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Motorcycle technology and accessories

motorcycle equipment

We have used quite a few accessories on our motorbike trips. Here I will list what we have installed or changed on our motorcycles. How I did it and why I will explain in as much detail as possible. 

I will only list things and not recommend anything to anyone, nor will I put links to products here. 

brief history of Husqvarna

Husqvarna is the second oldest producing brand in the world after Royal Enfield and ahead of Harley-Davidson. The first motorcycle was made in 1903, three months before Harley-Davidson. A Husqvarna bicycle was equipped with a 1.5 hp single-cylinder engine. The factory museum in Sweden still has a machine from 1911. Husqvarna got involved early on in the off-road motorsport  and achieved the first victory in the company's history in 1916. The Husqvarnas mostly had small two-stroke engines  and were robust and reliable. For this reason, they were often used in off-road sports with slight modifications until the factory offered special rally motorcycles.

How the Terra was formed

The Husqvarna group sold its motorcycle division in 1987 to Cagiva, which later from MV Augusta  were adopted. In 1988 the production of the motorcycles ins northern italian Varese relocated. 2007 acquired bmw  for around 93 million euros Husqvarna from MV Agusta. BMW motorcycle  Husqvarna Motorcycles continued to operate as an independent company, and the company headquarters remained in Varese. With the takeover, BMW wanted to strengthen the Group's position in the off-road sector. During this time, BMW had the single-cylinder models Husqvarna Terra 650 (Enduro) and Husqvarna Strada 650 developed, as well as the two-cylinder model Husqvarna Nuda. The single-cylinder models Strada and Terra were partly based on the technology of the BMW single-cylinder model F 650 GS, the two-cylinder model Nuda used parts of the BMW F800 models. The performance of the BMW engines has been increased in the one- and two-cylinder engines. The single-cylinder models delivered 58 hp instead of the 48 hp of the BMW engine. On January 31, 2013, BMW announced the sale of the trademark rights to the Austrian manufacturer KTM and the development of BMW-Husqvarna motorcycles was terminated.


As you can see, the Husqvarna Terra unfortunately has a kushort story. From around 2012 to 2014, a few thousand were sold in Europe and also a few thousand in the USA/Canada and Australia. The remainder was marked withndiscounts sold. One cannot say that it was a great success. In any case, BMW's X Challenge, which is also very popular today, wasn't a great success back then either. The X Challenge was my favorite back then, but there was no business because there were hardly any offers and they were even older, with more kilometers and therefore more expensive than the Husqvarnas. So far we are completely satisfied with these motorcycles and have never regretted that we chose this one. Today they have a few kilometers under their belt and have seen quite a bit of the world and are still ready for the next adventure.

Husqvarna Terra vs BMW G650GS

Apart from the design, the engine was also changed or similaralthough it looks the same from the outside. The well-known Rotax engine was successfully installed in the BMW F and G series for years and is still popular today. For use in the two Husqvarna Terra/Strada models, the liquid-cooled single-cylinder enginewith two overhead camshafts and 652 cm³, however, extensively modified and its performance significantly increased. It delivers 43 kW (58 hp) at 7,250 rpm and develops a maximum torque of 60 Nm at 5,750 rpm. Numerous measures have been taken to modify the single-cylinder engine for a sporty, dynamic purpose. In addition to other changes, a modified electronic fuel injection, a light forged piston, modified camshafts, larger valves, modified intake and exhaust ports and an increased geometric compression ratio ensure particularly powerful propulsion, high revving and spontaneous response. The exhaust system made of stainless steel with two rear silencers and a regulated 3-way catalytic converter ensures proper exhalation and real single-cylinder sound. The red cylinder head cover came from Husqvarna because of the Redhead tradition and fits the design really well. So much for the engine. In addition, the Terra has a 14 liter tank, ABS as standard, 21" front wheel and 17" rear wheel and weighs 166 kg empty, 184 kg with a full tank. I won't go into the other details regarding chassis, driving behavior, ergonomics or design now, you can google that quickly and you can contact me about driving behavior or driving comfort :)

Below I will list the problems and teething troubles.

