A Little Husky Orphan...aka...The Magic Thumpa


Mapping the next ride...
Staff member
Coming late into this (hi, Nev, Robbie...and all the others), I'm in the process of going the full round and trying to do everything to make that little TR650 with it's Chinese BMW/ROTAX-donk a viable...and RELIABLE...longtermer.

As some will know, I bought the bike because it was cheap.
Then had it sit in the garage for 9months, brandnew, un-registered, trying to iron out/ fix the kinks of a First-Production-Run vehicle.
And kinks there are. Plenty!

There are some substantial design and engineering fugg-ups for the start.
Add the usual inconsistency and idiosyncracies of any Italo-bike, Italian electronics :doh: and bloopers by the then-owner (BMW) who didn't care too much about the product (as it wasn't wearing their badge) nor which market segment the product was exactly aimed at.

BMW subsequently sold Husky to KTM with the resulting international turmoil
of which dealer-network was going to do the servicing (the old or new, or both, or none!!)... as KTM discontinued the model immediately after taking over the brand)...or any warranty work....or provide tech-backup, parts-stockholding, etc etc.

A small, but hardy international group of owners can be found at Cafe Husky (forum), where most of the following stuff was initially posted.

I just want to have a condensed version here at AT, if Cafe Husky ever decides to close it's doors.

I'll chop the text but will use the pics...so, this might not be of interest to many.
This isn't another WTF-ThinStrom or such...this is just about trying to make a principally damn good bike last to provide lots of trips and fun for as long as possible.
Most of the "fixes" can be done...some of them are CRUCIAL to be done ASAP!! to make the bike as longterm trouble-free as possible.

It also might help someone stumbling over one of those bikes along their ways.... and wondering what this orphaned Thumpa's all about.
Here are just some basic ideas of what should/ might/could be done to prevent certain disasters + failures, make things a lot more service-friendly, iron out some plain stupid stuff, make things more "dirt-proof" and so on.

There were plenty more items on the list, but they fall into the "general" heading, like heated grips, re-routing the clutch-cable to the left side to prevent it destroying itself
on the edge of the radiator where the factory put it etc.

Just click the link and read away.
Hopefully we'll get more items covered as time goes by, at least we've got a start.


POD-MOD, AirFilter-replacement etc.
POD-MOD Pt 2 crankcase breather etc
POD-MOD Pt 3 pre-filters and finals
Water in Rear Swingarm
Front brake line twist/ length/ joiner issue, some (ABS)-Stradas ONLY

POD-MOD Pt. 4 Pre-filter Rapid-Change mods
Sidestand cutout switch bypass
Weeping front brake master cylinder
Crappy factory wheel/sprocket carrier and headstem bearings/ frozen rear wheel
Sidestand too short/ sidestand foot too small
Ignition lock and coded key bypass_Part1
Ignition lock and coded key bypass_Part2
Engine Oil drain tube fix
Jamming radiator cap / bike running hot
Foldable tip rear BRAKE lever
Foldable tip gear lever
Battery Post Cover
Hydraulic rear brake light switch/ Lost reservoir cap
Filler Cap Mod_1
Filler Cap Mod _2
Rusted lower headstem bearing
Radiator and splash guards

B+B Modded Bashplate
Front Sprocket Cover Mod/ Oil Filter Access
Seat Mods/ Re-shaping
Quicklock Tankbag Mods_1
Quicklock Tankbag Mods_2
Modded B+B rear luggage rack

Custom Screens

Home made frame plugs
IAT spoofers and other "running"-aids
Cable-routing to/from headlight shell
Drive-Chain Roller
Wheel swapping, anything goes...sorta
Buying parts overseas


Mapping the next ride...
Staff member


Problem: Both the stock air-filter location and fit as well as the airbox seal between the 2 halves of the airbox are simply engineered and fabricated by total imbeciles, allowing dust to enter the airbox in sometimes frightening quantities, leading to contamination of the cylinder bore, heavy oil-consumption and ultimately, engine seizures.
Capital damage is a matter of when and how soon, rather than if or if not. Obviously, any of those bikes spending its life on sealed roads, will have a longer grace-period, but ultimately face the same result.
While there are various methods to try and deal with the issues, the sole and only allround bulletproof fix has proven to be the so-called PodMod.

