What's the skinny on the skinny new 2019 Husqvarna TE 150? I recently headed up to Upstate New York to find out. Among the densely wooded hills of the Catskill Mountains, I put my friend's brand-new off-road-ready tiddler to the test and came away thoroughly impressed. Two-strokes have come a long way in recent years, and Husky's inclusion of both an electric starter and two on-the-fly ignition maps are testament to that evolution. The e-start specifically adds negligible weight, yet is invaluable in terms of enjoyment and ease of use.

As a woods machine, the small-bore two-stroke might be an ideal platform. Light and nimble, the bike is able to weave around trees, hop over streams, and bounce off of logs and rocks in a moment's notice. Thanks to the supple WP Xplor 48 fork, the front wheel deflections typical of Northeast riding are handled with ease. In stock trim, the TE 150 is surprisingly well balanced; enough to hold the fork up high enough in the stroke yet offer excellent high- and low-speed absorption off of square-edged and rounded obstacles alike. Out back, where KTM's off-road machinery have retained a link-less swingarm paired with the PDS shock, the Husqvarna TE models have switched to a linkage system complete with the WP DCC shock.

If you are coming off of four-strokes, small-bore two-strokes can take some time to become acquainted with. However, once that adjustment period is over, you're all smiles. Of course, like with all 150s, the clutch is your best friend. Slower speed trail riding is quite a joy with the TE. Roll-on power is notably responsive, even for a 180-pound rider like myself. If you are attacking the path that lies in front of you, the Magura clutch delivers a sensitive response enough to keep the rpm right in the sweet spot of the powerband.

2017-2019 Husqvarna TE bodywork
The 2017-2019 Husqvarna TE bodywork is slim from front to rear.Bayo Olukotun
144cc two-stroke engine
The comfortable ergonomics combined with the potent 144cc two-stroke engine means the TE 150 delivers a compact and nimble package.Bayo Olukotun
2019 TE 150
What better setting to try out an off-road machine like the 2019 TE 150 than in the woods of the Catskills in Upstate New York?Bayo Olukotun
Justin Styles
Justin Styles contemplates the latest bike added to his quiver. Styles has been riding Huskies since the early 2000s, and therefore has witnessed firsthand their evolution to today’s refined package.Bayo Olukotun
Jay Esche and Jon Ferrante
Jay Esche and Jon Ferrante prep for a weekend of riding around the trails and dirt roads of rural New York.Bayo Olukotun
Jay Esche
All good days begin with bacon. Living completely off the grid for the weekend while riding with some old friends makes the experience that much sweeter.Bayo Olukotun
off-road-ready
All cabins should have an arsenal of off-road-ready equipment.Bayo Olukotun
TE 150
Light and agile, the TE 150 cuts through trails and around obstacles with ease.Bayo Olukotun
2019 Husqvarna TE 150
Having only 144cc doesn’t mean this machine is underpowered—quite the contrary. The six-speed transmission and impressive power-to-weight ratio allow a rider to be aggressive with an easily managed powerband.Bayo Olukotun
Off-grid
Off-grid doesn’t have to mean “without power.” In the rural environs of the Northeastern woods, it can be easier to build little solar-powered enclaves like this rather tap into an existing power supply, and much easier to launch a weekend of off-roading.Bayo Olukotun
Esche’s Italian-built Husky TE 310
Husqvarna has come a long way in the last few years. While Esche’s Italian-built Husky TE 310 is something of a work of art, the ergonomics and suspension package of the newer Austrian-made machines are huge improvements and steps in the in the right direction.Bayo Olukotun
KTM 530 XC-W
Can the TE 150 keep up with, say, a KTM 530 XC-W (pictured on the left) flat out in a drag race? No, but aside from a start straight or racing flat out through the desert, the TE 150’s minimal weight and agility make it a supreme off-road weapon.Bayo Olukotun
2019 Husqvarna TE 150
A refined layout, six-speed transmission, and 2.5-gallon gas tank make the TE 150 comfortable on long, easy rides or while attacking the woods.Bayo Olukotun
2019 Husqvarna TE 150
The new TE 150 is right at home in stream crossings or tight woods.Bayo Olukotun
2019 Husqvarna TE 150
The 2019 Husqvarna TE 150 might be at the bottom of the totem pole when it comes to full-sized bike displacement, but it has no problems leading the pack when wheels hit the dirt.Bayo Olukotun
electric starter and on-the-fly ignition map switch
Two key elements of the TE 150: electric starter and on-the-fly ignition map switch. The merits of an electric starter have been proven and argued time and time again. Simply put, it’s better in every way to a kickstarter (which the TE still has just in case). The ignition switch allows the rider to swap between a preprogrammed mellow or aggressive map with a simple flick of the thumb.Bayo Olukotun
Catskill Mountains
The Catskill Mountains offer rolling hills, endless miles of trails, and green as far as the eye can see.Bayo Olukotun