Thinking about a Husky 610

Discussion in 'Pacific Northwet - Where it's green. And wet.' started by nw scout, Jan 10, 2013.

  1. nw scout

    nw scout Been here awhile

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    Hey Guys.

    Who out there in the NW has a Husky TE610?
    Would love to hear thoughts on them.
    I have done a fair amount of looking into them but its always nice to hear more :D

    I have a few guys looking at my XR400 and am thinking the Husky 610 will be my next bike.
    Love the XR but with no electric start and a bad right leg it can get a bit tricky at times!

    I know they are good on the road and from what I hear they are the best of the bigger DS bikes.
    I will be hitting some single track and the usual OHV parks with it so am realling looking for guys with off road and reliability
    opinions.

    Its an 06 with low miles and a few extras.
    Any questions I should ask before buying?

    Thanks for the help!
    Dave
    #1
  2. Scott_PDX

    Scott_PDX Leisure Engineer

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    Of the three guys with these that I know of:
    - 1 has a blown engine on a lower miles bike
    - 1 has to take an invetory after each ride of what parts fell off on that ride (TE630)
    - 1 LOVES THE BIKE

    YMMV

    Personally if I wanted thrills I'd be looking KTM, if I wanted cheap and reliable maybe a DR-something (That being said I still love my WR250R).
    #2
  3. XR4EVER

    XR4EVER 919 excuses to ride!

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    I'm slightly biased, :evil but I'd just do the electric start mod to the XR. You already know and love the bike, right? Give it new life!

    I have no personal experience, but from what I've heard about the Huskys, they were a bit of a headache until they've recently gotten BMW's monetary infusion.
    #3
  4. Loud Al

    Loud Al .

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    I have an 06 and it is the most fun bike I've ridden, it has come home in a truck from the only long trips it has been on. I'm waiting on a new engine then I'm selling it, if I can't trust it then it is no good to me. They are great bikes but crap in the reliability department.
    #4
  5. zoomdude57

    zoomdude57 Been here awhile

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    My 09 has been a great bike. Decent on the road and surprisingly good off road for a 300lb+ dual sport. Some known items like cam chains that you have to watch, but my 610 has been flawless since day one. Be diligent with the maintenance and you will be fine.
    #5
  6. nw scout

    nw scout Been here awhile

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    Not good news!
    I have heard from 2 people that the engine is not great for relibility, but like a 100 others say its bullet proof.
    Guess nothing will be as rock solid as the XR
    #6
  7. K7MDL

    K7MDL 2015 Tiger 800XCx

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    For DS bikes I have the 2007 TE610 and 2 TE450 bikes also here. Had a 2008 KLR650 before. On the 650 class bikes mentioned, I have put 15K on each covering typical mix of highway, commuting, some single track, and lots of desert and PNW forest roads.

    The 610 has been totally fun, ultra reliable and very capable. I do not abuse my bikes but I demand they take their lumps and survive. Mine has plenty of battle scars. I tuned the suspension and have the 5 gallon IMS tank for 200 mile range. I chose 2007 due to some 2006 issues, and 08+ going to FI where until recently, a larger tank was not an option, and still is expensive. The 610 suspension is great when properly tuned up for you, I can handle single track easily, pretty much drive over the obstacles no problem, which is nice since the extra weight of a 600cc class bike is unavoidable. For finesse riding I will choose a smaller bike. While I will/have taken my 610 on Walker Valley single track and other places, a smaller bike will be more fun, and since getting my 450, the 610 rarely sees ST anymore. But for being able to crank some highway, commuting, and still do the dirt, or a big place like Moab I love the TE610. The KLR is much heavier and a bit more comfortable, like a GS650 would be, but more weight and less nimble, less suspension. I also put fat bars, a better seat and a small adjustable Lynx fairing with great Hella lights on and several other tweaks to dial it in to my specs.

    Your usage description left off any real highway requirement. Depends on what you want to do with it, if you are primarily looking at off-highway riding, then I would stay in the 450 class or less. Putting the 450 on the highway gets old quick. There is 40-60lbs more weight with a 610. But it can crank 70mph all day long. Hopping on the 610 for nearly year around commuting weekdays I look forward to the commute on it, it is still fun to get on a few years going now. I pass up the street bike, in fact I am selling it, do not ride it anymore, got a convertible for when the wife needs to come along :-). As you can see on the TE610 thread on advrider here, it is a very capable and reliable bike, with most issues known and preventable. Like any bike, thread locker is your friend also. When highway time is required, I have not seen a comparable capable bike (with the wide ratio transmission + power being key attributes), with the KTM690 being close but a lot more $$ and many would argue the transmission is not spaced wide enough like the 610, one of its 610's strongest points. Also if highway is rare, the KTM 5XX bikes could be interesting for you, big and capable and still reasonably light - not a commuter though. Some good used bargains out there.