Husqvarna TR 650 Terra


My Husqvarna isn't called Moose, I don't have a name for it, it just has a Moose decal on the left side. Susi's has a camel sticker. In their original state, apart from the license plates, we would have trouble distinguishing them every time. 

Funny story: Before our big trip, I went to a locksmith and wanted to have something built out of steel. He asked what for? I said I'm going to Mongolia. He said with the bike? You won't even get to Austria with that! Get a GS!

If he knew... :)



Actually, Susi calls her motorcycle "my Husqvarna", but occasionally also "Kamelku". To be clear, Kamelku is actually the plush camel that has been part of the luggage on every tour since 2019.

Husqvarna TR 650 Terra

Built-in accessories

On my Terra (Moose)were already some things on when I bought them. The following is installed:

- Skidplate from Touratech

- Crash bars by SW Motech

-Center stand from SW Motech

-Higher seat from Kahedo Touratech

-Touring screen by Puig

-Hand protectors by noname

-Daytona heated grips

- Luaggage system by Touratech

-Cases from Batanga

-Navigation and GPS holder from Garmin

-Phone holder by RamMounts

-Tank bag from Q-Bag Polo

-USB socket from Louis 

-Meanwhile a shock absorber from Touratech

-Two HT tubes I built as tool compartments

-Radiator guard built by me

-Oil cooler from Scheffelmeier Metall

-LED fog lights 

An Susi's Terra(camelku)war fewer accessories installed than we bought them. We installed the following:

- Motor protection from Touratech

- Crash bars by SW Motech

-Center stand from SW Motech

-Higher seat from Kahedo Touratech

-Touring screen by Puig

-KTM handguards

-Daytona heated grips

- Case holder from Touratech

- Saddlebags from Touratech

-Phone holder by RamMounts

-Tank bag from Q-Bag Polo

-USB socket by Louis

-A HT tube I built as a storage compartment for the chain spray can

-Radiator guard built by me

As you can see, the bikes are built pretty much the same. I installed many parts like the after market rear shock absorber or the LED headlights after the big trip. Gradually, Susi's motorbike will also get a new shock absorber and an improved light, but since she is currently deregistered, I can test the parts extensively first. I mostly traveled with suitcases and Susi always with bags, but I've also tried saddlebags in the meantime and it wasn't that bad :) so something may change there. 

In the meantime, many parts that we used are unfortunately no longer available, probably completely removed from the shops due to not enough customers. It's a shame, but that's the way it is. You can only hope to find something used or bite the bullet and order from Yankee Land or Down Under.  

What problems issues do the Terras have?

I don't usually talk negatively about our bikes because I have no reason to. They have run perfectly so far and with 100,000km they have rarely been customers in a workshop (actually never). But since I have pretty much mechanical know-how, I noticed a few little things. But these are not big problems, I would say they are more of a teething problem. Other motorcycles also have problems and teething problems, but not all drivers are aware of them. I'm sure that if this model had been built longer, the little problems would gradually be fixed and the Husqvarna Terra would be almost perfect :) Nevertheless, for the sake of completeness I would like to mention the small things and, if necessary, what a solution I found.

The fork makes a slight crack noise when driving off-road. In the forums it was said that some new motorcycles had this noise and both of our Terras have it too. After the trip, when I replaced the oil seals on Susi's motorcycle, I found out that this cracking was from the upper/inner sliding bushings of the immersion tubes comes. These have radial play and this causes the fork tube to hit back and forth against the standpipe when driving off-road. The bushings can also be worn out, but since new bikes also have this problem, I assume that this is a manufacturing defect. There are no spare parts for this Sachs fork, so I have to come up with something. Either replace the fork or get other bushings and adjust them.

