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– 2012 Husqvarna TE449 Review
2012 Husqvarna TE449
A master of the dirt and still 50-state street-legal, the TE449 is Husqvarna’s flagship dual-purpose motorcycle. Chassis upgrades and refined power output make the 2012 TE449 easier to ride and more well-balanced than ever. Kayaba suspension components harmonize with Husqvarna’s exclusive CTS (Coaxial Traction System) to offer unmatched performance on this street-legal off-road specialist.
Husqvarna TE 449: Evolution of the species
The experience gained over the last year has made the new TE 449 MY 2012 an even more competitive bike. The basic profile is unchanged, the 449 is still the bike that inspires love at first sight, with all the innovative technical features that put it amongst the market leaders in the sector. It was already exclusive, now it has become more streamlined and efficient.
The single cylinder, four valve, twin cam titanium valve engine received minor changes to the power curve. For better power delivery the ECU map has been improved to get the most out of the light steel Akrapovic exhaust, developed in collaboration with a prestigious Slovenian manufacturer.
HUSQVARNA TE449,TE511,TC449 A NEW BREED
Husqvarna has always strived to innovate and bring new ideas to the world of off road motorcycles. Now, as always, the motorcycle brand with the longest tradition in the world in the Off Road sector is fully committed to the ongoing research and development of the perfect off road bike: easy to use, ready to race and easy to maintain.
The design of the new 449/511 range outstrips that of other off road models and stands out immediately for its looks, exclusive layout and cutting-edge technology.
TE449/TE511 DESIGN AND LAYOUT
The line is completely new: slim, svelte and refined. The single piece side panel runs from where traditionally the fuel tank would be, all the way back to the rear mudguard, allowing the rider free and unhindered movement. There is no chance of snagging boots or jeans on the edges of the panels with this design.
Besides the aesthetic and ergonomic aspects, the new design also makes maintenance easier as the air filter, rear shock and throttle body can all be accessed with ease. The long seat, which runs from the rear mudguard to the steering head, offers completely free longitudinal movement.
Aesthetics, technology and serviceability too: the graphics on the side panels are applied using the ‘In Mould Design’ technology for increased resistance to wear and the 2 litre fuel pump housing is transparent so that the remaining fuel level can be easily monitored.
MASSES AND CENTER OF GRAVITY
The idea behind the TE 449/511 range is ‘mass centralisation’ – to keep the weight of the bike concentrated as close as possible to the centre of gravity and to design a chassis which adapts perfectly to the demands of competitive Enduro racing. The crux of this concept is the union of the rear wheel swing arm pivot point and the gearbox output shaft sprocket. This solution, which Husqvarna calls CTS (Coaxial Traction System), eliminates the variation in the length of the chain during rear suspension movement, minimising the effect of the final drive on the bikes handling.
This solution allows a longer swing arm whilst still retaining a wheelbase similar to our competitors, ensuing greater traction, which for Enduro means tangible advantages.
The chassis layout allows the modern DOHC engine to be mounted closer to the centre of the bike, whilst tilting the cylinder further forward allows a long and straight air intake path at the same time as keeping the centre of gravity as low as possible. This has also meant that the throttle body and fuel injector nozzle can be mounted in the ideal position.
Again, continuing the theme of mass centralisation, the two part fuel tank design provides a total of 8.5 litres capacity in a low mounted 2 litre pump housing and a 6,5 litre under seat main tank.
The under seat fuel tank layout permits the airbox to be located in a protected and fluidodynamically favourable position above the engine with the actual air intake being at the height of the steering column, in a raised and sheltered position to minimise the intake of dust or water.
The air filter box has an elongated intake manifold and a newly designed air intake to provide greater breathability for the sponge filter, which is easily removed thanks to a hinge system in the airbox.
The battery is located adjacent to the under seat main fuel tank to again centralise the mass.
The TE 449/511 bikes are equipped with a cutting-edge 4 valve dual camshaft engine which has been significantly improved thanks to the experience gained by Husqvarna in its many years of offroad racing.
Fuel delivery is managed by an electronic injection system with a Keihin 46 mm diameter, double flap throttle body which provides progressive and predictable throttle response. All components are top of the range – the bike even comes with two exhaust silencers: the Euro 3 compliant silencer fitted as standard and a steel Akrapovic Racing exhaust, developed in collaboration with the Slovenian company to maximise the potential of the engine, whilst minimising the weight.
