6000 rpm wasn’t really considered low end. But for a 250F,
that’s the root cellar. The two different powerbands mean you
ride the two bikes differently. The Husky is happy to poke
along at any speed, whereas the KTM seems to always send
urgent messages to go faster. To be fair, if you do ride the
KTM at a casual speed nothing bad will happen, but it seems
like a crime to leave so much performance on the table.
THE EFFORT FACTOR
It isn’t just the KTM motor that asks for more effort. The
suspension makes the same demands. It’s stiffer than the
Husky’s and works better when you hit things harder. The
TXC has soft suspension to match its soft, cushy powerband. It’s very comfortable at a medium speed, and when
you pick up the pace, it gets gradually less accommodating.
The same rocks that are nonfactors at slower speeds make
the front end deflect at race pace. The one environment
where the Husky feels more eager to romp and stomp is in
smooth, tight, twisty turns. Despite being slightly heavier, the
Husky is easier to turn. It settles into corners like a 125.
Where do the two bikes fit in the bigger picture? If you
throw bikes like the Honda CRF250X and the Yamaha
WR250F into the mix, even the Husky seems like a hot-blooded racer. It’s faster, lighter and stiffer than either of
the Japanese bikes. The KTM is just another step faster,
lighter and stiffer.
STUFF TO WORK ON
Any off-road bike is the sum of its parts: The KTM
has incredible brakes, whereas the Husky’s are merely good.
All the KTM’s plastic items are more durable, from the handguards to the tank shrouds. The Husky also has more vulnerable radiator hoses and oil lines. On the Husky side of the
ledger, it has a better clutch feel with a lighter pull, a bigger
gas filler, and is very easy to work on. The Husky has a kickstarter to back up the button. You also have to factor in the
price. The Husky retails for $7599, while the KTM is $8499.
In the end, the two bikes are really aimed in different directions. If you’re a racer who rides the trail, it’s
tough to beat the KTM; you just can’t say no to that big of
a power gap. If you’re a trail rider who occasionally races,
the Husky is a sweet deal. The bike you choose says more
about you than it does about the bike. ;
Even though both bikes are based
on motocross models, the KTM is
much closer to the source.
Husky’s TXC250 is a closed-course bike just like the KTM XC-F. It’s actually much closer in performance to the KTM
250XCF-W, which is imported as an off-road bike with full