The rear shock  in the Terra that is intended for adventure (I would say that this is rarely the case with original struts). You could say, "I knew it, the Husqvarnas were always bad, look, the shock absorbers are useless". That's not true, because strictly speaking the Terra is not an adventure bike. If you take any motorcycle with original chassis and charge it fully charged over rough terrain, you can be sure that all suspension parts will soon fail. That's exactly what happened to us, we drove them fully loaded over bad roads and gravel paths. Our spring struts broke on the trip, it was clear given the high demands, but I would have wished that BMW/Husqvarna had installed better parts or at least ones that can be repaired. To make matters worse, there is hardly any supply of suspension parts for the Terra, and the original ones are no longer available either. I bought a shock absorber from Touratech, that seems good so far, can be serviced and the other one from Susis Terra I repaired myself. That will also be replaced with something better, let's see how the Touratech part fares in the next few years, otherwise I only have a custom-made alternative as an alternative. 

The air box has a construction error, namely at the point where the air filter is pressed with its sealing surface against the housing to seal the air duct, a small piece of plastic is missing so that theoretically unfiltered air can flow past the air filter and thus permanently destroy the cylinder surface due to dust and sand abrasion. In the USA and Australia, where people drove through dusty deserts, engine damage is said to have occurred as a result. The topic was hotly debated in the English forums and many individual solutions were presented, from 3D printed solutions to invasive sawing up of the air filter box and conversion to a sports air filter. I don't know whether the problem is so dramatic in Europe, the dust pollution in the air cannot be compared with that in the Australian outback. I am sure that many in Europe drive around with this faulty air filter box without any problems. Whether all Terra have the problem I do not know. I just cut a piece of plastic to fit and glued it in place. In any case, it has held up until now (110,000km).   

The swing has a water problem, namely the spring strut splash guard is attached to the swing arm in the swing arm bearing area with two plastic rivets. This means that when it rains, the water runs down the splash guard and past the loose plastic rivets into the swing arm. It wouldn't be so bad if the water came out somewhere else. But it doesn't, because the swing arm is otherwise closed and so the water stays in and the swing arm fills up. But not everyone has the problem, only one of our terraces is affected. So it seems that they quickly identified the problem and fixed it. The Terra, which doesn't have the problem, has a small opening in the weld seam in the area of the rear wheel mount, where water that has entered can flow out unhindered. I helped myself and made a 2mm hole at the lowest point on both sides. I threw out the plastic rivets, cut threads in them and attached the splash guard with screws and gaskets. Later I would like to flood and seal the inside of the swingarms with penetrating oil or rust protection.    

Among many advantages, these high-end single-cylinder engines also have some disadvantages. One of them is eg Rough idle.This is usually caused by the strict emission standards, which stipulate, among other things, that the engines should be lean when idling. Maybe one or the other still knows the problem from the past, when the carburetor was set too lean, the engine ran hot, rough and often died at idle. The same today, they are too clean when idling, run hot quickly, run rough and can often stall at idle before the engine is loaded with the clutch. This can be annoying or even embarrassing. The single cylinders from BMW were also affected, as I said, that has nothing to do with the brand but with the strict emission standards. My 1988 Suzuki DR 600 and my Suzuki GSF 600 Bandit, both carbureted machines, don't have the problem. You can't do much there without switching in a power commander, but that's forbidden on the road, so it's not a real solution. The problem should also be partially resolved after a recall campaign where the control unit was re-dubbed. I can't confirm that it would have improved anything. I just learned how to deal with it.  

