2018 Husqvarna TE250i
Husqvarna's all-new fuel injected two-stroke models consist of the TE250i and TE300i, but only the TE250i will be coming to the United States in 2018.Photo Courtesy of Husqvarna

Husqvarna’s dedication to two-stroke development continues with the new fuel injected 2018 TE250 and 300i enduro bikes. While it has become the norm to see fuel injected four-strokes in nearly every form of off-road today, two-strokes haven’t followed this same trend, until now. Husqvarna’s electronic fuel injection system kicks the carburetor to the curb as well as the need for jetting changes and premixing fuel. Husqvarna invited us to test each of these new machines in the mountains of British Columbia, Canada for a day and get an idea of what these fuel injected two strokes are all about.

2018 Husqvarna TE250i engine
The TE250i and TE300i engines are equipped with a number of new features to accommodate the new fuel injection system, which are fed by a 39mm Dell'Orto throttle body.Photo Courtesy of Husqvarna

The TE250i and TE300i are equipped with a number of new features to accommodate the new fuel injection system. The engine management system (EMS) utilizes a new electronic control unit (ECU) that gathers information from a number of different sensors in the engine to continually adjust to altitude and temperature changes. The engine is fed by a 39mm Dell’Orto throttle body which features a new throttle position sensor and the cylinder has two inlet positions on the transfer ports at the back of the cylinder where the two fuel injectors are mounted. Premix fuel is not required as the oil is stored in a separate tank and the electronic oil pump provides the proper amount of oil according to the RPM of the engine.

2018 Husqvarna TE250i engine
The fuel injected engines have plenty of bottom end torque and can be lugged at a very low RPM to maintain traction on the trail.Photo Courtesy of Husqvarna

We warmed the bikes up for a little less than a minute at the base of the mountain before embarking on the loop Husqvarna had laid out for us. I quickly found how usable and effective the bottom end power was. I rode the tight sections in first gear during my first two of the four loops we did throughout the day. But as I found on later loops, second gear proved to be much better in the tight stuff as I was able to lug the bike in a very low RPM on the countless tight and twisting trails. The bike hooked up much better being lugged in second gear on the dusty terrain.

The transition from the bottom end to the midrange on both the 250i and 300i was perplexing at certain times. When I slowly turned the throttle from about a quarter turn to half turn, the engine would feel as if it was a bit rich. The slight hesitation went away when I turned the throttle a little further and it burst into the midrange power, which was sudden and plentiful. At the same time, when I opened the throttle quickly, such as transition from lugging it to wide open, the engine didn’t have the slight hesitation whatsoever, it only happened when I slowly turned the throttle. Thankfully, most of the time I was either lugging the bike or keeping it in the upper mid-range to top end power, so the slight hesitation wasn’t really a big deal for me.

The top end power is strong on both bikes. We rode a steep Erzberg-style hillclimb which required us to be full throttle in second gear to even have a chance at getting to the top. Each bike handled the ascent well, especially the 300i. The overall power difference between the 250i and 300i was evident here as the 300i didn’t need as much momentum from the bottom in order to still crest the top of the hill, whereas the 250i didn’t allow for any mistakes at the bottom to have a fighting chance at making it. Additionally, the 300i pulled much better up the entirety of the climb, too. Being that we rode quite a few hillclimbs and big obstacles, I became well acquainted with the top end of both bikes and was very pleased with how well each machine pulled me up nearly every obstacle I pointed them at.

The 250i and 300i feature two maps that are simply referred to as “map one” and “map two.” Map one is standard while map two is a bit softer throughout the entire powerband. The power curve, or personality, feels the same on each map, though. The first time I tested each bike, I rode them in map one and got a good feel for how each worked. Map one is noticeably peppier than map two and worked great on the wide open, steep uphills we rode throughout the day. It wasn’t until I rode on map two that I realized how smooth and tractable each bike was. I preferred map two most of the time because it helped me get through the tight and technical switchback single-track trails we rode that featured plenty of tree roots and rocks.

2018 Husqvarna TE250i fork
The WP Xplor fork receives new outer tubes and stiffer settings.Photo Courtesy of Husqvarna

In the suspension department, both machines are equipped with a WP Xplor 48 fork and WP rear shock which are designed specifically for enduro riding. Updates to the fork from the previous versions include new outer tubes and stiffer settings. I was very pleased with the performance of both ends of the suspension. The fork was very compliant on the braking bumps that formed on the downhills of the trails throughout the day. Both the front fork and rear shock refused to bottom out on all of the obstacles and dropoffs I was faced with throughout the course of the day.

2018 Husqvarna TE250i Magura brake
The bikes feature Magura brakes in the front and rear.Photo Courtesy of Husqvarna

The new Magura braking system in the front and rear both have a progressive feel at the lever and pedal. I purposefully pulled the front brake lever in as far as I could to see when it would lock up and it did so only when pulling it nearly all the way in. The power of the front brake itself was good and I never found myself wanting it to have better or quicker stopping power. Similar to the front, the rear brake was progressive and was able to lock up the rear wheel at any time, even after being dragged excessively when scaling my way down the steep, massive ski slopes of the Panorama Mountain Resort. Additionally, I did no less than a couple hundred wheelies throughout the day while attempting to drag the rear fender, or license plate holder in this case, and each time I stabbed the rear brake pedal the front end came down real quick.

2018 Husqvarna TE250i, Colton Haaker
Rockstar Energy Husqvarna's Colton Haaker putting the TE250i through its paces.Photo Courtesy of Husqvarna

The handling of both machines is impressive, especially the 250i. The 250i carves through the single track trails very well and the bike feels nimble and easy to maneuver in all situations. The 300i is similar in this way, but the inertia of the larger engine makes the bike as a whole feel just a bit less nimble than the 250i. Overall, I was pleased with how easy I could throw each bike around and put it exactly where I wanted it regardless of the situation I was in.

2018 Husqvarna TE250i, Colton Haaker
Both bikes are light and flickable, but the TE250i is noticeably more nimble.Photo Courtesy of Husqvarna

Testing each of these bikes in the mountains of British Columbia, Canada gave me an excellent idea of how each of the bikes perform in a variety of different types of terrain and elevation. The TE300i is not going to be coming to the United States in 2018, but hopefully Husqvarna brings them in 2019 so we can do some more back to back testing between the two. I am very pleased the TE250i will be coming to the States because overall it is the bike I would choose between the two if I were to ride or race an enduro, especially one with a tight and technical course. I look forward to getting a TE250i in the Dirt Rider stable and putting it through its paces further on some more familiar trails and obstacles back home in Southern California.