What business does a 4-stroke company like Husaberg have with 2-stroke dirt bikes? Over the course of their 22-year history, the answer is none, but that changes for 2011. The KTM subsidiary is joining the 2-stroke market with a 250cc and 300cc enduro design for the new model year.
Despite swirling rumors of a direct fuel-injected 2-stroke for ‘11, Husaberg has not imitated its 70-degree cylinder rotation and EFI with a smoker engine. Don’t feel sad, however, because the good news is there will be a TE250 and TE300 model available (TE=2-stroke enduro, FE=4-stroke enduro). The 249cc and 293.2cc machines are electric- and kick-start and are equipped with a headlight, designed to compete in the E2 and E3 World Enduro Championship racing divisions.
Husaberg claims it was looking into 2-stroke technology during the planning and design stage for the 4-stroke lineup that was released in 2009 – the purpose being to give 2-stroke handling characteristics to the 4-strokes. Since it was already examining the technology, it was easy to keep moving forward and develop its own line of premixers.
The direct connection with KTM (the largest 2-stroke manufacturer) certainly influenced the move and the two brands will likely have some interchangeable parts, much like the 4-stroke line. Still, when was the last time we saw a legitimate new entry to a market that has been considered “dying” ever since booming modern Thumpers became the norm? According to Husaberg’s International Sales Manager, David Larsson, the 2-stroke market is actually growing, and Husaberg intends to stand atop dirt bike enduro racing regardless of engine configuration.
Brembo brakes are the industry standard and have made the list. Same goes for the hydraulic clutch. Dual ignition maps are available at the flick of a handlebar-mounted switch. The soft and hard settings provide different power characteristics to suit alternate terrain. The exhaust power valve is also adjustable.
With 2.9 gallons of fuel available, riders will be able to take less pit stops and enjoy longer range, and a six-speed transmission provides longer legs to do it with. A closed-cartridge WP fork graces the front end with compression and rebound adjustment and is held in place by a black anodized, billet aluminum triple clamp. A WP PDS shock handles things out back with preload, high/low-speed compression and rebound controls. A single-piece, plastic skidplate and engine guards protect the underbelly and the subframe is aluminum.
Ready for the bad news? The TE250 and TE300 enduro bikes won’t be coming to America. So, for now you’ll just have to enjoy the following photos and video, courtesy of Husaberg.