It’s not fine Italian art, but with the big tank, the TE looks
functional and has purpose.
Ty Davis fabricated a breather chamber for the TE motor that
increases oil capacity and decreases heat.
THE BASE BIKE
The 449 Adventure started off as a TE449 with all the
flashes of brilliance and clumsiness typical of that
machine. The brilliance lies in the crank-mounted clutch,
which is fairly indestructible; the in-line counter-shaft/swingarm pivot, which is at least brave; and the
relaxed cylinder head angle, which allows for direct airflow
from the throttle body and airbox. One of the problems
with that last arrangement is “Oops, we forgot to leave
room for a fuel tank.” Husqvarna engineers stuck little fuel
cells where they could find space, and the result was a
total fuel capacity of 2.5 gallons.
As the bike gained acceptance over the last two years, it
became apparent that the lack of fuel was a limiting factor.
The TE449 wasn’t a motocrosser, or even a bike for super-tight trails; it was a bike that liked long trail rides at a comfortable pace. It was also a good pavement bike, but it
only had a range of 75 miles. That’s why Husqvarna North
America got together with IMS to solve the fuel problem.
The solution they came up with was an additional fuel cell
located in the place where fuel tanks are supposed to be.
The new tank holds another 3 gallons—now we’re talking
range. That extra fuel adds almost 100 miles to your ride.
Unfortunately, now you have three places to store gas and
two different fillers, but the IMS addition is the least weird
of the three cells. It has a gas cap where you expect it, and
you can see through the translucent material to check how
much you have left.
The additional tank is large and requires a different seat.
There are two companies that currently make saddles for
the 449 with the big tank. Saddleman and Seat Concepts
both have acceptable offerings, and both are a vast
improvement over the stocker for long hauls. The
Saddleman is available through Husky North America, and
the Seat Concepts version is available through IMS. The
bike got a number of other must-have items from the
Husky accessories catalog. It has a beautiful carbon fiber
skid plate and a number of anodized covers and knickknacks. The Husky accessories catalog also has a small
windscreen that attaches to the front number plate.
THE TY TOUCH
When Ty Davis got his mitts on the bike, it received a
number of functional parts that he designed in his days of
running Husky’s West Coast race team. The most significant is the Zip-Ty Breather bottle. The name makes it
sound like a Dixie cup on the end of a hose, but it’s actually a very well-crafted part that serves a number of functions. Since its introduction, the Husky has been plagued
by overheating problems. The Breather bottle is a
machined aluminum chamber that fits over the valve cover
to increase oil capacity and eliminate oil loss through the
vent. The motor’s most serious design glitch centers
around a device called the torque limiter, which is supposed to cushion drive-line shocks between the engine
and transmission. When it gets hot, the torque limiter does
its job so well that shocks, torque and power are eventually reduced to zero, and the whole motorcycle becomes a
big paperweight. The Breather bottle extends the lifespan
of the torque limiter substantially. Ty also filled the bike
with his XF-Plus waterless coolant.
Tires are an important factor in going the distance, and
this bike was set up with a super-beefy front meat. Golden
Tyre makes a massive 90/100-21 front knobby called the
GT216. It doesn’t have the letters “DOT” displayed, but it
doesn’t say not to take it on the street, either, so we gave
it the benefit of the doubt because it looked like it would
have such a wide footprint. The Golden Tyre GT523 is a
more-or-less conventional-looking rear knobby, albeit a big
one. Ty also gave the bike a Marzocchi fork simply
because he had one that fit and he knew it worked.
When you’re building a bike for range and comfort, a
steering stabilizer is usually a good idea. The bike got a
GPR stabilizer with a GPR upper clamp. The Akrapovic
pipe is sheer art, with a titanium head pipe and a carbon
fiber end cap. The Earth–X lithium battery is a good choice
for the Husky because it includes circuitry that enables the
stock charging system to work effectively; not all lithium
cells do that.