Project Husqvarna TE610 Part 6: Horsepower and Handlebars



TE610 Leo Vince enduro silencer slip on clamp
The Leo Vince silencer uses a T-bolt clamp to hold it to the exhaust pipe, same as stock, but the Leo Vince part is lighter.

Weight reduction doesn’t by itself justify the change to the Leo Vince aluminum enduro slip-on, at least with the way we’ve prioritized this project. There’s an idea floating around the internet that you can somehow save about eight pounds by changing the silencer. That is not possible, as the stock silencer weighs 7 lb, 9.4 oz. This Leo Vince silencer with the loud insert and spark arrestor screen, weighs 6 lb, 8.2 oz. The other inserts add from 0.8 to 3 oz. Still, lighter is the right direction.

My deburring OCD was activated when I got a carbon fiber splinter taking the first hanger out of its bag, and just to make sure, another one from the second hanger. The hangers are cut cleanly, but it’s dang hard to cut a carbon laminate without a few splinters left on the edges. I sanded all the edges with 320 grit until I could run my bare fingers over every edge without feeling anything sharp. This takes as long as you let it, but costs nothing. You wouldn’t want to pay for enough of Italy’s socialism to cover someone there hand sanding every hanger, so no whining. Be extremely careful – carbon splinters can be much nastier than the wooden kind. And wear a good dust mask or sand wet – you don’t want to breathe carbon fiber dust.

TE610 Leo Vince carbon fiber hangers deburr epoxy edges
As I was sanding, I noticed that the thicker sections where the hangers are bolted to the bike had some voids on the cut edges, so I mixed up a little epoxy and dabbed it on to seal them.


TE610 turn signal melting safe prevention Leo Vince
To help protect the side panel, I formed a bead of high-temp RTV silicone along the edge where it contacts the silencer and hanger. Together with the cooler can, there has been no more melting of plastic. Another benefit was getting rid of the stainless steel heat shield I made for the left rear taillight in Part 2. The stainless shield seemed like a great idea until the first time the bike tipped over and it bent the tab on the fender brace that the flexible taillight stalk is bolted to. The heat shield was also bent – it rubbed on the end of the silencer and looked ghetto. The Leo Vince exhaust exit is far enough away from the turn signal that it no longer risks melting it.

The stock silencer was not quiet. If fact, it was loud enough that the disturbance to the peace just riding around the neighborhood felt a little douchey. For the Leo Vince, I started with the loud insert with the spark arrestor screen. Amazingly, it seems quieter when riding around town and not any louder when warmed up and getting on the throttle. I’m sticking with it until someone tells me I have to change.

Manual Cam Chain Tensioner
The TE610 cam chain tensioner is the spring-loaded, self-adjusting type. In cars, these are hydraulically pressurized and, more importantly, damped. Most bike engines prioritize weight and do away with the oil, relying only on a ratcheting device. The pitch of the ratchet means that the chain guide adjustment progresses from almost no slack to more than ideal slack repeatedly over its life. On the TE610, this often leads to surprisingly rapid wear, requiring replacement of the timing chain in 8000 miles or less. That just seems wrong, especially relative to a factory-recommended oil change interval of 3000 miles. Most TE610 riders with the longest timing chain lives are using a manual timing chain tensioner, and the only one commonly recommended is made by A.P.E., right in Rosamond, CA (home of Willow Springs Raceway).


TE610 ape racing big bore thumpers manual cam chain tensioner mcct
The A.P.E. manual cam chain tensioner (MCCT) is simple to install, especially if the carburetor or exhaust happen to be off the bike. Instructions are on the A.P.E. web site. I was amazed when I first started the bike with the A.P.E. cam chain tensioner installed. General engine noise was significantly reduced, which has to be a good thing. It will take miles to find out whether this cam chain will live the way I hope, but I’m already convinced this upgrade is worth its affordable price.


  1. Hello,

    Nice review…

    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?

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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!

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