2018 Husqvarna TE 250i Review | Pre-Production Roosting
We obtained a pre-production 2018 Husqvarna TE 250i to flog, and we wasted no time in logging 80 grueling miles on the new Husky across three of the most technically challenging trails in Southern California.
Here are the 14 essential facts you need to know about the new fuel-injected Husky TE 250i two-stroke.
1. The fuel injection on the 2018 Husqvarna TE 250i works differently than it does on current four-stroke models. Rather than the throttle body mixing fuel and air similar to a conventional carburetor, air is drawn in through the 39mm Dell’Orto throttle body and mixed with the precise amount of two-stroke oil necessary. The quantity is determined using inputs from sensors measuring ambient air temperature, throttle position, intake air pressure, crankcase air pressure, and engine temperature. The air/oil mixture is inducted into the crankcase through a reed valve. The gasoline is separately injected into the cylinder’s transfer ports as part of the compression stroke, just prior to ignition.
2. The Husky’s ingenious EFI/oil-injection system is visually noticeable. Check out the twin fuel injectors and hoses on the outside of the cylinder, as well as the throttle body. The throttle body is not connected to the fuel tank at all, as it is solely for the air/oil mixture. It is unconventional thinking, and a very cool way around the challenge of forcing a fuel/oil mixture through a fine injector nozzle.
3. Completely tractable power delivery transforms the 2018 Husqvarna TE 250i into a Hard Enduro Ace. Ride it like a trials bike. The engine management system feeds the motor with electronic precision, so this two-stroke engine can be lugged way down low in the rev range without the fear of stalling, loading up the cylinder, or bogging. This allows the bike to track directly up and over nasty obstacles with trials-bike like traction and precision. Equally important, the rider expends much less energy.
4. The 2018 Husqvarna TE 250i’s power-valve is customizable in multiple ways. The power-valve spring-preload can be adjusted with a tool on the trail, or you can make a swap in the pits differently tensioned spring. A lighter spring allows the powerband to kick in earlier, and vice versa with a heavier spring. We found that the stock spring delays the powerband just long enough to provide a fairly wide and usable low rpm range. We love it on technical trails, as the low-end is where the fuel-injected magic happens.
5. Fuel and oil injection means no fuss and no mess. Our pre-production Husquvarna TE 250i provided perfect fueling at altitudes ranging from 2500 to 8000 feet. Remember the oily residue that typically drips out of the end of the exhaust pipe, coating the rear caliper in black goo, and eventually making its way to the bed of your truck or your riding gear? That doesn’t happen on the 2018 Husky TE 250i.
6. Counterbalancing a two-stroke engine seriously cuts down on the vibration. If you haven’t ridden a counterbalanced two-stroke, you are really missing out. Gone are the days of bone shattering vibration, which equates to less fatigue on long days in the saddle. The lack of vibration tends to mask the power, so it requires a bit of saddle time to adjust.
7. The Husky TE 250i has surprising straight-line ability for a two-stroke. Deflection from roots and rocks is minimized thanks to the enduro-specific suspension setup and the tractable drive coming from the rear wheel. It is the best of both worlds—the straight-line drive of a four-stroke, along with the lightweight agility of a two-stroke. WP’s 48mm Xplor forks are lightly sprung, but progressive enough and balanced fore-and-aft with the WP DCC shock to the point that TE 250i seemingly floats over obstacles with minimal side-to-side yaw.
8. High-speed sections demonstrate the traditional two-stroke feel we all know and love. Once in the powerband, the TE 250i engine revs up and normalizes into the two-stroke experience we are used to—fast and light.
9. If you like the bite of Brembo brake systems, the new Magura units will require some adaptation. The Magura levers and master cylinders are premium components, and the single-bolt hinge clamp attachment to the handlebar gives it a factory look. The feel is very progressive and easy to use, but definitely lacks the initial bite of the previous Brembo units. Depending on your preference, the feel of the Magura binders may take a few miles to get used to.
