This week we got to ride the 2022 Husqvarna TE150i. This is our first experience with this bike, although we did test the 2019 Husky TE150, which was before the coming of Transfer Port Injection. You won’t find anything exactly like the Husky 150 in the extended Austrian brotherhood of KTM and GasGas off-road bikes, although several machines are close. The TE150i is based on the Husqvarna TC125 motocross bike but with a 4mm increase in bore, bringing the displacement to 144cc. The TE also has electric start, oil injection and TPI fuel injection, none of which can be found on the TC125. Both are six-speeds, but first is considerably lower on the 150 while sixth is about 10 percent taller. The KTM 150XC-W is another blood relative. It has the same TPI motor, but housed in a PDS chassis. Both the KTM and the Husky off-road bikes use the WP Xplor coil-spring fork. Last year, Magura supplied all the hydraulic components for Husqvarna’s off-road bikes. This included both brakes and the hydraulic clutch. For 2022, a Spanish company called Braktec will supply these parts. That’s the only significant change for the new model year.
The TE150i is one of the most forgiving dirt bikes ever. On the DB scale, it weighs 219 pounds without fuel. There’s no doubt that TPI and oil injection added a few pounds, but the bike is still insanely light. On top of that, it actually feels much lighter than any other 219-pound motorcycle we’ve ever ridden. A motor is like a big gyroscope, and when it has relatively few spinning parts as is the case with a small two-stroke, it’s easier to toss around. That’s today’s lesson in physics. This won’t surprise anyone who rides a 125 two-stroke. The TE goes a step further than that because it has much more gradual power delivery, and that allows you to pull through turns much more smoothly.
As it turns out, TPI is naturally suited for small-displacement off-road bikes. The biggest criticism of the system is that it historically results in a powerband that is too linear and boring. No one can say that about the TE150i. In terms of power, the 150 can surprisingly hold its own against bigger bikes. It makes about as much horsepower as a 250 two-stroke from the ‘90s. The powerband is narrower, of course, but the motor spins so freely and the clutch is so easy that the 150 is on more or less equal footing on 90 percent of the trails you’ll come across.
The real debate revolves around how well the 150 compares to a modern 250 or 300 two-stroke. This is more of an issue now because of price. The 2022 TE150i sells for $9199. A KTM 300 is only 14 percent higher. Is the 150 so good it can compete with the undisputed off-road champion? Maybe. In outright handling, the 150 is still the king, if by only a small amount. A TE300i is 15 pounds heavier and has all those invisible forces at play. And, while both bikes are a little under suspended for fast trail riding, it’s more forgivable for the 150. The Xplor fork is purposely designed for speeds you typically find on tight trails–first- and second-gear stuff. But horsepower is horsepower. A 300 can climb bigger hills and permits lazier shifting habits. Bigger, heavier riders on steeper, more horsepower-intensive terrain will doubtlessly continue to love their 300s. Smaller, lighter riders will enjoy the 150 more. Be sure to check out the full test in the October, 2021 print edition of Dirt Bike.
AMA HALL OF FAME
Voting for the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame, Class of 2021, is now open. Eligible voters include AMA Charter Life Members. An email ballot was issued earlier today to eligible voters.If you are an AMA Charter Life Member and did not receive an email ballot today, please use this link to vote: https://americanmotorcyclist.com/hof-vote-verify
You will need to set up an account and log-in in order to vote. For the disciplines of motocross, supercross, and off-road racing, the following remarkable individuals are among this year’s nominees:
The 40-year hostess of the AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship at Loretta Lynn Ranch (since 1982), the world’s most famous amateur motorcycle event, as well as numerous other road and off-road motorcycle events, and of course, the Queen of Country Music.
