1994 Husaberg 501
1995 Honda XR600
2009 Husaberg 570
2014 KTM 500EXC
I really have no idea why this machine made my top 10
other than the fact that it belched bottom power and was
a riot to ride in tight to medium-slow off-road terrain. It
carried the filter up high, sounded like an airplane turbine
was gonna rip off your goggles, was fuel-injected, and had
an incredibly odd shape in the engine tilt and design. It
also had the odd flame-out and would toss you over the
bars since it made so much torque when it barfed. But, for
some reason, maybe because of its uniqueness, I liked it.
Wow, love this wagon. In fact, any of the street-legal
EXCs fit into my top 10. In the current climate of off-road,
where real estate is getting tougher to find and linking trails
is mandatory, the KTM 500EXC is one wicked machine.
It’s quiet, well-suspended and road-legal. It’s strange
when you look at my buddies and me, as everyone owns
a moto bike and nearly all of them also have a plated KTM
in their garage. Today, if I were tied to just one machine, it
wouldn’t be close. I’d take a 500EXC. #6 #5
I actually won the National Qualifier series 40 class on a
501 Berg. This bike had a motor from hell and flat ripped!
Suspension-wise, it was weak and the brakes were suspect, but I fit Honda wheels and brakes and a Marzocchi
fork with great results. This machine also makes me think
of the incredible Qualifier series and races in Washington
and Oregon where I got to ride with LR, Danny Hamel,
Charles Halcomb and DB for days. It never got any better!
This was an interesting machine for me. My good buddy
DB (Dick Burleson) had an interest in Thumper Racing and,
through his enthusiasm, I started riding one. The engine
was magnificent and nearly impossible to stall. The fork
was a cartridge unit and quite excellent. It was big, heavy
and a beast, yet I spent more time on that bike than any
other off-roader that year.