Dual-sport motorcycles combine the maneuverability and agility of dirt bikes with the go-anywhere attitude of adventure bikes. Since 2015, Husqvarna’s FE 501 S has taken that formula to the Nth degree with an SOHC, 510.9cc single-cylinder engine, and a competition-worthy chassis. The brand improves on that winning platform in 2023, with select updates that take the FE 501 S to the next level.
Weighing in at 239 pounds (without fuel), the half-liter dual-sport benefits from a 64.8-pound thumper mated to a lightweight 6-speed transmission and DDS (Dampened Diaphragm Steel) clutch. Husqvarna matches that lightweight construction with a low-friction DLC-coated rocker arm, a mass-centralized crankcase, and a 12.75:1 compression ratio for an extra dose of performance and ride comfort.
Gallery: 2023 Husqvarna FE 501 S
A chromium molybdenum steel frame proves both durable and capable, with optimized longitudinal and torsional flex behavior that yields the utmost rider feedback, energy absorption, and straight-line stability. Frame protectors deliver additional toughness off-road, and the frame-integrated radiator keeps the single-cylinder mill cool while minimizing plumbing and weight.
Husqvarna’s 2.2-pound, two-piece, carbon composite subframe utilizes a 70% polyamide and 30% carbon fiber blend to trim even more fat from the FE 501 S. The WP XPLOR 48 front end puts all those weight savings to good use with an open cartridge layout and 30 clicks of adjustability on each fork leg. The WP XACT shock works in concert with the fully-adjustable front end, thanks to the same linkage progression found on the Husqvarna motocross bikes and 11.8 inches of rear-wheel travel.
The highly-responsive Braketec braking system and GSK 260mm front and 220 mm rear wave discs offer more than enough bite on and off-road. In the cockpit, ProTaper handlebars, slim touchpoints, a flat seat, and texturized seat cover, maintains the rider’s control and comfort in all conditions. For 2023, the FE 501 S defaults to Husqvarna’s traditional colors with new, distinctive dark blue graphics and electric yellow accents. Dual-sport riders can snag a 2023 Husqvarna FE 501 S for $12,649 along with a $485 freight fee.
Sources: Total Motorcycle, Husqvarna