We have been riding the new Husqvarna TC250 motocross bike for a few weeks now and we are very impressed. This is brand new. Last year’s TC250 had no electric start, no electronic fuel injection, and used an old centrifugally controlled power valve—essentially the same technology as two-stroke motocross bikes from the late ’70s. To be fair, most of the technology presented in the new TC250 has been seen elsewhere before. What we haven’t seen before is the integration of it all. More specifically, the engine’s CPU controls spark advance, fuel mixture, and power valve opening. Therefore, exhaust port timing is determined by a combination of rpm and throttle opening. The injectors are now in the throttle body. Transfer Port Injection is only available on off-road models.
Most of the Husqvarna range of bikes cost 100 more than their KTM counterparts Dollar. The Husky TC250 is $9049. A traditional model with retro graphics is just $9,149.
In addition to the new motor, the 2023 TC250 features a new chassis with a frame and rear suspension design similar to the new four Stroke Motocross. Husqvarna’s marketing team made the deliberate decision to slightly reduce the suspension travel on all of their race bikes in order to lower the seat height compared to comparable KTM models. According to our scale, the new TC250 weighs 222 pounds without fuel, which is 7 pounds more than last year. That’s pretty impressive considering it now has an electric starter and a battery.
The TC250 has a five-speed transmission, while the TX300 off-road two-stroke transmission is a six-speed transmission. All ratios are different.
The TC250’s power delivery was just enough to be fun, but not enough to be unmanageable. Low end power is very good. It is far more powerful than any of the 250 two-strokes we have tested before. Peak power is still excellent, and there’s still a big surge, right where it should be. But something about the new motor makes it more accepting of partial throttle openings. You quickly learn that the TC250 is not an all-or-nothing bike. You can delay big success by holding back a little. In other words, you use throttle control. The power delivery is also cleaner than a traditional carbureted two-stroke. When you accelerate the bike on the starting line (i.e. no load on the motor), it sounds a little dirty, like it has to clear its throat. But, once you start, it goes away. On top of that, the TC revs pretty well, but nothing to get excited about. You have to switch shifts early and often. We found that the map switch does make a difference. There are two dedicated buttons on the left side of the handlebar. The bottom buttons give you more information. Of course, this is nothing new, but the differences are more dramatic than we’re used to. For a Husky four-stroke, map switching makes no difference, measured on the seat of the pants on a dynamometer alone. The guys at Pro Circuit told us that’s not the case here. In some parts of the dyno curve, the aggressive map really is worth more than the horsepower. We will have a full test of the 2023 Husqvarna TC250 in the March 2023 print issue of Dirt Bike.
Anaheim 1 is tomorrow! We will have live updates on dirtbikemagazine.com from the first timed practice session. Tune in!
Suzuki is the last to announce its full team for OE 2023 Supercross Race/Supercross season. With the addition of Ken Roczen, the HEP team was restructured – there was a conflict between Roczen’s Red Bull Association and HEP’s Twisted Tea sponsorship. Here is Suzuki’s official announcement:
Suzuki Motor USA, LLC is pleased to announce the continuation of its partnership with HEP Motorsports for the 2023 season. Suzuki will support two teams under the HEP Motorsports umbrella: Progressive Insurance ECSTAR Suzuki and Twisted Tea Suzuki, provided by Progressive Insurance.
BAR-X SUZUKI Dilan Schwartz
Progressive Insurance ECSTAR Suzuki will include Ken Roczen (94) on a Suzuki RM-Z450 and Dilan Schwartz (85) and Marshal on the RM-Z250 Weltin (50).
Roczen and the brand With a strong connection and having won his most recent AMA title at Suzuki, will reunite with the RM- Z450 and bring his exciting style, determination and grit back to the RM army. Schwartz will return to Suzuki in 2023 after a roller-coaster season in 2022. After an impressive run on the RM-Z450 at the start of last year’s motocross season, Weltin has joined RM Army full-time and looks to build on his momentum.
Veteran Kyle Chisholm (11) from Clearwater, FL Courtesy of Progressive Insurance Twisted Tea Suzuki continues to work hard with audience favorites Shane McElrath of Canton, NC (12) and Brandon Hartranft of Brick, NJ (37)
Chisholm will join the team in 2023, bringing solid racing and setup experience to the team, And look forward to driving the RM-Z450 to compete. Along with Chisholm, McElrath’s exciting car bolsters the RM army and McElrath hopes to make big strides in 2023. Hartranft is back again with the Twisted Tea Suzuki from the Progressive Insurance team. Injured during pre-season training, American Suzuki wishes Brandon a speedy recovery as he looks forward to returning to the track. Thanks Mike Ellas VIDEO Robbie Wageman
Earlier, Suzuki announced the Bar-X Suzuki lineup. They’ll have Derek Drake, Carson Mumford, Robbie Wageman and Ty Masterpool. We were especially pleased to see the former
Test rider Wageman gets on the bike. He reported that the bike was a rocket!
I got into the test writing business in 1981, and it turned out to be a pretty big year for motocross. Here are some fun bikes I tested when they were brand new.
1981 Suzuki RM125
The 1981 Suzuki RM125 has the honor of being Suzuki’s first liquid-cooled off-road bike as well as its first one-man shock. It was easily the best 125 race of the year and represented a huge leap forward. Oddly enough, the Suzuki RM125’s reign didn’t last long. It was quickly surpassed by other manufacturers; most notably Honda.
1981 Maico MC490
It was the end of an era for the Maico, but what a glorious end it was. Today, the ’81 490 is almost adored by vintage bike enthusiasts. It single-handedly changed the open class of motocross. Sadly, the end of the Maico dynasty is in sight due to family strife.
1981 Honda CR250R.
Not all landmark motorcycles are known for their performance. Some just bring new technology to the table. Such was the case with the 1981 Honda line of motocross bikes. The CR125R and CR250R have liquid cooling and single shock suspension. Honda got the linkage radiator layout right and others will soon follow. Despite its innovations, the 1981 Honda was mediocre.
1981 YAMAHA YZ125
this is The first mainstream liquid-cooled motocross bike, it would have been more compelling if it hadn’t been upstaged by Suzuki. Yamaha has had single-shock suspension for seven years, but the lack of linkage has underwhelmed it. By next year, the YZ125 will have linkage and radiator positions similar to Suzuki’s.
See you next week!
– Ron Lawson