Time to choose: DRZ / KTM / TE610


I might have to eat my words. I posted earlier about the reasons I WOULDN'T get the Husky. Since then, I've started looking at the info available on the TE610 and now I'm more confused.

I want to buy ONE bike to last me at least 10 years. For a long time, the DRZ400s was the only choice for me. Being in the PRC (Peoples Republic of California), I couldn't DS any bike that I bought new.

I owned a Dr350 for five years, great bike for the times (1990-1995). I've been dirt-bike-less for long enough (4 years) and enough is enough.

I live near Malcom Smith who carries all three:

1. DRZ - we all know how popular this bike is, but it is getting a little "aged" (also means proven). It needs "mods" to bring it up to speed, not a "race-bred" bike. OTD around $5,500 to $6,000. BUT it is the defacto standard DS bike.

2. KTM - really no "great" DS choice. The Adventures are a little "piggish" and they chickened out of the "Long Way 'Round". I'm also pissed about them not bringin the superduke 990 to the US. But I love ORANGE & BLACK.

3. TE610 - WOW, looks like the bike to beat. Yes it's $7,500-$8,000 OTD, but the DRZ would cost nearly the same after all the necessary mods, and wouldn't be as good. and what's this about a buyout, is it about to be an obsolete product? Usually race-bred bikes = high maint / short life.

My brother bought a Cannondale 440 WEEKS before they folded. His bike still runs great (200 hours total time). But if something major happens, he's screwed.

Please help me decide. No "mine's better than yours" crap. I want logic and facts. Remember, one bike for next 10+ years.

thanks in advance,

REFLEXX :applause:

Well, I don't see any bike lasing 10 years, even (or especially?) with just occasional use. A frequently used dual sport won't make it that long either.

But that being said, parts for the DRZ are going to be available for that long at least. The aftermarket will support it for that long, the factory will support it for that long, and I think there will even be a TT message board for it 10 years from now.

If Husky enjoys some major success, meaning about a million bikes, in the next 10 years, then yeah, they'll be around and be in a position to support their "older" products.

And while KTM will still be here with some great bikes, they are no suzuki, honda, yamaha, or kawi. Rather than think of what's going to work for you for the next 10 YEARS(!!), buy a $3500 used DRZ or KTM, ride it into the ground for the next 5 years and then buy another for $3500 and do it all over again. These are dirt bikes afterall, not heavy machinery.


I think I would choose the Husky 510 instead of the 610. I am an old man and 300 lb bikes get old really fast. Both the DRZ and the 610 are 300 lb bikes. The 510 (or 525 whatever it is) is more like 260 lbs and comes street legal PLUS has all the goodies you woukld put on the heavier DRZ to make it work well.

Your brother isn't in as much trouble as you would think. Check out www.atkusa.com. They sell the Cannondale but under the ATK name and have made some important changes to the bike to improve reliability and punched it out to 450. Your brother can send his engine in and they will do the ATK mods.

I would seriously consider the ATK 450 if it weren't for the CA licensing problem. By the way, ATK has all the parts your brother will ever need, and they are easy to deal with. Check out their web site for a dealer near you. If there isn't one within 50 mi, you can deal direct with the factory parts counter by phone. They also have competant service people who are ready with advice.


Well, I don't see any bike lasing 10 years, even (or especially?) with just occasional use. A frequently used dual sport won't make it that long either.

I think that it is easily possible for a dual sport bike to last 10 years or even more. My WR400 is going on 7 years and I know it has a few more left in it. Guess it all depends on how you maintain your bike. :applause:

You really are not comparing apples to apples. IMHO the te610 is kinda on par with the XR650L. It is pretty heavy and a little more streetable than dirtable but can easily do both. The 450's and 510's are a whole different story. The DRZ400 is a good reliable bike but the carb sucks for any real offroad. The CV carb is junk when you get it in the whoops. The vents get plugged with fuel and will not allow the slide to open causing the bike to bog. It can be fixed with a flatslide carb but it will cost $. The KTM (if you are talking the rfs motors not the lc4) are on par or better than the TE450's and 510's. Need to ask yourself if you want a streetlegal dirtbike or a dirtlegal streetbike. If you decide to get a real dirtbike strongly look into the KTM's. They are a proven bike, the motors are really the same for the last 6 or so years and parts are easily available. You can get them plated without much problem, just takes a little research and legwork. If you decide that route call Dale at www.trickdualsport.com and he can help you out with questions.

