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My Husqvarna 701 is DEAD & Other Adventures - Issue #19

Adam Chandler on Motorcycles
My Husqvarna 701 is DEAD & Other Adventures - Issue #19
By Adam Chandler • Issue #19 • View online
Since the last newsletter, we’ve added a few subscribers here and it’s nice to have you all following along. I hope this update finds you well and in good healthy. Are you out on the road? I hope so! If you enjoy this update, please forward it to a friend or your local club.

Acadia National Park, Maine - July 10th
Acadia National Park, Maine - July 10th
Since returning from the MOA National Rally in Great Falls where I was elected to serve as their Secretary (see last issue), I’ve tried to ride as much as possible knowing that the GS Trophy Qualifier is now just six weeks away. It’s coming fast and I’m probably not ready but all I can do is continue to ride. Knobby tires will go on the GS next week, Motoz Tractionator RallZ and in 3 weeks, I’ll begin to strip off a lot of heavy things from the bike such as racks, lights, handlebar accessories and various pretty-things that are more sparkle than farkle. Goal is to shave 50 pounds off the 667 pound fully fuel GS Adventure. I plan on running it on 2 gallons of fuel and the stock seat and stay light weight to make up for the beer belly.
F750GS, 701 LR and GS Adventure
F750GS, 701 LR and GS Adventure
The Renazco Seat finally arrived last week for the 701 Enduro LR. I took the above photo because, as you can see, I’m a fan of ‘wide-set gas tanks’ My Beta was the same way. Give me a wide tank akin to riding a wide horse. Bow-legged is just how I like riding my bikes. A slim bike makes me…uneasy and out of control. Here’s my Beta w/ it’s wide gas-tank:
Beta 500 RS w/ 4-Gallon IMS Tank
Beta 500 RS w/ 4-Gallon IMS Tank
Now that the 701 is back in business after a 3 month build, I did a few days out in the woods. I headed out on the day my YouTube channel hit 10,000 subscribers and rode around in the woods and bushwhacked a bit when the Class VI roads sort of dead ended yet I was only a few hundred yards from the road. Bushwhacking isn’t something I love to do as it’s usually just annoying and I end up covered in ticks but necessary when it’s easier to push through some bush than turn back and go up a nasty loose rock hill that no one has used in 25 years.
I posted a fairly lengthy video of that ride below. No point in watching the entire thing as everything is YouTube related but I think you’ll enjoy the terrain:
Celebrating 10,000 Subscribers with some Hard Enduro on the Husqvarna 701 Enduro LR
Celebrating 10,000 Subscribers with some Hard Enduro on the Husqvarna 701 Enduro LR
Class VI Road in Hanover NH that dead-ends 500 yards after this
Class VI Road in Hanover NH that dead-ends 500 yards after this
A few days later, I spent my day doing the northern most section of the Northeast BDR in Vermont. I started on section 4 in Bridgewater VT and connected to section 5 which takes me all of the way to Fairlee. This was a 200 mile day and really the first full day on the 701 enduro where I was on the bike for 7 hours and it really was a blast
Somewhere in Pomfret Vermont.
Somewhere in Pomfret Vermont.
Riding the NEBDR Section 5 on the Husqvarna 701 LR (Northeast Backcountry Discovery Route)
Riding the NEBDR Section 5 on the Husqvarna 701 LR (Northeast Backcountry Discovery Route)
Last weekend, we visited Harry at his new Maine vacation home just southwest of Bar Harbour. It rained all weekend so we drove the car over but Heather and I had loaded up the bikes for the trip and were disappointed that we had to take the car. Finally, on Saturday it opened up for a few hours to some beautiful scenery so we took a trip to Acadia. For the record, this is how Acadia looked on Thursday:
Not much to see of the gorgeous Atlantic Ocean from Cadillac Mountain
Not much to see of the gorgeous Atlantic Ocean from Cadillac Mountain
Harry and I chatting about motorcycles (probably)
Harry and I chatting about motorcycles (probably)
Choppy weather from the hurricane out in the Atlantic breaking against the rocks
Choppy weather from the hurricane out in the Atlantic breaking against the rocks
Heather and I forgetting to pose for the picture
Heather and I forgetting to pose for the picture
Of course, it wouldn’t be another 3 weeks since our last update without going to a BMW Motorcycle Owners of Vermont Breakfast in Bethel VT. We had about 40 riders this month show up for some great home-cooked meals
BMWMOV Breakfast in Bethel VT @ Tozier's
BMWMOV Breakfast in Bethel VT @ Tozier's
This past weekend was the NEAR Rally @ Field & Forest. Bob & Liza do an amazing job designing amazing off-road riding routes for various bike and skill levels, cooking some very good food and they are able to cap attendance well enough so the place doesn’t feel crowded or sparse. They have a tough job which is selling out every year in 8 hours and keeping the locals happy because while they could sell hundreds of tickets, this would crowd the trails up so much that it would ruin the roads and upset the locals. It’s a hard balance to achieve. Let’s be clear though, this is a dirt bike/enduro/dual sport rally. You won’t see a single GS or Super Adventure here. If your bike is over 500CCs, you’re the outlier. Most bikes are 2-stroke 250CC and there are some 500s. I believe there was 5-6 of us on bikes that were 600-700CC class and we were put through our paces!
Victoria, BDR Ambassador was leading the Big Bike Hard ride on her DR650
