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2021 Husqvarna FE 501


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2021 Husqvarna FE 501.
2021 Husqvarna FE 501. (Husqvarna/)

Ups

  • Strongest Husky enduro with 44.5 hp on tap
  • Suspension comfort that is suitable for a wide range of riders
  • Quality components such as durable skid plate and hand guards
  • Larger tank capacity is not noticeable between the legs

Downs

  • Power does sign off lower in the rpm range than the FC 450 motocrosser
  • Consider the extra mass when braking downhill

Verdict

Dialed-in WP suspension offers remarkable comfort and the 511cc four-stroke engine delivers big-bore power and torque. Looks like a long, comfortable day of riding and/or racing ahead.

2021 Husqvarna FE 501.
2021 Husqvarna FE 501. (Husqvarna/)

Overview

The 2021 Husqvarna FE 501 is the Austrian brand’s big-bore four-stroke enduro that shares many of its components with its dual sport sibling, the FE 501s, but is more of a competition-spec enduro model. The FE 501 is 50-state legal and California green-sticker eligible, and is fit for high-level enduro riders who aim to use it on long-distance, open-trail rides or as a starting point to modify it for racing events such as long-distance enduros.

Updates for 2021

Restyled graphics are the only change seen on the FE 501 for 2021.

Pricing and Variants

The 2021 FE 501 is priced at $11,299.

Competition

This enduro has a competitor in the family: its cousin, the KTM 500 XCF-W. Other competition includes the Honda CRF450X and Yamaha WR450F.

Powertrain: Engine, Transmission, and Performance

A wide-ratio, six-speed transmission is housed within the 511cc four-stroke motor. The engine is based on the FC 450 motocrosser, but has a longer stroke to boost its displacement. With a 12.75:1 compression ratio the FE 501 has ready power, but compared to the 450 motocrosser, “the powerband signs off much lower in the rpm range, likely due to its longer stroke and engine modifications made for it to meet EPA requirements,” we covered in our review of the bike.

On our in-house dyno, the FE 501 churns out 44.5 hp at 8,400 rpm and 31.6 pound-feet at 6,900 rpm, making it Husqvarna’s most powerful enduro motorcycle.

2021 Husqvarna FE 501.
2021 Husqvarna FE 501. (Husqvarna/)

Handling

The FE shares its chromoly steel frame and composite carbon fiber subframe with its motocross counterparts. It has a 48mm WP Xplor fork with compression damping and rebound damping adjustability. Its WP Xact shock offers spring preload, high-/low-speed compression damping, and rebound damping adjustability. Both ends have 11.8 inches of travel. With stock settings, the suspension caters to comfort; its plush ride will suit a wide range of riders, but stiffening both ends is advisable for more advanced riders to help the components ride higher in the stroke.

Plush suspension along with its 511cc engine “delivers a planted feeling along with much more traction than you would expect. Riding the bike with both feet on the pegs, standing as much as possible, you can use its torque to get through obstacles that would normally require much more effort,” we wrote in our full test.

Brakes

Braking is handled by Magura two- and one-piston calipers with 260mm and 220mm discs, front and rear.

Weighing at a Cycle World-measured 253 pounds, there is a little more weight to account for when going down hills. During our testing we found that this requires “you to think about your braking zone a little earlier than on a smaller-bore machine.”

2021 Husqvarna FE 501.
2021 Husqvarna FE 501. (Husqvarna/)

Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG

Tank capacity is 2.2 gallons making this enduro’s tank 0.3 gallon larger than Husky’s FC 450.

Ergonomics: Comfort and Utility

Although tank size is larger, its dimensions are not noticeable whether sitting or standing. This bike features four-position-adjustable handlebar mounts, a ProTaper handlebar, and a non-gripper seat. The Cycle World-measured seat height is 37.4 inches.

2021 Husqvarna FE 501.
2021 Husqvarna FE 501. (Husqvarna/)

Electronics

The motorcycle fires to life with an electric starter and is powered by a lithium-ion battery. Traction control and two engine maps are standard. A multifunction odometer provides useful information via several trip, speed, and fuel consumption displays.

Warranty and Maintenance Coverage

The FE 501 has a 30-day warranty.

Quality

Quality components like a durable skid plate and hand guards are a couple of the niceties of an overall well-designed machine. The FE 501 requires very few adjustments to make it comfortable for most enduro riders, and has potential to be a competitive racebike with some relatively minor modifications.

2021 Husqvarna FE 501.
2021 Husqvarna FE 501. (Husqvarna/)

2021 Husqvarna FE 501 Claimed Specifications

MSRP: $11,299
Engine: 511cc, SOHC, liquid-cooled single-cylinder; 4 valves
Bore x Stroke: 95.0 x 72.0mm
Transmission/Final Drive: 6-speed/chain
Fuel Delivery: Electronic fuel injection w/ 42mm throttle body
Clutch: Wet, multiplate Damped Diaphragm Steel (DDS); hydraulic actuation
Engine Management/Ignition: N/A
Frame: Central double-cradle chromoly steel
Front Suspension: 48mm WP Xplor fork, spring preload, compression damping, and rebound damping adjustable; 11.8 in. travel
Rear Suspension: WP Xact shock, spring preload, high-/low-speed compression damping, and rebound damping adjustable; 11.8 in. travel
Front Brake: Magura 2-piston caliper, 260mm disc
Rear Brake: Magura 1-piston caliper, 220mm disc
Wheels, Front/Rear: Spoked wheels; 21 x 1.60 in. / 18 x 2.15 in.
Tires, Front/Rear: Dunlop Geomax AT81; 80/100-21 / 110/100-18
Rake/Trail: 26.5°/NA
Wheelbase: 58.5 in.
Ground Clearance: 14.2 in.
Seat Height: 37.4 in.
Fuel Capacity: 2.2 gal.
Dry Weight: 239 lb.
Contact: husqvarna-motorcycles.com

Cycle World Tested Specifications

Seat Height: 37.4 in.
Wet Weight: 253 lb.
Rear-Wheel Horsepower: 44.5 hp @ 8,400 rpm
Rear-Wheel Torque: 31.6 lb.-ft. @ 6,900 rpm

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