Another problem, which I haven't found the cause of yet and which rarely occurs with other Terras in the world, is that Motor occasionally revs up by itself when cold.It was really bad in the Pamir Mountains with 90 octane petrol at over 3000m altitude and in Mongolia with 92 octane petrol. Then the engine revved up to 6000 rpm by itself and then came down again after about 10 to 20 seconds. I couldn't blame it on the amount or the fuel quality, because, as I said, the problem rarely occurs, but it also happens at home from time to time. The problem is so rare that I haven't found any real information on the internet so far. I have a simple diagnostic interface that allows you to monitor a few parameters, but as it is, the ECU doesn't spit out an error message and the live data seems to be normal. But I've already tried a few things, namely replacing the injection nozzle, a new idle speed controller and swapping the throttle valve units with each other. No change. In the BMW single-cylinder forum, one often reads about a similar problem, albeit not quite as pronounced, and the topic of re-teaching the throttle valve is mentioned again and again. There are also many tips on how to do this on the motorcycle yourself. On the way in Tajikistan I had tried everything, nothing helped. In any case, I'm still behind the thing and will find the reason sometime. One possibility would be to get a GS911 diagnostic device with which you can do more things such as a fuel reset, reset adaptation values and relearn actuators. Since the problem rarely occurs and I have had peace for two years, I postpone the investment until later. Some problems resolve themselves. 

Another problem is that this Engines, next to der very poor vote, very much in the lower speed range bad or out of round pull and put a strain on the entire drive train including the gearbox, up to a shortened service life of the chain, which often threatens to tear after 15,000 km. Although the engine on the Husqvarna is much better tuned than the original BMW, it is still an advantage, at least off-road and in difficult situations, to drive up a steep mountain slope with low engine speed in second gear than with high engine speed in first gear. To alleviate the symptoms a bit, I installed a more powerful injector. I took the most powerful nozzle from the series of nozzles that was installed in our motorcycles from a comparison table from Bosch. For example, the original one had 4 holes on the spray side and the stronger one had 12. The stronger nozzle doesn't inject more fuel, because that's checked by the lambda probe, it just atomizes the fuel much better than the original nozzle and that's well known good for combustion and the nozzle can theoretically do a lot more. I don't have any comparative figures now, but I'm convinced that this has brought about an improvement in the running smoothness of the engine and the measure has so far not generated any significant additional consumption.     

The water pump was notorious in the BMW single-cylinder forums and sometimes had to be done every 5000km because it kept leaking. Although everything has remained tight on our terraces (so far only slight oil sweating), the water pump failed on the long trip to Russia on Lake Baikal. The cotter pin that fixes the water pump wheel on the shaft broke after 80,000 km and the water pump blade stopped at full speed. The coolant stopped circulating and the overheating warning light came on very quickly. In any case, luckily, I found the problem quickly and luckily I was able to repair the water pump on site or replace the broken cotter pin with one made of copper wire. At home I replaced the entire water pump. After all, the pump has lasted longer than it used to be at BMW, but you have to keep an eye on it. 

Another problem is the Buttons in the speedometer unit. The buttons that you press on top of the housing are not the actual buttons, because they are soldered further down in the speedometer housing on the circuit board. In order to reach these small switches on the circuit board, thin plastic pins have been placed between them and these in turn are held in the right place by small plastic lugs. As is the case, the plastic lugs broke off and the thin pins wobbled loosely in the housing and you could no longer switch around with the buttons in the speedometer menu. I glued these plastic pins into position with lots of soft silicon and after several tries it worked and has been quiet ever since. Savings were also made on the sealing of the two halves of the speedometer housing and if you are not careful when reassembling it, water will get in and you will have much more fun.  


Technical changes

Apart from the built-in accessories, I also made some technical changes. I go into more detail on some of the technical changes in the "Problems and issues" section.

-I lowered Susi's Terra (Kamelku) by about 30mm at the front and back so that she can get her feet on the ground better. Susi is 172 cm tall. She can drive mine well too, but the lower height helps her a lot when maneuvering, for example. Mine is original in height.

-The side stand support surface is enlarged with a metal plate to prevent the motorcycle from sinking and tipping over.

-A more powerful battery from Accurat but still no lithium battery 

-A more powerful injector from Bosch

-Improved the air filter sealing surface in the air filter housing as it was faulty from the factory.

-The two air filter housing halves sealed.

-Better tank and shock absorber protection made of rubber.

-Self  built stainless steel mesh radiator guard.

