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3 Berg Question: FE450 / FE550 / FS650

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Hiya,

I am sorry for another "which one" thread but I am interested to know what you think. So, let's cut to the chase. I know it would be best to try them all on for size and decide which one suits me best but it may be quite difficult as there not that many of them around so I thought I'd ask a few questions first. So, there are 3 bikes:

- FE450 2009, 1000miles / 50hours

- FE550 2007 (first reg 12/2009), 1000miles / 25hours

- FS650 2008 3500miles / 90hours

Price-wise FE550 and FS650 would be comparable with FE450 being roughly 20-30% more expensive.

Anyway, here are the questions:

- Do you think there are enough changes between 2007/2008 models that would make it worth paying premium for FE450? From what I've read so far maintenance wise they should be comparable. But I am not sure if that's true because Berg's user manuals state the same checks should be carried out on FE450 at 45 hours whereas on FE550 it says 30 hours. Does it mean the new engine should be more durable or have they just extended service hours without making too many changes? (I know that FE450 holds 0.35 more oil for example).

- Is 3500m/90h a lot for FS650? I can't tell for sure if it has been raced or not as it's had two previous owners but it's a very clean bike and has been serviced regularly.

- Which one do you think would make the best motard? I would imagine that it makes more sense to just get FS650 but I wouldn't mind having an option to do some greenlaning every now and then (not essential though). And there won't be any competition use either.

Obviously the FE450 is the latest Berg design whereas two other bikes are still the older ones. That's the main reason I would like to get the FE450 but I am not sure if it's worth it. But on the other hand the FE550 looks the cleanest and best maintained. And because the bike will be mostly used on streets it would probably just make sense to get FS650 but it has the highest mileage of the three. Initially, I was thinking about getting a Husky SMR510 but they are prohibitively expensive at the moment for some reason.

Right, this is me done talking - I am sorry for a longish thread. I am not expecting anyone to tell me which bike to get but I would like to hear your opinions.

Thanks a lot!

Edited by czajunia

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I am not familiar with the older bikes, but the 2009 and newer have the 70 degree engine design and fuel injection. Those two features dramatically change the characteristics of the bike.

The 70 degree motor changes the physics of the bike so it handles like a bike that is much lighter in weight. My FE450 is just as easy to maneuver in the tight stuff as my CRF250X. It is heavier to pick up, but feels really light on the trail.

And the fuel injection gives you very precise throttle response.

The fuel injection takes some tender loving care to avoid clogging the injector, but there is enough user knowledge out there now that I think most of the issues can easily be dealt with. Some bikes have had the fuel pump fail, but KTM will replace it under warranty.

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Thanks,

> so it handles like a bike that is much lighter in weight.

Oh yeah, pretty much every FE450 owner says that. Do you think it may also affect street riding or is it more noticeable on the trail?

Do you know if the new engines are any easier to work on? What about cost of top end rebuild? That should be comparable, shouldn't it?

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Here is a video that helped convince me to buy one:

http://vimeo.com/1761036

I occasionally ride mine on the street, but I haven't ridden street in 40 years, so I don't have anything to compare with. It handles fine on the street, but the real strength is on tight technical trails.

As I understand it, about 80% of the components are KTM components, including a KTM head and transmission. So repairs should run about the same as any KTM model.

Checking the valves is easier than on my 250X, although you have to remove the radiators, which is an extra step. I haven't yet done anything major, but I don't think it would be significantly worse than other bikes in terms of effort or cost. Some things are easy to work on, others a little more challenging because things are really packed in tightly.

I would recommend doing a test ride if you can. I didn't get to test one before I bought, and I had to drive to a neighboring state to pick mine up since there are no Husaberg dealers in Utah.

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Cheers FamilyRider. Nice video.

I understand that the new FE450 should be more reliable than the older engine which is a big plus in my books. I am still not quite convinced about the 650 but apparently the latest 650 engines are very good and reliable as well if treated properly.

If I was buying the bike for the off-road use I wouldn't hesitate going for the FE450. No questions asked. But as it's mostly for the streets it just makes more sense to get FS650 as it's ready to go. But on the other hand it has double the mileage which I don't like too much even though there are reports of people doing over 10k without any major service. I still think that tarding FE450 would be a nice project but it may turn out totally pointless at the end of the day.

Yeah, I know, a test ride would be nice but this can be quite tricky to arrange. That's why I am doing my homework first. And I can't afford a new bike. Well, I don't want to by a new one, really.

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Since you plan to motard the bike and the Berg FS 650 is a motard bike already, this would be the obvious choice. The 650 engine would blow the others away and the pre '09 design is better balanced for street/motard use.

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Just to throw my .02 in. I have a 2011fs570.it Friggin rips the twisties, has more power than i should be allowed on the road, and is damn sexy IMHO. It's a pain in the ass to work on, but i ride 2t's off-road so I'm probably spoiled. I have over 4k miles and 100+ hours and the valves haven't moved. I think you'd be hard pressed to find a better motard in stock form

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look into the maintenance schedule for the 650 and see what is recommended to be done at a certain number of hours .

Thanks chooken. I have already done so and I was aware what needs to be done at certain number of hours. (BTW, that's one of the things I like about Berg - their user manuals are freely available to download from their website). I was more interested in how reliable the different models are and if there are any issues with specific engine/model.

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I have a 2011fs570.

Lovely bike, I know. Slightly outside my budget though and I haven't seen a second hand FS570 for sale yet. There were a few FE available though but after reading the comments here I am leaning towards getting a bike that is already in SM trim as that seems like the way to go. Unfortunately I've missed the FS650 I mentioned earlier :lol:

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