Off road talk on Pulp MX? Whaaaaaaaat the hell?
Off road talk on Pulp MX? Whaaaaaaaat the hell?
We are breaking the mold RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW (you’re welcome Steve for the Van Halen reference). Husqvarna was nice enough to let me try out their TE 250i for a few weeks to really see what this fuel injected two-stroke is all about. That’s right fuel injected! For those of you that think that two-stroke R&D advancement is dead, think again! Just go talk to anyone over at KTM and Husqvarna on how much they spend on developing new technology for two-strokes and you’ll know that door is not shut at all. In fact it’s been kicked wiiiiiiiide open! Here are ten things that I thought you should know about the TE250i and some points, I wanted to talk about, after riding the unique and sexy looking 2018 Husqvarna.
1.The Engine Management System or (EMS) on the TE250i has a new electronic control unit (ECU) that is responsible for a number of functions. It gathers information from the throttle position sensor, the ambient air, intake pressure sensors and the crankcase pressure and water temperature sensors, it automatically compensates for temperature and altitude changes eliminating the need to modify carburetor jetting. A standard map select (stock and soft) switch allows riders to customize power character according to personal preference or in varying conditions.
2.The TE250i features a 39 mm Dell´Orto throttle body that is linked to the new dual cable handlebar throttle assembly. With a new throttle position sensor (TPS) relaying airflow data to the ECU, the system ensures optimal air, fuel and oil mixture. Additionally, the system features a bypass screw for idling speed regulation, with a cold start device providing more air for cold starts.
The 2018 Husqvarna TE250i (with added goodies) is a pristine looking off-road machine. For all you haters out there, the number 1 lives!
3. The TE250i’s two-stroke oil is stored in a separate tank that together with an electronic oil pump eliminate the need for pre-mixing. With its filler tube running through the upper frame, the 0.7 liter tank contains oil for five full tanks of fuel depending on riding conditions. Controlled by the EMS, the oil pump delivers the ideal amount of oil according to the current RPM and engine load reducing waste as well as excessive smoke from the exhaust. The average ratio achieved for fuel/oil is 80:1.
4. It took me a while to get used to pouring straight gas into a two-stroke’s gas tank, but with the pre-mix oil tank being in the frame, it was easy to remind myself I was ok. I rode the bike several hours without having to add any oil, but I did get some info from the R&D guys at Husky saying that when the light goes on you still have at least two full tanks of pre-mixed fuel left.
5. Power delivery on the TE250i is smooth down low (similar to when we went from carbureted four-strokes to FI) and builds rpm’s calculated and doesn’t have that immediate exciting bark of a normal carb’d two-stroke. The FI lets the TE250i run clean and I never had a rich feeling when lugging the engine. The excitement or “hit” was leaned more towards the mid to top end. It has more of its pulling power through the mid to top end and I was impressed on how well it revved out. This engine character is easy to ride and can be lugged as good if not more than a KTM 300 XC-W. The lower the rpm’s the better the TE250i worked. The Husky had tons of rear wheel traction and was especially good on rocky or loose terrain. The Husky begs you to run a higher gear and be lugged, just don’t expect it to jump out of a soft berm in a hurry.
6. There are two maps on the TE250i: Map one is the standard map and map two is a smoother map. I used map one most of the time as it had the most pull with a great amount of traction. Map two was a little too mellow for my liking, as it kind of took that excitement from the mid range away a little too much for the type of terrain I was riding in. If we had some slick, snotty conditions here in California (like the east coast does) I could see where this map would be beneficial.
7. As suspected the WP suspension is a little soft when ridden aggressively on the west coast, whoop filled trails, but in tight rocky terrain the stuff worked very well. I went stiffer on compression a few clicks, as well as slowed the rebound down to try and slow the action of the fork some. This helped the bike’s action to slow down and get the chassis to feel more balanced (front to back). Once the balance felt good on the trail I could tell what the Husky/WP R&D guys wanted out of these bumpsticks. They wanted plushness on rocks, roots, tight terrain and small chop, which they achieved. When hitting rocks the front and rear of the bike stayed straight and tracked right over any small to medium sized obstacles. The traction I felt was very good (with the softer feel) and this feeling offered tons of front and rear wheel traction.
The oil filler is easy to access and holds enough pre-mixed riding time for 5 full tanks of fuel.
8. When standing on the pegs and riding, the 250i feels light and changes direction easy with minimal input when weighting the pegs or handlebar movement. Doing leg plant pivots around tighter areas took minimal effort and when entering corners the TE250i felt light on lean in. If you do decide to bury the Husky TE250i you must use a generous amount of clutch to get you out in a quick manner.
9. The Husqvarna TE250i I tested had multiple Husqvarna branded aftermarket pieces on that made the bike look better and offers the consumer more choices in customizing his or her machine. You can go to husqvarna-motorcycles.com to see all that they have to offer for any Husqvarna you might own.
10. If you are looking to tune the engine a little more and want a some more bark from the bottom end, you can switch the power valve spring to an optional red spring (yellow is standard) and put less tension (one turn out) on the middle brass power valve adjuster. This helps wake up the smooth roll on power delivery and gives you more throttle response. Doing this didn’t hurt the rear wheel traction as much as I thought it would, so I stuck with this setting for the duration of the test.
The WP XPLOR fork is so much better than the 4CS design. Thank you baby Jesus!
For even more information and setting tips you can check out the Rocky Mountain ATV/MC Keefer Tested podcast with the Husqvarna TE250i later this week at all the usual Pulp and Keefer Inc. places!