- Provide the swingarm with water drainage holes to prevent the water that has entered the swingarm from staying inside. Sealed the water entry holes. Is a design flaw.

- Manifold fender mounted with spacers on it. He's getting too hot.

- Holes in the plastic protection cover of the chain sprockets to keep an eye on the degree of contamination.

-Cable protection attached to the brake line in the area of the ring holder on the fork bridge to prevent the brake line from chafing. 

- Attached a thick cable tie to the left fork below in the area of the dust cap to prevent the fork protection from rubbing against the fork.

-The number plate holder is attached to the case carrier with an aluminum sheet to prevent it from vibrating too much off-road and the number plate breaking and falling off. Already happened.

-Glued and reinforced the buttons in the speedometer unit with silicone because they were too thin and broke off.

-I installed an oil cooler from Scheffelmeier Metall on my Terra (Moose). 

-Made several holes in the engine guard to prevent water and mud from accumulating and hardening in the hollow.

-The motor protection with a bent aluminum sheet extended in the area of the alternator cover to offer the alternator cover a little more protection when tipping over in the field.

-A plastic plate attached to the gear lever, which should prevent the gear lever from being pressed into the clutch cover and destroying it, for example, if you accidentally tip over off-road.

-Clutch cable covered with a silicone coating in the cooler area so that it does not rub against the cooler.

- 10mm handlebar risers I built myself for more comfort when riding while standing.  

What is planned? A completely new fork, an improved windshield, a volt display, a water and oil temperature display, better manifold protection and possibly converting to tubeless rims. All of this has already been partially implemented, such as the temperature displays and the voltage display, or is in the stars because of the immense costs, such as with the fork conversion. 

Service and spare parts supply

What about the service and the supply of spare parts? Who is responsible for that? Are there any spare parts for these exotics?

All in all, the matter with service and spare parts does not look good, because the current owner of the Husqvarna brand does not want anything to do with the former Red Head motorcycles. They only bought the trademark rights, nobody wants to have anything to do with the service and the supply of spare parts. After the announcement of the sale of the Husqvarna brand to KTM, perplexity seemed to spread. Nobody knew what would happen to these exotic motorcycles. Who fixes the Red Head bikes now? After a few years, the situation eased up a bit, or rather, everyone came to terms with the situation. The remaining stock has been put up for sale and the old Husqvarna workshops will repair them as long as they can get spare parts. However, one thing is for sure, the available spare parts are becoming less and less.

Since we've had the Terras with us, we haven't had any problems with the supply of spare parts and everything was delivered quite normally and easily. I wasn't afraid to do it myself either. With a good 100,000km on both motorcycles, we were rare guests at our former dealer around the corner, that shows excellent quality, doesn't it? To be precise, I had to buy two new brake lines and two license plate holders. I was able to get everything else from the clutch, steering head bearing, wheel bearing, water pump and other wearing parts myself on the Internet. We are fortunate that many BMW parts fit our Husqvarnas and for this I downloaded an Excel spreadsheet from the Husqvarna forum, where all the parts are listed and from which BMW model they fit. So I can order the clutch, water pump, charge controller, idle controller and all the seals with a BMW part number, for example. The same with wearing parts: oil filter, air filter, chain ring, pinion gear, brakes, bearings, all BMW parts. It could get tight if a camshaft breaks, an engine overhaul with pistons and piston rings is imminent, or gearbox problems, or what always haunts me in my nightmares, when the EWS (electronic immobilizer) goes nuts, it could get very tight. But even then I remain relaxed. Every now and then there is a Terra/Strada for slaughter on offer. So I was able to get a Kahedo seat and a complete fuel pump assembly and store it for bad times. If the engine were beyond repair due to missing parts, I would simply plant a used engine. And if it's really bad, I'll make a good one out of two bad ones and drive until I'm a hundred years old :)

Despite all the known problems, would we buy the same motorcycles again? Definitely yes! 

What about our other vehicles?

