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2017 Husqvarna FE 250

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It is always exciting when a manufacturer releases a new bike to the market with a host of updates and features. The 2017 models are making their way onto the scene and Husqvarna is excited to showcase its new FE 250. It’s not hard to see why. The brand has focused heavily on performance, weight and function for the MY17 release.

Looking over the 2017 Husqvarna FE 250 it is easy to see, a lot has changed from the previous model. The obvious things such as plastics, a few extra buttons on the left side of the handlebars, and ODI Lock On grips stand out as updates.

The major improvements on the MY17 are perhaps a little more hidden or not as easily noticed for those who are not familiar with Husqvarna’s FE 250 from 2016, so that is probably where we should start in this impression from the recent Australian press launch.

Husqvarna has put a lot of time, effort and thought into developing the new FE 250. The easiest place to start is with the frame of the motorcycle, which has been designed to fit a newly-designed compact motor and centralise the mass of the bike to improve overall handling.

Further to that, Husqvarna has played around with the rigidity of the frame, side-to-side stiffness has been increased to improve its agility and cornering characteristics. The frame also features 30 percent more flex front to back, which is designed to work with the updated suspension and also aid in reducing rider fatigue.

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Image: Grant Reynolds (Fiftysix Clix).

Image: Grant Reynolds (Fiftysix Clix).

Continuing with the chassis, the suspension has been significantly updated with WP developing entirely new forks for the MY17 FE 250. WP produced the XPlor 48 spring fork with separate compression and rebound settings. The right fork controls the rebound while the left fork controls the compression, as well as large tool-less clickers at the top of each fork tube, plus a pre-load adjuster on top of that.

The pre-load adjuster gives you the choice of three different settings and can also be changed out on the trail. The new DCC linkage suspension and XPlor 48 fork work great together and complete the bike well. The overall handling of the bike is impressive and the suspension does exactly what you expect it to do, no big surprises in rougher sections of the trail and very evenly matched.

The ‘no-dirt’ footpegs are 6mm taller than the motocross models for 2017, allowing added ground clearance for those tricky trail sections. It’s probably something you won’t ever notice until you ride them back-to-back, as the general feel of the bike feels very natural and very comfortable. If you’re a taller rider searching for more room on the bike, or you feel you want to get your feet lower to the ground, you can easily switch out the FE spec footpegs with the lower FC versions.

The 2017 Husqvarna FE 250 motor has been redesigned to produce more power and torque and at the same time be more compact and a huge 1.5 kilograms lighter than the 2016 model. Firing up the MY17 FE 250 motor is an electric starter utilising a LI-Ion battery, which is almost one kilogram lighter than the previous battery.

No need to look for a kick-starter for 2017, as it isn’t there. Husqvarna has so much faith in the new starter system that they removed the kick-starter and remain confident that you won’t be left stranded out on the trail.

There are a number of reasons the FE 250 is so easy to ride and this can be put down to the overall weight of the bike and improved handling characteristics, but you cannot look past the way the motor responds to rider input. The engine provides great throttle response right off the bottom and all the way through the rev range due to the new fuel-injection system.

Using a state of the art Keihin engine management system with a 42mm throttle body, the injector position has been revised allowing for a more responsive and snappy power delivery. Husqvarna has also developed traction control to complement the standard mapping switch on the left side of the FE 250 handlebars.

The power of the MY17 FE 250 is delivered via a six-speed transmission, shifting gears is made easy with low-friction coating on the shift forks and a gear sensor syncs up the engines power curve to the selected gear as well as the track surface conditions.

Brembo brakes will get you pulled up quickly, and although they are much the same as previous years, the rear brake has been revised to help reduce weight and increase performance. The rear brake pedal has been extended by 10mm to aid rider input and feel, while the piston has been reduced by 2mm. It’s not a a huge change, more fine-tuning an already impressive braking system.

Source: Supplied.

As I mentioned, Husqvarna has put a lot of effort into the function of the motorcycle. These are not things that will directly affect the performance on the bike, which is what we are mostly looking for in a new bike. However, these things will help prevent problems or just make your life a little easier when things go a little sideways out on the trail.

The plastics are an obvious change from the 2016 model and the addition of the rear grab handle at either side at the rear of the seat has also been redesigned for better comfort and grip. The sub-frame of the 2017 FE 250 also received an overhaul using a carbon composite material made up of 30 percent carbon fibre further reducing weight.

The air-box has also been redesigned to increase air-flow and increase power. The new air-filter locator pins for 2017 also prevent the air-filter being installed incorrectly and causing damage to the engine from dirt being sucked in.

At the business-end of the motorcycle you will be surprised with an extra group of buttons on the left side of the bars, these are the engine map switch and traction control switch. Husqvarna gives you the option of two maps, being a race map and a secondary map, which is slightly more tame and ideal for muddy and tricky conditions. On top of that, traction control provides increased control in less than ideal trail conditions.

For 2017 the Husqvarna FE 250 also features ODI Lock On grips. These are quick and easy to install, and there’s no need to glue and wire your grips on anymore – awesome! The front brake and speedo cable have also been integrated to prevent any problems on the trail, so there’s now no chance of sticks and branches getting caught between the two and causing damage.

The fuel tank for 2017 is a translucent 8.5-litre tank with integrated fuel-pump and level sensor. It also comes standard with a quick release fuel cap and revised fuel line to help prevent damage out on the trail.

Source: Supplied.

Source: Supplied.

There is no doubt that the 2017 Husqvarna FE 250 is a really fun bike to ride, because it’s a light and nimble machine that you can put anywhere on the trail. The bike really excels itself in the tight single trail and is really easy to ride with responsive power right off the bottom.

The updated suspension works very well, provides a comfortable and predictable ride and gives you some added confidence, which is really great. The ability to change suspension settings on the trail is also something that will excite a lot of riders.

The addition of a standard mapping switch and traction control is also a really great feature and it was something that was of benefit on the slippery parts of the trail. Husqvarna really impressed me with the small things that it has developed or added onto the bike to make your ride a little bit easier.

From the hand grips at the back of the seat, to the ‘no-dirt’ footpeg mounts and shifter, these updates just prevent one extra thing going wrong when you are picking yourself up off the ground or trying to maneuver the bike around while you are stuck on the side of a hill.

The 2017 Husqvarna FE 250 is now available at your nearest dealer at a recommended retail price of $12,495 including GST. For more details on Husqvarna’s 2017 off-road range, visit www.husqvarna-motorcycles.com.

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