    - Mike
    #7
  8. nw scout

    nw scout Been here awhile

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    Hmmm.
    What issues?
    I thought they were the same other than the red and white plastic?

    Thanks
    #8
  9. K7MDL

    K7MDL 2015 Tiger 800XCx

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    Primarily some 2006 had the front sprocket wear through the shaft due to hardening issues. It takes some miles to see it and most were handled by warranty as far as I can tell assuming they put enough miles on before the warranty period ended to see if they had this problem. There were some others that I forget but smaller concern. If you have a late build date I would not think twice about a 2006, if early check its service history/warranty repair info if possible. The TE610 thread has more details. Been a few years since I did my research and made my choice, those brain cells have been reallocated to Jeeps and other new things :-). When I ride the 610 my one reoccurring concern is what I will replace it with when it wears out completely some day. My interests change fast enough it likely won't be a problem looking at my trends. But I am now actively trying to avoid piling on miles to make it last longer.

    If over 6K check that the cam chain has been replaced or expect to replace it. If you do the work yourself and can borrow a puller, it is under $100. This is for all years it seems. Some last longer, some go earlier. Replacement chains seem to last much longer. Some users wear out their clutch springs end caps (springs are shock absorbers). Seems like a low occurrence and not limited to 2006 either but when looking at a higher mileage 610 I would ideally lean the bike over and pull the right cover and inspect the clutch for spring cup and bushing wear (wobble) and the primary gears are solid on their shafts (woodruff key and nut torque proper). Also check the right side oil screen filter while you are there. The cam chain is easily gauged by pulling the self adjuster spring then the whole adjuster and count the teeth. 10 is the limit, 6-7 is normal. If the oil has not been changed, you can pull the magnetic drain bolt and the 3 filters for any signs of concern. Look for all bolts in sub frame mounts and fender mounts, battery tray. If found these are easily repaired and good to go.

    It is not uncommon to see oil residue around the top of front of the cylinder head. This is not necessarily a problem of concern, and more likely needing the valve inspection cover gaskets replaced or silicone better. Not everyone gets this right, practice helps.

    I would do these checks on any bike (ideally) but this gives you an idea of 610 specifics. It has 2 double screen oil filters and 1 paper oil filter. Also look for bent footpeg bolts. I would plan on replacing them if not 10.3 or better. Ensure they sit flat on the frame. The KLR had the same issues.

    The 610 luggage rack is not designed for heavy loads that many put on them. I use Dirt Bagz for heavy stuff and only a bicycle tail rack bag on my rear rack which limits the weight there.

    Many comment on how tall the 610 is. I am 6'1" so not a problem for me. Maybe your XR400 was equally tall?
    #9
  10. BrandonR

    BrandonR Been here awhile

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    I have an '09 610. I enjoy riding it. The only issue I've had is batteries crapping out on me but I figured out a work-around for that.
    #10
  11. Road Rash

    Road Rash Infamous

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    I love my 07, but after getting it and reading all of the "horror" stories I decided not to use it as a commuter bike and just take it out for the fun rides. I even took it down to Bills in Salem to have him go through everything. I had a long list of stuff I wanted him to check and concerns about other things/problems that I had heard about the 610.........................he looked at me, smiled, told me how many 610's he has sold, serviced owned and all of the things people do to try an upgrade them, then he said "if people would just leave them alone, service them as needed and ride them, they are great bikes"
    He found no issues with mine.

    Talk to Bill, he's a stand up guy, I have heard a lot of good things about him, then found out that he grew up next door to my wife's family in Mt Angle..................they still know him and say nothing but good things about him.


    That is the only problem I've had with mine (just 1), well that and the handle bars moving downward after to many jumps :lol3


    I also put in one of those lightweight lithium batteries, no problems after that

    Dave, if you want to come across the "creek" to take mine for a ride let me know, I will be busy this weekend, but should be around next weekend.
    #11
  12. WetSideRider

    WetSideRider Long timer

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    I don't know about 610's, but I drove to Salem to buy a used WR125 from Bill, and totally agree, you will get the straight story from him. Jeff Taskey in Everett is also a great source of solid information on Husky stuff.

    BTW the little 125 deserves it's cult following, it's even good for old fat guys.
    #12
  13. Dr Klaun

    Dr Klaun Been here awhile

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    I've got an '08 FI model. No issues. That being said, like any bike, going over it / prepping for your riding of choice will need to be done. I've done that on BMWs, and Hondas so in the end I know the bikes and what to expect from them. Knock on wood, but I've never been stranded on any of my rides. Just remember that the internet tends to be the voice for folks with lots of problems with things.... You don't get many posts from people just checking in to say they're enjoying themselves with no problems!

