How To Turn A Husqvarna 510 into a vintage-style dirt bike

It looks like a vintage dirt bike, but it is actually a cleverly disguised modern-day Husqvarna 510.
If this cute little number whipped past you out on the trails, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was a vintage Husky resto. But you might have a hard time keeping up.

It’s actually a 2005-model Husqvarna 510—built to a very unusual brief by Tony Prust of Analog Motorcycles. Hence the name: ‘Double Take.’

It looks like a vintage dirt bike, but it is actually a cleverly disguised modern-day Husqvarna 510.
Tony’s client, Doug Wheeler, is a massive fan of vintage dirt bikes. It’s the more exotic marques that tickle his fancy: Ossa, Maico, Bultaco and, naturally, Husqvarna.

“Unfortunately the years have gotten the best of Doug, and kick starting those old machines is no longer an option,” says Tony. “He saw a Photoshopped rendering of a more modern Husqvarna, made to look like an old 70’s era Husky, and sent it to me.”

It looks like a vintage dirt bike, but it is actually a cleverly disguised modern-day Husqvarna 510.
Starting with a brand new Husky donor would have sent the budget through the roof. Plus the new, tall machines are unsuited to Doug’s height.

“He was interested in starting with a Honda CRF250X. But I wasn’t willing to take a Honda and make it look like a Husky—I have standards!” says Tony. “So I talked Doug into letting me hunt down a Husqvarna donor bike. A month or so later I located an SM 510R in pretty good shape.”

It looks like a vintage dirt bike, but it is actually a cleverly disguised modern-day Husqvarna 510.
For starters, converting the 510 from motard to scrambler meant a new set of wheels. Tony put a call in to Warp 9 to lace a set up in proper dirt bike sizes: a 21-inch front and an 18-inch rear.

The next trick was lowering the Husky enough to suit Doug, but still retain decent suspension travel. That meant ditching the stock mono-shock setup in favor of a custom dual shock arrangement. (Which, as a bonus, helped with the classic look.)

It looks like a vintage dirt bike, but it is actually a cleverly disguised modern-day Husqvarna 510.
Analog beefed up the subframe and fabricated mounts for the new shocks—a one-off set of G3-S fitments from Race Tech. The forks went to them too, and came back two inches lower.

“Doug has no intention of jumping the machine, but rather enjoying some mild single track and trail riding,” explains Tony. “So the stance, suspension and height are all where they need to be for him.”

It looks like a vintage dirt bike, but it is actually a cleverly disguised modern-day Husqvarna 510.
Getting the right look for the bodywork was critical. So Tony roped in Craig of Rod Smith Customs to help build a vintage-style aluminum fuel tank, and a matching set of fenders.

The radiators had to be bumped forward a tad to accommodate the new tank, which mounts directly to the SM’s stock tabs. “A bit of a challenge—but it turned out really well,” says Tony.

It looks like a vintage dirt bike, but it is actually a cleverly disguised modern-day Husqvarna 510.
Keeping with the vintage motif, Tony made a couple of number plates to cover up the stock air box and new subframe. The seat pan was shipped off to Alligator Bob’s, and came back as a simple vinyl affair—but with custom foam and gel padding for long days in the saddle.

The 53hp single cylinder engine was solid. It was just treated to a good service, and a couple of case covers were powder coated black. The exhaust system is a modified Arrow two-in-one header setup, mated to a Cone Engineering muffler.

It looks like a vintage dirt bike, but it is actually a cleverly disguised modern-day Husqvarna 510.
The finish is what you’d expect from Analog—top shelf. The throwback, two-tone paint comes from Kiel’s Kustoms, and the silver bits are polished aluminum. There’s a Bates-style headlight up front with a hand-made grill, along with a Trail Tech Vapor speedo.

An Analog Motor Goods ‘Revolver’ taillight keeps things legal, along with well a full set of well hidden LED turn signals. The skid plate is from Flatland Racing, the foot pegs are from Warp 9, and the tires are Shinko 244s.

It looks like a vintage dirt bike, but it is actually a cleverly disguised modern-day Husqvarna 510.
And in case you were wondering, Tony says “Yes, the mirrors work. Yes, it gets dirty. And yes, it’s a blast to ride. Fully street legal too!”

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It looks like a vintage dirt bike, but it is actually a cleverly disguised modern-day Husqvarna 510.