Monday, January 24, 2011



I really enjoyed the recent Jan/Feb 2011 issue of TRAIL ZONE, for the following reasons: You gave my brother (Stephen Riley) a mention in your full spread photo of the Dakar 2011, and so far he and Geoff Olholm are still going okay after day two; You ran an article on two- strokes, which was well received by me (a two-stroke nut); And you featured your new long-term test bike, the Husaberg TE250. After two KTM 200EXCs I was ready for a change and bought the ’Berg. I enjoy tinkering with two-strokes and here are some details on jetting, motor and suspension set-ups that may interest you. First up, shaving the head by 0.65mm has done two obvious things: increased the compression slightly and closed up the squish gap. The standard compression was 160psi (cold) and a squish gap measurement of 1.75mm. With the shaved head I measured 178psi and 1.1mm squish. As you will appreciate, the tightened squish and increase in compression was immediately felt, especially off idle and up to half-throttle. It was crisper and more grunty in that area, which is very nice, but with no decrease in top-end, either. It’s a good mod and very good value. The electric-start still works fine (when it does work!). By the way, I currently run a shaved and modified 250SX head which gives 1.07mm squish and 215psi. This is the business: if you want your ’Berg to be more powerful than a standard 300, then do this mod! With regards to jetting, I wont go into all the details about how many needles and combos I have tried, but in summary I’ve tried over a dozen different combos and I've had very good success with the following mods. The standard jetting as per the manual (N8RJ #4, 165 main, 35 pilot) or as delivered (N8RW #3, 165 main, 35 pilot) is okay and does the job for most conditions, however, there are a series of Keihin needles from both Kawasaki and Suzuki that are a very good choice for the KTM/’Berg. They are derivatives very similar to the N1EI needles that KTM use for their 250SX models. I recommend the NEDH (Suzuki RM250 needle) in clip 3 (or the NEDW clip 3) with a 40 pilot and a 162 main, then set the air screw about 1.5 to 1.75. This is for 20 degrees C. This needle has a rich end taper and tip and gives excellent fuelling from half to W-O-T. It allows a smaller main than standard and it’s still safely rich. It also has a clean and powerful zero to quarter range, which is ideal for bush riding. The ’Berg’s suspension is very good standard. There’s no need for any revalve or respring in my opinion. A couple of clicks softer on most of the front and rear clickers and it’s excellent. However, I had a Race- Tech progressive spring for my weight (80kg) left over from my 200EXC, so I put this on the ’Berg. It is physically a heavier spring (more coils in the spring) but it works very well and balances the bike better than the standard spring. I don’t know that I can pick the difference or advantage of the Closed-Cartridge forks on the ’Berg but I do know they work very well. Anyway, hope this info is of interest to you and all other Husaberg TE250 owners.
-- Graeme Riley, via www.trailzone,

Great stuff, Graeme – ’Berg 250 two-strokes owners will now be scurrying for the workshop to try your set-up tips! And it was awesome to see Riles and Olly get all the way through to the end of the Dakar: those blokes are a couple of Aussie dirt bike legends, so it’s great to see them chasing their off-road dreams now in the biggest, baddest off-road race of them all!
-- Clubby,