    As far as riding goes, suspension, seats, lighting, protection, etc. are pretty much universal upgrades to any DS bike (or any bike for that matter) and the husky needs these to a certain extent. The Husky's are of Swedish lineage and have been built in Italy since the late 80's. They have a great design, but don't have the same attention to assembly as other makes, but all items can be easily sorted in a weekend. Refer to Rick Ramey's website for a good resource on this bike:
    http://rickramsey.net/TE610.htm


    Have fun!
    #13
  14. nw scout

    nw scout Been here awhile

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    Thanks for all the info guys.

    Test rode a nice one this morning and really liked it.
    So bummed though as the sale fell thru on my xr Gotta sell it before I can buy the other.
    If anyone know someone looking for a super sweet XR400 DS let me know

    Here is the info on it
    http://portland.craigslist.org/clc/mcy/3487165083.html

    Thanks again for everyones help

    Dave
    #14
  15. Watercat

    Watercat . . . gravity sucks

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    Miles of smiles . . . . . . .

    Vintage Oh-six here - Yellow & blue; nothing but miles of smiles & agree with above posts . . . . . .

    Positive Husky experience here . . . . . :clap And this thing rips it up . . . . . :1drink

    Recommend light weight lithium battery, the battery tray on mine needed to be rewelded to the subframe after numerous rugged rides with standardlead-acid battery.

    For single track the steering stops are going to be a bit limiting on tight turns & swithbacks.

    Otherwise this bike is kick-ass . . . . . :wink:
    #15
  16. John_L

    John_L Been here awhile

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    Yeah, great bikes. Love mine. Go through the things that need addressing and ride them. I went through all the same, must fix/check this stuff with my DRZ and KLR650 prior to doing the same with my 06 610. Maintenance is key.

    The only bike so far that has left me stranded in the middle of nowhere was my 2003 KLR650 (arguably one of the most bullet proof bikes there is) on my Alaska trip in 2005. Came home in a UHaul. Yes I had done the Doohickey and all the other things said that needed to be done to it and maintained it properly.

    Stuff can happen to any machine. Things occasionally break.

    I'm considering selling my TE currently for a 800xc, f800gs or 950/990 as my riding has changed some but would keep it if i could and might still if i can figure out a way.

    Cheers and good luck.
    #16
  17. K7MDL

    K7MDL 2015 Tiger 800XCx

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    Dave,

    If you are looking at the 610 more for ORV park/ST type riding, there are better choices. The 610 is heavy enough and hard enough to get a good lift hold on that pulling it back on a trial is difficult. Same for trying top push it up a steep stream bank. My riding style on trails with a 610 is all about planning ahead and not making mistakes. When I look at a challenge section I estimate how expensive it is - for parts, for the effort of getting it back upright or towed back to the truck, or my body. On the 450 you pretty much just ride with much less concern and more nimble for sure. It is far easier to get a good grip and lift the back tire or drag it back onto a path.

    From your limited description it was focused on the ORV/ST question. Are you planning to trailer/truck it to the trails? Certainly if you have no truck or trailer and plan to ride to the trails and back home 30 minutes or more on highway, than the 610 will be a decent compromise, but make sure you are not riding alone on the trails and I would avoid the ones with steep tight switchbacks. Foggy Dew near Chelan for example I would not want the 610 on. Can it be done? Sure. It is one hour from my place to Walker Valley each way. The ride up on the 610 is no problem. The 450 gets trailered, just no fun to highway ride it up there and back.

    I ended up with both a 450 and 610 since I did enough desert and forest road oriented 200+ mile rides with highway included to make a 450 a poor choice but also do gnarly single track with connecting roads or forest roads that make the 610 not a great option. Sometimes it is tough to choose. One thing that is not tough to choose though - commuting 35 minutes to work from near Monroe to Redmond is a job for the 610 - it is actually fun and comfortable. I even have power for heated gear and use it. The 450 is not fun at all on that route and cannot run heated gear. Both bikes (like most all stock DS bikes) need lighting upgrades for road use.

    I think there is a pattern here.:-)

    But do not underestimate its weight or single person recovery characteristics. Far better than a KLR, but a handful when you make a mistake on the trail.

    I really do love my 610, but only for the occasional ST side trip, not when ST is the reason for the trip.
    #17
  18. nw scout

    nw scout Been here awhile

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    Guy just came out tonight and bought my XR sooooo......
    Just couldn't pass this beauty up. Picking her up on Monday :clap

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    950 miles and looks like new.
    Hell, with all the little goodies I think it just may be better than new :evil

    Thanks again for the help and info guys
    #18
  19. XR4EVER

    XR4EVER 919 excuses to ride!

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    That's a good lookin' bike!

    But still no XR. :D
    #19
  20. John_L

    John_L Been here awhile

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    Awesome and congrats, you'll love it.

    cheers John
    #20