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FE 390 vs. YZ 285

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Hello All,

I am currently riding an '06 YZ 285 that is heavily modified for New England style off road riding. I am intrigued by the new 'berg's, everything I read about the 390 indicates it would be perfect for the root infested slick, super tight stuff I have on my property. From what I've read, the 'berg doesn't ride heavy, but looking at the specs I can't help but wonder if I am going to feel the weight. At 5'8"., 165 pounds, I am fit, but not super strong. I'd like to here from those of you that have experience on 250 and 300 2t's as well as the 390 in really technical conditions, how do they compare? Is there any info you would like to offer? Thanks in advance for your help.

Regards,

Wardo

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I have a new FE450 and am just getting off an '07 WR250F with a 290 big bore kit. The Yamaha has extensive mods including suspension done by Factory Connection, Hot Cams, JD jetting, F2 demissions kit, Scotts steering stabilizer, and lots more. I thought, and still feel, that the 290 is an ideal woods weapon. In fact I purchased it in '07 to set up to do the National Enduros almost all of which were in the east.

How does it compare to the FE450 ( I know you're asking about the 390, but it should be a close comparison)? The Husaberg holds a line much better, transitions just as well and is magic where traction is concerned. When in motion, I don't feel the extra weight of the the 'berg at all. Both bikes feel about the same weight when riding. You do need to pay attention to throttle position in slippery conditions more than the Yamaha, and the Husaberg front end deflects more easily and quickly in its stock configuration. I think I will be bumping both the fork and shock springs up one level as I weigh in at 200 lbs. I think the front end dives under braking and needs to stay up in the stroke a bit to prevent some of the deflection. That should help, then maybe a steering damper if I feel it needs it after the suspension change, but I am pretty happy with the handling stock.

The Yamaha works better in sand washes, but again, some more acclimation to the 'berg, and I think the difference will be marginal. In all, the 'berg is a far superior bike to do a lot of different kinds of riding.

Weight.

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Does the front end dig in around corners in the washes? Were you able to hit your sag numbers with the stock springs at your weight? I'm on the edge of buying a Berg and I ride alot of washes. I love jamming up a wash and steering through the corners at speed with my back end hanging out.......a la jetski..... I'm not so sure the geometry of these new Bergs is going to reward that kind of deep sand cornering. What do ya think?

**Sorry to jump your thread OP***

Derik

Edited by Derbo250X
didnt help OP

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Does the front end dig in around corners in the washes? Were you able to hit your sag numbers with the stock springs at your weight? I'm on the edge of buying a Berg and I ride alot of washes. I love jamming up a wash and steering through the corners at speed with my back end hanging out.......a la jetski..... I'm not so sure the geometry of these new Bergs is going to reward that kind of deep sand cornering. What do ya think?

**Sorry to jump your thread OP***

Derik

I am still getting used to the bike. I only have a couple rides on it. In sand washes, with the stock suspension, I found the best way to turn was to use power and steer from the rear. The front end does a lot of seeking and if you get off the power in a turn it will knife in pretty drastically. I do think bumping the fork and shock spring weight will help in this area as the front will stay up in the stroke more and the bike should be more balanced when loaded front to rear (stock the front does dive a bit). I think it will be just fine for sand work once I do some suspension fiddling. The geometry works really well for me and my style of riding. I think it is more a suspension balance issue.

Edited by Bigbird

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I am still getting used to the bike. I only have a couple rides on it. In sand washes, with the stock suspension, I found the best way to turn was to use power and steer from the rear. The front end does a lot of seeking and if you get off the power in a turn it will knife in pretty drastically. I do think bumping the fork and shock spring weight will help in this area as the front will stay up in the stroke more and the bike should be more balance when loaded front to rear (stock the front does dive a bit). I think it will be just fine for sand work once I do some suspension fiddling. The geometry works really well for me and my style of riding. I think it is more a suspsension balance issue.

Did you make any adjustments to the fork preload to try and keep the forks up in the stroke a little better? My brother's bike would knife in on sandy corners until we dialed in his fork preload to get better balance to his rear sag numbers. It worked like a charm on his KTM.

Derik

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Big bird. to funny I had the same bike set up as your wr and now looking to get a husa. Thanks for your write up it's great to hear from somebody coming off the exact same bike.

