One thing that Husky and KTM motocross bikes for
2017 have in common is the new WP AER 48 air fork.
This replaces the much-maligned 4CS spring fork. There’s
a significant weight savings that comes when you ditch
springs. The new Husky tips the official Dirt Bike scale at
212 pounds without fuel. Just for a point of reference, the
Husky two-strokes that we thought were so light back in
the ’80s were over 230 pounds.
RIDE FAST, FLY HIGH
Let’s consider this a new beginning for the 250cc two-stroke motocross bike as a concept. It’s far superior
to anything from the previous era and might just cause
rank-and-file motocross riders in America to rethink the
“four-strokes go faster” mentality. For one thing, it’s fast.
In peak power it’s right in there with a Honda CRF450R.
Even though the Yamaha, KTM and Husky 450s have more
power on tap, most of us agree that those bikes are over
the top in the output department. Usually, a 250 two-stroke
makes you shift like crazy to keep it going because it
doesn’t have as much torque down low or as much rev on
top as a 450. This one, however, comes close. The TC250
has a much wider usable powerband than any 250cc two-stroke MX bike before it. In the hands of a pro motocrosser, it requires no more shifting than a typical 450. Here’s
the hitch, though: most of us aren’t pro motocross riders.
Most of us don’t shift a 450 nearly as much as we should
because we’re lazy, and all that torque allows you to fake
it. On the TC250, there’s no faking it. You have to shift just
as much as a pro. If you try to ride it below the powerband,
the power delivery is jerky and erratic. Welcome to the two-
stroke world. As wide as the TC’s powerband is, it still hits
very hard initially.
There are ways to make the hit a little mellower if you
insist on running at low revs. As mentioned, the power
valve is adjustable in two ways. You can change the preload on the ball-ramp mechanism, which changes the rpm
at which the power valve starts to open, or you can change
another spring that more or less alters when the power
valve finishes opening. Keep in mind that in stock form
the valve operates the way it was intended. If you delay it,
you’ll make the power hit even harder, just later.
Jetting can be another way to alter a bike’s power delivery. This is tricky, because the Mikuni is a new application
for KTM/Husky. It seems to have a very lean spot down low
that resists most easy solutions. On most motocross tracks
you don’t notice it because the lean area is so low, but it
can cause the bike to ping occasionally or surge when you
chop the throttle and pull in the clutch. Check with us at
www.dirtbikemagazine.com as we experiment with more
If you talk to pro riders who have compared 250 two-strokes to 450 four-strokes, the most important difference
isn’t power. Contrary to what you might think, it’s handling.
A big 450 simply holds a line better. The Husky TC250
makes huge progress on that front for several reasons.
2017 HUSQVARNA TC250