Husqvarna 2008 four-stroke models are radically revised in what concerns the chassis, leaving the already strong-pulling motors in expectancy for another revision, but that shouldn’t keep us from testing the new TC 250 and see if the improvements suit it well.
Featuring a new frame, rear frame, rear suspension and implicit new ergonomics, the 2008 Husqvarna TC 250 is expected to grow in matters of popularity. In order to mark this year of changes, the maker also provided new plastics and the bike was ready to go.
The 2008 upgrade consists in delivering a lower, slimmer and lighter dirt bike so that the engine’s capabilities would be better valued compared to the previous model year.
Introduced in 2002, the bike was pretty much featuring what you’ll find on it today if you are not looking for details, but revisions during the years have radically improved the Husky, making it one totally different bike.
The track is its middle name so the carbureted 249.5cc four-stroke single-cylinder was kickstarted and mated to a five-speed transmission. What will immediately strike you is the Blue and Yellow color scheme, a combination which characterized this manufacturer for many years. Taking a closer look will reveal the 2.11 gallons fuel tank, and the 220mm rear brake disc, features which have later been changed.
For 2004, the Husky would have featured the distinctive red, yellow and blue color scheme and a smaller tank capacity: 2.03 gallons.
Only a year later it was the engine’s time. This unit was improved with the DOHC fuel control system and with the Mikuni TMR 38mm carburetor. The update couldn’t have passed unnoticed and the bike was restyled, resulting almost the exact look of today only that covered in Blue and Yellow.
2006 model year brought a major revision to the powerplant which was now fitted with a new head with larger valves (intake valves increased from 29mm to 30.5mm and the exhaust valves increased to 25mm from 24mm). There is also the redesigned camshaft, air intake and exhaust ports, all aiming at performance. Also, two years ago, the TC 250 received Marzocchi forks, Ohlins shock and a 240mm rear disc brake. This year, the bike entered the scene with a Red and White color scheme, one which suited it better and still makes it stand out, but in a more discrete way.
By the time this model reached 2007 model year, it was an impressively built and equipped piece of machinery, but the development process in which it was involved didn’t stopped. The front and rear suspensions were recalibrated in order to do their job more effectively and smoother while the rear brake now features a pump with tank integrated. You’ve already read that development doesn’t stop for 2008 and the new bike can be considered as being a highly refined product.
The World Championship podium is craved by many, especially by the Japanese builders who would make a pretty good impression in the fight with the Husqvarna, but I was looking for the closest contender, one who would be similar in every single aspect.
That bike is called the KTM 250 SX-F and it is powered by a carbureted (Keihin MX FCR 39) 248.6cc liquid-cooled single cylinder four-stroke engine. A plus, compared to the TC 250 is the sixth gear, but when it comes to Husky’s pluses, the list is a little bigger (Brembo brakes, Marzocchi forks, Sachs shock absorber).
Similar is not only the fact that the bikes are practically the same, with a few differences, but have both been completely revised in the matters of the chassis for 2008 model year, showing that competition keeps things moving, and moving fast. In fact, KTM’s super light chassis lets this model closely beat the Husky at the chapter weight (216lbs, KTM and 220.5lbs, Husqvarna).
I’m going to have to call this a draw, because usually the price was the defining factor and this time in both cases the MSRP is $6,298.
Like a true motocross bike, the Husky TC 250 looks slim, stylish and aggressive. The bike’s defining characteristics make it easily stand out on the track, where it would definitely be considered among the good-looking models.
That is mostly due to the unique color combination (Red/White) which was introduced in 2006. Perfectly balanced and blended in together, the bike’s plastics make it look like the winner it is. Starting with the white fenders, continuing with the red side panels and finishing with the black front and side number plates, compactness is the key, as well as the attention to details.
Underneath the four-stroker you will notice a white protective shield giving a clue on this bike’s abilities. Just how the fenders contrast with the number plates, the protective shield contrasts beautifully with the blacked-out alloy rims, the forks and the mudguards.
There is no point in creating a powerful, light and versatile motorcycle if it doesn’t end up looking good, but evolution said its word and we’re facing a boomerang-like sharpness in the case of Husqvarna motocross models.
This bike offers a unique riding feel because it is being built by an innovative manufacturer, one that plans on conquering the North American market with such versatile models like the TC 250.
