Desflurane's Romaniacs Blog

Chronicle of My Participation in the World's Toughest Enduro Rally – Again…

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  • Husqvarna

The Husky

Posted by desflurane on November 6, 2015

  
There is nothing quite like the feeling of a brand-new motorcycle! Everything feels tight and crisp and it just looks fantastic!

I have put a few hours on the meter now and I can offer my initial impressions. 

As far as the engine, it’s near perfection! Snappy power with lots of low-down torque that lets me chug through the nasty bits with confidence. But that is the calling card of the two stroke 300, and not at all unique to this bike, it just feels like a fresh new motor – as it should. My old bike was due for a top end and compression was beginning to drop, so it’s probably not fair to make too much of any power differences I may have noticed. 

The one change that I have really been enjoying is the six speed gearbox. The top gear isn’t higher than my old bike, and first gear isn’t any lower, there are just smaller steps between gears now. This means that it’s a lot easier to find the “correct” gear for a given situation. There is a lot less revving the motor on straight aways only to start lugging it after an up-shift. The shorter jumps are just right. 

As for the suspension, the jury is still out. I am finding issues with the 4CS fork which are remarkably similar to the complaints I have since heard others make about it. On my first ride I noticed that the forks felt very stiff when riding over chattery trail, then seemed to blow through the stroke very easily with bigger hits. That seems to be the classic complaint among current 4CS owners. 

Right off, I must confess that the bike is undersprung for my size. In my fighting trim I tip the scales at around 190lbs. I’m a bit north of that at the moment- as I haven’t been “in training” for the past year. So the bike needs stiffer springs to begin with. I’ll do all I can to shave off a bunch of my own excess bulk, but I’m quite sure that I’ll want a little more than just new springs. 

Here are a few video clips my friend Benny shot while on my first Husqvarna-born adventure. He was having a little fun with his iPhone’s slow-motion feature. 

   
 
I’ve been contemplating sending my suspension off to Arizona and letting Stillwell Performance have a crack at revalving it. I’m leaning toward their service based on the glowing reviews their work has received from the Dirt Bike magazine editors as well as the endorsement of Shane Watts.I can’t think of any of Shane’s recommendations that have led me wrong so far. When taking his two day course back in 2010 I found him to be a very straight-shooting, no-nonsense kind of guy. His advice has been huge in whatever degree my riding skills have improved over the past few years. He definitely knows what he is talking about when it comes to dirt bikes and I really think that if he didn’t believe in Stillwell’s ability to tune the 4CS, he wouldn’t endorse it. 

The other thing is that Stillwell’s approach seems to be more about tuning the existing hardware rather than drastically altering it. Some shops advocate massive changes to the guts of the fork. I’m hoping to avoid that. 

All that being said, we went out for a great ride on the lower slopes of Peavine yesterday afternoon. The first snowstorm of the year swept through a couple of days ago, shutting down the higher trails and turning the stuff lower down into heavenly, wet mud. We climbed well up into the snowdrifts before coming back down. Everything was slick and technical in the snow, requiring great care to avoid having the front wheel slip out from beneath you. 

   
 

But I can’t say that I noticed the crummy performance of my suspension at all! It really wasn’t a factor. So I’m still thinking over what I want to do. 

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