Project Husqvarna TE610 Part 3: Nut and Bolt Check
By Dan Barnes

More so than with any other vehicle I've experienced, it's proven necessary to strip all the covers off the Husqvarna TE610 and inspect everything, top to bottom. Every detail is an opportunity for a problem, and buying a brand-new bike would only have gotten me off the hook for a few parts and maybe an oil change. Almost no one part of it took much time or money, but it all needed to be done.

Start by cleaning the bike. If you can't see the parts, you can't tell that something needs more attention. Motul Moto Wash gets most of the bike super clean, super fast. A more aggressive degreaser or solvent may be called for on heavy grease and oils, but Moto Wash is a nice option in between car wash soap and something that will clean the chain.

Kick stand
Husqvarna's mechanism to prevent the bike being ridden with the kick stand down is a peg on the kick stand bolt that causes the return spring to raise the stand automatically whenever it is unweighted. This makes it incredibly inconvenient to handle the bike when you're not riding. Some owners have even had the kick stand drop their bike due to vibration while the engine warmed up at idle.


te610 kick stand
You can use a hack saw and file, but I convinced a friendly machinist to part the peg off the end of the pivot bolt cleanly. With the return spring pulling straight, it holds the kick stand in the down position. While I was in there, I made a HDPE washer from 100 percent post-consumer material (an empty milk jug) to put in the kickstand clevis and take a little bit of the slop out of it.


Schrodinger's Nut
The 38mm-hex nut that holds the primary and balancer drive gears on the end of the crankshaft under the right-side engine case cover was not properly tightened on many TE610s. On some bikes, the nut is nearly finger-loose, on some it moves a little when torqued to the proper value, and on most it is just fine.

If the nut loosens, the Woodruff key that is meant to hold the gear in position on the shaft during assembly has to transmit all the pulsing drive torque and eventually breaks. Once it fails, the gear spins on the shaft. Drive no longer passes to the transmission input shaft, and the balance shaft goes in and out of phase with the crankshaft and piston. The bike alternates quickly between running smoothly as designed and vibrating twice as badly as if there was no balance shaft at all. It's likened to riding on and off a strip of Botts dots on the road, but much more severe. It's "pull over and call a friend with a truck" time.

If the Woodruff key fails, the best case will require pulling the clutch basket off the transmission input shaft so the crankshaft gears can be removed and the key replaced. Fortunately, the Woodruff debris is generally captured by the gears, washer and nut, so it doesn't tend to scatter bits through the engine. The key is a standard size available through normal auto parts sources.

This problem was noticed in 2006 and carried on at least into 2008. I'd consider it a possible problem at least to the end of 610 production, especially given the simplicity of checking it. It's best to take a proactive approach: If you don't know the nut has been torqued correctly, assume it may be loose and get after it.


te610 primary drive nut socket
I used a 1 1/2-in socket (because it was easier to find than a 38mm) and had Mark DiBella of MD Automotive trim it on a lathe so the internal flats extended all the way to the end, giving maximum grip on the thin nut.


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Thursday, February 09, 2012 8:14 AM
Damn, two parts of fixing factory flaws, should've bought a Honda... ;-p

Nice to know what's needed on these things. Now, where's the safety wire I see all over street bikes?
Dan Barnes
Dan Barneslink
Thursday, February 09, 2012 5:24 PM
Go back and read Part 1. Would've bought a Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, etc., if they had ever made a bike like this one and made it street legal.

I own a Yamaha and a Mazda, and have owned Toyotas in the past. The comparison between these and European engineering is something I understand all too well.

I think of the Husky kind of like an E36. If you want to drive one of those hard on the track with good tires and suspension, and be certain not to have really embarrassing/expensive failures, you have to drop both subframes and weld on a bunch of reinforcements, and upgrade/correct a whole bunch of little details throughout the vehicle. But having done that, you end up with a car that works brilliantly, as long as you don't drive it like a spazz (to borrow Dave C's term).

The only safety wire on this bike so far is on the grips. I haven't run into an application yet where a reasonably well-designed joint with an appropriately selected, properly-torqued fastener wouldn't stay together just fine without it. Doesn't mean there aren't some in the world, I just don't own any that I'm aware of.
Thursday, February 09, 2012 10:04 PM
I read part one, hence the smiley after I said you should've bought a Honda.

As I recall, you can't convert dirt bikes to street legal anymore, correct?

And I hear on the European engineering. I've got a VW, after all. That thing is a constant source of torture, and yet is still an amazing car for what it is.
Dan Barnes
Dan Barneslink
Friday, February 10, 2012 6:04 AM
Technically, federal emissions requirements for street bikes began in 1978, I believe. Some states choose to enforce them, some do not. California does. They began enforcing the rules in 2002, everybody freaked out, and an allowance was made to convert models up to 2002 with a cutoff to apply for the license in January 2004. Which is why 2003 and later XR650Rs sold like moldy cupcakes.

