aren’t going to stall it unless you do something dumb. On
top, it doesn’t have the crazy surge of the 450 motocross
bikes, but in sheer acceleration, it isn’t far off. Despite having so much power, the 501 is manageable, even in harsh,
rough conditions like those in Sweden.
HUSQVARNA TE300 OFF-ROAD BIKE: We expected
this to be our favorite bike, and we were right. We love the
KTM version, but once again, the Husky has a different
personality because of the linkage rear suspension. The TE
settles lower in the rear and provides a very relaxed ride.
As far as its serious off-road capability, it would be impossible to do better. The 300 has a motor that can go down
to zero rpm without stalling and then snap to attention at a
moment’s notice. The electric start is icing on the cake.
The TE250 is a near twin to the 300. It revs a little faster
and has power higher in the rpm range, but we love it just
as much. In the U.S., the 300 and 250 are sold as competition bikes just like other two-strokes. That is mostly for
California, which won’t issue a green sticker.
HUSQVARNA FE350 OFF-ROAD BIKE: If you’re a two-stroke lover who thinks that no four-stroke can ever be as
good off-road, this particular bike might shake your religious beliefs. It acts sort of like a two-stroke, but with a
super-long rev zone that goes higher and higher. It has a
snappy, light feel down low like a two-stroke, but it gets
traction like a four-stroke. On the flip side, it’s easier to
stall than the TE300, and it’s still heavier. The FE250 is
nearly identical; it just has less power. In Sweden, the 350
was more fun than the 250 four-stroke, but we have to
admit that the power would sometimes get in the way on
the slippery rocks. The 250 was easier to ride in the toughest conditions.
OTHERS PRESENT AND MISSING: The 125cc and
85cc motocrossers were on hand and were virtually identical to their KTM counterparts—the 125’s only real difference is the composite subframe. The line is surprisingly
full, although there are some odd gaps. There’s no 450 off-road four-stroke and no 350 motocrosser for the U.S. And
for now, there are no dual-sport bikes.
We’re still waiting to get some Husky test bikes on these
shores, but it might take some time. Even though the
assembly lines are running, there are housekeeping issues
with dealership territories that have to be worked out. But,
the bottom line is that Husqvarna is alive and kicking, and
it will stay that way for the foreseeable future. ;
For its off-road models, Husqvarna will use linkage rear suspension. KTM does that with the XC line, but the Husky settings are softer.
The most obvious difference between a KTM and a Husky,
aside from graphics and color, is a composite sub-frame/airbox combo. You’ve seen it on Husabergs.
FIRST RIDE: 2014 HUSQVARNA LINE