And there you have it. The 2014 Husqvarna FE250 outperformed the competition in our 2014 250 Enduro Shootout. We unanimously chose the Husky as the best, but even so, the contest was much closer that it may have seemed. Slight differences between the KTM, Husqvarna and Husaberg made each of them unique, but all were very similar. You can’t go wrong choosing any of the three based on color, pricing or dealership location alone; they perform at a high level above the abilities of most mortals.
It is easy to see why KTM is one of the most popular mounts for off-road racers. It handles fast trail sections with ease, and the new powerplant has boosted its potential in every situation. One point to consider is that the KTM is the only machine with a kickstarter installed, and that is a valid concern for those that feel more comfortable with a backup to the electric starter. Also the price tag is lower than the ‘Berg and Husky.
The Husaberg was able to squeak out a second-place finish in its last year of production. While the suspension took a little more set-up than the KTM, the upgraded subframe and suspension put it just ahead of its orange cousin. If you can still find one on the dealership floor, it is worth scooping up if only to own the last of a unique brand.
Then there is the 2013 CRF250X - a real surprise in this test. Although it was ranked lower in most categories, it can get the job done. And it gets it done at a lower price point with Honda’s legendary reliability. At race speeds it begins to show weaknesses, but for those just looking for a great trail bike it is a very viable and attractive option.
Overall this shootout came down to handling and suspension action, and the Husqvarna’s linkage rear suspension was the difference that put it over the top. Some riders may prefer the feel of the PDS system of the KTM and 'Berg, but for us we like the more conventional action afforded by the linkage. Husqvarna is finally able to manufacture bikes worthy of its heritage, and the 2014 FE250 is one of those machines.