Many years ago, Swedish motorcycle brand, Husqvarna, was brought here into the country by dealer group and distributor, Granstar. Offering the brand and its motorcycles at tempting prices, stocks were quickly moving. Soon enough, there were lots of Husqvarna "Husky" motorcycle owners in the Philippines.
Unfortunately, the company faced some difficulties and scandals, later closing its doors for good. This development left Husky owners out in the cold, without parts or aftersales support to maintain their motorcycles. Some had to resort to motorcycle mechanics outside of the few dealerships left. Some parts had to be sourced from the internet, priced typically more expensive than when the dealership network was open.
Thankfully, one man stepped up to the plate.
The aircraft engineer
Six years ago, Helge Hoeck, was assigned in the Philippines as an engineer working for one of the world’s largest aircraft maintenance providers, Lufthansa Technik. Being new to the country, one of the first things he looked for was a motorcycle to get around with during his stay here.
He shares with MotoPinas.com that his choice was a Husqvarna TR 650. It's a 650cc single-cylinder dual-sport model. Who could blame him? The bike was, by far, one of the best dual-sport motorcycles available at the time. It's a perfect weapon to beat Manila’s traffic and it was priced really comparatively cheap for a 650cc motorcycle at the time.
Husqvarna TR 650 Terra/ Strada
The Husqvarna TR 650 is a dual-sport motorcycle produced between 2012 to 2014. At the time of its release, the Husqvarna brand was still owned by BMW Motorrad. As such, it shared some components with the BMW G650GS of the same model years. It is powered by an engine sourced from the Austrian engine manufacturer, Rotax, which specializes in small aircraft engines, go-kart engines, as well as watersport engines and powerplants.
Unfortunately, this model has since been discontinued, and most likely will not be supported by KTM Philippines. Parts can still be sourced from Husqvarnadistributors abroad.
Unfortunately, when Granstar closed its doors, many customers, including Hoeck, were left in limbo when it came to his Husky’s maintenance and aftersales support.
At first, he was at the mercy of mechanics who did not undergo Husqvarna-specific maintenance training.
“Every time I bring my bike to a mechanic, they always come up with a different problem. My bike’s problem had not been solved by any mechanic,” says Hoeck.
A new calling
Being an aircraft engineer by trade, he decided to try and see if he could fix the bike himself. He began reading materials and joining forums abroad related to his bike. Soon enough by reading up and working on the bike based on manufacturer specifications, he was able to become familiar with the Husky and fix the bike's problems on his own. Then, a friend brought his bike to Hoeck’s garage to try and see if Hoeck could solve the bike’s issue too. With Hoeck's familiarity, it was easily fixed.
“That’s where it all started. I was able to fix my bike on my own. Then, a friend came by to have his bike fixed too. I said, ‘I have to take my time since I still have an 8 to 5 job’. 'Yeah, that’s fine,' said my friend.”
The Doctor is in
That friend, told his friends about how Hoeck was able to fix his Husky. Soon enough, word spread in the Husky community and more and more Husqvarna TR 650 motorcycles were coming in. He even received a few BMW 650 Dakars, the bikes being a product of a platform joint venture between Husqvarna and BMW, and thus having similar parts and mechanics.
Hoeck has since retired from working as an aircraft engineer, settled down with his wife, and has dedicated himself to fixing Husqvarna motorcycles.
If there is one thing the Husky Doctor has learned from all his years fixing Huskies, it's that these bikes' maintenance schedule needs to be faithfully followed.
“If you follow the bike’s maintenance schedule, the bike will be your friend. If not, it will give you a lot of headaches,” said Hoeck.
Not surprisingly, Hoeck has earned the nickname, Husky Doctor, thanks to his ability to diagnose and repair every Husqvarna TR650 problem.
If you want to avail of the services of Hoeck for your TR650, just send him a message through his social media profile.