10. Forget the desert fuel tank, you won’t need it with this kind of range. Not only is the fuel-/oil-injection a game changer for low rpm tractability, it is extremely efficient as well. We got nearly 25 mpg in the gnarliest of single-track conditions. A 2.4-gallon capacity in the translucent fuel tank mean a range of 50+ miles of technical terrain, which may take you all day to ride. As a bonus, the 700cc oil tank is good for roughly five tanks of fuel. There’s no need to carry two-stroke oil should you need to siphon some gas from the tank one of your four-stroke riding friends.
11. Your race budget just got a lot smaller. Competing on a four-stroke is an expensive affair, between exhaust systems, valve-train maintenance, frequent oil changes, and the like. Two-strokes need a piston and ring set every season—a 45-minute maintenance job you can probably outsource to your nephew. With the oil injection on the TE 250i averaging an 80:1 fuel/oil ratio, power valves stay clean and functional, minimizing maintenance.
12. It’s a Husqvarna, so premium componentry abounds. The list is long—Pro Taper handlebar, tool-less access to the Twin Air air filter, composite carbon fiber subframe, ODI lock-on grips, handguards, nickel-plated exhaust, lightweight lithium-ion battery, DDS diaphragm clutch, X-ring chain, and more. Our pre-production model had Dunlop Geomax AT81 tires, but expect FIM-legal Metzeler MCE 6 Days Extreme rubber on the production version. Perhaps because of its Swedish heritage, the aesthetics of the 2018 Husqvarna TE 250i make it a stunner on the starting line. The only thing this beauty is missing, at least on our pre-production model, is a USFS-approved spark arrestor.
13. The 2018 Husqvarna TE 250i makes it easy to go hard. What a lot of us off-roaders like in our four-stroke machines—namely low-speed traction and straight-line stability—the TE 250i provides in a lightweight, no mess, no hassle, easy-to-ride package. Fortunately for us, this is only the beginning of the two-stroke renaissance.
14. The two-stroke engine is back—new and improved thanks to electronic fuel injection. With the resulting performance aimed at winning over even the most diehard four-stroke aficionado, the 2018 Husqvarna TE 250i will draw quite a bit of attention on the showroom floor.
Photography by Don Williams
- Helmet: AGV AX-8 Evo
- Goggles: Utopia Eyewear
- Pants and jersey: Alpinestars L.E. Bomber Racer Braap
- Gloves: Alpinestars L.E. Bomber Radar Tracker
- Body armor: Alpinestars Bionic Pro Jacket
- Boots: Alpinestars L.E. Bomber Tech 10
2018 Husqvarna TE 250i Specs
- Type: Single-cylinder, power-valve 2-stroke
- Displacement: 249cc
- Bore x stroke: 66.4 x 72mm
- Fueling: EFI w/ 39mm Dell’Orto throttle body
- Induction: Reed valve
- Ignition: Synerject EMS
- Silencer: Aluminum
- Cooling: Liquid
- Starting: Electric and kick
- Lubrication: Electronically regulated oil injection
- Transmission: 6-speed
- Clutch: DDS wet multi-disc clutch w/ Magura hydraulics
- Final drive: X-chain
- Frame: Central double-cradle-type chromoly steel
- Subframe: Carbon fiber reinforced polyamide
- Handlebar: Pro Taper; Aluminum Ø 28/22 mm
- Front suspension; travel: Fully adjustable inverted WP Xplor 48mm fork; 11.8 inches
- Rear suspension: Linkage-assisted fully adjustable WP DDC shock; 13.0 inches
- Front rim: 1.60 x 21”; DID Dirt Star
- Rear rim: 2.15 x 18”; DID Dirt Star
- Front tire: 90/90-21; Dunlop Geomax AT81F
- Rear tire: 14079-18; Dunlop Geomax AT81
- Front brake: 260mm disc w/ Magura hydraulics
- Rear brake: 220mm disc w/ Magura hydraulics
DIMENSIONS and CAPACITIES
- Wheelbase: 58.9 inches
- Rake: 26.5°
- Triple clamp offset: 22mm
- Seat height: 37.8 inches
- Ground clearance: 14.6 inches
- Tank capacity: 2.4 gallons (approx.)
- Wet weight: 247 pounds (approx.)
2018 Husqvarna TE250i Price:
- $TBA MSRP