We take a look back at the Swedish manufacturer’s story ahead of the EWC GP of Greece.
As the Enduro World Championship reaches the penultimate event of the 2013 season with this weekend’s GP of Greece, it marks a poignant time for Husaberg’s official factory team.
Following the acquisition of Husqvarna from BMW by Pierer Industries AG, it’s been decided that Husaberg and Husqvarna will be reunited. In other words, Husqvarna will enter a positive new era by combining its own rich heritage with Husaberg’s state-of-the-art technology.
For 2014, the Husaberg Factory Team will be no more, effectively rebranded as Husqvarna. Redbull.com takes a chronological look back at some of the standout moments from the brand’s decorated 25 year history.
1988 – The Beginnings
Named after a Swedish lakeside hamlet, Husaberg motorcycles were born in the late eighties. A shed and the desire of two former Husqvarna engineers to build the ultimate off-road dirt bike was all it took to get the company off the ground.
1991 – Double Delight
It didn’t take long for Husaberg to make their mark on the World Enduro Championship scene. In 1991 they asserted themselves as serious contenders and picked up two constructers titles, with Kent Karlsson winning on the Husaberg FE350 and Jaroslav Katrinak on the Husaberg FE501.
1995 – 1998 (The Joel Smets Era)
From 1995 to 1998, Husaberg enjoyed a golden era of motocross as Joel Smets collected three world titles. Signing the Belgian in 1995, he immediately repaid them with the 500cc World Motocross Championship. Only a shock defeat by Kiwi Shane King in 1996 prevented Smets and Husaberg claiming four consecutive world crowns.
2003 – Acquired by KTM in 1995, it wasn’t until 2003 that the Swedish brand moved production from their homeland to Mattighofen in Austria.
2008 – The year Husaberg revolutionised their four-stroke range by adopting the radical 70-degree forward tilting engine.
2008 – After collecting two Junior Enduro World Championships, Sweden’s Joakim Ljunggren’s arrival into the senior ranks was marked with immediate success at the opening round of the season. A home win for a Swedish rider on a Swedish bike in the premier Enduro 2 category.
2011 - Adding two-stroke machinery into their model range for 2010, Husaberg rocketed to success the following year in the capable hands of Graham Jarvis. Winning The Tough One, Hell’s Gate, Red Bull Romaniacs, Red Bull Sea to Sky and the Roof of Africa, Husaberg dominated the Hard Enduro scene.
2012 – Just four years after introducing their 70-degree engine, Husaberg announced it would be phased out of production for 2013. But not before enjoying an incredible 2012 season. Claiming the Enduro 2 and Enduro Junior World Championships with Pela Renet and Mathias Bellino, Husaberg signed off on the 70-degree forward titling cylinder designed engine in the best possible way.
2013 – Jamie McCanney ensured Husaberg’s final year in the Enduro World Championship will be one to remember as the Manx youngster secured the Enduro Youth Cup title at the GP of Romania. Only time will tell if further success will come Husaberg’s way…