If you owned the bike with a plate prior to the cutoff, you're good forever as long as you keep the registration paid. Let it lapse, and you'll end up with a green sticker. Technically, a plate for a bike on the "no fly list" isn't supposed to transfer to a new owner. You might be able to register it and get the plate to transfer initially, but Sacramento checks their lists from time to time and sends registration cancellation letters out to owners. It happened to another writer on this site.

Because the emissions certification rule is a federal requirement, LEOs have the authority to enforce it even if a bike is legitimately plated in another state and actually just visiting. Legally, you could compare it to expecting your medical marijuana prescription to be recognized in every state. It's led to some really bad experiences for people on cross-country dual sport adventures.
Friday, February 10, 2012 7:39 AM
Damn, that sucks. Back in the day, I had dreams of a CR500 2-stroke dual sport. Dead dreams now, apparently.
Dan Barnes
Dan Barneslink
Friday, February 10, 2012 7:45 PM
If you built enough of a frankenbike, well beyond just swapping an engine into another frame, it might be possible to exercise the custom vehicle process for a bike. I've read all the rules and forms carefully and don't see anywhere that bikes are excluded. But a regular, everyday CR500AF won't cut it.
Saturday, February 11, 2012 7:52 AM
True. I've got an SPCN dune buggy, but getting them road legal is a little more difficult. Oh well, that's something that will have to wait until my many other projects are complete...
OMG Its Weasel
OMG Its Weasellink
Saturday, February 11, 2012 10:00 PM
So then ride it already then, gosh!
Will Hampson
Will Hampsonlink
Wednesday, May 21, 2014 2:48 PM
Hey Dan. I was wondering if you ordered bolts one by one from ARP or if they put together a kit for you. I'm restoring a very poorly treated SM610 that is missing bolts left and right which makes finding proper sizes and strengths a nightmare. If no kit is there an icicles chance in hell you would have a order-list somewhere from the ARP buy?
Dan Barnes
Dan Barneslink
Saturday, May 24, 2014 5:51 AM
Funny enough, I did make a list. And for some reason, had already converted it to a jpeg. OCD will do that to you. I don't remember whether I ended up using exactly all of this stuff in these places. There might be one or two I switched out for a different length, but it's a start. One thing to note, in some places, I went 5mm longer than stock, which should be reflected in the list below, in order to have complete thread engagement and maximize the life of the threads in the expensive parts. I am not using the rear foot peg brackets, which I think changes the length and type of bolt required for the rear subframe to frame connection on at least one side. ARP is expensive enough that you're probably best off checking the list against your bike before ordering. There were a few items where I sourced grade 10.9 flange bolts either from Fastenal or the SSJY (I'm a fan of Honda and Toyota OE hardware) because it seemed like a better option. For SHCS, McMaster-Carr sells zinc-flake-coated grade 12.9, which is in general the best anti-corrosion coating you'll find on a carbon steel fastener.

Husky ARP List
Will Hampson
Will Hampsonlink
Monday, June 02, 2014 8:31 AM
Wow thanks Dan. You are a life saver. While checking bolt lengths I noticed my petcock was leaking too. I've been looking for a replacement but the parts diagram for 2004 TE610 showed wire leads for the low fuel gauge (which i believe to be the source of my fuel leak). Anyway, do you know what year that petcock is for? I'm tempting self immolation 1 too many times on this thing.

Also from my memory you haven't made any seat comfort enhancements . . . anything in the pipeline there?

Thanks again for this article. Really interesting and helpful.
Will Hampson
Will Hampsonlink
Monday, June 02, 2014 8:59 AM
Derp. Just remebered the GUTS racing seat you put on. I have a GUTS on mine and it's still brutal. I hear the Renazco is wide and comfy in the back and nice and narrow up front.
Dan Barnes
Dan Barneslink
Monday, June 02, 2014 8:35 PM
I won't have access to my receipt file that has the petcock part number in it for a few days. In mine, the internal rubber gasket that functions as the valve sealing surface was damaged. If yours is really leaking from the wires, you can probably just seal the wires. Others have, and you should be able to find reports on it by searching online. The fuel line routing is a little more crowded with the petcock I have due to the different angle. I like that aspect of the standard one better. It would also be nice to have a low-fuel light. If I did it over again, I might just live with the issues of the standard petcock.

I didn't really consider the Renazco seat due to cost. Seat Concepts also receives good reviews and is much more reasonably priced. I checked out their product at a show, and talked to the owner, who seems like a really great guy. I chose not to go that way because of the greater width of the seat at the rear, which the Renazco also has. I move around a lot on the bike when riding off-road - all the way up on the tank and as far back as I can get. I once tried a wider seat on my mountain bike for greater comfort and nuggin protection, and the bike became basically unridable because I couldn't slide off the back of it when necessary. My impression is that either the Seat Concepts or Renazco would give the same result due to the greater width in the rear. They're probably much better for long days sitting, but for me, if it impedes riding on fun, technical, singletrack trails, it's not going to be on the bike.

As discussed in the section where the Guts seat foam and cover are installed, I believe the issue isn't the width of the seat as much as the design of the seat pan on the big Husky.
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