By John Basher
Husqvarna Motorcycle tests
Palm trees - check. Perfectly prepped track - check. Brand new bike - check.
Collectively, I sat on my behind for over 48 hours in a metal tin can of an airplane on my way to Husqvarna’s 2010 TC250 motocross bike introduction in the Canary Islands. Perhaps you’re wondering where the Canary Islands are. Don’t worry if you don’t know, because geography wasn’t my strong suit in school, either. The Canary Islands are a group of islands that are technically a part of Spain, but the islands just happen to be off the coast of Africa. The Canary Islands are a hot spot for Europeans to visit and spend their vacations soaking up the sun, surfing, hiking and partying at the many small towns along the way. As for me, I was part of a small group sent specifically to ride motocross on a bike that was deemed by Husqvarna as an all-new machine. Was I excited to ride in an exotic location for a few days, regardless of the many hours that it would take to travel half way across the world? You betcha!
The business side of the 2010 Husqvarna TC250.
Husqvarna is making a serious push at coming back strong in the motocross market. They have made changes to their two motocross bikes, the TC450 and the TC250, and are attempting to enter the highly competitive racing scene. Shelling out thousands of dollars to have someone like myself make the trek to Tenerife, the biggest land mass of the Canary Islands, reflects Husqvarna’s committment.
Notice the Atlantic Ocean in the distance.
I was given three days to ride the 2010 Husqvarna TC250 on the Motoclub Abona Tenerife motocross track. The track, which was comprised of a dozen tabletops and dirt that was loose sand/loam, instantly became one of my favorite tracks that I’ve ever set knobbies on. The track was prepared perfectly and was a blast to ride around. The smoothness of the course, however, didn’t offer much challenge for the TC250 in the suspension or engine department. That fact, coupled with the inability for me to make any major changes to the bike (because the introduction was designed specifically as first ride impression and nothing else), left me wondering how the bike would work around my familiar tracks in southern California (Piru, Gorman, Cahuilla, Glen Helen, Competitive Edge, Cahuilla). My questions will have to wait until Husqvarna releases the true-to-life production bike, but for now I can offer minimal information.
The 2010 Husqvarna TC250 that I rode had pretty decent power from mid-to-top.
WHAT WAS IT LIKE TO RIDE THE 2009 HUSQVARNA TC250?
Although the folks at Husky might have planted me on a pre-production bike, I can still provide thoughts on the bike that Husqvarna let me ride for those few days in the islands.
First, the bike is extremely light. Thanks to an extremely compact engine design the TC250 was super light and very agile over jumps.
Second, the engine wasn’t very dissimilar from Husqvarna engines that I’ve testes in the past; it was slow-revving and made its best power from mid-to-top.
Third, the Brembo/Braking front brake package was neck-and-neck with KTM’s four-stroke motocross bikes for stopping supremacy. It had a lot of pucker power.
Fourth, the ergonomics were rather comfortable for my 6’1” frame.
Fifth, as for the suspension, I have a nagging suspicion that the forks are undersprung and the shock needs serious clicker adjustments, but for now I have to overlook those thoughts since the Tenerife track was as smooth as an ice rink. The complete MXa test crew will learn more once we get back to the really rough tracks that we race on.
Several Husqvarna factory riders were present to show the journalists the fast line around the track.
After being gone from the good old U.S. of A. for nearly a week, I can now reflect on my time in an exotic location riding a bike that most of the world has yet to see. Husqvarna was overwhelming in their hospitality and for that I’m very grateful. Being given a chance to ride a motorcycle and having all of my expenses paid to do so is a blessing regardless of where the location is, but to be flown to the Canary Islands was amazing.
Once again, thanks to Husqvarna - Scot Harden, Martino Bianchi, Federica Artoni and everyone else that I failed to mention. As for a complete review of the 2009 Husqvarna TC250, we are waiting for the production bike to be shipped to the palacial MXA Towers within the next two months.
As for the production version? It will be released at the same time as most 2010 models from the other brands--perhaps by mid summer or 2009.
The TC250 felt very light in the air.
This is the smallest 250cc four-stroke engine ever made.
The TC250 inspired one-handed confidence. This is an ode to Jesse Ziegler.