Here I will list what we installed on our Suzuki Bandit and on our Mercedes bus. I will also list what I did on the Suzuki Dr600 although it is no longer in our fleet.


Suzuki GSF 600s Bandits

The Bandit used to be our favorite bike, no wonder it was our only bike. We really liked it and didn't want a bigger or newer bike, she was perfect for us. Only today it is not moved so often because we have developed a taste for gravel. It doesn't matter, she's still with us and we still like the Bandit. I plan to do some tours in Central Europe with her. At the moment I have dismantled the pannier rack, but if I go on tour then the following will be included: top case holder from Givi, pannier rack from Givi, plastic cases from Givi, a large top case for two helmets, a pannier and a large tank bag. On the handlebars is a Garmin GPS mount, a mobile phone holder from X-Ram Mounts, a USB socket from Louis. In addition, the motorcycle is 30mm higher at the rear, has a fender extension and LED turn signals at the front and two HT pipes I built at the back for tools and chain spray. I have repaired a few things on the engine such as new pistons and rings, camshafts and rocker arms. Despite 96,000km, the bike is in good condition and ready for a tour. Some work is still planned: removing a bit of rust on the frame, some threads on the engine cover have to be made, a fork service, new clutch, LED fog lights, oil temperature gauge, a touring screen and possibly a lithium battery. 

Suzuki DR600s

The DR was a fun moped. I bought them when I didn't have a driver's license. I didn't know much about motorcycles at the time, my top priority was that it fit my budget. After almost ten years, when I had been on the road with the Bandit for a few years, I prepared it with the idea of having a second moped or just a fun moped for the terrain. I put a lot of effort into it. I completely re-equipped the carburetor, derusted the tank, welded and sealed it, sandblasted the swing arm and rocker arm and powder-coated it, sealed the fork, replaced the exhaust pipe, the brakes and the engine, repaired the gearbox and sealed the engine cover. I replaced the new battery, clutch cable, gas cables, new brake line, new speedometer cable and all hoses as well as the fuel tap. An engine protection and a different handlebar were already installed and I mounted handguards. Nevertheless, the motorcycle looked just as old and rancid and it was far from fit. A crack in the frame was found during a general inspection. Nevertheless, I didn't give up and I got another battle moped and wanted to change the frame and put the spare engine in storage. Unfortunately, the replacement frame was almost rusted through, so I finally gave up on the DR project. When we rode the DR, we really enjoyed it and so Susi was able to decide what type of motorcycle she wanted, because she was undecided before. The DR was light, slim and long legged and easy to manoeuvre, yet for many different reasons it couldn't stay with us. The main reason was no electric starter (that didn't work for Susi) and then the story with the frame, etc. When we already had the first Terra, there was no future for the DR. 

Suzuki DR.jpg

(Duba) Mercedes Benz Viano 4Matic     

The main reason we wanted our bus was to be able to be on the road in the cold, wet and, above all, long seasons. On our long trip to Mongolia, we came up with the idea of not only being on the road in summer, but also touring comfortably in winter. Since then we have only installed the most necessary things: an air heater, a 60A lithium second battery, charging booster, battery management system, USB sockets, carbon monoxide detector, fire extinguisher, a carpet and a folding mattress. The rest of the odds and ends, such as cooking utensils, warm clothing and food supplies, are actually almost the same as what we have with us on our motorcycle tours and fit into three Euroboxes, which we use as a table but also as a seat. We really don't need much, that's a good principle for us, both on motorcycle tours, bike tours and road trips with our Duba. In any case, the plan is to remove rust, buy a refrigerator, an auxiliary heater for the engine, a folding bed and the underbody and seal them. A dream would be a chassis lift with all-terrain wheels, an underride guard and a glass sunroof. We also have some plans for Duba and will report where we are headed when the time comes.   

Thank you for your interest

I will update this technical page over time and possibly add pictures with the current status. If you have any questions about motorcycle technology or anything else, feel free to contact us or just write a comment. Take care and best regards.

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