Friday, May 22, 2015

Husaberg Motorcycles

Husaberg MotorcyclesThe Swedish motorcycle brand Husaberg stands for uncompromising Enduro racing machines since 1987 and originated from a deep passion for off-road sports in the forests of Sweden.


February 1988: Presentation of the first Husaberg prototype to a selected group of investors, government representatives, and other VIPs. Engaging in subdued conversations and sipping champagne from paper cups, the illustrious invitees are waiting anxiously for the test run of the first-ever built Husaberg, a motorbike using a plastic bottle as tank and featuring a few other funky makeshift solutions, but ready to run a revolution.

This first prototype is to demonstrate to the important guests that the efforts and financial resources of the last 12 months have not been invested in vain. And indeed, at the first try, the Husaberg comes to life with an awe-inspiring 4-stroke roar. The engine idles evenly, eagerly responding to any throttle action. Applause rings out, there is laughter, cheers and shoulder pattin

The first HUSABERG (FE501)

Since Thomas Gustavsson still has to get into his motorbike garb for the test ride, the engine is turned off again and when he starts the bike again, the laughter vanishes abruptly from all faces. On the first kick, a big bang marks the end of the prototype’s short life, oil-saturated pieces scattered all over at the feet of the spectators.

Later, it turned out that an extremely competition-minded engineer drilled holes into the starter gear in order to save weight – however, apparently assessing the remaining strength of the structure with too much optimism. Two days and a few welding jobs later, the Husaberg engine was running again. But this is another story and only the beginning…

The first public appearance of the Husaberg prototype was at an Enduro race at Skillingaryd in South of Sweden. Thomas Gustavsson, Husaberg’s chief developer and mastermind, pushed an unheard of no-name motorcycle to the technical inspection. Only the hand protectors were marked with the letters HMA. HMA stands for Husaberg Motor AB, one out of several proposed names envisaged as possible options for the joint company at that time (these names included MAXAM, HMA and others). Yet, no final decision had been made on what the baby’s name should be.

At the technical inspection, the race organizers asked about the brand of the motorcycle, and Gustavsson tried to explain the situation to them. The officials, however, refused to or were unable to understand and gave the pilot two choices: “Either give us a brand name or you won’t be allowed to race.” Not racing was not an option, so Thomas Gustavsson gave them the name “Husaberg Motor AB”, and this is how Husaberg became the official brand name.

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