoirs are made by Brembo. Overall, the machine stays
predictable under hard braking and I was constantly rediscovering how deeply I
could enter corners with the brawny binders.
Supermoto riders apparently have a much larger bank account that off-roaders;
they'll have to in order to afford the astronomical price tag. If you thought
the $8,699 MSRP for Aprilia's fuel-injected V-Twin was spendy, try out
Husaberg's asking price of $9,090. Whether or not you get a lot of bang for your
buck, it makes KTM's '06 price for the 560 SMR a steal at $7,998. Regardless,
it'll only hurt until you get to the track. Hell, just the ride there will start
to dull the pain of your wallet's disembowelment.
The Unlimited class remains a very popular division in supermoto thanks to the
eye-watering speeds and wheelie-poppin' grunt of big-bore machinery. Husaberg
riders will rejoice at the new 550cc offering in 2007. Though the 650 is no
slouch, it does have more of a traditional, lower-rpm power delivery. Now riders
have the Swedish option of quick-revving, modern 4-stroke equipment to assault
the tracks and neighborhoods across America.
Our quick ride barely allowed us to get acquainted with the FS550e, but it was
more than enough to ensure the Midnight Rider loiters nearby in the shadows of
our wandering minds.
NOTE: Any correction or more
information on these motorcycles will kindly be appreciated,
Some country's motorcycle specifications can be different to
motorcyclespecs.co.za. Confirm with your motorcycle dealer
before ordering any parts or spares. Any objections to articles
or photos placed on motorcyclespecs.co.za will be removed upon