At the very beginning of the 20th century, bicycle specialist Husqvarna decided to mount an NSU engine on one of its own reinforced frames, giving birth to the brand's first-ever motorcycle.
|The TC449 motocross bike is essentially designed for closed-track racing that includes bumps and jumps. (Photo: Husqvarna)
After World War II, the Swedish company produced two-stroke engines and won multiple motocross titles in the '60s and '70s. Later, major financial losses ultimately forced the executives to sell the brand to Italy's Cagiva in 1986. Husqvarna products are still manufactured in the Mediterranean country, but they've been managed by BMW since 2007.
Two new machines
The TC449 motocross bike is essentially designed for closed-track racing that includes bumps and jumps, while the TE449 enduro bike with lighting system is aimed at long-distance trail riders and frequent road users. Both have elevated Husqvarna among the top brands in their respective segment and the latest iterations are prime examples.
Aside from the colour (unchanged) and new styling, you won't find anything revolutionary on the first few pictures released by the manufacturer. A closer look, however, reveals a number of similarities with the defunct BMW G450X
, including the under-seat fuel tank and filler cap as well as the swingarm pivot pin intersecting with the sprocket.
Husqvarna was one of the first companies to fit four-stroke engines on dirt bikes. Today, it mostly employs four-stroke single-cylinders such as the all-new 449-cc unit that powers the 2011 TC and TE - a result from the BMW-Kymco partnership.
The 4-valve, DOHC engine features a revised ECU and 12:1 compression ratio clearly suited for dirt racing (where high-octane fuel is required). Fortunately, engineers added an electric starter and automatic decompression system. The bore-stroke combination (98x59.6 mm) makes it one of the highest-strung, highest-revving engines in its class.
|2011 Husqvarna TE449 (Photo: Husqvarna)