Austin used to have a Husqvarna motorcycle dealer (Napalm Motorsports) but they went out of business in 2017. Since then, if you wanted to buy a new Husqvarna motorcycle or get service on a Husky you already owned, the closest dealer was Munn Racing, a two-hour, 100 mile drive away. Certainly not an ideal situation.
The great news is that Austin has finally gotten another Husqvarna dealer. Austin’s well-respected and long-time KTM dealer, TJ’s Cycle, has picked up the complete Husqvarna line of motorcycles. If you live in central Texas and have been lusting after those awesome Husqvarna motorcycle now is your chance to get the bike you’ve been dreaming of and to do so from a local shop.
You’ve been wishing, hoping, praying, and hollering for the Japanese to come out with a modern 450 dual sport bike. You swore that if they would just make it, you would buy it. Your wish has been answered – today Honda announced the CRF450L street legal dual sport bike. 289 pounds wet weight. Wide ratio six speed transmission. Basically a modern, street legal dirt bike that appears designed to compete with the great stuff the Euro manufacturers have been producing for years now.
A lot of you have refused to buy a modern dual sport bike from the European manufacturers. Too unreliable you said. A too sparse dealer network. And the big complaint – the Euro bikes were just so expensive compared to the old dual sport bikes from Japan Inc. Japan has heard you and Honda has (finally) responded. On paper, the CRF450L looks like a great dual sport bike. It appears to hit all the right notes.
However, there is one potential issue with the new Honda. Modern dual sport bike costs more to design and build than old school dual sport bikes. The Euro manufacturers have been making and selling modern dual sport bikes in the $10,000 range compared with $6500 or so for old Japanese dual sports like the DRZ and XR650L. The new CRF450L is priced at $10,300 – similar to the Euro bikes.
It will be interesting to see if the primary reason the majority of riders have continued to choose to buy old school dual sport bikes is actual due to the cheap price. Will riders, in mass, pay $10,300 for a modern dual sport from Honda? Or will they say something to the effect of, “The Honda isn’t as good as the KTM and if I have to pay KTM prices I want KTM performance.” Or might they say, “That’s too much for a modern dual sport bike. I want a modern dual sport Japanese bike but I only want to pay the same price as the old bikes are sold for.”
If there is any justice in this world, this bike will sell like hot cakes. Time will tell.
Unfortunately we cancelled the 2018 Texas Adventure Ride today due to the forecasted bad weather in Junction through Saturday.
I am mailing the commemorative baseball cap to everyone who registered and will be refunding the difference between the cost of the cap and rally registration. If you registered and paid for the event please email me your name and address so I can mail your hat to you. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.