Looking good: The 2014 Husky TC250 is incredibly attractive with its white plastic and yellow highlights.
Q: DIDN’T MXA BUILD A FULL-RACE HUSKY
TWO-STROKE A COUPLE YEARS AGO?
A: Back in April of 2010, we took a Husqvarna
WR300 and turned it from a mild-mannered trail bike into
an effective motocross bike. It was not an easy build. We
enlisted Pro Circuit’s Mitch Payton to port the cylinder,
mill the head and build a special exhaust pipe. We got
Wyatt Seals to send us one of Glenn Kearney’s 38mm
Keihin PWK carbs to replace the stock Mikuni TMX carb.
Since Husky had discontinued the CR250 motocross
version the year before, we stole the ignition, black box
and flywheel off a leftover bike. To get the kind of
performance we needed, we dumped the flattop Husky
piston and used a domed Vertex piston out of a Gas Gas
300. Luckily, the 2010 Husky WR300 came with Kayaba
forks, so we valved them to our last Kawasaki KX250
spec (2004) with stiffer 0.44 forks springs. When all was
said and done, we gained 5 horsepower over the stock
WR300’s 42 ponies. Our total cost was $1500, but it
required a lot of legwork to get all the pieces together.
In the end, our WR300 produced decent horsepower,
but we were still stuck with a very heavy, antiquated bike
and a wide-ratio gearbox. In our opinion, it was okay for
a Husky, but our expenses pushed the bike into the $8500
price range. We could get a better bike for less.
Q: WHAT DID HUSQVARNA DO TO MAKE THE
2014 TC250 COMPETITIVE?
A: They had two engineers hold Husqvarna decals
two feet apart, and a third engineer rolled a 2014 KTM
250SX between them.
Q: WHY DIDN’T HUSQVARNA BUILD ITS OWN
PROPRIETARY 250 TWO-STROKE DESIGN?
A: KTM found itself between a rock and a hard place
when it purchased Husqvarna from BMW in March of 2013.
A quick perusal of the existing Husqvarna models didn’t sit
well with KTM’s management team. Apart from the 2013
Husqvarna TC250 Red Head engine, Husky didn’t have
anything that KTM felt they could use. Plus, KTM wanted
to dump the Italian factory, along with the inevitable labor
problems that come with Italian unions.
The solution was to move production from Varese, Italy,
to Mattighofen, Austria. In the process, KTM left behind a
brand-new, high-tech production line, put in place at great
expense by BMW, as well as any vestige of Husqvarna’s old
bikes, including the Red Head engine.
The timing of the purchase couldn’t have been worse for
the 2014 model year. If the new Husqvarna group took the
time to design all-new bikes, they would not have had any
bikes in the showrooms in 2014 (and probably not in 2015,
either). So rather than skip 2014, they cherry-picked their
way through the KTM catalog.
It is no secret that under the hood of every 2014
Husqvarna lies KTM running gear. Perhaps in the future,
Husky will flex its muscles and build creative new products.
But, we will take what we can get, because without KTM
stepping in to take over, Husqvarna’s 103-year history as a
motorcycle manufacturer would most likely have come to an
end—because BMW wasn’t interested anymore.
2014 HUSKY TC250