This week has been all about the 2023 Husqvarna TC125. Up front, I gotta say that I love riding 125 two-strokes. I’m not alone, either. Pete Murray is like minded, so we took the new TC125 and a 2023 Yamaha YZ125 to Glen Helen for “Saturday at the Glen” last week on Glen Helen’s Arroyo track. The idea was to swap bikes between motos.
The TC 125 has so much that’s new all at once that it hard to wrap your head around it all. The carburetor has been replaced with throttle body fuel injection. Transfer port fuel Injection never made it into the motocross world. It’s much better suited to enduro applications, where its characteristic smooth power delivery is more valued. The power valve is now electronic. While that’s been around for some time, the way that Husqvarna has integrated the power valve with the EFI mapping is new. Now the mapping has another dimension beyond spark advance and fuel delivery. It alters port timing as well in a complex matrix using input from throttle position and rpm. There’s a map switch on the handlebar that offers two options, but otherwise the CPU is locked. The technology is so new at this point that Husqvarna’s engineers aren’t comfortable with letting just anyone inside to alter the parameters.
There’s no kickstarter or even a place to install one. This was slow coming to the 125 two-stroke for fear of weight gain and also because no one really asked for it. Any strong child can start a traditional 125 by hand. Weight gain is a legit concern. The previous version of the TC125 was around 195 pounds without fuel. Now it’s 206 pounds. It’s still an incredibly light motorcycle, but now the Yamaha YZ125 is lighter–203 pounds. Having said all that, everyone loves the electric starter. Once you get used to pressing a button, it’s hard to go back. And, like all of Husqvarna’s competition bikes, the frame, body work and rear suspension are all new.
How does it run? It’s fast. At this point we don’t know if it’s faster than the previous TC125 on top, but we’re certain it has more low end power. That makes it super easy to ride. Usually it takes quite a bit f riding to get back into 125 mode if you’ve been riding other bikes. The transition is super easy in this case. That’s actually the biggest advantage that the Husky has over the Yamaha. On the YZ, it takes much longer to adjust because it has more of a dead zone down low. The Husky pull great on the bottom, so you don’t have to be so much of a 125 specialist. The YZ hits harder once it’s on the pipe, then both bike run out of revs at about the same point. The Husky makes more peak, but not a lot more.
We did experience an old-time “bog” at one point. The motor was in the green map and died briefly when it landed from a jump. It was kind of like an old-timey float bowl hiccup. It only happened once no matter how we tried to repeat the same conditions. Apparently, Husqvarna has heard this from other riders and is looking into it. There might be an update later. The full test will appear in the May 2023 print edition of Dirt Bike.
We just saw the new Beta Evo trials bikes, and even if you’re not into trials, you gotta admit these are some awesome-looking machines. Check them out here.
Our buddy Lane Leavitt has been riding and testing our Electric Motion ePure trials bike for almost a year. He’s a 3-time U.S. NATC trials champion who still has a passion for trials after his long career in the stunt industry. He has become very optimistic about the future of electric power in trials. He still loves the ePure, but is looking forward more than ever to the next version he will test this year with the “Tickover” feature that simulates a manual clutch, and, more importantly, the flywheel effect of a gasoline powered trials bikes. Stay tuned for that. In the meantime, here are some other electric trials bikes we might see this year.
The Mecatecno Dragonfly is distributed by Midwest Mototrials.
We will probably see the second version of the Yamaha TY-E soon, which was first shown in 2018. Development rider Kenichi Kuroyama has been working on it and it is said to have more range than earlier versions.
CATCHING UP WITH DAMON HUFFMAN
We were surprised to see Damon Huffman at Glen Helen this week. It turns out he’s been riding dirt bikes up in Idaho where he now lives. He is still employed by the City of Los Angeles as a motor cop, but travels back and forth between the Northwest and So Cal for a demanding week-on/week-off schedule. After his motocross and Supercross career he had aspirations to become a fireman, but it was very difficult to get in. He decided on a career in law enforcement. So if you’re in LA and you see a tall cop on a BMW, you might get an authentic Damon Huffman autograph. Hopefully it will be on something other than a citation.
RIGG STRAPS KIT
Saw these and liked them. It’s going to be adventure bike season very soon!
See you next week!
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