Twist and go !

Though the Husky collection has continued to grow, this is something a bit different. Picked it up in the car park at Telford from Richard, who along with his son James run RJP Motorcycles in Oxfordshire. Like the other importers they have some good stock, but based on the pictures seen and bike purchased it tends to be of good quality. Had a choice of 2 360 Autos and plumped for this one as although the frame was rusty it hadn’t been buggered around with as the other, which had a rear brake lever placed on the bars. Husqvarna made Automatics from 1976 through to 1982 having responded to a request from the Swedish army to develop a bike that could be ridden by a new recruit within a week.

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They use a centrifugal clutch with 4 speeds selected automatically, so it is really twist and go. Not intending to strip the bike straight away so details on its operation will (hopefully) remain obscure for a while. Operation is relatively straightforward, with a centre-of-the-bars mounted clutch lever being engaged for kickstarting and when the engine is warmed up, it can released. Forward motion is obtain by simply twisting the throttle, with drive disengaged when the throttle is shut off. This means there is no engine braking, which might mean that you will be a little hot into the corners on some occasions.

The bike fired up 3rd kick, which was bit unfortunate as this was in the hall at Telford as we were clearing up on the Sunday. A significant shock was obtained from kill switch and it was stopped by removing the plug lead. Fired up back in Wales and it started easily again (it has a Mikuni carb conversion, probably a period modification) and a couple of minutes, I let the clutch out and twisted the throttle to be pleasantly surprised by solid forward motion. A quick test up the lane proved that the higher gears were engaged and that I could look forward to a more solid test in a field somewhere. A bit of a top end rattle, so the bore is probably a bit worn, but still good enough for a race or two I would think. The only problem with the bike is that it looks a bit tatty so a strip down to paint the frame before racing would be worthwhile.

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Looking forward to getting this out for a spin and the Gentle One Enduro run by the Narberth Club on the 4th April might be a good place to try it out.

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