The gear ratios for both the Enduro and MX versions have been completely changed: the Enduro now uses a 6 speed transmission and the ratios have been modified on the basis of the experience gained during Salminen and Tarkkala’s races. The ignition timing has been optimised with maps specific to the two different capacities and exhaust systems.
The TE 511 version has been achieved by increasing the cylinder bore from 98 mm to 101 mm, with the stroke remaining at 59.6 mm. The effective displacement has therefore been increased to 478cc.
The clutch is controlled hydraulically, offering a smoother and more progressive action with greater consistency also under stress.
The motorcycle has a high energy electronic ignition and, thanks to the powerful battery and fuel injection system, a supplementary kick start is not necessary.
HANDLING AND PERFORMANCE
Naturally, Husqvarna’s long experience in Enduro racing has played an important part in the development of these new motorcycles. The challenges posed by the conception of geometry and by the general concept of the motorcycle itself were linked to the tough demands of riding in the most severe and extreme conditions. The result is a surprisingly effortless and smooth ride along with agility and outstanding steering stability.
The perimeter design chassis is made of high strength steel tubing. The geometry of the rear suspension is revolutionary, with a new linkage mounted on top of the alloy swing arm.
This solution offers many advantages: it increases the ground clearance, improves general reliability thanks to the reduced exposure of the components and makes maintenance easier.
But there’s more: dynamically, by exploiting the advantages of the double cradle frame made in high strength steel tubing, the roughness of the ground is absorbed more gradually, attenuating the stresses on the rider.
The advantages when jumping are also remarkable with the recoil effect of the rear wheel being significantly reduced and the smoothness of the suspension is particularly perceivable on rougher and more difficult ground.
COAXIAL TRACTION SYSTEM
A real refinement in the field of chassis design and exclusive to the TE/TC 449/511 range is the CTS, the Coaxial Traction System. This system represents an evolution compared to the one adopted on the BMW G 450X. The solution, which originally used a single swing arm pivot spindle, now has two independent semi spindles which reduce the stress on the swing arm and facilitate the replacement of the gearbox sprocket.
The advantages of the CTS system compared to the traditional systems are huge. During the suspension movement along the whole stroke, the chain is not subject to any change in length.
The tension of the chain remains constant regardless of the swing arm position, while the chain and sprockets benefit from reduced wear. An important positive effect on the riding characteristics is the marked reduction of the impact of alternating the load on the transmission.
This aspect has been studied by a spin-off company of the University of Padova called Dynamotion which has proved that the CTS improves traction in the various stages of acceleration and consequently during also the vertical movements of the suspension on rough terrain.
The result is better traction during acceleration and surer, more confident gear changes. More in general, the values obtained by adopting the CTS have a much more uniform trend in all conditions, leading to improved ridability and stability of the motorcycle.
TOP OF THE RANGE COMPONENTS
The new TEs are equipped with the most advanced components in the Off Road sector.
For the front brake, there is a Brembo system with floating caliper and 260 mm wave rotor, while the rear brake consists of a floating calliper operating on a 240 mm rotor.
The suspension is entrusted in full to the specialists of Kayaba, with 48 mm forks, adjustable for compression and rebound damping and a Kayaba rear shock absorber designed specifically for Enduro use with settings optimised in collaboration with the racing team.
The tapered diameter handlebars, original equipment hand protectors, compact and efficient instrumentation, shockproof plastic engine / chassis guards, rear mudguard with incorporated racing number plate holder and led rear light complete the fittings.
TE449/511 are also the sole standard enduro bike on the market equipped with full Akrapovic exhaust system.
A range of Husqvarna Special Parts will be available, developed by Husqvarna to provide the best combination of lightness, durability and performance to allow Husqvarna fans to personalise their bikes and offer them the ingredients for racing success.
The motorcross version stands out not only for the normal MX chassis changes (no lights, 19″ rear wheel etc) but above all for the engine which has been specifically tuned for MX use, delivering significantly more power than the Enduro version.
The timing and camshaft profiles are completely different as is the compression ratio which has increased to 13:1 instead of 12:1 in the Enduro version. The electronic injection system still uses a 46mm Keihin throttle body but is fitted with a single flap instead of the Enduro twin flap version to provide a sharper, more aggressive throttle response. Additionally, the TC449 is fitted with a dual mode switch on the handlebars, which allows access to two different fuel injection / ignition timing maps to provide a softer power delivery for low traction conditions.
