Projekt Husaberg Återuppbygga - Swedish for "Only idiots rebuild an acceptably running moto"

Discussion in 'Some Assembly Required' started by canadius_maximus, Dec 3, 2017.

  1. canadius_maximus

    canadius_maximus Quaere verum

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    It's been ten years this fall since I migrated from riding sportbikes to dualsports. But it was also a decade of continuous tweaking. Taking a bone stock DRZ 400 that eventually turned into this:

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    More recently, the KTM 690 went through 3 years of transformation also:

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    For that one's history, you can check my thread here: http://advrider.com/index.php?threa...nture-bike-build-by-dummy-for-dummies.942612/

    Earlier this year I bought a good friend's (and fellow inmate) Husaberg FE 550. It was extensively and successfully raced at Baja and Sonora, and served as a great light adventure tourer. Race tuned suspension, engine, it was a gem of incredible performance....

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    So, you'd think I'd learned my lesson, bought a bike and just left it alone, right? Yeah ... no. :lol3

    Why? Well, part of the blame lies with some of you .... :lol3 Advrider giants like @Blakebird, @GalacticGS and @Baja Dad have undertaken some projects that made me think, "if I get the chance, I want to do a major frame up build - not just upgrading a bunch of parts."

    So the timing was good. Got a good summer of riding in on the new-to-me 'Berg, and uncovered what areas needed attention. Here's the day it came home:

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    ... and a few of the trips we did together:

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    Now it needs to be said, the PO did an exceptional job of tuning and servicing the bike. But an almost decade old bike though having had a good life thus far, had seen some hard rides, and certain areas came to light that needed some attention.

    The question is, would I just focus on the areas that presented themselves for fixing, or go deeper? The siren's song of a frame-up restoration called ... a smarter man would have resisted and spent their free time watching pro sports on the couch. But, content with accepting both that I'm not a particularly smart man, and certainly not one who enjoys watching TV, the die was cast. :rofl

    The goal is to give this lovely older bike a thorough mid-life overhaul, to extend it's service life to mostly lightweight fast adventure travel use - and as skill progresses, maybe some light competitive rally use.

    Stay tuned...
    #1
  2. canadius_maximus

    canadius_maximus Quaere verum

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    I was remiss in my first post to mention one particular project that has really inspired what I’m trying to achieve here is @gaspipe and his fantastic 525 Rally EXC build. His taking a heavily raced bike and reconditioning it for milder adventure travel service is precisely what this project is about. Here's the pics of his great project: https://gaspipe.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Rebuilding-an-ex-Dakar-KTM-525/ I can only hope mine will be half as good! :lol3

    OK – moving forward. Opened the case up for clutch inspection – most of the plates looked good. Unfortunately, some of the clutch driver dowels fell into the motor when I was taking out them out. I got out all but one. No amount of fishing with all manner of narrow stick magnets could find the remaining one. So now the basket – which meant the entire left side case cover – also had to come off. And as a bonus, a DIY tool I made to lock the basket while I broke the nut overstressed one of the basket posts and sheared it off. New basket to order up ... :fpalm

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    Opened it up … looks clean in there, so there’s that!

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    But that 12th little Judas was still missing in action. Spent the afternoon scouring the garage floor, in case it had rolled off my work surface – couldn’t find it. Shook the engine, cycled the drive – nothing. A few days of heartburn wondering where it could go, would I destroy the motor if indeed it had somehow migrated to the right side … in the end, the clean manual cycling of the cylinder and transmission action made me conclude it was missing all along. But until the ordered parts arrived, I’d have to wait and burn up some excess stomach acid.

    The bike had a Husaberg charachteristic whining of the Sprague gear on most of the starts, suggesting it was wearing out. So the mixed blessing of having half the engine apart was that I had occasion to address that. Also figured I’d address another known Husaberg issue – the famous oil leaking through the water pump shaft seal out the weep hole. And of course, throw a new case gasket in there. When all the new parts arrived, it was reinstall time. Pic of revised basket locking tool ... isn't it a beauty? Motion Pro, Tusk, anyone out there have any interest in my licensing the design? :lol3

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    Worth pointing out that yet another known annoyance is the sensitivity of the kickstart shaft/cam to “bump” out of place. It obviously happened during removal of the cover, but twice during the replacement of the cover, it managed to kick out. Some folks don’t realize this until the whole bike is back together and they’re trying to kickstart out in the field – the kickstart action is locked. Excruciatingly annoying if you’ve gone that far after having opened and then closed the engine up. For anyone with this bike, here’s how to reset it vid courtesy of Taffmeister:



    Thankfully, I discovered this early on – so it was only mildly annoying – in my case, I still had to break and then retorque the clutch nut each time, after removing the clutch basket, etc. So my buddy helped – pushing downward on the shaft continuously as I pushed the case on. Easy peasy.

