KTM uses Husaberg as a its corporate crash-test dummy. The crazy ideas appear on the ‘Bergs first. The centrally located crank on the fuel-injected FE450 and 510 worked so well, it probably influenced Yamaha‘s new 450. Prices: $9998/$9498
The KTM line is somewhat streamlined for 2010. The 530XC-W will be the only big-bore in the dirt line, filling in for the 505SX and 505XC. It’s a great machine that happens to be wicked fast. Price: $8998
This machine won our 2009 450 off-road shootout easily. The 2010 version has a number of frame and suspension changes that promise to make it better. The Champion’s Edition has ‘09 frame and suspension specs but comes with a cool package of goodies that includes a $400 voucher for accessories. Prices $8798/$8798
BETA 525RR/450RR
Beta turned a lot of heads by officially winning the Baja 500. More heads will turn in 2010 to see the new DOHC motor that Beta developed for the 525 and the 450. That’s right; no more KTM motors.
Gas Gas has real plans for 2010, and they include the two big, fuel-injected four-strokes. The 450 was actually the first EFI dirt bike that really worked, dating back about six years. That gave Gas Gas a big head start in that field. Prices: $8999
SHERCO SE5.1i-F/4.5i-F
Sherco still does most of its business in the trials world. But the SE line of four-strokes is for real with Magneti Marelli fuel injection, Sachs rear suspension and a Ceriani fork (old guys, rejoice!). Prices: TBA
Husqvarna aimed the TXC at the cross-country racer. It’s basically an electric-start motocross bike that’s EPA legal for the trail. For 2010 the biggest news for the 510 and 450 is the KYB fork. Prices: $7999/$7699
ATK 450*
This might not be late-breaking news, but ATK still has an inventory of the 450 off-road bikes that were originally built by Cannondale. The guys in Utah have incrementally replaced all the questionable parts and now have a bike that’s surprisingly good. Price: call
Honda’s CRF450X is based on the original Honda 450 motor that almost everyone loves. The five-speed, single overhead cam four-stroke still has its Keihin carb and runs perfectly clean with all the smog stuff and the stock muffler. Price: $7899
The KLX 450 is like silly putty; you can make it into anything from a GP bike to a desert racer. We know; we‘ve used the big Kaw for several projects, including a 400. All of them worked well. And they aren‘t bad stock, either. Price: $7499
We’ve been waiting for this one. Suzuki turned the fuel-injected RM-Z into a full-blooded off-road bike for 2010. It’s fully green sticker approved, but word is that it’s race worthy enough for Suzuki’s GNCC team. Price: $8099
The Yamaha WR doesn‘t generate much excitement, but it should. Underneath the EPA trappings is a very good bike with a sweet powerband and super cushy suspension. You have to remove the throttle stop and a few other parts to find it. Price: $7499
Either you get it or you don’t. The KTM 400 isn’t for everyone. It’s basically a slower version of the 450. For tight trails and difficult rides, power is exactly what you don’t need, so the 400 is an eastern favorite. Price: $8398
For tight, ugly trails and extreme conditions, the Husaberg 450 with its centrally-located crank and 70-degree head is one of our favorites. But sometimes it’s a little too much motorcycle. That’s why the short-stroke 390 was developed for 2010. Price: $8998
GAS GAS EC300/250/200 RACING
Now this is efficient. Gas Gas gets six different models out of the same basic motor and chassis. The two-stroke is available in three sizes, and all three are also available in a Racing Edition. The 300 gets electric start this year. Prices: $8299/$7849/$7399
You don’t see many Husqvarna two-strokes in the U.S., but the 300 won several World Enduro E3 events this year. Both bikes get the new KYB fork for 2010 as well as detail changes. The biggest change we’ve seen is a marked improvement in quality control. Prices: $6999/$6799
KTM 300XC/300XC-W
Whenever we call the KTM 300 two-stroke the greatest off-road bike in the world, no one calls to argue. And our readers love to call and argue. The electric-start 300 still has a great powerband and is super reliable. The “W” version has tighter gear ratios. Prices: $7998/$7998
If you look closely at the Gas Gas 250cc four-stroke, you see an electric-start Yamaha WR250 motor buried in there. Our initial reports are that it’s lighter and more trail ready than Yamaha’s version. Price: $8599
With the 250X, Honda made a plain choice to pursue the trail rider rather than the off-road racer. The result is a bike that so pleasant and easy to ride that even the racers love it. No unplugging or rejetting is required. Price: $7149
This is the only 250 four-stroke off-road bike that KTM will offer in 2010. The electric start five-speed is very similar to the MX version but has the same suspension as the 2009 off-road model. It comes with a number of value-added items, including a $400 parts voucher. Price: $7998
Husqvarna took it’s new super-compact 250 MX motor, gave it fuel injection and an electric start, then reaimed it at the off-road market. The bike has excellent potential and won several E1 events in the World Enduro Championship series. Price: $7299
KTM 250XC/250XCW
In the past, the off-road versions of the KTM 250 two-stroke shared the same cylinder with the MX version. For 2010, the XC and XC-W have their own top end and power characteristics. They don’t come with E-start, but can be upgraded. Price: $7898
Sherco beat Honda and Suzuki to the market with a fuel-injected 250F by a year. The SE 2.5 is a Spanish-built, DOHC, four-valve four-stroke aimed at the off-road market. It’s imported by Ryan Young, a former U.S. Trials Champion. Price: TBA
Yamaha quietly won more races with the WR250F than any other manufacturer did with an off-road 250 four-stroke. The WR is muffled and tame as delivered, but Thad Duvall showed how fast it could go with a little work. Price: $6699
This electric-start, air-cooled four-stroke has a low seat height and an appealing price tag. Honda manufactures the bike in Brazil and points it directly at the entry-level buyer. Technically, it’s a 2009 model, but it hasn’t changed in three years. Price: $3899
The 200 KTM is so good that no other manufacturer even tries to compete. The 200cc two-stroke is the perfect size for long, tough events where a 450 four-stroke or even a 250 two-stroke would eat you alive. Price: $6998
Call this the Dick Burleson special. The former enduro champ might be in his 50s now, but he rides all the time and his favorite off-road bike is the 150SX because it’s so light and easy to ride. For 2010, KTM made an off-road version for him. Price: $6998

Husqvarna is the only significant maker to import a 125cc two-stroke off-road bike into the U.S. For the young off-road rider, it’s a perfect stepping stone. Old guys like it too. It has a Sachs shock and a Marzocchi fork. Price: $5999

* Indicates 2009 carry-over model.

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