The titanium exhaust system with carbon fibre tipped silencer has been developed specifically by Akrapovic and the five speed transmission has specific ratios for use in MX. The suspension is provided by Kayaba with multi adjustable sealed cartridge front forks matched to a Kayaba fully adjustable rear shock.
2012 Husqvarna TE449 Features and Benefits
Stronger frame, lower profile.
The new version uses more 25CrMo4 chrome-moly steel to reinforce the steering head, the seat rail and engine mounts. The rear section ? now a single rear fender piece ? is stronger and more streamlined and the entire electrical system has been simplified and lightened. The styling and layout have been completely redesigned; it has better balance, with new suspension settings and the rear Kayaba monoshock is shorter by 4 mm, further reducing seat height. The top of the range rear suspension uses Kayaba components (adjustable for rebound and compression) and upside down linkage, combining the advantages of progressive linkage with a sheltered location. The front suspension (48 mm diameter forks) has been improved with progressive dampening. The rear shock is better shielded for additional protection.
The steel tubing perimeter frame was designed for the CTS – Coaxial Traction System ? the TE449 reduces to a minimum the influence of the final transmission on dynamic handling and steering. With the driving pinion coaxially aligned with the swingarm pivot, the torque generated by a powerful 450cc engine now has almost no influence on changes in road holding and handling, and above all allows the designer to place the engine as far to the rear as possible, improving the wheelbase, enabling the forward slant of the cylinder head which lowers the centre of gravity and giving straighter fuel lines to the engine.
The safety of the braking system is to a trusted standard: Brembo! The front Braking disc has a diameter of no less than 260 mm – with twin piston floating calipers, while the 240 mm rear disc has a light and compact single piston floating caliper.
More linear power delivery
The single cylinder, four valve, twin cam titanium valve engine is a recent design and needed few modifications, just some minor changes to the power curve. To better access and exploit all the power of the TE449, the designers concentrated on mapping of the Keihin injection, which controls the action of the double flap 46mm throttle body). Fine tuning included balancing of the engine thermodynamics with the light steel Akrapovic exhaust, developed in collaboration with a prestigious Slovenian manufacturer. The efficiency of the cooling circuit was improved with a change to the radiator, introducing a new WP component. Unchanged are the six gears and clutch with soft and progressive hydraulic action. Weight is saved by eliminating a kick starter, which has proved to be superfluous, given the efficient and reliable electric ignition with high-power battery.
Elegance, functionality and handling without limits.
Absolute confidence in every kind of terrain. Technical solutions and chassis designed to allow full usability of the exceptional power.
Keihin Electronic injection system with double flap throttle body
Coaxial Traction System: traction system with sprocket coaxial to swingarm pivot pins
New Raised Rear Linkage
New Twin Section Under Seat Fuel Tank
Euro3 Homologated Standard Exhaust + additional Akrapovic Racing Exhaust in bike kit (for off-road use only)
New Long Seat allowing ease of movement
Brembo Hydraulic Clutch
2012 Husqvarna TE449 – North American Specifications/Technical Details
MSRP Price: $8,699 USD
Wheelbase: 58.26 in.
Overall Length: 89.36 in.
Overall Width: 32.28 in.
Seat Height: 37.7 in.
Rake: 25.8 degrees
Trail: 3.98 in.
Ground Clearance: 13.19 in.
Total Weight (Dry): 249.1 lbs.
Fuel Capacity: 2.51 gallons
Oil Capacity: 1.04 quarts
Double beam, double cradle and high resistance chromoly steel frame (round and elliptical). Light alloy sub frame
FORK- Kayaba 48mm open cartridge fork featuring 11.81 inches of front wheel travel. Upside down telescopic fork features compression and rebound adjustment.
SHOCK- Kayaba single shock with remote reservoir, adjustable spring preload, compression (high and low speed) and rebound damping. Shock delivers 11.81 inches of travel
Front: Brembo 260mm wave rotor, dual-piston floating caliper; Hydraulic actuation.
Rear: Brembo 240mm wave rotor, single piston floating caliper; Hydraulic actuation.
