In the 1990s, riders of Husaberg motorcycles won more world championships than many other popular brands of motorcycles. Despite the speed and fame of these bikes, many long-time motorcyclists have never even seen or ridden a Husaberg. The Husaberg company is an enigma, never making more than 1,000 units in a year but claiming many high-profile wins. The company began in Sweden, but after the Austrian motorcycle company KTM bought Husaberg, the motorcycles were manufactured in Mattighofen, Austria. KTM's purchase of Husaberg in 1995 was the answer to long-term reliability problems that had plagued the bikes for years. The KTM engineers perfected the design of these popular motorcycles, crafting them into reliable, coveted machines. Nowadays, Husabergs roll off the line right next to KTM motorcycles, even though the Husabergs are designed separately in Sweden, the homeland of these great motorcycles.
The 2008 Husaberg FE was released with three variations. The FE 450, 550, and 650, which differ only in the displacement of the engines. From the outside appearance, these three bikes are virtually identical. They all have the same yellow and blue plastic bodies, identical knobby 18-inch tires, and unusual handling and suspension. Of course, the 650s are the most powerful of these bikes, and the 450s are the least powerful.
The Husaberg FE is definitely an off-road bike. This motorcycle is ideal for off-trail, scraggly terrain. Test-riders were amazed at the traction that the Husaberg displayed when faced with rutted, steep hills. Additionally, drivers noticed that, no matter how difficult the trail got, the Husaberg just kept going straight. The geometry of the motorcycle is perfectly designed to take on the trail with finesse and stability. The engine delivered power flawlessly, and the shifting of the hydraulic clutch was without a hitch.
The driver's foot pegs are positioned rather high to ensure good ground clearance on rough trails. Drivers with long legs may find this uncomfortable for long distances, but many test drivers liked the positioning. The sensation of driving a Husaberg is rather unique, as the suspension is cited to have an ""Enduro"" feel to it, which takes some getting used to. Of course, the suspension settings are adjustable, allowing riders to customize the feel of the bike. Although the FE is fairly heavy, test riders were pleasantly surprised at how light it felt once the engine got up to speed.