As for the 610, I have talked to a few people who have them and they are a little disapointed with the bike. It is on the heavy side and not really a true dirtbike persay. But work great for fireroads, commuting and things like that. Just ask yourself what you want.

thanks for all the feedback so far.

I did own an Xr600 for several years and it is a pig for normal sized riders (I'm 5'10" x 185 lbs).

I don't race, but I do like to go fast in the desert and do tight tech trails in the woods.

The TE610 dissapointing? in what sense? weight? not a true dirtbike??? But it's the same weight as a DRZ with much more power and suspension.

I agree that the suport will be around for the DRZ for a long time.

I heard that KTMs and the Husky 510s were much more "race bikes" therefore much more finiky(sp?) and high maint.

And whick KTM compares??

My next bike will be NEW, not used, no surprises. I AM looking for a "street legal dirtbike" not vice versa.

thanks again.

REFLEXX :applause:

and the critical question: Does anyone make different color plastic for the 06' Huskys?

I think you will be disapointed with the weight of the 610 and the performance of the drz400. I have heard the front end on the 610 likes to plow due to the weight, especially in the sand. If it were me, I would seriously consider the 450's from either KTM or Husky. The maintenance on a KTM is not all that. Change the oil every, or every other ride. Which I do on all my bikes, whether it was my dr650 or my KTM. The valve checks are no biggy and I check mine every other ride. Once you get it a few times it can be done in well under 2 hours. I don't mind doing it because it also gives me a chance to check out the rest of the bike and catch anything before it becomes a problem, ie loose bolts, oil leaks, etc. My maintenance schedule stays the same for whatever bike I have ever owned with the exception of valve checks. I have an '01 400 exc and it is a great bike. Original top end. The only things that have been changed are cam bearings and water pump seals. The only reason I did the cam bearings was because I was there and figured I'd do it before it became a problem.

The ktm's can be a little uncomfortable on a long highway stretch but hey, that is why I have a streetbike. I keep the KTM in the dirt, where it belongs. I would not bother with the 640 or the 950 KTM's, not that they are not great bikes but they are heavier and not nearly as nimble as the rfs models.

I fully expect any bike I buy new to last 10 years - at least! I'm at 11, 7, and 4 years on the ones I have now (4 for the DRZ). You can't go wrong with a DRZ, but the Husky 610 looks really cool. There's been a couple of threads over at http://www.advrider.com on them.

I think comparing it to a XR650L is nuts. I certainly can't imagine it being not as good off-road as the DRZ.

People's ideas of what will work off-road vary wildly. I've never had the CV carb on my DRZ-S be a problem. I don't blast through whoops either though.

I wouldn't own a bike which required oil changes after every other ride, much less valve checks!

I'm not so sure the DRZ needs 2 grand worth of mods to be a decent dual sport either.


I just got off the phone with the Husky dealer in San Diego and he's telling me to go with the TE510 vs. vs the 610. Lighter weight, quicker, for the 80/20 dirt/street types. Both 100% street legal in CA and 1 year warranties!


I've had my DRZ "S" or 3 yrs. Great bike, but it really lacks the gears to do dualsporting well. It needs a wider spaced gearbox or a 6th gear. But ride it for 10 yrs, I think easy to do. But I want a new Husky to try. I think it would be the hands down bike to beat or years to come. My drz on the scales is 315 lbs with almost empty tank. :bonk: I have removed some of the junk, but added skidplate, radiator guards, case guards, a rack, and brush busters. No highway machine for sure, but fun in the dirt, but also no race bike, and somewhat of a pig on tight woodsy single track. Good luck with your choice, and give us a ride report! :applause:

I think the Husky TE450 and TE510 are going to be great bikes but the only problem I see is aftermarket stuff such as a desert tank and pipes. But they will come with time I would immagine.

