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Best Dual Sport 2011: Husqvarna TE250

Friday, December 30, 2011
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Finnish rider Juha Salminen campaigned the TE250 to a number of enduro wins on the world stage.
The important thing about the 2011 Husky TE250 is that it’s a dirt bike first and foremost with street legality as a bonus. This concept isn’t as eye-popping as it was several years ago, but in the time since minimalist dual sports have become popular, there hasn’t been one in the 250 class. We love bikes like last year’s winner, Yamaha WR250R, and the 2009 selection, Kawasaki KLX250R, but the TE is a different beast. Neither of those bikes are expected to be ridden hard or raced off-road with any regularity. As it comes from the dealer, the TE’s strength isn’t as a racer, (Husky offers stripped down models for that) but it’s definitely more of a legitimate enduro bike than other 250 DS bikes. The TE provides a dirt bike for the serious off-road fan who wants to connect trails without being shoehorned onto a compromising ride.

Developed with input from the factory FIM World Enduro Championship team, the 2011 TE250 has a host of refinements that allowed Juha Salminen to win the E1 division this year. Most notable is the chromoly chassis where the engine cradle and footpeg area are redesigned to improve ground clearance. It uses a lightweight four-valve engine with new Mikuni 42mm EFI system, electric and kick start and six-speed transmission. Suspension is a 48mm Kayaba closed-cartridge fork and Sachs shock.

Being Italian/German it comes in a stylish package. Even with all the changes, the price didn’t go up. At $7599 it’s a full-size price tag, but considering it’s a dirt bike on par or better than many non-street-legal offerings and is loaded with high-end components, the Husky TE250 starts looking like a real bargain.

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