The machine, a 2017 Husqvarna FE450 dual-sport, was dangling close to the Craigslist kick-off deadline, mainly because its owner—Tom Webb’s friend, the infamous “Realtor” Brian Palmer—had never kept a machine longer than two years. In fact, he mows through machines like tear-offs and replaces his truck when the windshield wiper blades wear out. But, he was stymied when it came to punting what he considered his favorite machine ever. This Husqvarna FE450 has been lovingly abused for over three years. The basis for this makeover revolved around freshening up the Kreft suspension, give it a new top end (Vertex Piston kit), update some of the worn parts (guides, driveline, plastic and graphics) and replace much of the cockpit with new Cycra Pro hand guards and ODI Rogue grips. We had the wheels rebuilt by Dubya, fit it with new rubber, extended the fuel range with a larger IMS tank and updated some of the protective coverage on the machine. A Seat Concepts Comfort tall complete saddle proved to be a wonderful mod and the 10mm lower IMS footpegs gave us more ‘needed’ legroom.
We sent the suspension back to Kreft for a refresh. Their mods originally really transformed the suspension from soft and vague to up in the stroke and having the ability to handle a much larger variety of obstacles. In three years Kreft has updated their valving specs and the new spec offered excellent plushness and increased adjustability at the fork. With the driveline we fit on a Superlite RSX Steel rear sprocket and a D.I.D 520ERVT x-ring chain. This chain is superb, rolls easy, doesn’t stretch via its high tensile strength and the sprocket is strong, durable and fairly light. www.kreftmoto.com, www.superlitesprockets.com
The Rekluse Radius CX auto clutch was a game changer. It removes the stalls and flameout and helps the Husky make traction and conquer obstacles with less input form the rider. It was rebuilt (fresh plates and a slave cylinder rebuild) kit. We never changed the header pipe but fit it with a P3 carbon guard which has performed superbly. Kreft shock mods included an X-Trig preload adjuster which is flat trick.
Dubya rebuilt the wheels, Cerakoting the hubs (look wicked and are more durable with the ceramic coating), installed new DID Dirt Star rims with a Dubya spoke kit. This helped the transformation as the new wheels look incredibly sano and got rid of the wobbles. Dubya has many combinations available (coatings, rims, spokes) and the job was easy as we sent the wheels in after confirming our needs and options.
We have tested a number of full-length skid plates and feel that the TM Designs unit is light, thick and very protective of both the engine, and the exposed rear linkage. A Polisport ignition cover excels in rocky terrain and protects the ignition cover from impacts and stays looking good even when smacked around.
Baja designs XL Pro light is unique is that it’s a single housing LED light that has the distance of an 8” HID with the smooth spread of an LED. It’s dialed in for enthusiasts that need strong lighting but do not want to fit on a light bar. The XL Pro has three interchangeable lenses and is capable of covering a multitude of lighting zones.
The 4.5-gallon IMS tank really gives the Husky some fuel range. It is a bit wider at the radiator area.
Cycra ULTRA Pro Bend HCM Wrap Around Handguards use a new and improved HCM clamp which is more secure and has improved clearance. It uses a patented CNC-machined bar, a slimmer profile, a new hand shield that with vents and they have an integrated abrasion guard. The mirror is a Doubletake, an excellent choice for both dirt and street and a Trail Tech Voyager Pro GPS targets the serious dual sport pilot who enjoys both events and plotting trail rides. The Powersports GPS has topo maps and sunlight readable touchscreen, group ride technology enabled for real time buddy tracking, Bluetooth phone audio and wireless headset control and vehicle integrated sensors with gauge screens and GPS speed.