pension, trying to make it settle down lower and kick less.
We also took out a little preload. In the end, that didn’t
really help the bike in whoops, and it caused other issues,
so we returned to our original settings.
We also tried to make the KTM softer and more
Husaberg-like. Taking away compression damping was
fairly effective, but in the end, it was never as cushy and
sweet as the ’Berg. As you might imagine, the KTM was
a much more effective bike on the track. We entered a
GP on the bike, which is a 50-minute, motocross-type
race around a seven-mile course, for those of you in the
east. In that situation, we loved the XC’s suspension. In
fact, we liked it better than that of the 250SX motocross
bike that we tested in the November 2012 issue. The
XC’s suspension components are the same as the SX’s,
but with softer valving.
A few observations about both bikes: Neither has a
spark arrestor. That’s kind of inconvenient, but under-
standable considering that neither is EPA certified for use
on public lands. They are red sticker bikes (competition
only) in California. The Husaberg has a (weak) headlight
and a (small) odometer. The KTM has neither, but it can be
outfitted with lights. Both bikes have a hidden ignition
curve that can be accessed with an accessory switch. The
default setting is the “hot” curve. Based on experience,
we almost always prefer this setting.
We love the electric starter. Oddly enough, it takes more
juice to turn a two-stroke than a four-stroke, so the battery
has to be on top of its game to do the job. The good news
is that if you need the kickstarter in the morning, you
won’t need it later in the day. Despite having different
number plates and shrouds, the gas tanks of the two
bikes are the same. They’re good for about 40 miles of
KNOW YOUR PLACE
To sum it up, the Husaberg is a purebred. It’s a trail bike,
pure and simple. It will go on the track if you ask politely, but
it won’t be happy there. The KTM is more of a team player.
It’s made to follow the Husaberg anywhere, but it will also
line up and go racing on a motocross track. It is at a distinct
disadvantage against 450 motocross bikes, but at least a
one-bike 300 owner isn’t limited to the trail.
Our thinking is that the real 300 buyer won’t care about
motocross or even racing. He’s going to jump onto the
’Berg with his eyes wide open and live happily ever after.
The only problem will be finding one. If there are no
Husaberg dealers nearby, a KTM 300XC-W can certainly
do all the same things. And, let’s be honest, the KTM
300XC can too. It just does them differently. ;
The Husaberg TE300 weighs 231
pounds without fuel and sells for
$8299. The KTM 300XC weighs 232
pounds and sells for $8299.