problems. As a rule, MXA prefers common-sense fixes to the successor of any recently developed model. The goal? Every manufacturer should aim at tidying up the existing motorcycle design while keeping an eye out for new ideas. The 2013 Husqvarna TC250 was an all-new motorcycle in 2010, and it was heavily modified in 2012. Logically, we wouldn’t expect a new Husky TC250 until 2014 at the soonest. But, we do expect flaws to be fixed and improvements to be made, even if the bike isn’t on a timeline to be totally remodeled. The 2013 TC250 received the least amount of updates since it was introduced four years ago. To us, this signifies that Husky has a new chicken in the hen house for 2014. However, we’ve made many educated guesses before, only to be wrong. Regardless, we’re tickled pink to see that Husqvarna, an Italian company owned by German powerhouse BMW, is reinvigorated and has a renewed interest in the motocross market. Q: WHAT WILL IT TAKE FOR HUSQVARNA TO COMPETE WITH THE “BIG FIVE”? A: This is an open-ended question. On the track, it will take a serious focus on horsepower for Husqvarna to battle the “Big Five.” The TC250 has the ingredients for success—not the least of which is Ralf Kleid, who was the head of engine development for BMW’s past F1 effort. And because Husqvarna doesn’t produce the TC250 in high numbers like the Big Five, Husky can make changes on the fly without derailing the production cycle. Every year Husqvarna has made improvements to the TC250. Just as important, they have listened to feedback— both positive and negative—and addressed those issues instead of turning a deaf ear. Husky seems committed to success in the motocross industry. The TC250 is a prime example of that commitment. It’s not out of the question that Husqvarna could hit one out of the ballpark in the not- too-distant future and catch the Big Five off guard. After all, that is what the Austrians did. We’re rooting for them. Q: WHAT NEEDS TO BE CHANGED ON THE 2013 HUSQVARNA TC250? A: The TC250 has come a long way, but there are still a few bugaboos. Let us pinpoint the problematic areas: (1) Engine. The Ralf Kleid-massaged “Red Head,” named after the red powdercoated cylinder head, was new in 2012. The engine, fed with fuel via Keihin electronic fuel injection, is a double-overhead-cam design with a lightweight piston. The finger-follower valve train of the Red Head replaces the previous shim-and-bucket design. The (new-for-last-year) cams allow for a longer valve lift, while larger-diameter titanium valves get the air and fuel moving quicker. We like the mechanically sound finger-follower design— and we can’t forget the petiteness of the X Lite engine— but the TC250 engine is slow. The powerband is broad and easy to ride, but it takes a rev ranger to make the TC250 move forward with the rest of the pack.
2013 Husqvarna TC250: The Italians didn’t go overboard with
updates, but instead focused on reliability and comfort.