2017 Husqvarna TE 250 and 300 Review | First Impression

More Is More

The Husky TE 250 and TE 300 are all-new models with all-new engines, new frames (adapted from the newest motocross frame), and all-new WP suspension components. The engines are claimed to have 50% less vibration, and the new frames alone are said to be 1.3 pounds lighter than the previous frame, and the suspension is the new Xplor 48 fork and DCC shock (the shock itself is almost a pound lighter than the previous shock).

2017 Husqvarna TE 250 and 300 First Impression
The 300 shines in the soft sand where the extra power does not go unnoticed.Photo Courtesy of Husqvarna

Husqvarna wanted to show off their bikes where their brand started, so they flew some riders to Sweden to be the first to try out the new TE 250 and 300. Before we get into how they work, some more details:

The new engines have new crankshafts and counter balancers as well as a new twin-valve powervalve and a Mikuni carburetor in place of the Keihin. The new frame has steel tubes that are 6mm wider and 2mm lower and give a claimed 20% more torsional rigidity while longitudinal stiffness is increased by 30%. The head stays are new, too, and laterally mounted. The pegs are unique to the off-roaders and 6mm higher than on the MX bikes, and the frames comes with mounting tabs and a new composite skidplate.

2017 Husqvarna TE 250 and 300 First Impression
Mother nature provided rain a few days prior to our trip, the conditions were absolutely perfect for the test day.Photo Courtesy of Husqvarna

The 4CS fork is replaced by the new Xplor 48 fork from WP. It is an open cartridge design with a coil spring in each side. Compression is adjusted on the left fork tube and rebound is adjusted on the right. The fork also has external spring preload adjusters. The shock is the new DCC unit, also from WP, running with linkage (the linkage is also new from the 2016 bike).

2017 Husqvarna TE 250 and 300 First Impression
The added power of the 300 made it easy to lift the front wheel over the bumps.Photo Courtesy of Husqvarna

Both models are e-start with kickstart back up, and the electric starter is new and mounted below the engine. A nice detail is the bike’s subframe can be removed without removing any wiring.

2017 Husqvarna TE 250 and 300 First Impression
The 250 required a little more clutch action coming out of the corners.Photo Courtesy of Husqvarna

Test ride: Husky provided us with a 10 mile course that consisted of single track, a sandy motocross style track, and an off camber grass section to finish off the loop. The variety of terrain was great to test the bikes and get a baseline feel for the new machines.

2017 Husqvarna TE 250 and 300 First Impression
Sweden has no shortage of supplying a beautiful backdrop for photos.Photo Courtesy of Husqvarna
2017 Husqvarna TE 250 and 300 First Impression
I’m not sure who put these semi tires on the trail, but I did enjoy jumping them every lap.Photo Courtesy of Husqvarna

I started out on the 250, and I noticed quickly just how easy the bike was to ride compared to the previous year two-strokes. The motor pulled smoothly and had a very tractable power. The bike didn’t have that aggressive snap of mid-range that is often associated with 250cc 2 strokes. Instead it had an easy to ride package that was well suited for the trail conditions and somewhat limited traction that the Swedish dirt provided. The bike felt light and nimble and was extremely easy to maneuver on the single track. The new DCC shock and Xplor fork did an awesome job at smoothing out the little bumps and providing a ride that provided both traction and comfort. Although pushing the bike at higher speeds on the MX part of the loop, I quickly found the limits of the soft forks. Luckily I was able to (without any tools) pull of the track and go in 3 clicks on compression on the forks to help combat the bottoming issue.

2017 Husqvarna TE 250 and 300 First Impression
The lightweight 2-stroke was an absolute blast on the single track trails.Photo Courtesy of Husqvarna

When I took out the Husky TE300 I fell in love with the added power and torque right away. Where on some parts of the trail I was in-between second and third gear on the 250, the 300 had no problem running third gear. Now I was able to use the added cubic centimeters to pull up the front end to wheelie over bumps and skip over the holes with minimal effort. I also found myself not having to rely on the clutch as much compared to the 250. I could simply stuff the bike into the deep sand corners and the 300 would easily pull the bike out without any fuss. I thought the added weight of the piston would contribute to more vibration but both models have significantly less vibration than any two-strokes I have tested in the past. Besides the added power, the 250 and 300 felt virtually identical in weight and handling. My only complaint on the bikes is that both seemed to be a hair off in the carburation settings and had a tiny gurgle in the mid-range. I think a simple fix would be a leaner pilot jet or dropping the needle one position. Overall, both are bikes are great trail machines, but if I had to pick just one, I would definitely lean towards the big brother, the TE300.