8-Time AMA ATV Grand National Champion (Motocross & TT) (1987-1994)
5-Time AMA Pro Motocross Champion (2006-2008, 2011, 2013)
4-Time AMA Supercross Champion (2011-2014)
4-Time Motocross of Nations Champion (2006-2008, 2011)
2-Time AMA Pro Motocross Champion (2003, 2007)
2-Time AMA 125cc Supercross Champion (2005-2006)
2000 FIM 125cc World Champion
NBC Pro Motocross broadcast analyst
2-Time AMA GNCC National Champion (1994-1995)
2-Time AMA National Hare Scrambles Champion (1989, 1992)
TRIUMPH DIRT BIKES
Triumph will be getting into the motocross/enduro world with the help of Ricky Carmichael and Ivan Cervantes. That was the announcement from last week. It has been met with a certain amount of cynicism from the dirt bike world. Three examples are cited: Cannondale, Buell and BMW. All failed, but none are legitimate comparisons.
Buell was a subsidiary of Harley Davidson that decided to get into motocross around 2006. Two years later, the market collapsed and Buell was shut down. The MX project actually produced a running prototype under the supervision of Dave Osterman, but he signed an NDA afterward. Only recently has he talked about those days with the guys at MXA. Cannondale’s effort actually reached production in 2000, but it wasn’t ready. Again, it was a stock market upheaval that spelled the end of that project. Cannondale’s bicycle division was reborn after bankruptcy–without the motorcycle part of the business. BMW spent a ton of money on its project, but there was a change in management before it was complete. The new boss wanted nothing to do with the dirt bike or with the newly acquired Husqvarna brand. In all of these cases, the projects were very ambitious and rushed. Let’s hope that Triumph learned from history.
MOTO 2022 Schedule
R1 – January 21-23 – Primm, NV
R2 – February 18-20 – Devore, CA
R3 – March 11-13 – Lake Havasu City, AZ
R4 – April 8-10 – Taft, CA
R5 – April/May 29-1 – Las Vegas, NV
R6 – May 27-29 – Cedar City, UT
R7/8 – September 16-18 – Preston, ID
R9 – October 14-16 – Mesquite, NV
R10 – November 4-6 – Primm, NV
◾ MC w/ ATV
Banquet – December TBA
2022 SEASON SCHEDULE – ROUNDS 1-17
ROUND 1 Sat, Jan 8 | Anaheim, CA Angel Stadium
ROUND 2 Sat, Jan 15 | Oakland, CA RingCentral Coliseum
ROUND 3 Sat, Jan 22 | San Diego, CA Petco Park
ROUND 4 Sat, Jan 29 | Anaheim, CA Angel Stadium
ROUND 5 Sat, Feb 5 | Glendale, AZ State Farm Stadium
ROUND 6 Sat, Feb 12 | Anaheim, CA Angel Stadium
ROUND 7 Sat, Feb 19 | Minneapolis, MN US Bank Stadium
ROUND 8Sat, Feb 26 | Arlington, TX AT&T Stadium
ROUND 9 Sat, Mar 5 | Daytona Beach, FL Daytona Intl. Speedway – BUY TICKETS
ROUND 10 Sat, Mar 12 | Detroit, MI Ford Field
ROUND 11 Sat, Mar 19 | Indianapolis, IN Lucas Oil Stadium
ROUND 12 Sat, Mar 26 | Seattle, WA Lumen Field
ROUND 13 Sat, Apr 9 | St. Louis, MO Dome at America’s Center
ROUND 14 Sat, Apr 16 | Atlanta, GA Atlanta Motor Speedway
ROUND 15 Sat, Apr 23 | Foxborough, MA Gillette Stadium
ROUND 16 Sat, Apr 30 | Denver, CO Empower Field at Mile High
ROUND 17 Sat, May 7 | Salt Lake City, UT Rice-Eccles Stadium
WASHOUGAL ON MAV
In conjunction with its partners at Lucas Oil, NBC Sports, and MAVTV Motorsports Network, MX Sports Pro Racing has announced that live broadcast coverage of the MotoSport.com Washougal National, on July 24, will air exclusively on MAVTV. The seventh round of the 2021 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing, will serve as a milestone moment in the sport’s broadcast history, as all four motos featuring the 450 Class and 250 Class will be showcased live, on one network, for the first time. If you don’t have MAVTV, fear not. The results will be posted right here at dirtbikemagazine.com as soon as they are available.
See you next week!