Husqvarna's answer to the adventure riding market is its TE630. It might not be single trail enduro weapon but don't underestimate the off-road capabilities of this 'sleeping giant'.
The 630 features new plastics and graphics, front headlight, dashboard, 12 litre fuel tank, dual exhaust system, hydraulic clutch, cylinder head, Mikuni D45 EFI system, cooling system and radiator hoses, 6-speed gearbox... and best of all, 20 per cent extra power and torque over the old 610 motor.
Husky has managed to reduce the seat height by 30mm to a respectable 930mm and the overall feel of the 630 is not as huge between your legs as you might imagine.
I managed to sneak out onto the enduro loop on the TE630 and by the time I got out there the track was quite torn up with rocks, roots and ruts jumping out at me everywhere and to be honest, thanks to the smooth power I was able to go into steer and brake mode and keep a relatively good pace going.
The suspension is very plush so I hardly felt the smaller stuff as I ploughed my way around the track and it was only the real tight turns that made me take a little more attention than usual.
Once I did a few laps on the tight stuff I ventured out onto an open dirt road and you can see this is what the 630 was designed for. The long wheel base gives amazing stability at speed, it flew through the sweeping turns and the brakes are amazing under stress.
All up, I was impressed with the versatility of the 630. If this bike ends up on your shopping list don't think you can't match it on the trail with your mates on their 450s. Sure, you will work a little harder in the tight stuff but it will be 'see-ya-later' once you hit the fire trails...
$12,495 will get you on board the big 630. Go on, don't be shy. ■
450 Yamaha gets powersteering
Yamaha Grizzly 450 has been updated for 2011, gaining electronic power steering while still losing weight overall.
Other changes include a lighter one-piece frame, redesigned wet brake system, higher AC generator output and a more durable rear gear assembly.
These changes result in an overall weight reduction and improved ergonomics for a more comfortable and agile riding experience.
The Grizzly 450 is popular with both recreational riders and those working on the land, because it handles well on the trails but also provides the pulling power required in a utility ATV.
This year's model retains the renown features that set its predecessors apart from the competition. Like Yamaha's push-button On-Command drive system, which ensures solid drivability over varied terrain by allowing riders to rapidly switch between 2WD, 4WD or 4WD with differential lock. And, fully independent double-wishbone suspension at front and rear that maximises wheel contact over ruts and bumps to allow more traction and a smoother ride.
Like its big brother Grizzly 700, the Grizzly 450 incorporates the Ultramatic transmission system. Yamaha's Ultramatic transmission uses both a centrifugal and a sprag (oneway) clutch. This configuration minimises belt slippage by keeping the belt tight at all times, which increases the life of the drive belt. It also provides superior engine braking, allowing riders to tackle steep downhill gradients with confidence.
Yamaha's engineers have made several enhancements to the chassis that give the Grizzly 450 a sportier feel without compromising durability. The new one-piece frame increases rigidity and strength while reducing weight by 2.7kg. The stabiliser bar has been shortened and its stiffness has been increased with 20 per cent to match the new frame dynamics.
The rear gear assembly has been completely redesigned, switching from a two-point mounting system to a three-point system. This to add extra structural strength to the rear chassis as well as improving force deployment while accelerating, riding over rough terrain or braking.
More information is available from your Yamaha dealer. ■
Queensland ATV proposal]
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