This year the Husky motor is so new that many of the
aftermarket parts are new too. This bike got one of the
first FMF Gnarly pipes with a 2.1 silencer. What makes the
Gnarly system good for this race is that it’s constructed
from 18-gauge steel, making it much more crush-proof.
The motor also got new Boyesen Carbon Tech reeds,
which are more durable than the stockers.
If you’ve ever seen photos from Last Dog Standing, you
have probably noticed that the bikes are typically emerging from a cloud of steam. Unless your name is Cody or
Colton, you will overheat your bike. This is the biggest reason for not finishing the race. A bike will lose all its coolant,
and then it’s only a matter of time before it stops running.
Jason took several measures to keep this from happening.
First of all, he used Evans waterless coolant. This will stop
coolant loss but not necessarily the overheating. To keep
the engine cooler, you need a fan, which the TX doesn’t
have. Trail Tech offers one, and also has radiator guards
to prevent crash damage there. Samco radiator hoses are
another detail for added durability. The final touch will be a
Boyesen SuperCooler water pump for more efficient coolant circulation, but that’s not available yet for this model.
After the motor was handled, AHM rebuilt the suspension,
especially for this one race.
IRC Rubber has made a special effort for extreme bikes
like this. The new Gekkota Enduro IX09W is unlike any
other tire on the market. The rubber is super soft and
gummy, and the casing is extra flexible. The result tires
hook up like crazy on hard surfaces.
Most of the remaining pieces are items that will either
protect the bike in a sky-ground-sky scenario or just help it
survive better than stock stuff. The wheels are from Faster
USA and built with Excel rims. The handguards are full
wraps from Cycra. The shrouds and number plates are from
R-Tech, and SXS offers a skid plate with a linkage protector.
The biggest mistake that Jason made with this bike
is that he finished it too early. Here we are four months
before the race and it’s ready to go. The second biggest mistake was that he gave it to us. Remember what
happened when we gave a bike to Jason? We have four
months to create the same amount of damage that Jason
accomplished in a day.
We won’t, though. We did, however, keep the bike
through the best days of the Southern California riding
season—that’s the rainy part of winter here, and, man, has
the riding been good this season.
Three things stand out about the Hapavarna: First, it’s a
Husky 300. That alone makes it a winner. If you ride difficult
off-road trails, the bike is simply incredible, and that’s before
any modifications. The next thing that stands out is the
clutch. It allows you to change your whole riding style. Trails
that you normally do in first or second are possible in second or third gear. If a bike is unstallable, you eventually find
yourself riding in a taller gear. With the Husky, the low-end
power is so good that you sometimes forget to downshift
and end up riding trials-like sections in absurdly tall gears.
There’s no real downside to that, unless you burn up the
clutch. That hasn’t happened yet, so we assume it’s not an
issue. And the third great aspect of this particular bike is the
traction. The Gekkota rear tire hooks up in places that seem
impossible. Frankly, we don’t want to climb vertical rocks
and hills, but the rear tire seems fine with it. The front gets
great traction, too, but doesn’t like higher speeds. The soft
casing can roll slightly, especially if the tire pressure is low.
Sadly, we love this bike too much to abuse it. It would
be sweet payback to ride every LDS section we can find
in the hills around Glen Helen, then give the bike back in a
dustpan—but that’s not our style.
Besides, we don’t have to. Jason will do that for us. ❏
FMF: Gnarly pipe/2.1 silencer
Boyesen: Carbon Tech reeds
Faster Wheels: Wheel build/hubs
Torc 1 Racing: Bars, levers, pegs
Cycra: Wrap handguards
TM Designworks: Chainguide/slide kit
Trail Tech: Radiator guards/cooling fan
Red Label: Graphics
Moto Seat: Seat cover
Galfer: Brake rotors
SXS: Skid plate/linkage protector
Rekluse: Auto clutch
Evans: Waterless coolant
AHM Factory Services: Suspension
Giant Loop: Pull handles
Works Connection: Accessories
P3 Carbon: Frame guards/front disc guard