Test Vertemati 495

Test Vertemati 495


The Vertemati brothers’ passionate flirtation with technology has finally had consequences: The serial offshoot of the high-tech factory machine is now available to everyone.

Four-stroke engines currently have a tailwind in the off-road sector, not least due to Yamaha’s YZ 400 F. However, the impetus for the current renaissance of steam hammers came from the small Italian company Vertemati, formerly Husaberg.

With modified Husaberg machines, she was able to achieve her first successes in the half-liter cross-country championship in 1992. Far-reaching technical modifications made the Husaberg more and more an independent product, but series production seemed utopian due to the high technical effort and the limited economic possibilities of the Vertemati brothers. The fact that there is now a production racer is thanks to external donors that the company V.O.R. Motori and want to produce more than 1000 motorcycles in the coming year.
Compared to the factory racers (driving report in MOTORRAD 2/1995), the production branch has hardly changed technically (see box). The seat test confirms the visual impression: The Vertemati is a four-stroke crosser of the classic nature, i.e. long-legged, wide and ergonomically completely different from a two-stroke. You are enthroned above the machine, a real hurdle for those with short legs. The starting procedure is unusual: the kick starter must be kicked forward. No problem after a familiarization phase, but the four-valve engine is not particularly cooperative. The gearshift with the idle below the three gears also takes getting used to, when driving you often fall into the idle trap at first.
The engine is not only the technical but also the driving dynamic highlight. It offers significantly more pressure than a Yamaha, is more gentle than a Husaberg and turns more spontaneously and higher than a Husky. Thanks to the wide speed range and the enormous peak performance, the Vertemati driver can secure an optimal starting position as early as the starting curve. Three courses are enough, on smooth slopes only two are used. For the rest of the race after the start phase, good suspension elements are important, here too the Italo-Crosser is largely convincing. The rear suspension works phenomenally, the Öhlins damper doesn’t let up a bit after half an hour on a mogul slope and provides excellent traction when accelerating. The 50s Marzocchi fork is well coordinated and only cuts through mercilessly in extreme cases.
The lively Yamaha will therefore have a hard time making up for their performance disadvantage. Even if the easier-to-drive Japanese could achieve better lap times, they have to pass a Vertemati first. The only glimmer of hope: The Vertemati requires more physical effort and concentration, which tires you.
Real value is offered for not exactly little money: elaborate technology, exotic materials, noble parts, nicely arranged. Even if not yet perfect: the footrests hang outwards, the kickstarter scrapes along the brake cylinder, the rubber grips are of the cheapest kind. The unprotected manifold scorched the pants during the first test session.
F.azit: The long-legged Vertemati primarily appeals to the classic four-stroke fan who has already moved European material. With two-stroke converters or YZ 400 drivers, the first flirt would hardly turn into a happy relationship.

Most exclusive technology for everyone

The Vertemati is peppered with idiosyncratic, elegantly crafted solutions

High-tech in series – this is the motto of Vertemati. Many of the Italian’s technical refinements can only be admired on extremely expensive factory machines. For example the spur gear drive of the camshaft, the gear halves of which are braced by springs to reduce noise. In contrast to the usual timing chain, the transmission through gear wheels is more precise and speed-stable. The valve seats are made of a super hard beryllium alloy, so there are no adjusting screws on the rocker arms. According to Vertemati, there is no need to correct the game. With the engine installed, the cassette gear allows gears to be exchanged for the purpose of repairing or changing the gear ratio; there are different levels to choose from for the individual gears. Switching between the three- and five-speed version for cross and enduro is also possible quickly. The kick starter is kicked forward, which means more travel because the footrest is not in the way. The housing is made of lightweight magnesium (engine weight 26 kilograms). The clutch is operated hydraulically, so the play on the lever is constant. The frame is screwed together from five parts. Cracks should be prevented by avoiding stress peaks and largely avoiding weld seams. In addition, individual parts of the pipe work can be replaced in the event of damage. The engine sucks in air like a Husaberg through the central box pipe on which the relatively small air filter is located below the seat bench. The swing arm is screwed. The arms are made from a forged part from the swing arm bearing to the axle, which means that there are no sensitive welds. At 116 kilograms (without petrol) the Vertemati is not a featherweight, but it is already absolutely ready to race in series production.

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