While we patiently await the 2013 Husaberg Review….
Husabergs have been a big topic around here lately. The speculation about the forthcoming 2013 models ran at a fever pitch. The part that you may not know, is exactly how big. For the past 3 months, Enduro360 has been the number one or two Google rank for the topic.
For a little site like us to hold down position numbero uno on Google is a big deal! It brings new people in every day from all over the world. The Husaberg topic is just one of a number of areas that we do well with on Google. During the stagnant summer months, it is nice to have that regular traffic flow from features that have a long shelf life.
So when people tell me that they don’t believe in online advertising because of the brief exposure time it garners, I have to laugh. When you do the job right, many topics carry on, almost with a life of their own, through searches in Google, Youtube, FaceBook and all the social media outlets we utilize. Those are just the ones I can tell you about, I have learned a few other trade secrets to improve searches, those I will just hold on to for now.
Now back to the ‘Bergs. Many months ago, I told my readers what to expect for the coming year. I was nearly spot on in my predictions. Yet when the actual introduction came along this week, there was a collective cry of foul play from the Husaberg faithful.
Yes, I can see this is the final straw that kills the concept of Husaberg as a unique brand. However, that was a very tenuous thread to begin with. The absolute uniqueness of Husaberg started dying back around 2002 when the line started sharing common parts with the KTM. Every year since then, it has come closer to being the blue and yellow KTM that it is now. Arguably, it has become better all along the way also.
The 70 degree motor concept is dead. I say good riddance to it. Not that is was bad, but it did have its drawbacks in weight and placement. It only partially lived up to the promises it came with. The concept of mass centralization was offset by the overall weight of the bike and the high center of gravity. To date, I still do not believe that there has been a single production example of an alternative motor design/placement that has definitively proven superior to the current norm. Even Yamaha is going to have to face that fact soon.
Overall, I think there is a brighter future for Husaberg in the US. This generation of bikes will be built on the best off road platforms in existence. The addition of premium parts will continue to help distinguish the line from the orange bikes.
Never the less, I do have few points of conjecture.
- The 450 will not be part of the US line up. Such a tough decision, I can see the need to keep the models paired down. The 350 and 500 have been strong sellers. Yet the 450 is perhaps the best all around off road bike ever made, I hate to see it left out.
- There will be no street legal models for the US either. I suspect the plan is to keep this gem in the back pocket until the 2014 model year. That will be the “new” 2014 bike
- The inclusion of the 250 four stroke – it is a great little bike, but a bit off base from the mainstream Husaberg market. It will be interesting to see if this sells well.
- No 125 two stroke for the US – the intertube has been screaming about this. I say good call on that one. Leave it out, it won’t sell, too far off base for the US Husaberg market.
- 250/300 two strokes updated to current KTM XCW spec- nothing to argue about on that point.
- New four chamber WP fork – I won’t automatically get in line to say that new is better. We will just have to wait and see how the reviews hold up on this one.
When you stand back and look at the line up, it is pretty solid. Think about this, a standalone Husaberg dealer gets all the gems. There is not a dog in the group. That means there is no stale inventory to worry about. Every single one of these bikes is going to sell out. Compare that to the KTM dealer down the street who is going to have to take all kinds of bikes he doesn’t really want in order to get a handful of the hot models.
So say what you will. I think the Husaberg team has nailed it with this group of models. It still has some room to grow and that growth will certainly come. Things are looking plenty rosy for the yellow and blue KTM’s.