The Husqvarna FE 501 platform serves as the Austrian marque’s flagship enduro and dual sport models. Powered by a 511cc single-cylinder four-stroke engine, the 501 leads the displacement charge from the 350cc models, while packing modern electronics like traction control and adjustable engine maps for tackling washes or rock-strewn trails. The S model differs from the base in that it is a street-legal dual sport version (license plate bracket, turn signals, etc.). The S’ rubber is also wrapped around Giant rims (instead of the D.I.Ds used on the base) and it weighs a claimed 247 pounds (239 pounds, base).
When it won Cycle World’s Ten Best Dual Sport, the FE 501 S took the throne in 2015 since it “combine[d] the powerhouse engine with incredible handling and trail compliance, and you have the best dual-sport machine we’ve ridden.”
As with any model that crosses Cycle World’s garage threshold, we ran the FE 501 S on the dyno to measure the horsepower and torque figures: 40.3 hp at 8,100 rpm and 28.2 pound-feet of torque at 5,700 rpm.
When it comes to competition, the FE 501 S model faces the dual sport KTM 500 EXC-F and Beta 500 RR-S.
The FE 501 does have a few internal changes including a new, more compact cylinder head, new camshaft, and new Konig piston that helps reduce oscillating masses. The FE 501 S also features a shorter and lighter cylinder head, a new camshaft, an increased compression ratio, and a new exhaust system.