I just got back from the dealer. HOLY CRAP! These bikes are beautiful (TE450/510). I'll eat EVERY word about my post from earlier (why I wouldn't buy Husky). The more of us buy these bikes, the better the survival of the company.

I'm sold! The 610 is too big/heavy (for me) regardless of power. The 450/510 feels just right, the build quality is superb.

I looked at my list of things I wanted to do to a DRZ after i bought it (2 years of window shopping will make for a nice list). and the TE has 80% of the stuff DONE!

I don't mind a slightly restrictive pipe if it means a more quiet bike. Less noise, less calls to local PD, less riding rights lost.

Now my wish list is:

2006 TE510 +bark busters, +bigger tank and skid plate (when available) and the red/white plastics. Then I have my dream bike.

REFLEXX :applause::bonk::cry:

PS: I have two downhill (race) mountain bikes and a pair of pitbikes that are in the way of this purchase, anyone interested???

I'd help you out reflexx but I just bought my Ellsworth Joker about 6 months ago. Sounds like you made a wise choice. Good luck.

come on now Reflexx....you can't be saying that the red/white plastics will look better then the blue/yellow...... :applause::bonk:

I have a DRZ S and a KTM 525.

Love my DRZ- even in whoops and tight single track.

But, if i could ONLY have one bike,

I'd buy the Husky 510

I have a DRZ S and a KTM 525.

Love my DRZ- even in whoops and tight single track.

But, if i could ONLY have one bike,

I'd buy the Husky 510

Me too!

thanks, guys. Now I'm planning my fire sale. FZ6 anyone?

thanks, guys. Now I'm planning my fire sale. FZ6 anyone?

This thread is killing me. I've been away from dirtbikes for a decade. After begging me to death, my 10-year-old finally got his first one for Christmas. This prompts me to discover Thumpertalk. That, in turn, gets me to dreaming about a new DS bike.

All this is a bad idea for a late-40s dude living in NJ (with hardly any place to ride) who lived and breathed dirtbikes as a teen. Even then, I wanted a Husky. Now I not only want a Husky, I want to move out west. First I must sell the ElectraGlide (or one of the four other boring street bikes I've accumulated).

And I thought I was cured of this addiction :applause:

we need to know more about your riding areas, type of riding you want to do?

% hwy, road, off road, single track?

when looking at factory plated bikes, Husqvarna has broken the mold and given you new bikes to add to your decision process............still the DR-Z400S has it's place. as does the big Kawasaki KLR 650 and the Honda 650L, etc.

lots of bikes last ten years with quality maintenance. There are a lot of 1990s era Huskys on the trails. Husqvarna makes a solid bike, industrial strenght components and the TE-510 is heads and tails better ride and performance then the DRZ. 50 lbs lighter, we're talking 260 lbs vs 310 ready to ride DRZ-400S weight. Yet DRZ the R stands for reliabilty, too bad the D and the Z stand for Dog Zled.

The Husksy are ten times more easy to service and work on then the DRZ. My Valves have not moved in 2400 miles of operation........... I could go on but we need to know your riding areas, plans

I think that people make too big of a deal out of riding 300lb bikes. Unless you are rock crawling and have to pull your bike up and over stuff by hand the weight doesn't bother me. My KTM625SXC has an advertized weight of 291lbs. KTM is known for being pretty close on weights. I removed 7lbs with a Ti. exhaust system, But added a few back with skid plates,DS kit ect. 90% of my riding is tight trails, hill climbs, singletrack and I take my bike to places that leave 200cc 2 stroke guys scratching their heads in disbelief. I'm a decent sized guy at 6ft 235lbs and my SXC fit's me good. I do however think that a big bike like my SXC or the Husky 610 might be a bit much for a 160lb guy.

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