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Thanks Big Bird. Any other input?

Wardo

I think body position on the Husaberg is not quite as critical to turning as the Yamaha. I found on the WR that good form in the corners rewarded with great cornering prowess, but if you got lazy the bike would fight you in the corners. With the Husaberg, the front end holds really well, it just feels so light that your expectation is that it is going to let go. As you get used to that feeling you begin to trust the bike and it provides great corner traction.

As far as preload, I know my weight is outside the parameters for the stock springs so I am going to go with springs first, then fine tune with valving and preload adjustments. I really like the plush feeling of the suspension and I think preloading to compensate for too light springing will make the suspension harsh.

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With the Husaberg, the front end holds really well, it just feels so light that your expectation is that it is going to let go. As you get used to that feeling you begin to trust the bike and it provides great corner traction.

that's exactly how the FE390 I rode felt. Took a bit to gain confidence but once i did I LOVED it.

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The Berg is nice over roots and such. Perhaps the best, but I think cornering is it's weak point. It's a different style. With any of my other six bikes, I rail corners. With the heavier rear end on the Berg, I like to brake slide and dump the clutch. It's more of a point-and-shoot technique. The lighter front just won't plant as well as other bikes IMO. It's superior in every way except switchbacks and slick conditions. Hope this helps.

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I picked up a 390 yesterday and had a great buying experience. One of the reasons I went with a Tim of Edelmann Sales was I knew I'd be dealing with the owner. He took great care of me and I am very satisfied with the buying experience. I feel confident I wont need much support going forward, but if I do I'll be taken care of.

My wife commented as I unloaded everything from the truck that the white ballistic cloth messenger bag reminded her of a trip to Tiffany's were you walk away with an expensive item and a VERY nice powder blue bag. Basically, it is the idea that all the details were addressed. Plus, we added another $8k+ bottle opener to the kitchen drawer.

I took a short ride before heading back to work and was instantly impressed. The bike is amazingly well balanced and the power felt great down low (the only part I tapped into). I rode it one lap around the GP track and over a few trials obstacles. It went right up a 3' high tilted slab with no run and zero drama. It is very tractable as others have reported. I look forward to exploring the bike more in the coming weeks, at least until winter really settles in and the skis come out.

Thanks everyone for the valuable input.

Regards,

Wardo

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Every day I ride the Husaberg, I like it more. Be a little patient and trust the bike as it feels different when riding that most four strokes. If you do, it will reward you with great performance in the turns.

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I picked up a 390 yesterday

I took a short ride before

Regards,

Wardo

Any more riding? Thoughts?

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ive had 3 rides on mine all up 6hrs on the bike , as yet i havent had the front end wash on me, but it feels like its going to when compared to my wr290f,i have become cross rutted twice which may have just been due to the fact that i suck, but finding it hard to turn fast as i really lack confidence in the front end, wound my fork preload in this stopped the front diving under brakes,overall im happy and im sure once i get my s12 tyre on the front and confidance ill be good , bikes power delivery and hookup potential is awsome, its slow hill climbing abilities are unbelievable, the throttle responce is great front wheel very easy to loft.guess i just need more time as its different to my yamaha and ive only ever ridden a yamaha before this:ride:

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It's been a long time since I posted, but I have a lot more time on the 'berg now. I still regularly ride the YZ 285 and FE 390 back-to-back. They are both great woods weapons, but very different. The YZ FEELS faster, is busier and less settled. When I am fresh and on my game, I think I can ride it quicker than the 'berg. The reality is, after the first 20 minutes of riding hard, the YZ is harder to keep ahead of, and I am burning a lot of energy keeping it on the bubble. This is where the 'berg shines. It feels slower, but it is easier to ride and simply grinds out a consistently good pace. It is more settled, and the first bike I have ever left the suspension stock for the gnarly New England conditions. I think it turns very well. It tends to settle into rutted turns, and allows you to really get the power down. The only two places I find the 'berg lacks is in jumping, it is kind of dead in the air and nose heavy compared to the YZ, and picking it up. Of course I haven't fallen but a handful of times, so it isn't much of an issue.

