Bikes 3 Jul 2014

Tested: 2015 Husqvarna FE and TE range

MotoOnline.com.au rides and reviews the 2015 Husqvarna enduro models.

2015 will mark the second year of the reborn Husqvarna motorcycles brand, and along with that comes a host of updates to their impressive enduro range of motorcycles. MotoOnline.com.au was lucky enough to put the FE and TE machines to the test at the world media launch in Sweden this week with impressive results across the board.

In the range you’ll be hard-pressed not to find a model suitable for your riding requirements. On the four-stroke side there’s the FE 250, FE 350, FE 450 and FE 501, while two-stroke enthusiasts are catered for with the TE 125, TE 250 and highly-popular TE 300.

For MY15 a new front mask on the enduro bikes evolves the Husqvarna look and houses a new front headlight. The slim and stylish lines of the side panels and radiator shrouds allow smooth movement around the bike, mimicking the motocross models in that aspect.

Souce: Husqvarna Motorcycles.

Souce: Husqvarna Motorcycles.

The black-anodised CNC-machined triple clamps have been revised for MY15. The bottom clamp has been re-designed in order to mount the same front fender as the motocross models, providing improved stability and mounting of the front fender.

The R&D department’s efforts were focused on ensuring uniform clamping of the fork legs in order to distribute the forces evenly, maintaining the leg shape and ensuring proper damping along the entire stroke.

The lightweight polyamide rear sub-frame has been reinforced with an additional screw on the airbox side that improves the fitment between the left sub-frame arm and the airbox. The improved seal guarantees better performance and durability. This update spans across both the enduro and motocross ranges.

A new speedometer provides a wide variety of functions and features for 2015 with a refined cover that hides the warning lights when not in use, giving the display a cleaner, more simple look – highlighting the attention to detail that Husqvarna puts into their products continuously.

Source: Husqvarna Motorcycles.

Source: Husqvarna Motorcycles.

As with the motocross models, the handguards now feature a new improved compound of the two-component mould for better impact resistance. And a new seat cover features the harder and more durable material which improves grip and also gives the seat a firmer feel. This updated seating system is a real winner for me; it’s the perfect mixture of comfort and performance.

In the motor department the MY15 range receives a lightweight six-speed gearbox with enduro-specific gearing. The FE 250 in particular has close-ratio fourth and fifth gear along with a longer ratio sixth gear for better transfer capabilities. This update is very handy in those tight trails, allowing for the perfect gear choice to suit the terrain.

The entire enduro range, except the TE 125 two-stroke, features a reliable electric starter. The four-strokes offer the possibility to retro-fit a kick-starter while the TE 250 and TE 300 two-strokes have both an electric starter and a kick starter as standard. For MY15, the gearing on the electric starter of both the TE 250 and TE 300 has been revised for better and easier starting.

In my opinion the electric start option is a vital and necessary component on the enduro models, as this feature came in handy on multiple occasions throughout the day, especially on the larger-bore machines. Remember the days when you could barely find the energy to kick your bike over after a tumble? Those days are over with the 2015 Husqvarna enduro models.

Source: Husqvarna Motorcycles.

Source: Husqvarna Motorcycles.

The WP 4CS closed cartridge 48 millimeter front fork features a four-chamber system that unites the performance of a closed cartridge fork with the simplicity of an open cartridge fork. The 4CS fork has been developed to improve damping precision, handling, plushness and rider comfort, ideal characteristics for enduro. Much the same as the motocross version, the 4CS fork continued to provide consistent and impressive results throughout the day on each and every enduro model.

The 4CS clicker dials, located at the top of each fork leg also allows for easy clicker settings, even wearing gloves and without tools while on the trail – an impressive update which I can assure all customers will appreciate.

The entire Husqvarna range features a rear linkage suspension system. The rear link is widely considered as being the choice for all riding styles and levels of rider ability. It is the most versatile suspension system and performs well on a wide variety of terrain.

The linkage absorbs big hits and rough terrain with ease, while maintaining optimal feeling and traction on smaller ruts and bumps as well as on steep downhill trails. And of course, this is where the Husqvarnas really differentiate from their PDS-equipped KTM siblings in the rear suspension department.

Source: Husqvarna Motorcycles.

Source: Husqvarna Motorcycles.

The WP-designed high performance DCC (Dual Compression Control) rear shock guarantees excellent damping characteristics, ensuring maximum feedback and comfort. The shock is completely adjustable for rebound and high/low speed compression damping. I personally found the rear shock to be slightly fast in the rebound department, but a few clicks soon fixed that issue.

The pressure die cast crankcases of the enduro models, like the motocross models, have thin walls thanks to the advanced production process, while maintaining tensile strength and resistance to chipping, as well as having a higher quality surface finish compared to other casting methods. This process adds to the light and nimble feel of the range, including the beastly FE 501.

The latest high performance Brembo brakes feature 260 millimeter and 220 millimeter wave discs at the front and rear respectively. The perfectly placed controls allow for optimal feel and balance under extreme conditions, performing very well at all times without fail – these braking systems mean business!

The four-stroke engines feature a Keihin electronic fuel injection and 42 millimeter throttle body for accurate throttle response and smooth engine performance that is ideal for enduro-style riding. The complete range felt smooth and manageable within the tight confines of the Swedish pine forest, an obvious strong point for the enduro range.

Source: Husqvarna Motorcycles.

Source: Husqvarna Motorcycles.

Riders can also now select maps via an optional switch and download engine data with a laptop via a Setting Tool. This feature is invaluable for those who like to tinker with their settings to create a motor package that perfectly suits the conditions at hand.

In the rubber department, world championship level performance is guaranteed by Michelin Enduro Competition IV and III tyres front and back respectively. These tyres performed quite well one a range of surfaces incuding gravel, sand and rock-filled trails.

As a whole, the MY15 Husqvarna enduro range has been carefully refined and raised to a totally new level. The addition of subtle motocross elements, along with the long list of enduro-specific updates has been a complete success in my opinion. These bikes are 100 percent ready to tackle the most gnarly trails you can find right out of the box.

Availability in Australia is expected for October 2014, however pricing is yet to be confirmed locally. Be sure to stay tuned to MotoOnline.com.au for in-depth reviews on selected 2015 Husqvarna enduro models in the coming weeks.

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