Which involves cutting the airbox top-half to instal an oiled foam pod-filter clamped to the throttle body of the fuel injection.
Which also allows quick and easy access for servicing. The crankcase breather has to be re-located at the same time, possibly an oil-overflow tube installed, the factory filter holder-frame modified and re-fitted as a pre-filter. Sounds all complicated but is pretty straight-forward.


Here it is.

Marking out....deliberately trying to work to straight-ish lines and retaining the top-edge of the airbox....eventually I'll find a soft foam-seal for the gap left by the fine-toothed hacksaw to deal with the increase of induction noise after the "operation".


Shows up the "Eruption" spoofer (IAT-spoofer, see other posts in this thread) quite neatly, too.


The solid rubber flange/ seat/ seal/ spacer etc etc that fixated and seals the rear part of the airbox.
I tried to retain the bottom lip of it for a firm seat and hold of the airbox-base.


A sharp chisel makes a good de-burring tool and works as a pry-bar when cracking the final bits of the airbox plastic after the hacksaw-job.


Trying to cut the rubber flange...lift airbox-base off the TB as far as possible, lube the seat of the "rubber-doughnut" with WD40 so the whole thing can be rotated on the TB-flange while the bottom of the airbox is off the flange as much as possible (wedge timber strip/ screwdriver-handle between tank and left bottom edge of airbox for best separation).


No chance to lift the whole doughnut out!


Grab doughnut with rag and rotate while using a scalpel (flat handle!!) to cut the rubber


Got the top off, neatly



TB-flange isn't tall enough for a clamp....gotta cut the bottom disk off the doughnut as well....more wd40, more rotating (this time with pliers as the material isn't strong enough after removing the top section).


That should be just enough neck-section of the TB to get a clamp over solidly.


Mapping the next ride...
Staff member

The rubber doughnut's base section is still in place and the airbox seated firmly, without touching the fuel-rail....all's good.
The remaining base-rubber is flush with the bottom of the airbox


A 12mm/ 1/2" wide clamp fits the neck neatly


OEM airfilter compartment


Found the opening for the draintube by poking around with a wire.
..dremel away the back of the lip and the soon to be installed Crankcase breather pod with have a ready-made drain.




Having looked at the various options, I'll use a straight bit of silicone tubing to connect a PVC elbow, rather than using a pre-made silicone elbow. FWIW, it'll give the chance for a more solid grip/ fix on the TB-neck, using "liquid-gasket" silicone as well as the clamp to hold things in place solidly without the need to remove/ re-do it come time for a filter-clean or change.

The clamp above, holding the PVC elbow will become the "service-connection", rather than the more fragile TB hookup.

Looking at the obviously idiotic airbox labyrinth, there's no way this thing was designed with any common sense or scientific background, but rather on a Friday afternoon "let's get the hell out of the office, Luigi".

Any "venturi-effects" or " induction-flow-design" were drowned in vino rosso and a plate of Marinara.

ANY change will be an improvement!


Mapping the next ride...
Staff member

Modding the OEM airfilter bracket....


....for a pre-filter use. A swimming-pool skimmer filter sock treated with a few sprays of filter oil and draped over the modded OEM-filter frame makes a perfect a pre-filter.


At just over $1 each and available from any bigger hardware store (or pool supply), it barely takes 5 minutes to replace the filter-sock with a fresh one.... kept pre-oiled in a plastic Ziplock bag under the seat/ battery-strap.


It's hard to get a drill into/ near the OEM filter compartment for a hole to fit the crankcase breather pod....but a hot 80W soldering iron does the trick neatly.


Juuust big enough to fit the grommet tightly which is going to become the "holder" for the double-barbed connector, joining breather hose and pod.


The grommets are leftovers of the V-Strom farkling...anything that fits, will do.