Regards,

Wardo

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Hi,

I am also in New England, So. NH. I currently ride an 07 RMZ450 which I love. But am becoming more keen to the fact that I can probably find a better trail bike. I ride 80% trails. I have been looking into the FE390, the more I read the more I think it would be a great bike for the rocky, rooty, slick trails around here.

Just wondering if you see any negative to the bike, anything you dont like about it/issues you have ran into.

Also how do you feel it would ride on track?

I dont race, just would like to be able to bring it to the track a couple times to run some laps.

Thanks.

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Hello All,

I am currently riding an '06 YZ 285 that is heavily modified for New England style off road riding. I am intrigued by the new 'berg's, everything I read about the 390 indicates it would be perfect for the root infested slick, super tight stuff I have on my property. From what I've read, the 'berg doesn't ride heavy, but looking at the specs I can't help but wonder if I am going to feel the weight. At 5'8"., 165 pounds, I am fit, but not super strong. I'd like to here from those of you that have experience on 250 and 300 2t's as well as the 390 in really technical conditions, how do they compare? Is there any info you would like to offer? Thanks in advance for your help.

Regards,

Wardo

Interesting choice. I have heard such rave reviews of the husaberg. I wish there were some around here that I could see in action . I have a Beta 525 RS 09 and an heavily modified for tight trail 01 cr 250. I love them both . They both shine . Seems this may be a similar situation but the Beta is street legal. How is the weight difference between the husaberg and the yz 285? For the truly super ugly stuff I still lean toward the 2 stroke. ...especially when weight comes to play. 2 different kinds of power delivery. I just kept my cr and my beta. The yz you have is probably set up great and you probably wont get what it's worth if you sell it. Yz's are great all around bikes and you have the big bore. If you are only going for one bike have you also thought of maybe a new gasgas300 electric start. That's still light yet 6 speed and renowned for being most excellent in slippery ugly stuff. Of course the berg is a different animal and intriguing too.

http://www.gasgasmotos.es/es/enduro.html

I guess I forgot to mention that I also have an 01 gasgas 300ec that I bought a couple of months ago. I had heard so much about the bike and wanted to try it for myself to compare to my honda. My cr has everything I want except a 6th gear and electric start...ok maybe an eric gorr big bore just to try(like I can really use the 250 power that I have). As time goes on and all the mods have gone into my cr I keep getting pickier and pickier since there isn't much more to improve. My 01'cr is totally dialed in for me.It's like a cr with a massive kdx type power motor(great for trail). The gasgas300 is a great bike but maybe someone your height would benefit better. The ergos are a little on the small side compared to my cr. Nice low seat height etc. It also has a set of bars that have been cut a little too narrow for me so that may be part of it too . The bike is lower , has 6 speed, handles well and works great for the slippery tight stuff around here. The bike has incredible grunt everywhere. The bike is best in ugly stuff . The surprising thing is the power. It has alot. I thought that because it was so mild mannered that it wouldn't have much top end and it moves! It would be great for some good brutal muddy trail riding/racing. The bike is great just feels a little small . This is an 01 so I don't know how the new ones are. This gasgas 300ec 2001 also seems a little shorter than my cr. That's the feeling anyway. I know you were talking berg but I have obviously been impressed with gasgas for a bunch of years. When you talked of technical slippery trails and smaller ergos I had to put gasgas in there.

I forgot to mention I am 6'1" with extra long arms to add to my ergos assessment.

Edited by hawaiidirtrider

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I own an 07 gasgas ec300 and i have an fe450 that i just put 20 hrs on. So the berg is still fairley new to me. But i will say i am very impressed with it in all aspects. But on my first couple of rides in sandy conditions i had my doubts about the front end- it would not hold a line-it tried to creep out of ruts and was just sketchy at race pace on anything besides hard pack. I have now dialed in my rear suspension and i am much happier. Be sure to recheck your sag settings after your first few rides. Mine kept sagging more and more. I am guessing this is normal. But now it stays at a steady 107mm of race sag and 30mm static and i am happy with it.

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I got an 06 EC300 and an 05 YZ265 (EG) all woods set up. I think you'll be hard pressed to find anything that will feel as light as that YZ. JMO.

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Khody,

I still have my 390 for sale....it's fine every time i take it on the mx track. Not a true mx'r but it will get the job done!

Mark

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