Front: 1.60×21 Excel rim, 90/90-21
Rear: 2.15×18 Excel rim, 140/80-18
Head Light: 35/35W
Pilot Light: 5W
Tail Light: LED
Turn Signals: 10W
Type: Single-cylinder dual overhead cam (DOHC) four-stoke
Head: 4 titanium valves in radial arrangement operated by (DOHC)
Bore x Stroke: 98 x 59.6mm
Compression Ratio: 12:1
Starting: Electric start
Clutch: Wet multi-plate with hydraulic control
Cooling: Liquid, 2 radiators with electric fan
IGNITION: Electronic with adjustable advance
FUEL SYSTEM: EFI with Keihin D46 throttle body
LUBRICATION: Dry sump with two oil pumps, cartridge and oil filters
TRANSMISSION: 6 speed
2012 Husqvarna TE449 – Australian Specifications/Technical Details
AU MSRP Price: See dealer for pricing.
Type Single cylinder, 4-stroke, DOHC, 4 valve
Bore 98.0 mm
Stroke 59.6 mm
Displacement 449.6 cc
Compression ratio 12 : 1
Lubrication Dry sump with two oil pump rotor and cartridge filter
Ignition C.D.I. electronic, with adjustable advance
Spark plug type NGK CR 9EKB
Spark plug gap 0.7 mm
Fuel systen Electronic injection feed, throttle body KEIHIN D46, double flap
Clutch Wet, multi-plate type, hydraulic control
Driving disc number 6
Driven disc number 6
Type Double beam and double cradle high resistance Cr/Mo steel; light alloy rear frame
Front suspension KAYABA USD telescopic hydraulic fork with advanced axle, compression and rebound stroke adjustment
Fork leg diameter 48 mm
Fork travel 300 mm
Rear suspension KAYABA Progressive link with single hydraulic shock absorber; spring preload adjustment, compression (high and low speed) and rebound adjustment
Rear wheel travel 293 mm
Front brake 260 mm fixed disc “wave” type with hydraulic control and double piston floating caliper
Rear brake 240 mm fixed disc “wave” type with hydraulic control and floating caliper
Rim front 1.60″ x 21″, light alloy
Rim rear 2.15″ x 18″, light alloy
Tyre front 90/90-21″ MICHELIN Enduro Competition 3
Tyre rear 140/80-18″ MICHELIN Enduro Competition 3
2012 Husqvarna TE449 – International Specifications/Technical Details
MSRP Price: See dealer for pricing.
Dimensions, weight, capacities
Min. ground clearance13.19in
Kerb weight, without fuel249.12lb / 113kg
Fuel tank capacityU.S. Gallons 1.93 / Imp. Gallons 1.85
Transmission oilU.S. Quarts 1.04 / Imp. Quarts 1.01
TypeSingle cylinder, four stroke
Displacement27.44cu.in / 449.6cc
Water radiator No. 2
TypeDry sump with two oil pump rotor and cartridge filter
TypeC.D.I. electronic, with variable advance (digital control)
Spark plug typeNGK CR 9EKB
Spark plug gap0.0275in
TypeElectronic fuel injection
Brand and typeKeihin D46
TypeWet, multiplate type; hydraulic control
Number of driving discs6
Number of driven discs6
TypeConstant mesh gear type
Number of gears6
Transmission sprocketTeeth 15
Rear wheel sprocketTeeth 51
Brand and typeRegina 135 ORN 6-LKS (5/8″x1/4″)
TypeDouble beam and double cradle high resistance Cr/Mo steel (round and elliptical section); Light alloy rear frame
TypeUpside-Down telescopic hydraulic fork with advanced axle; compression and rebound adjustment
Fork legs dia.1.89in
Travel on legs axis11.81in
Front fork manufacturerKayaba
TypeProgressive “Soft Damp” type with single hydraulic shock absorber; spring preload adjustment, compression and rebound adjustment (compression stroke: double adjustment)
Shock absorber manufacturerKayaba
FrontFloating disc, “Wave” type, with hydraulic control and four Ã˜24 pistons floating caliper
RearFloating disc, “Wave” type, with hydraulic control and single Ã˜26 pistons radial caliper
FrontMichelin Enduro Competition 3
RearMichelin Enduro Competition 3
Clutch gearTeeth 22
Torque limiterTeeth 36/20
Primary gearTeeth 32
Tail light”LED” type
Battery12V – 6Ah
Timing system TypeDOHC, 4 valve