2013 Husqvarna TXC250R & TXC310R | First Ride

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2013 Husqvarna TXC250R / TXC310R Test

The big news for the 2013 Husqvarna TXC250R and TXC310R cross-country racing motorcycles is the redhead engine. In fact, the new red valve cover is the source of the new R at the end of the model number of these two superb off-road machines.

According to Husqvarna, the TXC310R gets a five-percent increase in peak horsepower and an eight-percent increase in maximum torque. The boost is even more pronounced on the TXC250R, which gets pumped up a claim eight-percent at both peak horsepower and torque.

To get there, Husqvarna redesigned the cylinder head, installed a new fuel injection system, and changed the exhaust manifold design. All this was done with the American cross-country market in mind, as the TE models are still considered the enduro bikes.

Husqvarna showed impressive confidence by bringing out the 2012 versions of the 310 and 250 for comparison. Often, the claims of power increases are a bit on the exaggerated side. With the previous year’s models on-hand, an instant and accurate comparison can be made.

There were some suspension changes for 2013, but Husqvarna was focusing on the new Redhead motors, so they debuted the bikes at Lake Elsinore Motorsports Park so we could focus almost exclusively on power output. This was a good call. 

Last year, I greatly preferred the TXC310 to the TXC250. It wasn’t that the 250 wasn’t a fun bike, but it simply did not have the bottom end power to allow me to make my inevitable errors. It was easy to fall off the cam and require frequent downshifts. It had good top-end power, but felt lacking down low.

The 2012 TXC310 has that extra boost down low where I needed it. I could let the revs drop in a technical section, and then pull away without a mandatory downshift. The added flexibility made the Husqvarna TXC310 my favorite off-road bike last year.

After re-familiarizing myself with last year’s TXC250 and TXC310, I hopped on the 2013 Husqvarna TXC250R. Whoa! This is a huge difference. In fact, the 2013 TXC250R feels more like last year’s 310 than it does last year’s 250.

Where as previously on the 250, you had to have considerable gear discipline, the new TXC250R allows you to pull one gear lower than before. 

This makes a huge difference when working your way through technical sections. I was on a motocross track, but I picked out lines that made traversing the course as challenging as possible, including crossing deep ruts in various corners, going deep in others, an railing along the outside in others. So, while Husqvarna may talk about peak increases, the important news is the increased power down low on the 2013 TXC250R. I can’t wait to try it out on technical single-track trails.

Next up was the 2013 Husqvarna TXC310R, for which I had high hopes. The changes mirrored those for the 250. The new 310 has more power down low, and you can be two gears off and still pull cleanly.

Make no mistake; the fastest way around the track is had by picking the right gear. But, when things get tricky, you can focus on the obstacle and not worry about being in precisely the right gear.

Also, you can let the revs drop, so the power down low is smoother and more reliable.

Even with the additional power, the TXC310R does not have a 450-like hit. That’s a good thing for me, as I don’t require 450 power to get around. The 310 was fine for me before, and it’s even better now. The power remains smooth, non-intimidating, and less fatiguing than a 450. It’s exactly what I want in an off-road motor – there’s plenty of power up top when I need it, yet it’s controllable and predictable at lower rpm.

On the MX track, the improved punch of both bikes made hitting jumps much more confidence inspiring. I don’t get big, long air, but my time off the ground felt secure and predictable.

A side benefit from the new Redhead motors is improved handling. Sure, the new settings for the fully adjustable 48mm USD Kayaba forks and rear Kayaba shock may have made a difference, but I’m sticking with the motors. The excellent response and predictability of the new Redhead motors makes the Husqvarna TXC310R and TXC250R feel much better from a handling perspective.

Without question, both 2013s handled better than their previous year equivalents. There is a chance that the reinforcing around the steering head with chromoly steel plates has an impact, but I couldn’t feel that specifically.

It wasn’t installed on my test bikes, but Husqvarna offers an accessory that allows the rider to switch between two different engine maps: extra-progressive and more-direct. Certainly, we will check out those when we do a full off-road test.

As it stands now, we are greatly impressed by the upgrades that make two outstanding off-road machines even better than before. Watch for a full off-road test of both the 2013 Husqvarna TXC250R and TXC310R soon.

