Got a Husky and itching to race? We know the feeling – and frankly, these bikes are built so well that you can probably enter your first rally without much prep. On the other hand, a few essential Husqvarna 701 mods for rally racing can be game-changing in terms of performance and handling.
Below, we list some of our favorite Husky 701 mods to take your riding to the next level.
Unleashing the Potential of Husqvarna 701 Mods
The Husqvarna 701 holds a special place in the hearts of riders who crave both power and versatility. This lightweight and agile beast is a true gem on trails and tracks alike. However, when it comes to the intense world of rally racing, a few strategic modifications can elevate your Husqvarna 701 from impressive to extraordinary.
Let’s delve into the essential modifications that can turn your 701 into a formidable competitor on any terrain.
1. Suspension Enhancements for Ultimate Control
At the core of conquering rough and varied terrain lies superior suspension. While the Husqvarna 701 comes equipped with capable suspension, customization to match your racing style is essential. Upgrading your bike’s suspension with aftermarket components designed for the 701’s dynamics ensures a perfect balance of comfort and precision. Whether navigating challenging rocky trails or tackling sandy stretches, optimized suspension guarantees a responsive ride and enhanced control, allowing you to glide over obstacles with confidence.
One way to go about it is to simply change the springs and revalve the shock to adjust for your weight; however, the suspension is one of the most impactful bike mods you can do, so getting a new, custom suspension set for your Husky, budget allowing, is your best bet.
2. Rally Navigation Tower: Guiding Your Journey
The essence of rally racing is precision navigation. Outfitting your Husqvarna 701 with a rally navigation kit is a strategic move that goes beyond aesthetics. This modification doesn’t just accommodate crucial navigation instruments; the layout positions your navigation tools within easy reach, empowering you to navigate complex routes without diverting your attention from the trail. Our recommendation is a CarbonFOX navigation setup that’s sturdy, reliable, and easy to install. We love using Carbon Fox navigation towers because of their excellent design, great quality, and exceptional durability along with light weight.
3. High-Performance Exhaust System
Power is the heartbeat of racing, and upgrading your Husqvarna 701’s exhaust system can significantly amplify its performance. Swapping out the stock exhaust for a high-performance alternative enhances power delivery and optimizes exhaust gas flow, resulting in improved horsepower and torque. Besides boosting performance, this modification also contributes to weight reduction, enhancing your bike’s agility and overall handling.
Finally, the Husqvarna 701 OEM exhaust generates a lot – and we mean A LOT – of heat, and that can be an issue for riding comfort.
In our experience, Arrow, Akrapovic, or Wings slip-on exhaust systems are all a great choice.
4. High-Capacity Air Filter System: Breathing Easy
Dusty trails, varied terrains, and challenging weather conditions demand an efficient air filtration system. Equipping your Husqvarna 701 with a high-capacity air filter system designed for extreme conditions is a wise choice. This modification ensures that your engine breathes easily, even in the harshest environments.
An airbox is a well-known weak point of the Huskies. Replacing the stock airbox with a Rade Garage, Rottweiler, or Carbon Fox airbox will save you a lot of grief down the road. Finally, Rally-Raid offers a great fuel filler adaptor that can help prevent dust and debris from entering the engine; Guglatech makes fuel filters that protect against contaminated fuel and dirt.
5. Extended Fuel Range: Conquer the Unknown
In the world of rally racing, covering long distances is a necessity. Enhance your Husqvarna 701’s endurance with an extended fuel range modification. By incorporating larger fuel tanks or auxiliary tanks, you empower yourself to venture into uncharted territories without fuel constraints. This modification provides a vital advantage, allowing you to focus on your racing strategy without worrying about running low on fuel.
In our experience, if you’ve got the Rade Garage airbox, you can add a storage box or a ~6L auxiliary fuel tank under the seat in place of the bulky OEM airbox. Alternatively, Carbon Fox offers a good solution for side tanks similar to those on a KTM 450 Rally Replica.
6. Rally Seat for Endurance and Comfort
Endurance is a critical factor in rally racing, where hours of continuous riding test both your skills and your physical comfort. A rally seat tailored for the Husqvarna 701 is a strategic modification that ensures you’re race-ready for extended periods. Additionally, the rally seat’s grippy surface keeps you securely in place, allowing you to navigate the twists and turns of the trail with confidence.
7. Keeping It Cool
Adding cooling system improvements to the list of your Husqvarna 701 mods will prevent your engine from overheating – a frequent occurrence in desert races – and keep it running at lower temps when you’re out there battling dunes in 45-C degree weather.
Some of the most popular cooling system mods for the Husky 701 are replacing water cooler hoses with Samco (made from silicon), setting the radiator or fan sensor to kickstart the fan at a lower temp (around 80C instead of factory-set 95C), and using high-performance coolant (think Motorex Coolant M5.0).
8. Wheel Abuse
What’s wrong with stock Husqvarna 701 wheels? Honestly, nothing, but if you intend to use and abuse your bike at intense rallies long-term, aftermarket wheels like HAAN or Warp9 will last you longer thanks to reinforced spokes and a cush drive that dampens the stress to your gearbox and other parts.
9. Clutch Slave Trouble
The Husky’s single-cylinder engine is a beautiful piece of artwork, but it does have one fatal flaw: the clutch slave. Prone to leaks and worse, the 701 clutch slave can cause a problem where the clutch system fails to disengage, and if that happens, you’re left with an unusable clutch. If you’ve missed the KTM/Husqvarna recall of 2020 (caused by the widespread slave clutch issues), it’s best to replace your existing clutch slave cylinder with an aftermarket Oberon to prevent failure.
10. Teething Issues
Want more torque for those steep hill climbs and technical terrain? Replacing your rear sprocket with an aftermarket one that has 48 to 50 teeth will deliver that – plus more power on the low end without affecting your speed up to the 145 km/h mark.
11. The Right Rubber
Mousses or tubes? If you’re hellbent on racing, forget tubes: punctures cost way too much precious time. Running bib mousses means you won’t get flat tires, and our favorites include MEFO MOM 21-BIG (front) paired with MEFO MOM 18-4 (rear).
As for the tire selection, there’s no shortage of options out there, and it’s a very individual choice. However, we prefer MEFO H-400, Metzeler MC360 Mid-Hard, Motoz Tractionator RALLZ, and Michelin Desert/Baja, or Michelin Tracker for superior grip and traction on hard terrain.
Even if you’re not going to race, a good quality skid plate is a must when it comes to Husqvarna 701 mods. Flying rocks can damage the underside of your bike, not to mention all the bumps and hard obstacles you may hit; do yourself a favor and install a sturdy, aluminum-based bash plate on your bike for a damage-free rock’n’rolling along the trails.
13. Rally Footpegs
While the Husky is a well-designed motorcycle giving you that “magic carpet float” feel on just about any terrain, you can improve the handling even further with a better riding position and more control of your rear wheel by means of rally footpegs. Designed specifically for dirt riders and rally racers who spend long hours standing up, rally footpegs have a wide surface area, offer better grip, and more comfort for your feet – which is no small feat in a rally setting where fatigue can be a major factor. Sturdy and featuring robust studs that won’t fail under any conditions, rally footpegs are placed slightly lower and backward giving the rider a better standing position and better control of the bike.
In the world of enduro and rally racing, every advantage counts. These Husqvarna 701 mods can unlock the full potential of your bike: elevate its suspension, amplify its power, and enhance your riding comfort.
Questions? Comments? Husky 701 mods we haven’t mentioned? Let us know in the comments below!