Husqvarna SMR 511

The Big Red Pig is undergoing surgery. A blown engine, and a sad legacy motorist…
A Falicon knife-edge con-rod, upgraded piston, valves and hard-welded cam-followers are what the Piggeh is going to receive. A 11 year old bike does need a refresh, especially when there is absolutely nothing in the market that can match the Piggeh. KTM folk with a 690 Enduro may disagree, and this is what I have to say :

While the piggeh is undergoing a rebuild, I decided to join my hooligan buddies every weekend by bringing along a Supermoto. I could have gone Husaberg, but, the only local dealer was MPC KTM. Unfortunately, the folk who run the place are an unpleasant bunch (this is an understatement), and the FS570 was discontinued for 2012…

Meanwhile… I talked to Dan at Motoxotica, saw the SMR 511 in person, fell in love, and bought one. Although the bike is neutered (thanks to the stock exhaust and factory mapping), I can feel the potential. It handles like nothing else. I rode my friend’s FS570, and it doesn’t even come close to the SMR in the handling department. I love the FS570’s engine, but it is just weird riding that bike. It feels like the XR650R, but in a different way. Both the FS570 and the XR650R dislike corners and like to stand up. Flicking them in requires breaking the rear end loose (I am talking about off-road riding here, and a rider with limited skills). But, the location of the crankshaft on the FS570 does make the bike feel different (and it might take a while to get used to it).

Although I didn’t get a chance to ride the FS570 for more than 30 minutes, I am convinced that the Husqvarna SMR 511 is ahead in terms of handling. It feels like it is on rails. Asphalt, gravel and dirt… it doesn’t matter. No need to break the rear end loose to steer into a corner… it just flicks in, and goes. No hesitation, no drama.

A full FMF exhaust and JD Jetting tuner is what is in store for SMR next. Cannot wait…


Duncan Peak Fire Lookout, NorCal

Legacy Motorist, Piggeh, Taco, Husky and Northern California

Moving isn’t fun, especially when you have a garage full of spare engines, motorcycles and random stuff hoarded over the years. I even had to depart with my XS650 motor, among other stuff, but the engine is in good hands now and will find its place in a motorcycle with a sidecar and will breathe through a single carburettor, with milder cams pushing the rockers.

I dislike buying new vehicles, but I ended up with a Toyota Tacoma; Brand new 2012 TX double cab… to help me with the big move to Nor Cal. Everything I had was squeezed into the truck and my small utility trailer and hauled to Nor Cal. I couldn’t have made the move as safely without the Tacoma, especially because of the snow storm that almost put me in a ditch in Wyoming. Thank you ABS, AWD and traction control. Currently, the truck is under hauler duty, transporting two motorcycles and associated gear to off-road riding areas.

Speaking of off-road riding areas, I now own a 2004 Husqvarna WR250 two-smoker (new to me) which is simply a blast. The two stroke powerband took a little getting used to, but two crashes later, I was ripping through fairly technical single track on my way to the top of Goat Mountain.

The mountain roads here are amazing and thanks to my new hooligan riding buddies here, every weekend is a highly satisfying learning experience. It is fun, but scary sometimes, especially when riding supermoto on my XR650R with DOT knobbies. However, I was pleasantly surprised at how good the Dunlop D606s are, gripping pretty well on tarmac as well as gravel and mud. Unfortunately, I went through more than 50% of the tread in just 300 miles of aggressive riding.

Also, Piggeh went through a bunch of modifications, going back to the braced stock subframe, and a bunch of other billet bling additions. Each time I ride the XR, I love it even more. I don’t think I am ever going to sell it…

Back !

The last two months have been crazy. But I am back and will be posting regularly.

I’ve finished making my first bicycle frame, and learnt TIG welding in the process. I’ve also braced the BRP’s subframe by welding 6061 strips on.
Pictures to follow in later posts….