Motorcycle Types Adventure / Dual-Sport 2012 Husqvarna TE511 | Preview

2012 Husqvarna TE511 | Preview

2011 Husqvarna Motorcycle

Back in April, I attended a Klim press launch in Maryland. Once all the technical aspects of the company’s latest gear was complete, it turned into a bunch of moto-journalist thrashing through the spring country-sides of Maryland and Pennsylvania.

Husqvarna provided the bikes, an arsenal of 2011 TE449 and TE511 duals sports. I began on a TE449, but quickly turned to the TE511 due to it’s raw power and off-road handling. Like the basis of so many motorcycles throughout the various genres of riding, the TE511 was basically a full-blown enduro bike with some additives to make it street legal.

This is what I loved about the Husky, although some of the others complained it was a bit too rough for true dual-sport purpose. Well Husky listened, and designed the 2012 TE511 with this in mind. The 2012 Husqvarna TE511 will still have that raw power and handling of a full-out off-road bike, but will be easier to ride, making the bike more appealing to many different types of riders.

Following is info from Husqvarna, highlighting the changes made to the 2011 TE511:

2012 Husqvarna TE511: More reliable handling, lower profile

The improvements made to the 2012 Husqvarna TE449 have been extended to the TE511. The oval steel tubing chassis has been strengthened with more 25CrMo4 chrome-moly steel, reinforcing the steering-head, seat rail rear support and engine mounting, with handling and manoeuvrability being improved due to changes in layout.

Suspension is entrusted to Kayaba, front and rear, the latter with upside down shock linkage, which maximises movement without bottoming out. In general the shocks have better, more balanced settings. Now protected at the back, the completely adjustable shock (compression high/low speeds & rebound) is 4 mm shorter and has a softer setting for the first part of the ride, which allows for a lower saddle height.

The stiffer front fork setting on the 2012 Husqvarna TE511 ensures greater stability. To simplify and lighten the TE511, the wiring of the electrical system has been redesigned and the transparent central section of the fuel tank has been retained. With large diameter Braking discs (front 260 mm, rear 240 mm) little needs to be said as the effectiveness of Brembo brakes is undisputed.

2012 Husqvarna TE511: Engine power fully exploited

Overtaking, or tackling extreme terrain, the problem with bikes with larger sized engines size has always been controlling the throttle. Technicians, riders and test riders at Husqvarna have focused mainly on ease of handling. The 2012 version of the TE511 has new mapping for the Keihin injection (twin flap 46 mm throttle body), developed specifically to make the power delivery from the single cylinder, four valve, twin cam engine more linear and progressive.

Plus painstaking work in calibrating the powerful engine response to every small turn of the throttle. The engine is the result of the recent project based on the innovative CTS concept – Coaxial Traction System – which puts the pinion of the final transmission coaxially in line with the swing arm pivot. This minimizes chain torque and its effects on rear suspension and therefore on handling.

The influence of the CTS inspired design extends to the entire mechanical layout and frame, because the Husqvarna engine is so compact it can be positioned right at the rear of the chassis – any further back would be impossible! The cylinder remains tilted forward (for a low center of gravity) and the twin cam has particularly straight air intakes to optimize intake efficiency.

The TE511’s radiator is also new (WP), with a more efficient cooling circuit. The light steel exhaust was specially developed in collaboration with Akrapovic, the Slovenian specialist, another well established name that needs no introduction, once again demonstrating Husqvarna’s philosophy of selecting only the best components.

Aesthetically it has the same updates as its brother, the TE449 – black frame, anodized silver Excel rims and the new integrated in-mold graphics – no more adhesives that peel off under the power wash. The tail section has also been redesigned as a single-piece, sleeker and more robust.

Stay clicked to UltimateMotorCycling.com for a full review.

Ron Lieback
Ron Lieback
One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007, and is currently Online Editor at Ultimate Motorcycling. He is also the author of "365 to Vision: Modern Writer's Guide (How to Produce More Quality Writing in Less Time).

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