I love saying that: who-who-who saberg!
First I'll start with some info about myself so you can put my thoughts in perspective:
1) It's been a while since I rode a dirt bike - so I am rusty. I was never that good to start with although I started riding off-road before some of you were born. Add to that, I am turning 55 this year, I have a bad back/neck and I am out of shape (I huff and puff climbing a hill to get to work and I sit at a desk and write code).
2) I like to putz around when riding off-road. You probably won't see me catch air when riding. I like the feeling of power and speed, but compared to others I am a slow poke. I ride a Ducati and a Husaberg, but I am not a sporty or particularly skilled rider on the street or in the dirt. When others are up on their pegs riding over the gnarly stuff you will probably see me sitting and paddling with my feet.
3) When I went shopping for a dirt bike to replace my long broken DR350, I wanted something that had more power than a 350, maybe even than a 450. I also wanted something that was relatively light because I am convinced that weight is the great Satan off-road. I didn't want an adventure bike or a dual sport compromise - I wanted a street legal dirt bike. At the same time it had to work at slow speeds and have power at the bottom end - I wasn't looking for a race bike - although that is essentially what I ended up with - I didn't want sudden brutal bursts of power with nothing anywhere else. I wanted something that could be forgiving of my lack of skill, at whatever speed and in whatever conditions I rode it in.
4) While I have a budget (even Bill Gates has a budget), I was willing and able to pay a fair market price for quality, and to pay a premium for higher quality and capabilities.
5) The bike had to be platable/street legal. I don't have a truck or anything to haul a trailer (you can't put a trailer hitch on a Bimmer 3 series) - I don't want to get something just to haul a bike - although I have thought about it.
So, that said, last weekend I bought a '09 Husaberg FE 570. I was thinking about the Husky 610, but it was much heavier and was more of a dual sport bike - which is fine if that is what you want. I was aware that most people buy this bike for hard core off-road riding, or even racing - but I liked the way it handled and the very tractable power off idle. It was as light as most 250/350/450 class bikes that you can get licensed in Washington state, had a good suspension, a wide range 6 speed and enough power to push the bike as fast as the gearing would allow.
I picked the bike up Wed. night from Tasky's and rode it a few miles home. A couple of nights this last week I moved things around on the handlebars to my liking and rode it around the yard and up and down the street. Today I rode it out to the ORV riding area near Machias to break it in and find out if I will like my new expensive toy. It is about 20 miles each way so I go to try the bike on the open road - speaking of which, on the way back, I quickly got it up to 80 MPH indicated and there was still more left - although you certainly knew you were doing 80 MPH. With stock gearing (13/52 I think), the bike cruises along fine at 65 to 75 MPH.
On the ride out to Machias I felt a lot of engine vibration through the seat - I think on the way back I didn't notice it as much (either that or I got used to it - I think the former).
Much more to come a little later (I intend to make this thread a running diary of my experience with the bike) - I have a headache/neck ache/backache and I am tired (I *said* I was out of shape), so I am going to take some painkillers and lay on an ice pack for a while.
But to cut to the chase - I was not disappointed in the bike at all. I think it will serve my purposes/desires well, as simple as they may be, with a minimum of mods.