UNDER THE HOODS
As we pointed out in the KTM 250XC-F test, that
bike is closer to a full motocross bike than anything else the
company has ever offered for off-road. It has a full motocross
motor but with wider ratios (although both are six-speeds),
softer suspension, handguards, a bigger tank and an 18-inch
rear wheel. The Husky follows pretty much the same plan. It
has the same items setting it apart from the Husky TC250
motocross bike, with several other differences. First, the
Husky motocross bike is kickstart only, whereas the Husky
TXC has an electric starter and a kickstarter. The TXC and
the TC also have different pipes and different EFI mapping.
Finally, the Husky motocross bike is a five-speed, whereas
the TXC is a six-speed. The ratios themselves are the same,
apart from the extra gear on top.
In case you missed the Husky test in our January issue, it
was the most-changed bike in Husky’s line for 2013. It got a
new head with cam followers, along with Keihin fuel injection.
The fork and shock are KYB units. This is the bike that Husky
used to win several E1 World Enduro championships in the
hands of Antoine Meo and Juha Salminen.
MORE DIFFERENT THAN ALIKE
In broad terms, the Husky and KTM sound like they
could be twins. They’re both competition off-road bikes
with six-speeds, electric starters and based on motocross
bikes. But, they have completely different feels. The KTM
is all about racing. The horsepower output alone makes
that much clear. It’s much faster on top. In fact, it forces a
whole new definition of the word “top.” The KTM sets new
rev standards, not only for off-road bikes, but single-cylinder motorcycles of any kind. It revs out to 14,000 rpm and
does most of its best work above the 10,000 rpm mark.
The Husky, on the other hand, isn’t much of a revver. By
11,000 rpm, it has packed its bags and gone home. But
way down around 6000 rpm, it’s stronger than the KTM.
Clearly, there are altered perceptions here. In the old days,
KTM 250XC-F vs.
How can two bikes
that sound so similar
be so different?