and foul plugs if they weren’t cleaned out with an occasional high-speed run
through the gears. The KTM/Husaberg motor isn’t like that. It needs to clear its
throat once in a great while, but fouling a plug is unheard of.
On occasion, you might still get a faint flashback to the days of two-strokes behaving badly. The jetting on the two 300s is identical, and both
have a distinct lean feel. The motors idle with uneven surges, and you get a
little detonation when you put them under a heavy load. Temperature and
altitude also have a dramatic effect on both bikes. On chilly mornings (in the
40s), the detonation is more noticeable. At altitudes over 5000 feet, it goes
away entirely. If you ride in extreme conditions, mixing a little race gas into
your brew isn’t a bad idea. The stock jetting really is perfect for most situations, but if your whole world revolves around ice racing at sea level, then
As far as peak power goes, the 300 falls, as you might expect, somewhere
between a 250F and a 450. On a dyno, a 300 two-stroke makes around 45
horsepower and a 450 makes 50 horsepower. The real difference is how long a
four-stroke carries that peak. The KTM and the ’Berg make their power and go
home, whereas a four-stroke keeps on revving, creating a long, usable powerband. That means a 450 is more effective climbing hills and in other situations
where you might not be able to shift up or down to chase the power peak. On
flat ground, though, it really makes no difference. A 300 can hang with a 450 as
long as you don’t miss your shift points.
HUSABERG VS. KTM
Once you understand that both these bikes have the same role in life as
anti-thumpers, you can explore the differences between them. They have
very different personalities. First of all, the two motors demonstrate how
important ignition timing is to the way a bike runs. You would swear that the
Husaberg has a flywheel the size of a truck tire, whereas the KTM feels
The electric starter is the best thing
that’s ever happened to the two-stroke.
All of the compression damping adust-ment is on the left side of the Husaberg
Any 300 two-stroke is a trail-loving machine,
and the Husaberg demonstrates it.