By Tom White

1973 would prove to be a landmark year in the development of the motocross motorcycle. Most significant was the introduction of Honda’s 250 Elsinore, which proved to be a very competitive and reliable machine right off the showroom floor. The European offerings from Sweden, Czechoslovakia, Germany and Spain couldn’t match the fit, finish and reliability, and their sales sunk quicker than the Titanic.

Husqvarna, the leading European brand in motocross competition motorcycles, answered with a milestone machine in 1974. The “Mag 250” demonstrated Husqvarna’s ability to market a true “works” caliber motorcycle. The “Mag 250” had all-magnesium engine cases; 36mm Bing, eight-petal reed valve; moved up Girling shocks (one inch); a Motoplat ignition; longer swingarm (one inch); four-speed gearbox from the 400CR; 125-size clutch; white plastic fenders; shouldered Akront alloy rims (with Trelleborg tires), and Magura controls. It weighed 214 pounds.

The MK series Huskys (as they were called) were an immediate success in the hands of AMA National privateers. The Mag 250CR was light and powerful. It was more in keeping with the true motocross model that had been exclusive to Husqvarna in their 1963 through 1968 models. American riders like Malcolm Smith, Kent Howerton, Brad Lackey, Billy Clements, Gary Semics and Bob Grossi raced this generation of the MK-series machine successfully, and to this day the Mag 250 is still one of the most sought-after motorcycles for AHRMA competition.

The suggested retail price back in 1974 was $1495. Compared to Suzuki’s TM400 at $1205, the European machines were quite a bit more expensive. As the 250 is very popular today for vintage MX racers, nice examples can cost as much as $8000. The 250CR Mag was joined in the 1974 Husqvarna lineup by the 125CR, 250WR, 360WR-RT (Road/Track), 400CR, 400WR, 450CR and 450WR.

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