Victoria, BDR Ambassador was leading the Big Bike Hard ride on her DR650
We arrived Thursday night, setup camp and made some steaks & potatoes. It was a blast just hanging out with Jesse, Neil and Harry and seeing a few guys who knew me and now I know them. One of the blokes who owns an F850GS Adventure was going to do the East coast GS Trophy qualifier in September and we chatted strategy for a few hours it seemed. He has a torn ACL but is putting off surgery until after the qualifier so he’s not wasting his riding season in recovery. CRAZY. Another guy who has been watching my 701 build series on YouTube chatted us up and I invited him to dinner with us but he didn’t make it back over.
Representing the BMW MOA & our Canadian riding friends
Representing the BMW MOA & our Canadian riding friends
Friday morning, we headed out on the Medium Bike Hard route. Things went south pretty quickly.
My 701 was fully fueled with gasoline and every time I started it, the bike wanted to idle rough and tried to stall. It was pretty perplexing and I really didn’t have time to diagnose because I started the bike at kickstands-up so we headed out. the bike kept idling rough so I did at one point slightly adjust the Rekluse to not grab as aggressively which I thought would fix things but nope. I unplugged my accessories and that didn’t help either.
Bob, the organizer warned us that the first 500 yards hill climb was the worst. If you make it up that big-ass hill, the rest of the ride will be easy going. The thing is, New Hampshire has been rained on every day for the last 2 weeks. It was a mud pit. 18" deep holes that you couldn’t go around, water crossings 60’ long 3 feet deep. It was going to be a very rough 100 mile loop but we were all excited. Everyone made it up the hill, even Jesse on his Tenere 700. He did an amazing job on that huge bike with basic 50/50 knobbies (Anakee Wild) that were a harder compound for street grip and not very gummy. He kicked a lot of big rocks down the hill on his ascent.
Neil, Harry and Jesse ready to ride
Neil, Harry and Jesse ready to ride
I dropped the bike at low speed onto some soft mud. The bike was fun, I turned it back on and it ran for a few seconds and stalled. Then it wouldn’t start. We were a hundred yards or so from a road so we spent about 15 minutes on the trail trying to troubleshoot it but no luck. We took turns pushing the bike to the road and Harry / Jesse went back to camp to get a trailer. 20 miles into three days of 100 mile rides and my bike was dead :(
Off the group goes down the trail while I wait for a trailer
Off the group goes down the trail while I wait for a trailer
The nearest dealer that services Husqvarna Motorcycle under warranty had an open appointment August 15th. We took the bike back to camp and emptied the tanks thinking it was bad gas and our assumption is that it was. It was not slick gasoline, it was more watery and didn’t have a very strong gasoline smell. I had filled up at a side of the road middle-of-nowhere gas station in Vermont and made the fatal mistake of using mid-grade which is the least used gasoline. We checked every connector, re-connected hoses, reset the ECU, flipped the switches a few times, pulled the battery and checked the side-stand connector. Everything was in fine shape and nothing was out of whack except the bike would turn over but not fire.
Trailering the 701 Enduro back to camp
Trailering the 701 Enduro back to camp
Jesse and I staring at the 701 wondering what it could be
Jesse and I staring at the 701 wondering what it could be
So, that was that. No point in taking it home and trying more fixes. I dropped it off at the dealer who said they’d try to get it looked at before mid-august but no promises. The bike was dead and I was bike-less. No point in sticking around so I packed it up and went home on Friday afternoon. $80, three hours of driving and two days off work for 20 miles of riding. Huge bummer.
The BMW MOV was having their Lake Carmi campout on Friday & Saturday night but it was going to rain all weekend (still raining as I write this on Sunday) so I just stayed home all weekend. Cooking, cleaning and getting ready for the week ahead. It isn’t a wasted weekend but I would have preferred to be out on the bike. There’s always next year.
This means both my new truck, my new bike and my VW Golf are all in the repair shop for the foreseeable future. Truck is waiting on parts, Golf needs a new center console and the bike is waiting for a technician to skip their lunch break
Hit & Run someone backed into my truck and didn't leave a note. $4,000 in damage (see tailgate)
Hit & Run someone backed into my truck and didn't leave a note. $4,000 in damage (see tailgate)
I did put together a video for this weekend that I think you’ll enjoy. I want to sit down and talk about my 10,000 YouTube subscribers and the future of this channel but for now, I hope you enjoyed a ‘last 3 weeks’ catchup.
My Husqvarna 701 Enduro Died at the NEAR Rally 2021 @ Field & Forest NH
My Husqvarna 701 Enduro Died at the NEAR Rally 2021 @ Field & Forest NH
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Adam Chandler

This is my weekly ramblings about motorcycling. For the most part, these will be editorials you will have seen in regional and national motorcycle publications or longer posts and ride-reports as seen on ADVRider.com. Occasionally, I will post content here that is exclusive to paid subscribers and eventually be made free for all. Thank you.

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