    All 11 engine bolts in and properly torqued, waterpump reconnected – the moment of truth: was Judas missing the whole time, or was he indeed hiding in there, and going to get eaten in the engine and bring ruination to my beloved project? One push of the red button would tell all ...
    #2
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  3. canadius_maximus

    canadius_maximus Quaere verum

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    So oddly enough, it ran fine! :raindance

    Having established that the motor is fine - it's time to take it out :lol3 Of course, nothing on this project is easy, and the swingarm bolt refused to get out. A week's worth of nightly penetrating oil and pounding wouldn't budge it. Once again, my buddy came to my rescue, and a combination of drilling a bolt into the head of the swingarmbolt and creating a DIY puller around it - coupled with loads of heat - and out it came.

    For the remainder of the teardown, preferred a rolling chassis, so some 1/2" wood dowel (so as to not mung up the threads) would keep ass and tea-kettle together for the time being ....

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    And now, the engine's out! :happay

    As is the wiring ....

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    I can almost guarantee I'll have nightmares about this ... :becca But I labeled what I could - part of the stretch goal, right? Not much left now ...


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    Found some broken brackets when the rad guards came off ... will need to address that before frame is repainted.

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    Will replace the steering bearings. They were smooth, but the rubber covers were a bit chewed up, and after all the grease was removed, there was some surface rust in the steering tube cavity. But all in all, pretty good shape!

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    Bottom steering bearing seized on the steering shaft .... :dirtdog

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    Swingarm would give yet more grief - bearings refusing to come out ....

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    And more worrisome, a new "bearing inspection window" feature brought about from chain wear ...

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    Swingarm is in otherwise decent shape. JB Weld and then reinforce before replacing the chain slider? :( Open to ideas from the peanut gallery.

    Stay tuned ...

    cm
    #3
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  4. davesupreme

    davesupreme grand poobah

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    that thing's toast....
    #4
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  5. canadius_maximus

    canadius_maximus Quaere verum

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    Progress!

    December and January were a blur of holidays, flus, travel and general busy-ness. But The Minion (yes, it's name) has seen some progress ...

    First, a buddy welded the dinky rad guard tabs that were broken (what a dumb design!) - thanks Ron - you rock!!!

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    And then it was sandblasting ....
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    ... then painting! I debated some colour options. I hate the black - I prefer a brighter colour that (heaven forbid) shows leaks, if they happen. I wanted to capture the essence of the "old" / iconic Husaberg, so it boiled down to either yellow or medium blue. The powdercoater said he was doing a run of municipal railings in a medium blue close to what I wanted - and if I added my frame, he'd waive the setup and charged me next to peanuts. So that's what I chose ... lol

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    On reflection, it was a bit lighter than I had hoped, but hey, poor decision-making has been a central theme in this project, so why break the streak. It reminds me of the earlier (2001-2004) models that I believe came in this blue. It'll grow on me ... :lol3
    #5
  6. canadius_maximus

    canadius_maximus Quaere verum

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    Now, in keeping with the thread title and general theme of this thread, my high-level concept for this project required it take a particular diversion.

    Now, for those who recall my earlier bike projects, this will come as no particular surprise ... :lol3

    More elaboration later, but a few teasers ... :ricky

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    Those were all before the painting, more to follow after the frame finishing ...

    EDIT - having issues linking pics from google pics - so manually uploading from my iPhone. Please advise if there are issues with the pics.
    #6
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  7. brucifer

    brucifer Long timer

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    Man, I still love this generation of 'bergs. Probably one of the best looking dirt bikes ever.

    Your pics are fine on my end. :thumb
    #7
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  8. massholejim

    massholejim Been here awhile

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    Nice build when all said and done you should post weight with no fuel .I bet it will suprise a lot of people.
    #8
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  9. canadius_maximus

    canadius_maximus Quaere verum

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    Thanks, Bruce and Mass

    As to weight, I'm looking to thread the needle between a "light adventure" bike that still preserves it's hard enduro lightweight origins, since at present, it's my sole motorcycle. Clearly, the bias will be to the latter, but I think it's possible to strike a decent balance, at least one I'm happy with.

