WE BUILD A FULL-RACE HUSQVARNA TC250 TWO-STROKE
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When we got our 2017 Husqvarna TC250, we were impressed. Since this was an all-new model (new engine, suspension, chassis, bodywork), every one of the MXA wrecking crew wanted a taste. As you can imagine, this bike got put through the wringer. It was tested during the week and raced on the weekends. After countless hours, it was time to freshen it up. Given that the 2017 Husqvarna TC250 is head-over-heels better in every way than the 2016 TC250, we wanted to take what we had learned about the bike and optimize it to its full potential—without breaking the bank.
“HUSKY SWITCHED FROM THE TRIED-AND-TRUE KEIHIN CARBURETOR TO THE MIKUNI TMX CARB FOR 2017. WE HAD NOTHING BUT PROBLEMS. WE FINALLY CALLED JD JETTING TO HELP US FIND A CURE.”
In stock trim, the 2017 Husky TC250 has lots of character. The powerband is snappy and playful, but if you’re not careful, the midrange hit will throw you for a loop—a very quick loop, because moments later, the powerband flattens. There is little to no over-rev. We tried to short-shift the TC250, but the tight gear-to-gear ratios made the shift points feel awkward. For example, on one of our favorite racetracks, we had to shift 3 feet out of a corner and also going up the face of a big jump. Skilled riders adapted to this style of power, but it was not optimal for anyone below Pro. All of our Vet test riders thought the power was too hard to handle.
In a perfect world we wanted to take the spike of midrange power, which is 5 horsepower more than the 2016 model, and spread it evenly across the power spectrum. Luckily, perfection was achieved in three easy steps.
(1) Gearing. We changed the stock gearing to lengthen the shift points and broaden the power. We ended up gearing the bike up by going from a 50-tooth rear sprocket to a 49-tooth ProX rear sprocket.
(2) Expansion chamber. Pro Circuit asked us if we would help them build a pipe for the 2017 TC250 by giving them feedback. What they developed was better than expected. It was one of the few pipes that we’d give a five-star rating to. Not because it added loads of power, but because it added power in the right places to make for a more manageable powerband.
(3) Piston. Two-strokes need fresh top ends to perform their best. When it came time to replace our stock Husqvarna piston, we decided to go with a forged Wiseco Pro-Lite piston with a titanium-nitrate-coated ring. Every piston and ring change made the bike feel new again.
For a month, we struggled to get the Husky TC250 to run right. Husky switched from the tried-and-true Keihin carburetor to the Mikuni TMX carb for 2017-18. We had nothing but problems. We finally called JD Jetting to help us find a cure. The JD jetting kit solved most of our problems. A couple months later, after the Austrian engineers read our 2017 Husky TC250 test, they called and said that there was a simple solution to the Husqvarna’s jetting issues. They told us to stop running Maxima K2 at 40:1 and switch to 60:1. We didn’t want to do it, but they insisted that it would make the stock Mikuni purr. We still said no. They promised us that it would work, and that they would rebuild our engine if it didn’t. So, we put the jetting back to stock and, guess what? The Austrians did their homework. It was spot-on. A 60:1 fuel mixture is 2.13 ounces of oil per gallon of gas.
As for the handling, which we didn’t have any major issues with, it felt like we could get it a little more spot-on. We put 23mm-offset Ride Engineering triple clamps on (stock is 22mm) and put a 1mm-longer link on to lower the rear. We like the WP AER 48mm forks, but the light front end of a two-stroke makes them feel like they don’t track as well as the four-stroke models. We noted a tendency to bounce around in the braking bumps, so we sent the forks and shock to Factory Connection, who is a WP-authorized suspension dealer. They installed their AER 48 spring kit and re-valved the shock to match the forks. You read that right; we put a coil spring in our air forks. With the combination of the Ride Engineering chassis changes and Factory Connection suspension modifications, the bike handled exceptionally well. The front and rear end tracked to the ground like glue. The bike sat lower to the ground, which made for a lower center of gravity when riding. We did feel the added weight of the spring fork from side to side in the air, but it was worth its weight in gold the way it held up in its stroke and delivered a plush initial feel. We were impressed with the fork’s ability to absorb hard hits while still having such a soft setup.
We have always had issues with the stock brake-pedal spring breaking. Fasst Company’s rear-brake return spring was the ultimate fix. We didn’t need to replace the pedal spring anymore, as the Fasst Company’s return spring adjusted the pedal resistance by adjusting how much preload was placed on the spring. We also replaced our worn-out stock chain with a ProX 520MX chain. We took off the stock chain guards, which were still in good shape, and replaced them with the extremely durable TM Designworks Factory Edition chain guards.
Our stock footpegs were dull, so we had Metal Tech replace the teeth on our stock pegs. They take your stock pegs, grind down the stock teeth and replace them with new teeth ($125). They can also do any customization you would like. They can raise, lower, or reposition your pegs fore or aft. You can even get bigger teeth if you desire. We kept the stock placement but went with a sharper tooth pattern to get better grip.
When we were done, our TC250 project bike felt better than new. Every test rider from Vet to Pro liked the power spread. It had improved bottom-end, a stronger but tamer midrange and a powerful top end that had good over-rev. This made the bike easier to ride, with wider shift points from gear to gear.
If you are a racer on a budget, the Pro Circuit pipe, 49-tooth rear sprocket and Fasst Company rear-brake return spring will make a world of difference. If you want to get the most out of the TC250, the Factory Connection spring-conversion kit is a nice touch in the handling department.
If you’re into sharp looks, go with a Polisport flo-yellow plastic kit with custom Factory Effex graphics. We chose yellow plastic with blue graphics because it matches the Swedish flag—and Husqvarnas are still made in Sweden, aren’t they?
This was a project bike with a purpose. We put enough hours on the stocker to know what we needed to change, and then just did that and no more. Use this 2017 Husqvarna TC250 as your roadmap to the best TC250 possible.
HUSQVARNA TC250 SUPPLIERS