Crankcase breather filter in place


Found a piece of Polyethylene foam, self-adhesive strip, 3mm/ 1/8 thick and about 40mm/ 1.5" wide as a "seal" between the 2 halves of the air box lid. Not enough as a proper seal, but certainly good enough as a "noise-killer". It's stuck right around the edge of the "service-cover", half its width on the inside, the other half on the outside of the cover.

Will see if it stays stuck to the Poly Prop cover, can glue if I have to.



Once more the soldering iron is used on the left side of the airbox, near the base of the IAT sensor, to create a drain-tube for any possible over-enthusiastic use of filter oil lateron.

There isn't much space nor width to place the hole as low as possible in the case while still having a flat surface for the grommet to seal firmly.

The molten PolyProp welts around the hole are quickly shaved off with a sharp chisel.

Again, the grommet provides a firm seat for the brass-connector.



Looks like all the 6229 and BP13 UniFilters have gone to the US lately....it's been a 10 day wait thus far to get them in Melbourne.:)

Pod-Mod, the finals. Pod-Filter installed and clamped straight to the intake tube.



Mapping the next ride...
Staff member

"Water-in-swingarm" issue.
Most TR650 have shown to have substantial amounts of water in the swingarm tubes after even short rides on wet roads. The rubber spray-guard is fixed with 2 sloppy plastic panel-fasteners and allows copious amounts of spray-water to run into the 2 locating-holes in the swingarm crossbrace, then accumulating in the swingarm-legs, rusting out the bare steel from the inside.

Pulled the 2 laughable plastic pins ....


...cleaned up the surface with metho and got a pack of those (PERFECT, tight fit + galvanized pins)


...some black plumbers/ roofing silicone as an extra sealant.


Drilled one 4mm hole each side into the bottom of the swingarm-tubing near the back-weld to drain any water that still might come through the top or was in the tubes ex-dealer (or from previous "wet"-rides).


Mapping the next ride...
Staff member
TR650 Strada front brake line


Issue (TR650 Strada ABS ONLY):
Fitting either handlebar raisers or High-bend replacement bars like the Protaper ATV-High, some....SOME!!!!....bikes have shown to have faulty brake-lines installed ex factory.
The front brake line is a braided line from the master cylinder,which is crimped to a fixed, rigid section of brake-tubing from the left side of the steering head backwards (towards the ABS-unit). The braided line is twisted and the banjo-fitting at the M/C doesn't line up by about 60-110degree rotation, depending on bike!!

The braided line is tightly stretched out (to near tearing point) on full right steering lock...it's also way too short to provide any extra length for risers/high bars.
Additionally, at full LEFT lock, the crimped joiner (between rigid + flexible parts of the brake line) is moved away from the steering head tube to an extend that very well predicates metal fatigue at some point down the line, with catastrophic brake-failure a likely result.

A most critical area to fix, in my eyes.

For the start, the rigid portion of the brake-line needs to be straightened and manipulated behind the chassis-rails to create more length, while , VERY GENTLY, rotating the crimped joiner fitting to align the banjo fitting at the M/C end of the flexible line. It takes patience, a lot of "feel"... and a good eye. Too much twist and the rigid line is kinked (destroyed) needing replacement... which requires a total strip-down of the rear of the bike for access to the ABS-unit. (airbox, tank etc need to be removed for access).

Once everything fits and aligns, it's time to somehow stop the crimped joiner to move in + out to prevent metal fatigue.
It's in a bloody awkward position and there's no structure around to tie the damn thing to.

This seems to do the trick, though....
An aluminium holding clip for the front ABS brake-line joiner, as that was moving around each time the bars went side-to-side....over time, the end of the rigid brake tube will fatigue and crack.

1.5mm alum sheeting located by a tongue that's forced through a slot in the weld of the steering lock retainer-neck.

Tongue shows to the upper left in the pic.



Mapping the next ride...
Staff member
Sidestand-cutout switch fix

Issue: The usual sidestand-cutout switch fix.
Water/ mud + crud gets into the mechanical switch used on the Husky TR's and the damn thing won't start after one too many boghole-surfs.