    I'm working on staying within a weight budget for the new light/fairing configuration. The rationale is thus:

    The previous TrailTech HID light package weighed approx. 4.5lb / 2 kg. Additionally, there was the speedo and some nav equipment (GPS mount, roll chart) - but since those were already on, and would be on regardless of the setup, I'll exclude them from the development budget. The idea is to trade the weight savings from removing the TrailTech rig into a setup that stays as close to those original weights as possible. I somewhat arbitrarily figured a 33% increase would be an acceptable tradeoff to have some wind protection, better lights, and have all weight off the handlebars. So my start vs end was going to be 4.5lb -> 6lb as a net weight budget.

    So at present, weights are as follows:

    • Fairing attachment = 1.7lb
    • Fairing (Carbon Fiber Rally Moto Style) = 2.2lb
    • Lights (2 x BD Squadrons) = 1.5lb

    Actual Subtotal = 5.4 lb

    WIP / not yet designed

    • Nav/Lights mount (have mostly drafted up the design, done theoretical weight calc, but metal not yet cut) = approx. 1.5lb
    • Misc Mounting hardware = approx. 0.5lb

    Est WIP parts subtotal = 2lb

    Total projected weight (excluding nav equipment) = 7.4lb. That's before any lightening / optimization that I'll do after all is mounted up - I'm estimating approx. 15% reduction = 6.3lb. So I'll likely exceed my weight budget by a few ounces - but I think it'll still be ok. Remembering that the primary use is light adventure travel use, I'm not too worried.

    I know it's probably a brainier approach to mods than most like to do, but I'm enjoying the "engineering the @#$* out of it" process.

    Up next is finalizing the nav/lights mount - hope to cut metal this weekend.

    cm
    #9
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  10. BergDonk

    BergDonk Old Enough to Know Better

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    Interesting thread, I'm in :thumb

    FWIW my FE650 is 122 kgs or 269 lbs with 10 litres of fuel as pictured, with 63 dynojet hp at the knobs:

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    sorry about the minor derail, carry on :lurk
    #10
  11. canadius_maximus

    canadius_maximus Quaere verum

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    No worries. In my world, my baby lives disassembled in a dozen labeled shoeboxes; seeing a whole FE is a welcome reminder of the intended future state :lol3
    #11
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  12. canadius_maximus

    canadius_maximus Quaere verum

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    #12
  13. BergDonk

    BergDonk Old Enough to Know Better

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    Looks useful to me. I'd likely roll my own though, a bit of threaded bar and some washers usually does the job.
    #13
  14. Egoland

    Egoland Adventurer

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    #14
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  15. canadius_maximus

    canadius_maximus Quaere verum

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    Some updates ....

    Rolling chassis awaiting arrival of new swingarm bolt:

    64BDA97A-D113-43A9-BDA7-220F35B33232.jpeg

    Now with engine, rad, and exhaust systems:

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    Now the hairy part-new wiring harnesses are on back order. And my new headlights (BD Squadrons) are stuck in postage limbo. So have to focus on where I can move ahead. So the nav tower and fairing mount is mostly squared away:
    638AA615-4F9B-44A3-A5E0-F6A960921CEE.jpeg

    New custom brake lines just arrived - more systems to knock off while I tread water waiting for the electrical bits and pieces to arrive.

    Tank cleaned up-old decal off, new decal on, new plastics arrived sooner than expected-threw it quickly on the bike as a quick teaser of the final product ...
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    Cheers,

    CM
    #15
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  16. Wildebeest90210

    Wildebeest90210 Long timer

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    Husa 5 speed as discussed on PM...


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    #16
  17. BergDonk

    BergDonk Old Enough to Know Better

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    I count 12 gears, ie 6spd?
    #17
  18. massholejim

    massholejim Been here awhile

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    It is going to be one sweet ride
    #18
  19. gwarden

    gwarden Adventurer

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    Southern CA
    Awesome, this thing is going to be a rocket. Subbed
    #19
  20. canadius_maximus

    canadius_maximus Quaere verum

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    Thanks folks!

    While the new wiring harness and other parts work their way through the system, I took another look at the tower. Specifically where it attaches the fairing, as well as how it will support the instruments.

    Decided to take a lighter approach with better mounting options.

    Going with RAM mounted kit for now. But down road, could mount up more traditional rally gear if that’s the trajectory I get on.

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    For now I can use RBlitz in either full road book or odo only orientations. Tower turned out better than I expected, to be honest.
    #20
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