2013 Husqvarna TXC250R Specs:

Engine:

  • Type: 4-stroke single cylinder, four valves per cylinder, two overhead camshafts, wet sump lubrication
  • Bore / stroke: 79 mm x 50.9 mm (3.11 in x 2 in)
  • Displacement: 249.5 cc
  • Compression ratio: 13.5:1
  • Mixture control / engine management: Electronic injection / digital engine management, capacitive discharge ignition, with variable advance.
  • Starting: Electric and kickstart.
  • Cooling: Liquid cooling
  • Homologation: No homologation, USA: Red sticker.
  • Clutch: Wet, multiplate type, hydraulic control.
  • Gearbox: Constant mesh 6-speed gearbox.
  • Final drive ratio: 13T / 50T (3.846)

Chassis / brakes:

  • Frame: Steel single tube. Aluminum rear subframe
  • Front suspension: Kayaba upside-down telescopic closed cartridge fork; compression and rebound damping adjustment; ø 48 mm
  • Rear suspension: Kayaba progressive “Soft Damp” type with single hydraulic shock absorber; spring preload adjustment, rebound damping adjustment, and compression damping adjustment for low-speed and high-speed
  • Front suspension travel: 300 mm (11.81 in)
  • Rear suspension travel: 296 mm (11.6 in)
  • Wheels: Aluminum alloy spoked wheels.
  • Rim, front: 1.60″x21″
  • Rim, rear: 2.15″x18″
  • Tires, front: 80/1000 – 21″
  • Tires, rear: 110/100 – 18″
  • Brake, front: 260 mm (10.24 in) fixed disc, “Wave” type, with hydraulic control and double piston floating caliper
  • Brake, rear: 240 mm (9.45 in) fixed disc, “Wave” type, with hydraulic control and single piston floating caliper

Dimensions / weight:

  • Wheelbase: 1.470 mm (57.87 in)
  • Seat height, unladen weight: 950 mm (37.40 in)
  • Ground clearance, unladen weight: 290 mm (11.42 in)
  • Trail: 106 mm (4.17 in)
  • Rake: 26.5°
  • Dry weight: 105 Kg (231.49 lb)
  • Fuel tank capacity: 8.5 l (US gallons: 2.25 – Imp. gallons 1.87)

 

2013 Husqvarna TXC310R Specs:

Engine:

  • Type: 4-stroke single cylinder, four valves per cylinder, two overhead camshafts, wet sump lubrication
  • Bore / stroke: 82 mm x 57.35 mm (3.23 in x 2.26 in)
  • Displacement: 302.44 cc
  • Compression ratio: 13:1
  • Mixture control / engine management: Electronic injection / digital engine management, capacitive discharge ignition, with variable advance.
  • Starting: Electric and kickstart.
  • Cooling: Liquid cooling.
  • Homologation: No homologation, USA: Red sticker.
  • Clutch: Wet, multiplate type, hydraulic control.
  • Gearbox: Constant mesh 6-speed gearbox.
  • Final drive ratio: 13T / 50T (3.846)

Chassis / brakes:

  • Frame: Steel single tube. Aluminum rear subframe.
  • Front suspension: Kayaba upside-down telescopic closed cartridge fork; compression and rebound damping adjustment; ø 48 mm
  • Rear suspension: Kayaba progressive “Soft Damp” type with single hydraulic shock absorber; spring preload adjustment, rebound damping adjustment, and compression damping adjustment for low-speed and high-speed
  • Front suspension travel: 300 mm (11.81 in)
  • Rear suspension travel: 296 mm (11.6 in)
  • Wheels: Aluminum alloy spoked wheels.
  • Rim, front: 1.60″x21″
  • Rim, rear: 2.15″x18″
  • Tires, front: 80/1000 – 21″
  • Tires, rear: 110/100 – 18″
  • Brake, front: 260 mm (10.24 in) fixed disc, “Wave” type, with hydraulic control and double piston floating caliper
  • Brake, rear: 240 mm (9.45 in) fixed disc, “Wave” type, with hydraulic control and single piston floating caliper

Dimensions / weight:

  • Wheelbase: 1.470 mm (57.87 in)
  • Seat height, unladen weight: 950 mm (37.40 in)
  • Ground clearance, unladen weight: 290 mm (11.42 in)
  • Trail: 106 mm (4.17 in)
  • Rake: 26.5°
  • Dry weight: 105 Kg (231.49 lb)
  • Fuel tank capacity: 8.5 l (US gallons: 2.25 – Imp. gallons 1.87)

 

Riding Style:

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Helmet: HJC RPHA X
  • Goggles: Utopia
  • Neck brace: Leatt GPX Club
  • Pants, gloves and jersey: Thor Phase Vented
  • 
Boots: Sidi Crossfire

Action photos by Scott Cox