A little sidestand switch mod, without cutting any wiring.

Removed plug, removed switch. Trimmed a standard automotive blade-fuse (the older, bigger style, min. 10amp) to bridge the 2 outer pins in the connector (pins 1+3). Heatshrink, done.

Another potential trouble area out of the way.



1.piece of standard heatshrink goes over the front half of the plug and the fuse to make sure that the fuse is kept in place firmly.....2. lot of adhesive heatshrink goes over the whole lot, without heating the mid-section to keep the OEM-plug fairly free of "goo", if the procedure ever needs to be reversed. Also popped a bit of heatshrink over the pin+thread that the factory switch sits on to keep corrosion down and the thread clean.


Using the fuse as the jumper keeps the option of a clean and quick reversal, going back to stock setup anytime and within minutes.


Mapping the next ride...
Staff member
Brake fluid weeping from Master-Cylinder

Issue: Front master cyl overfilled by dealer pre-delivery....starts to weep when it expands in hot weather and works it's way as a paint-stripper, causing heavy corrosion of all affected metal parts.

Fix: Remove cap of M/C and dab out brake-fluid with CLEAN!! rag to reduce level.


Mapping the next ride...
Staff member
Crappy factory bearings

Issue: Ceased bearings
Crappy factory wheel, sprocket-carrier and headstem bearings.
The rear wheel bearings in particular have shown to pack up early and without warning, destroying the alum-wheel spacer in the process.....which
in return destroys the rear hub it sits against.
Even if a new bearing can be found locally, the molten alum-spacer and destroyed wheel-hub can take months and hundreds of $$ to repair/ replace.

It's $50 well spent on a set of good bearings and a fresh seal, all from the local bearing shop.
Might as well buy 2 sets of 6203's... and do the front wheel as well!!!
The small bearing size for a rear wheel has got me worried...make it 3 sets.


Here a copy of Jo's (Duibczek) post on Cafe Husky as to what got him stranded....





almost ruined our plans for the coming long weekend (national holiday), but I got my hands on a nice and relatively cheap second hand rim and sprocket carrier off a Sertao.

Not entirely sure what caused it. My current theory is that the sprocket carrier bearing failed (for unknown reasons). My gf didn't notice and continued her ride. I only saw some weird play in the sprocket during the beginning of our next ride.

So I'm not sure for how many kms it was that way, but is was enough to cause serious damage to the hub and to the sprocket carrier.

I'll definitely be keeping a close eye on all other bearings on both her and my TR and am considering doing a preventive replacement of all bearings (front+rear wheel, sprocket carrier, head stock and possibly also swingarm) before we leave on our trip to Siberia next year. Either that or carry them as spares in case one fails on route...

And as for the sprocket carrier....


Unlike most other carriers on chain-driven bikes, this one has TWO bearings, side-by-side, with a small spacer in between.

Both bearings extract/ insert from one side only!!
Getting out the retainer clip between the two of them is a ...BITCH!

Sorry for the slightly blurred shot, but still clearly visible....double-depth bearing seat, showing the recess for the retainer clip about halfway.


Factory bearings are SKF Explorer 6204, 2 off...


...and a generic 30x40x7MM seal


The entire stack of bits and parts

Left-to-right as it belongs into the carrier:

1) Bearing at the bottom

2) retainer clip and spacer

3) the second bearing

4) seal


As the bearing seat is double-depth, I knocked the core out of one of the old SKF's, cutting and de-burring the outer to use as a tool

when carefully knocking in the new bearings.

Which should make for nice, smooth travel and seating of the new bearing without going askew along the way, possibly damaging the seat of the upper bearing.

The slot allows sufficient give to extract the ring after the first bearing's in place.



Mapping the next ride...
Staff member
Sidestand foot...extension and lift

Issue: On many/ most of the TR's the sidestand is a bit short and the foot too small, causing the bike to sink into soft groud and topple over.

Found some scrap 12mm (~1/2") alum plate in the dark recesses of the garage and wasted a lazy Sunday afternoon on this. :lol:


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