Husaberg's latest creation is a premium enduro bike with a four-stroke engine that marks the return of a traditional powertrain configuration. In fact, the entire four-stroke family will now be produced and supplied by KTM, Husaberg's parent company.
Gone is the upside down, 70-degree, single-cylinder engine that made these machines stand out from the rest of the Canadian motorcycle market. The new 2013 Husaberg FE 250 also represents a first foray into the small displacement segment by the Swedish brand.
Some fans of the old inverted and slanted engine will cry foul at this decision, which was mainly driven by a desire to reduce costs. Granted, sharing a lot of mechanical components with KTM takes much of the exclusiveness away from the new FE. On the other hand, the singular setup never quite proved its worth in terms of technological advancement.
The good news is that Husaberg motorcycles, including the 2013 Husaberg FE 250, will now benefit from the same model-year innovations as KTM's (remember, the two-stroke 2011 TE had to make do with the 2010 KTM innovations).
No. The KTM frame has been modified and incorporates a fibreglass-reinforced polyamide rear section with three bolted elements. This technology increases longevity by improving shock absorption. Moreover, the tail of the 2013 Husaberg FE 250 integrates new electrical and electronic components, as well a convenient handle to lift the bike when need be.
The double-cradle frame made from chrome-molybdenum steel ensures good longitudinal flexibility that contributes to better handling. The completely redesigned seat and plastic fairings on each side of the tank allow the machine and the rider to become one. Additionally, the 2013 Husaberg FE 250 comes out of the factory with a skid plate beneath the crankcase.
The other distinctive feature is the suspension, which presents a more elaborate setup than KTM bikes. The 48 mm, four-chamber, closed-cartridge WP fork is derived from Six Days competition models. According to Husaberg, it provides a decisive advantage in terms of responsiveness and constant damping. In the back, the 2013 FE 250 relies on a linkless WP PDS shock absorber that's 7 mm longer and has settings tuned individually to the new frame.
The revised swingarm is 300 g lighter, more flexible, and with a shock pivot point that's 5 mm closer. Elsewhere, the new wheels help shave 200 g apiece, adding to the significant reduction in unsprung weight.
The 2013 Husaberg FE 250's DOHC single-cylinder comes with a standard electric starter and optional kick starter. It uses DLC-coated cam followers, four ultra-light titanium valves, and a Keihin electronic fuel injection system with a 42 mm throttle body. Lubrication is ensured by a pair of oil pumps, while the updated exhaust system is designed to meet the new, stricter European enduro racing noise standards.
Those who crave innovation and uniqueness might deplore the company's cost-cutting approach, but they will never be disappointed for one second with the output and performance of the new 2013 Husaberg FE 250, largely built on the success of KTM products.