Starting in November, the Dirt Rider TE 300 Long Haul machine began a consistent diet of as much off-road riding as I could get away with. It was initially ridden stock except for the needle (lowered one clip) and the fact that the stock pipe and silencer were replaced by an Enduro Engineering pipe with an FMF Q muffler. The bike stayed like this for a little over 200 miles; incidentally, the seat was junk by 150 miles. Soon I found out the Enduro Engineering pipe was no longer made so I switched to a Pro Circuit pipe and 296 silencer. Enduro Engineering sent out one of their standard seats to replace the stock, blown-out unit.The next ride/race I hit up was the Johnny Campbell Christmas GP at a beautiful riding area known affectionately as “The Ranch”. The PC pipe reduced the low-end torque and made the bike a little “pipey”, which suited my style just fine. The EE seat was wonderful in the comfort department and is well built-it bolted right on. I should note here that the front tip on the stock Husaberg seat is rounded and the EE seat is sort of square at the tip so it’s not 100% identical, but this is more of an observation than a gripe.My general thought was the standard suspension was pretty darn good while I was out trail riding but under even light racing conditions with my 260lb frame, things got ugly. The rear bottomed everywhere and the front would “dive” if I had my weight up over the front end. Also, the bike had a minor headshake at high speeds, like 5th and 6th gear. A steering damper is not just desired; it is a MUST for anything over second gear!
The next big ride was over the New Year’s weekend and the only change during this jaunt was to remove the PC KTM 300 pipe and install a PC KTM 250 exhaust. This was a major improvement and put the torque character of the EE pipe back to this bike-most people don’t even know that Pro Circuit makes specific pipes for the 250 and the 300 even though the bikes are near identical. Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s three of my riding buddies bought Husaberg TE 300s. We installed the PC 300 pipe on our resident “Big Guy” expert and he liked the increase power in the upper RPM range and didn’t miss the small decrease in the bottom power. So depending on what kind of power an owner is looking for, they can choose the 300 pipe for more racy power and the 250 pipe for simply monstrous bottom end.After the New Year’s ride I was able to address a few more things on the bike, mainly that Pro Circuit did a complete suspension mod and I added a steering damper. The PC suspension does what head tech Jim ‘Bones’ Bacon always provides: it now rides high in the suspension stroke and doesn’t blow through on the big hits and jump landings. I installed a Fastway 5 steering damper kit and it went on pretty easy with the only complaint being a little dragging of the bearing dust seal cover on the damper post mount. It was so slight that in one ride the drag went away.The next race on the ‘Berg was the January SRA at Glen Helen. With the 250 PC pipe, the PC Suspension and the Fastway 5 steering damper the TE 300 was now a real joy to ride at speed and jump on the MX course (at my level) for a big rider. Now we were starting to have some real fun!
After the SRA race, I decided to be a good Samaritan and loan this bike to world extreme endure star Graham Jarvis for the King of the Motos event. I added two items before he took the bike: an Enduro Engineering aluminum skid plate and Husaberg radiator guards. Since he’s a fair bit lighter than myself, Graham brought his own suspension and tires with mousse inserts. He also added an electric fan to the right radiator, which was a very good idea considering the slow speeds of the race. He didn’t run a thermostat but a switch he could manually turn on if he felt he was in a situation that might boil over the ‘Berg. Graham told me he had never ridden with a steering damper and wanted to remove it. I told him some of the course would be very high speed and I recommend he leave it on….duh! Wisely, he did use the damper and thanked me after the event for keeping it on the bike. Also, Graham raced with an FMF pipe and muffler to suit his power preferences. Overall, the bike was lightly customized to suit his tastes, which may have contributed to the fact that he waxed the competition at the event. Kyle Redmond, who finished second behind Graham was also riding a borrowed Husaberg TE 300…these bikes must be magical at the top level!After Winning the King of the Motos, the bike was in pretty good shape. The skid plate was bent and scraped but did its job as the frame and engine stayed in one piece. The right foot peg received a very small bend and it is time for a new chain and sprockets, which is expected as the bike has acquired a lot of hours. Right now the Husberg is now prepped for the Nevada 200. It has the PC pipe and suspension re-installed, new Dunlop tires wrapping the blue rims and the engine and a fresh air filter. Some new items to be tested at the Nevada 200 will be a Trail Tech headlight and a Renthal Twin Ring rear sprocket with a DID O-ring chain.Before rolling out to the Nevada 200 the total hours are 22.5 with 353 miles ridden. I’ve been running Honda Pro-Oils HP-2 at 50:1 and Honda HG gear oil for the transmission. The ole’ girl seems happy enough so far considering the wide variety of riding she’s seen, but we are nowhere near done. Expect more updates in the near future as we continue to put the ‘Berg through its paces and discover more about this fine motorcycle. Until then, long live the two stroke!