2015 Husqvarna TC 250 Review
In the world of off-road racing, the debate continues about whether a four-stroke or two-stroke is the better choice. Motocross, on the other hand, has pretty much been decided that the four-stroke is the weapon of choice. Much of that has to do with the displacement advantage that the four stokes are given, and the fact that the two-strokes can be harder to ride due to more explosive power delivery.
Fortunately for those of us who grew up racing two-strokes, and those youngster racers who enjoy the quicker power and lighter weight of the two-strokes, companies such as Husqvarna continue build and develop two-strokes like the 2015 Husqvarna TC 250 (updated for 2016).
The Husqvarna TC 250 is a beautiful and clean looking motorcycle. The white plastic has nice smooth lines with blue and yellow ascents along with the traditional Husky crown logo molded into the plastic so the graphics won’t wear off in the heat of battle. The other notable difference between the TC 250 and the KTM SX 250 (KTM owns Husqvarna) is that the Husky uses a composite sub-frame while the KTM uses an aluminum sub-frame. Why the difference? We’re not really sure.
Just as with the KTM equivalent, the Husky has many high quality parts such as billet aluminum hubs, black DID Dirt Star rims, aluminum fat bars, Brembo brakes and hydraulic clutch, plus a plated exhaust. Most of these features can’t be found on the big four Japanese motocross bikes.
So, now we have a classy looking two-stroke MX bike built with high quality parts and a traditional name, let’s take it out on the track. The 2015 Husqvarna TC 250 has a nice comfortable cockpit that if anything feels slightly on the small side for us riders just over 6-foot tall, but not in any way cramped. The bodywork has very smooth lines that have nothing for your boots or riding pants to catch on.
The TC 250’s engine has somewhat of a narrow powerband, even for a two-stroke. The bottom end power is soft and smooth before it moves into the mid-range. There is no big mid-range hit that some new two-stroke riders dislike – just a smooth pull into the top end before it signs off without a lot of over-rev.
Being a 40-something vet rider who grew up racing two-strokes and did most of his past racing on a 250cc bikes, I would have like to have more roll on bottom end and a healthier hit in the mid-range. Being an older guy, I don’t use a lot of the top end.
But 16-year-old test rider Ty Cullins rides a lot faster and is more aggressive. He noticed it didn’t have as much on the bottom as some other bikes, but he didn’t care. He just keeps it up on the pipe and in the meat of the power band. He thought the power curve was great, and just wanted slightly more over-rev.
We both agreed that the Husqvarna TC 250’s clutch action was superb. The engagement point hand the feel of the damped diaphragm steel hydraulically actuated clutch just can’t be matched by bikes with an old-fashioned cable and a spring clutch basket.
Jetting on the 38mm Keihin carb wasn’t quite spot on for our weather and altitude in Southern California. We didn’t have any jets hand for that car, so to get it to run clean all the way through the RPM range we had to turn out the air screw to a point where it was a little lean off the bottom end. Changing a few jets should get it to run perfect.
The stock WP suspension is well balanced and has a nice feel to it. It is just slightly soft for riders over 180 pounds, which includes Ty and me. The bike soaks up the rough chop very well, including the moderate hits that come from some of the typical jumps on the MX track. We would just like to see it stay slightly higher in the stroke and absorb the huge hits a little better.
The 2015 Husqvarna TC 250 is more of a quick handling bike, meaning it turns very well and changes direction very fast. On the other end of the spectrum it can be a little nervous and not all that stable. Ty’s first ride on the bike was at Milestone MX in Riverside, a man-made well-groomed track that stays pretty smooth with large jumps.
At Milestone, the bike handled great for him. He was up to full speed on only his second lap and commented that he could set the bike easily into the turns and get on the gas as soon as he was in the turn. Standing at the fence watching, he looked very fast on it.
A few weeks later, Ty raced the 2015 Husqvarna TC 250 at Glen Helen Raceway, a natural terrain AMA Pro Motocross National and MXGP track that gets very rough. Out there, the somewhat nervous handling left him not feeling comfortable enough to push it to his full potential. Ty could race it fast for a lap or two, but then he was just too uncomfortable to keep the pace up. We believe getting the suspension revalved for his weight and ability would cure most of that.
On the other hand, when I raced the 2015 Husqvarna TC 250 at Glen Helen, I thought handling was great. I never once felt uncomfortable or got out of shape. We are roughly the same size and weight, so it is clearly the fact that he is going faster and pushing harder.
Living with the 2015 Husqvarna TC 250 has been a breeze. Two-strokes, in general, are easier to keep up than four-strokes, and this bike is no exception. We have checked things over after every ride and haven’t yet even needed to tighten a bolt. The TC 250 has a side access air filter that needs no tools to change. The Brembo brakes and second to none – this bike can stop on a dime! We already talked about the excellent hydraulic clutch that needs no adjustment. The TC 250 comes standard with Dunlop’s latest and greatest Geomax MX52 tires that work superbly in a wide range over terrain.
In the end we feel the 2015 Husqvarna TC 250 is a really good MX bike, no matter the amount of strokes (2 or 4); it just needs little bit of setup to be perfect. The quality build of this bike should keep it lasting for years and, with the legendary name, it seems well worth it to us to do that little bit of work to have one of the best bikes on the track.
Chris Cullins owns TEC-Cycles in Riverside, Calif.
Photography by R. Schedl and H. Mitterbauer
2015 Husqvarna TC 250 Specs
- Engine: Liquid-cooled two-stroke, with reed intake and power valve exhaust control
- Displacement: 249 cc
- Bore x stroke: 66.4 x 72 mm
- Fuel capacity: 2 gallons
- Ignition: Kokusan contactless, controlled, fully electronic ignition system w/ digital ignition timing adjustment
- Starting: Kick
- Transmission: 5-gear, claw shifted
- Clutch: Wet multi-disc clutch DDS, Brembo hydraulics
- Lubrication: Mixture oil lubrication
- Frame: Central tube frame made of chrome molybdenum steel tubing
- Forks: WP Suspension upside down Ø 48 mm 4CS closed cartridge, 11.8” of travel
- Shock: WP Monoshock with linkage, 12.5” of travel
- Front brake: 260 mm disc brake with 2-piston floating brake caliper
- Rear braje: 220 mm disc brake with single-piston floating brake caliper
- Weight: 215 pounds
- Ground clearance: 15.2 inches
- Wheelbase: 58.9 inches (+/- 0.4 inches)
- Seat height: 39.1 inches
- 2015 Husqvarna TC 250 MSRP: $7,349