Custom: Boyko Racing Husqvonda
June 21, 2011
I’d heard of BoykoRacing’s mythical beast for weeksbefore actually seeing or riding it. Wes told me “it’s the fastestbike he’s ever ridden and Uncle Ted’s an ex-racer.” Ted himselftold me that it’s got a 2mm overbore, gigantic pipe, killer tuneand special blend of gas in the tank. Now, neither he nor Wes areall that familiar with my dirty past, but suffice it to say thatwhen someone says they’ve built a really gnarly dirt bike orsupermoto, I’m skeptical.
When I worked for ThumperRacing, my job was basically to think of what would make a goodmotor package, figure out how to technically execute it, help totune it both in the real world and on the engine dyno and furtherrefine (different cam, higher or lower compression, etc) it untilwe believed that it couldn’t get any better.
It sounds like a pretty neat andeasy thing to do until you start thinking about that real worldtesting. How, exactly, do you test the powerbands of the mostpowerful MX bikes in existence at wide-open throttle in every gear?Well, you need a guy to ride the bike from idle to redline, atwide-open throttle, in every gear. I was that guy and I’ve riddensome seriously fast bikes. KTM 530s with our 610 kit. 525s thatwere taken out to 640 with giant sized pistons and stroker cranksthat weighed less than the stuff the factory put in there, 15:1compression and cam lobes that looked almost comically huge. Inever got good at holding a wheelie, but I can certainly use therear brake to manage them.
This survival technique came inhandy while riding the BoyKoRacing Husqvonda. Full disclosure: Inever learned how to properly wheelie. I understand all theconcepts, use the clutch to get it up, use the rear brake tobalance it on the rear wheel, don’t fall over sideways, staysmooth, but I’ve never tried to apply them. When I was asked towheelie for the camera, what I ended up doing was full throttleacceleration runs in the first four gears and letting the bike doits thing. What it lacked in endless smooth power compared to theold TR bikes, it more than made up for with scary two-stroke torqueand wheelies. Have I mentioned that this thing is ridiculously fast?
After flying by the cameras withthe front wheel in the air and the throttle twisted to the stop,I’d grab a hand a handful of front brake and stomp on the rear forgood measure–my boot was there anyway, still covering it to keepthe front end from coming up too high. Sometimes, this resulted inwicked stoppies. Other times, it was big brake slides. Neithercould be described as relaxed or low key. Then again, the kind ofperson who wants a CR500 for the street probably isn’t looking forthose traits.
What goes into building a bikelike this? Well, a Husky 510 supermoto comes from the factory witha 501cc four-stroke single. It’s nothing to laugh at. Depending onwho you ask, it makes up to 60bhp. That’s if you don’t ask me, Iknow that to be complete bullshit. Figure 48bhp. It showed up atBoyko Racing with this motor, albeit in broken non-runningcondition. The bike’s owner asked, probably as a joke, if theycould just put a CR500 motor in it. That’s where things got weird.Boyko Racing saw no problem with this, sourced a CR500 motor andproceeded to hack up the frame to make it fit.
Relax, Uncle Ted knows what he’sdoing. If you didn’t know what you were looking at, you’d assumethe frame came from the factory that way. The welds are perfect,the bends are extremely smooth and the whole thing waspowder-coated black once it was confirmed that the CR500 motor,pipe and intake boot fit. That motor has been treated to anaggressive port job, Pro-X 2mmover-bore piston from LASleeve andcustom lighting coil. The pipe is also a custom unit that beenbuilt to match the porting. The aluminum airbox, visible from therear of the bike, is a custom solution as well. It doesn’t soundlike much work, but then again, there really isn’t all that much toa two-stroke. A fresh piston, good port job and a pipe that’smatched to the porting is all that’s needed to turn a CR500 into afire breathing monster.
Why not just build a CR500supermoto? Well, for starters, the customer owned a Husky. Theframe and suspension on a CR500 isn’t exactly top-notch either.Also, this bike has a license plate. Good luck getting one of thosefor a CR500.
With a four-stroke, the stockHusky donor bike weighed in at 260lbs. Figure a reasonablereduction in weight from the Honda motor, plus an increase inpower. Stock CR500s make 64bhp, but with these mods, I’d hazard aguess that this one’s making around 72bhp.
UncleTed attempts to start the Husqvonda. You can see how excited Seanis to ride it.
My time on the bike was short andsadly didn’t include any knee-dragging canyon or racetrack action.Talking later in the shop, I learned that it wasn’t actually doneyet. Up next was a thorough redo of the suspension and a moremodern carburetor to make it easier to start. There’s also thatracetrack action. Uncle Ted invited us to join them at Grange,where I usually race my XR100, to ride the Husqvonda in a moreappropriate environment. I can’t wait.
Located in Costa Mesa, BoykoRacing specializes in the kind ofdirty work and custom builds that other shops won’t touch. They dothat surprisingly cheaply too.