We take a look at how Motocross Action was able to improve upon the lacking areas of the 2017 Husky TC250 without spending factory team money.
A lot of people are saying 2-stroke motocross bikes are making a comeback, but we think they’re alive and well. Granted there’s only a few manufacturers still making new 2-strokes, but you can go to just about any MX track and chances are you’ll see multiple riders ripping 2-strokes. I bet if you asked around, some of the aftermarket exhaust companies would tell you they sell more 2-stroke product than 4-stroke.
Some of the people giving 2-strokes much deserved love is the crew over at Motocross Action Magazine. With the help of test rider and longtime industry personality Dennis Stapleton, they built themselves a 2017 Husqvarna TC250 everyone can appreciate. With this build, they aimed to analyze the bike in stock form and note key areas they felt could use some improvement, and then correct those areas without keeping the budget out of reach for the common weekend rider. Here’s our summary of the bike review done by MXA. See the original write up in the July issue of Motocross Action.
They felt that the bike in stock form had fun and snappy bottom end power, with a hit hard enough to catch you off guard when it gets on the pipe. However, they found that it actually started to sign off once the bike made its way toward the top end. Normally you might just short shift in this case, but they found that the stock gearing just made short shifting feel like more work with not much more power.
They tackled these power issues with three different things: gearing, exhaust, and a piston kit. They swapped out the stock 50 tooth rear sprocket for a ProX Racing Parts 49 tooth (and a ProX 520MX gold chain to match) to help spread out the power across the shift points.
For the exhaust, they decided to go with a Pro Circuit pipe and silencer, which delivered a smooth but strong pull through the mid-range and top end without sacrificing anything on the bottom. Lastly, they threw a Wiseco Pro Lite piston in the top end to keep the compression high and the friction and wear low.
Check out the Wiseco Piston Pro Lite piston for the Husqvarna TC250 here.
Mikuni TMX Jetting
The mods done to help out the power made simple and easy bolt on and drop in improvements, but they ran into a little more difficulty with the jetting. Recent model KTM and Husqvarna 2-strokes have a good reputation of coming with a good jetting set up from the factory in most cases. However, the MXA crew could not seem to get the bike running quite right regardless of this jetting changes they made.
Many veteran 2-stroke riders will tell you that they typically mix their 2-stroke fuel at 32:1 or 40:1, which is what MXA has always mixed theirs at. However, after asking around for help, they found out that 60:1 was actually the recommended mixture ratio, and the bike was much happier with the leaner premix. They attributed this to Husqvarna switching from a Keihin carburetor to the Mikuni TMX carburetor.
Conversion for Handling
According to test rider Dennis Stapleton, “this bike has a light and nimble low weight feel with awesome stopping power.” The braking set up they used kept the factory calipers with ProX rotors and pads. While they found that it handled pretty well stock, they ended up bolting on a set of Ride Engineering triple clamps and linkage arm. The clamps are one mm more offset than stock and the linkage is one mm longer than stock, which helped the front end track better in corners and the rear end settle down a bit more, respectively.
Check out all the ProX parts available for the Husqvarna TC250 here.
A lot of people have found that the new WP AER48 forks work pretty well considering the early reputation air forks made for themselves. However, on this bike they found that the extra light front end actually felt a little too light, making the front wheel feel like it would skip and push rather than stick in corners. MXA decided to give the WP spring conversion kit a try, and were pleased with the result.
All-in-all, the MXA wrecking crew ended up with a fun and fast 250 2-stroke that has usable power and responsive and predictable handling without breaking the bank.
Bike photos and video credit to Motocross Action.