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.
Motorcycle USA Best of 2011 Awards
Rider of the Year 2011: Ryan Villopoto
Manufacturer of the Year 2011: Polaris Industries
Best Cruiser 2011: Ducati Diavel
Best Sportbike 2011: BMW S1000RR
Best Street Bike 2011: Ducati Multistrada
Best Touring Motorcycle 2011: Harley-Davidson Road Glide Ultra
Best Adventure Motorcycle 2011: Triumph Tiger 800 XC
Best Enduro 2011: KTM 350 XC-F
Best Dual Sport 2011: Husqvarna TE250
Best Motocross Motorcycle 2011: Honda CRF450R
Motorcycle of the Year 2011: Kawazuki CRF65 SX