STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHY MATT BERNARD
The Husqvarna FE250 – should you ride one? Most probably!
“I only ride 450s”… I’ve heard that more times than I would like. Australian riders have an obsession with riding big-bikes. At times, that’s well within reason, the new-age 450 and 500 enduro bikes are bloody, bloody good! However, too many riders walk past a 250 without a second glance. Is it an ego thing? Maybe. However, some guys most probably haven’t ridden a 250F in ten years. A 2008 250F enduro bike versus a 2018 is absolute chalk an cheese, and the Husqvarna FE250 is the finest triple cream brie.
Sitting on the 2018 Husqvarna FE250, you are presented with all the quality components we have come to expect from Husqvarna. Oversized handlebars, quality grips, hydraulic clutch, Magura brakes. A neatly tucked away computer is hidden behind the bar pad and protected by a sleek headlight. The standard handguards aren’t going to win any design awards, but they are strong and do a good job in the bush. The gripper seat cover on the Husky is top quality, the best on any standard bike on the market. It’s a worthy inclusion to the bike. The graphics are in-moulded to the plastics, a saving on a graphics kit straight up. Take note though, they do scratch up. A good idea is a clear protective coat over the standard design. Overall, you buy a Husqvarna FE250, you barely have to spend a cent to trailride.
The 48mm WP Xplor fork responds well in difficult terrain and gives you confidence to trust the front-end in those snotty conditions.
HIT THE TRAILS
We rode the Husqvarna FE250 at Mt Kembla, near Wollongong NSW. The trails there are perfect for a 250F. They’re tight, loamy, technical and shitloads of fun. The FE250 is at home in these kind of conditions. The engine on the FE250 loves to be ridden in the mid to high rev range, however it has enough bottom end to cruise in the trails and tackle an unexpected obstacle on the trail. The engine on the FE250 makes you want to go fast. It’s a race horse and you are the jockey locked in and pushing the beast to get the most you can. The 48mm WP Xplor fork responds well in difficult terrain and gives you confidence to trust the front-end in those snotty conditions. The WP shock balances the bike well and during the loop, it did nothing scary, I am on the heaver side for the 250F, but it handled it well.
The more time I spent on the Husqvarna the more fun I had. In my opinion, in single trail, this 250F gives up very little to a 350 or bigger. If anything, most riders would find themselves faster on this bike in tight and technical terrain. When the trails open up, revving a 250F to keep with your mates on their big bikes is bucket-loads of fun.
SHOULD I LOOK AT BUYING ONE?
In short yes, at a very minimum, you should consider a Husqvarna FE250. It there are very few downfalls to this bike. The engine is exciting and can be revved and ridden very, very hard. It’s one of the most enjoyable bikes to ride in single trail and it won’t wear you out as fast as a bigger bike. The Husqvarna is dripping in quality parts and the dealer network is vast. Check out a FE250 – you won’t be disappointed.
SECOND OPINION: DANE THOMPSON
The 2018 Husqvarna FE250 feels great from an ergonomic point of view. I found myself adapting to this bike fast and it didn’t take long before I found myself wanting to open it up and found that fun factor that this bike still delivers. The bike loved being rode in the higher rev range and who doesn’t love making some noise.
The brakes perform well and allow you to push further into corners.
I found the suspension handled great under low speed conditions over square edge bumps and tree roots, however was slightly unsettled under high speeds through rough terrain, something that some time testing would iron out.
OUR TOP 5
– MAP SWITCH AND TRACTION CONTROL
– HYDRUALIC CLUTCH
– GRIPPER SEAT
– EXCITING ENGINE AT HIGH RPM
– WP XPLOR FORK