Ride It To
that OHV park in
Husqvarna TR650 Terra
If you think the KLR is too big or too old, Husqvarna’s TR650 Terra may be more your flavor. At $6999 the Terra is only five bills dearer than the KLR, yet it’s totally modern and equipped with appealing features like fuel injection, Brembo brakes, and an inverted (albeit non-adjustable) fork. It’s also more approachable for average-size humans, with a lower seat and a narrower bar. The 408-lb. Terra undercuts the KLR by 25 lbs. and its mass is more centralized, so it’s significantly easier to wield. Legroom is less than ideal for taller riders—pull the rubber pads off the footpegs to reveal metal cleats and add half an inch to the seat-to-peg measurement.
The Terra’s mirrors give a panoramic rear view that stays clear at all speeds. With no cro
The Terra’s motor is based on that of BMW’s G650GS, but you’d never guess that from twisting the throttle. The Husky has a more fervent personality, and its peak output of 48.2 bhp at 7100 rpm is just a breath away from the KTM’s figure. Not only is it strong, it’s incredibly smooth and relaxed, spinning just 4300 rpm in top gear with 70 mph on the digital readout. Powerful but not without flaws: Finicky off-idle fueling occasionally stalls the bike just as you get rolling, and the very soft initial throttle response takes some getting used to. Husqvarna updated our bike’s injection software and reset the throttle-position sensor, but those steps didn’t completely eliminate the stalling problem.
Ride quality on the open road is smooth. Soft springs with light damping suck up pavement ripples and cracks. The only thing that limits the Husky’s long-haul capability is a lack of wind protection and a modest 3.6-gal. fuel capacity. Husqvarna’s accessory catalog can fix the former, but you’re stuck with the latter—unless you want to carry external fuel. As a back-road scrapper, the Husky takes the lead. Lighter and more powerful than the KLR and on better footing than the sometimes flighty KTM, it feels right at home scampering up a mountain road.
Our testers were eager to take the Terra off road, where we expected its manageable size and peppy motor to make it as agile as a billy goat. The Husky is a victim of high expectations—it’s a better off road than the KLR, but it’s still not a pure dirtbike, even if it is a Husqvanra! The stock Metzeler Saharas struggle to find grip on loose terrain and the soft suspension lets it bottom frequently. At speed on a sandy fire road, the front end feels flighty, is prone to slides, and not particularly easy to pick up with throttle since the rear tire spins so readily under the Terra’s superior horsepower. Slow your pace a bit and the Husky will dispatch a steep climb, river crossing, or rocky trail with ease—and a wheelie just for fun.
This new addition to the dual-sport segment is an appealing option, whatever surface you envision yourself enjoying. What’s most appealing is it’s positioning: The Terra balances near the center of the road vs. dirt scale, and should prove very responsive to modifications. With better tires and some suspension work, the Terra could be an outstanding all-terrain weapon.