FORGOTTEN MOTOCROSS TECH: SUPER SECRET HUSQVARNA PROTOTYPES HIDDEN FOR 38 YEARS
Lars Larsson in the background snooping around the race shop of some of his old Husqvarna buddies.
All is well here, but racing is not as much fun in Sweden as at Glen Helen. Here in Sweden I have to race against riders who are 30 or 40 years younger than me, so I keep to the “back of the pack!”
I am sending you some pictures of things that very few people have ever seen. My guess is that it was a hush-hush deal back when the Italians bought Husqvarna and moved it to Italy. These rare prototypes accidentally got left behind in Sweden.
It is a 1983/1984 single-shock prototype. It has a four-speed transmission and a 488cc engine. The second bike is a 1987/1988 Husqvarna CR250 with a one-off new engine. It features a transmission that comes out of the cases without having to remove the engine from the frame. Same thing goes for the complete crankshaft—all you have to do is pull the top-end and the crank comes straight out. To my way of thinking, as a loyal Husqvarna racer, it’s a shame that Husky did not stay in Sweden and put money into the brand. Who knows what they could have done!
These two bikes were made, as we say in Sweden, “behind the barn” without approval from the big chiefs at Electrolux, but from the Husky engineers in their free time! Truly amazing!
This bike was never sold to the public and it wasn’t sold to Cagiva when they bought Husky and moved the factory to Italy.
The banana swingarm enabled the Husky engineers to mounted a longer shock for more stroke on the secret CR500 prototype.
Unlike the eventual single-shock Husky production model, the prototype’s no-link shock was mounted outboard for easier access.
The one-off, sand cast, Husqvarna 250 engine featured a power valve, cassette transmission and oversize cylinder base.
Only one proto 250cc engine was never made and it too was hidden away from the Italians. Never to be seen until today.
The water-cooled engine was quite compact and the power valve was designed to be electric.