Project Husqvarna TE610 Part 6: Horsepower and Handlebars
By Dan Barnes
This might be a record among MotoIQ projects for number of articles before engine work to improve performance. The primary reason is that the reliability, comfort and safety benefits of overall vehicle prep were higher priorities. The second reason is that the TE610 makes enough power from the factory to more than get the job done for most riders. It’s not a KLR or XR650L or DR650 – which is why I chose it in the first place.
That said, most TE610 riders do eventually upgrade the silencer and fuel delivery. Because it incorporates a catalytic converter, the stock silencer is big, a bit heavy and leaves some performance on the table without being really quiet. Plus, that cat runs extra hot. The plastic side panel on this bike has melted a little more each ride, and I have slightly melted spots on riding pants where the yellow plastic is mixed with the blue of the cloth.
There are about a dozen exhaust options if you search the web long enough, but I needed a US Forest Service listed spark arrestor. I chose the Leo Vince “enduro” slip-on, the most popular choice among SM610 and TE610 riders. Leo Vince exhaust upgrades for the Husqvarna 610 siblings include simple slip-ons tuned for enduro or motocross/supermoto performance and sound characteristics, as well as a complete titanium system including the pipes up to the cylinder head.
|The Leo Vince silencer is shorter and lighter than the stock TE610 silencer. Exhaust gases aren’t heated by a catalytic converter and they discharge downward, farther forward than with the stock unit. The signature carbon fiber hangers allow a single silencer tube shape to be mounted on many different bikes.|
|The Leo Vince silencer can be assembled in several configurations by selecting the appropriate insert. “Street” setups (top) have a tube that turns down and ends just past flush with the silencer end cap. The spark arrestor setups (middle) stop at the end cap plate so they can be used with the screen, which catches and cools any bits of incandescent carbon that might be released by the engine.|
|This is the view down the silencer with the end cap removed. The “quiet” inserts (left in the previous photo) plug into the single tube at the top of this photo. In that case, the exhaust gases travel down the main tube, into the rear chamber (closest to the camera), back through the two lower tubes into another chamber, and finally enter the discharge tube of the insert. They can also enter the discharge tube directly from the first chamber through the drilled holes. The “loud” inserts are just a straight tube pointed at the main tube, but not connecting. Most gases will flow straight into the discharge tube, but some, and quite a bit of sound energy, will bounce around the two chambers.|
I am from the Philippines
I am planning to buy a 2006 Dual Purpose TE and SM 610 here in my country.
Just want to consult you on what to check on the bike before me buying it?
In 2021, it’s coming up on 10 years since I bought this bike. At that time, BMW owned Husky and the TE630 was the new model with EFI, but basically the same. KTM bought the brand, but sold the factory and tooling and has moved forward with its own models.
Today, the TE610 wouldn’t be my first choice. I still have this one, but I worry about future parts availability. The SWM Superdual X is very similar, basically a lightly-freshened continuation of the TE630. I haven’t kept up on details and don’t know how much interchangeability there is between that model and this, especially for hard parts that may be needed to rebuild the engine at some point. If I was starting over today, I’d probably be looking at a KTM/Husky 500 or 690/701, depending on whether I wanted more of a long-distance or trail-worthy focus. For a little less performance but likely greater reliability and lower long-term running costs, the street-legal Honda Honda CRF450RL is very interesting. At an even lower price and performance point, I’ve thought about picking up a Kawasaki KLX300R for an around-town commuter. It’s so understressed and proven, it should last forever if you keep up with maintenance.
If you are certain the TE610 is for you, go over all the installations of this project series here on MotoIQ and look at all the things that had to be fixed or were done to prevent future problems. Check all those on the bike you’re looking at buying, as most of the common problem areas were addressed. Beyond that, all the things you’d check on any 10- to 15-year-old motorcycle. There are also some good forums out there with a lot of Husky-specific knowledge available.
Don’t assume you’ll just be able to get it and run it like a Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki or Yamaha. I had to go through this TE610 top to bottom and fix a bunch of stuff, and this bike had just 742 miles on it when I bought it, just enough to show where some problems would develop in the future. (I hope that’s right, it’s been awhile and I didn’t go back and look at the ODO pics.) I was able to save a lot of money because I have decent skills myself as well as a good friend who is a capable fabricator with a complete shop. A TE610 that’s been in service for a decade or longer is likely to chew up a lot of time and money to make it properly functional and reliable; you may end up rebuilding most of it or at least have higher running costs in the end.
I just had to take a second look when I saw the name “Dan Barnes” on here. Holy blast from the past. Great to see you, man
I bought one in November of 2020.. After 45 years on everything from Cr500s and Ktm 300s, to Dr 650’s, fjr 1300s, and so many bikes in between I can say that this bike is a pleasure. Its suspension, power, and handeling I have found to be far above that of the avergae Japanese 650 dual sport. The deal for me on my particular bike is that I had video of the history of the bike since new.. It has been to Baja, other sites in Mexico and then all over the country and the owner took videos of it all along the way over the last 15 years.
He bought iet brand new, and rebuilt the motor completely bottom to top about 2500 miles ago with all reciepts and photo documentation. I was given many boxes of spare parts and new parts to keep up with any maintenance requirements. This bike is a Gem in terms of what it offers compared to the competition. The onlything that woudl be better in the dirt are current offerings from europe and probably the 450L but on the road with decent maintenance intervals and oil capacity and a nicely spaced 6th gear I feel the old husky takes the win except against a 690 or 701.. Just a great bike!
I liked the idea about the clamps on the plastic in the airbox, good idea!