What I immediately noticed was that the ergonomics are excellent thanks to Husqvarna’s extensive work on the frame’s geometry, work which resulted into a 10 mm lowered seat. I felt the bike like an extension of my body and managed to exploit it properly. I didn’t felt like I was riding on top of the bike like it would have happened if the seat was higher.
The motor, although not heavily revised, provides tractable power for the rider to use the best it can in the track’s conditions. I had a great time doing fast take offs in second gear while simulating a closed course’s competition and the bike is definitely able to compete not only with the KTM, but with the Japanese bikes that everyone is so afraid of. Exhaust note is pretty powerful thanks to the healthy bangs while the acceleration is linear and strong.
Versatile and lighter (8.8 lbs less than 2007 version), the 2008 Husky TC 250 is easy to maneuver and to be taken around the corners so the pleasure of riding it reaches high levels, directly proportional with the podium levels. I’m not kidding (and Husky fans already know); this bike is capable of becoming a winner, by far.
It enjoys a highly-revved engine before an even higher jump so that the covered ground would be as much as possible and the show guaranteed. But motocross jumps are very demanding on the suspensions and you would ask yourself how this motocrosser deals with this situation. Simply, it uses Marzocchi forks and Sachs shock absorber, units let you know that as much as you will try to make them look bad, they won’t allow it. And it is true, the 50mm diameter fork doesn’t enjoy bottoming so it opuses good resistance while the 296mm wheel travel shock keeps thinks steady not only when landing, but during corners and take off too.
Impressive new ride has Husqvarna delivered, but is it able to stop when needed to? I was very confident that it can because the “Brembo” name cheers me up more than “Nissin” does and this is not just a subjective interpretation. The brakes on this thing are very powerful and offer almost immediate stopping when the situation requires it. Also, I felt more confident with the throttle even before a tight corner because I relied on the 260mm front and 240mm rear disc brakes that put an end to any courageous implication with the right side of the handlebars. And I mean the twister.
Everything comes at a cost, but not necessarily the Husqvarna TC 250 because its MSRP of $6,298 is accessible to most riders who feel like getting a piece of the motocross action, not to mention the ones that compete in closed-course competitions. This is also the price choose by KTM for the 250 SX so a fair deal is on the table in both cases.
Riders who were looking for a unique dirt bike with loads of character and impressive features have most likely already discovered the TC 250, but those who didn’t, keep their eyes and years opened for suggestions just like this.
Go for it! It is powerful, easy handling and it doesn’t reach that deep in your pocket!
Engine and Transmission
Type: 4-stroke, 4 valves, DOHC, Liquid Cooled Single
Bore x Stroke: 76 x 55mm
Compression Ratio: 12.9:1
Ignition: C.D.I electronic, with variable advance (digital control)
Carburetion: 37mm Keihin FCR
Starter: Kick start (with automatic decompressor)
Clutch / Transmission: Wet / Multiplate / 5-speed
Chassis and Dimensions
Frame: Steel single tube cradle (round, rectangular and ellipsoidal tubes); rear frame in light alloy
Front Suspension: 50mm diameter Marzocchi “Upside-Down” telescopic hydraulic fork with advanced axle; compression and rebound stroke adjustment
Rear Suspension: 296mm wheel travel Progressive “Soft Damp” type with single hydraulic Sachs shock absorber; spring preload adjustment, compression and rebound adjustment (compression stroke: double adjustment)
Front Brake: 260mm “BREMBO”, fixed disc type with hydraulic control and floating caliper
Rear Brake: 240mm “BREMBO”, floating disc type with hydraulic control and floating caliper
Front Rim: 1,60”x21” light alloy
Rear Rim: 1,85”x19” light alloy
Front Tire: 80/100-21” PIRELLI
Rear Tire: 100/90-19” PIRELLI
Wheelbase: 1495mm (58.86 in.)
Overall Length: 2207 (86.89 in.)
Overall Width: 820mm (32.28 in.)
Overall Height: 1285mm (50.59 in.)
Seat Height: 968mm (38.11 in.)
Ground Clearance: 300mm (11.81 in.)
Trail: 104,2mm (4.10 in.)
Fuel Tank Capacity: 7.2 litres (1.9 gallons)
Dry Weight: 100 kg (220.5 lbs.)