In the Mix
Along with the 449 Husky are also building a bored-out E3-class 477cc version dubbed the TE511 (there’s also a TXC cross country version for the US market, and an MXer which there’s little point in telling you about, partly because we’re not a motocross mag and partly because the only person you’ll ever see riding one is a sponsored rider!). The 511 wasn’t available on the launch so we can't tell you how it rides. We can't tell you why it's called the 511 either, as Husky have traditionally used the 510 moniker for their open classer, and it's not as if they're committed to renaming ALL of the new models. After all, the 310 is still the 310, despite running an entirely different motor, and displacement, to the old bike.
Ah yes, the new 310. I'll get to that in a minute. But first I should mention that the two-stroke WR125, 250 and 300 weren't available to ride either, and that only small tweaks such as modified airboxes and ignitions have been made to Husky's 2011 2T range.
It's now the second year for the latest generation 250 thumper, and Husky have found a few areas where improvements can be made. The frame has been altered with new forged sections around the footpegs and rear master cylinder, and sleeker rails under the motor. The tank capacity has been increased from seven to 8.5L and the airbox is now better sealed. The bike, along with the 310, also features the facility to swap between two ignition maps via a bar-mounted button and, thankfully, they’ve added some proper protection to the exhaust link pipe so this year the 250 didn’t burn a huge hole in my riding pants (unlike the 449)!
However, the biggest question in my mind was not if I’d be going home with singed trousers, but whether the factory had addressed the slight bottom-end stutter that beset last year's bike. We know that thanks to the optional competition silencer, exhaust mods were supposed to cure the problem though I couldn't say for sure that the factory have cured the glitch. Yes, they have changed the pipe so that the baffle no longer rattles but our test bikes did occasionally splutter when you cracked the throttle. However, whether this was down to the same gremlin as last year, or the particularly dusty conditions quickly choking the air filters I’m not going to speculate. I guess we'll just have to wait until we can get a longer ride on a bike here in Blighty.
I wasn't quite so impressed with the 250's mid-range as I was last year, as the bike seemed to need riding harder than before, regardless of which ignition map was selected. Again, this was just a first impression because with limited time available to ride the bikes, the 250 played second fiddle to the two new models.