Back in June, we headed to Norway where we were greeted by an amazing property with its own lake, manicured paddocks, a shit ton of rocky single trails to test the 2024 Husky Enduros!
The Husqvarna guys have come up with the slogan, Change has come. They aren’t kidding. the 2024 Husky Enduros are all-new and they’re damn good too.
Across the board, the biggest and by far, the most surprising news is that Husqvarna enduro bikes no longer come with WP XPLOR forks. Gone is the super soft front end feel we’ve put up with for years and it has been replaced with the all-new WP XACT Closed Cartridge forks like their KTM cousins. Holy shit have we waited for this and to go with the new forks is a new WP XACT rear shock that has tool-less adjusters so you can do all your clicker work on the fly. It’s a huge step forward, possibly the biggest one in recent memory for me within these brands and I was so excited to get out on the track and give it a go.
Other news across the entire range is the new look for the 2024 Husky Enduros. The obvious new plastics are wrapped around the new chassis which has the primary focus of being able to move around easier on the bike. A new hydro formed, robotically welded main frame had been developed with lower foot pegs and is slimmer between the knees than in previous years. There is also a new hybrid alloy/polyamide sub frame which is more rigid than in the past and gives the bike a super sleek and slim feeling.
The new swingarm is die cast aluminium and is lightweight and features a cleverly integrated chain guide for maximum protection against rocks. Husqvarna claim that all of these changes give the bike a superior anti-squat behaviour and combined with the new XACT forks and shock, give the rider a much more balanced and confidence inspiring ride.
Another awesome feature of the 2024 Husky Enduros shared with KTM is the introduction of the Offroad control unit under the seat. This crafty little device sits ever so neatly under the seat and removes all the mess of fuses and relays and has a single wiring loom connected to a small box with a few different lights on it. These lights are green when everything is happy and healthy, however, if something happens and you experience a surge or short, the light that controls that particular circuit will turn red and you know exactly where to start looking for problems. No more guess work!
What else is new across the range? Geez I feel like I’ve only touched the surface with new parts on these bikes! New LED headlight, new Braketec braking system with improved reliability, new airbox and air filter design, new, slimmer radiators with a newly designed cap, new seat, flatter Pro taper bars and finally, there is no more options for kickstarter capabilities on any of the bikes. they are all E-start only which I can see some old school riders frowning upon but Husky has faith in their work.
Husqvarna have been fuel injected for a while now with their TPI (transfer port injection) technology, and ever since I attended the 2017 TPI bike launch, I have struggled with the overall feel of the motors. I loved the snap and grunt of a carburetted 250 or 300 two-stroke and the TPI bikes, in my eyes, have been too mellow and I kind of felt like they lost their two-stroke feeling. Sure, they’re super easy to ride and they will get you up any gnarly sectioned with ease, but I just found that when I tried to push along at speed or blast around a grass track, the TPI was kind of like a “meh” bike. It’s there but you want more.
Well, the 2024 Husky Enduros have stepped away from the TPI and introduced Throttle Body Injection or TBI which is shared with the KTM’s. TBI is a simpler system than the TPI and while it is said to use more fuel, the TBI offers better throttle response and is supposed to feel closer to that of a carby bike. There is also a new map select switch which you can flick between for optimum mapping. I ran the aggressive map of each bike as I wanted more response.
The TBI two-strokes are still running the oil tank integrated into the frame between the head stem and the tank and thanks to the new, slimmer frames, the exhaust now hugs the motor more and the pipe is higher and further out of harms’ way.
As far as how they ride, these two-strokes are very, very nice. There’s little to no vibration and they are super easy to ride. The power is still not as grunty as a carby but it’s much closer than the TPI. It’s a super linear power that never really gets out of hand and I found that they all can be chugged along with almost no revs with ease.
You can crawl up just about any obstacle and they won’t stall. Perfect for all you crazy hard enduro fanatics. I think for me the pick of the two-strokes is the TE300. It was really nice to ride and I had a lot of fun on it.
They also had a TE300 with an FMF Fatty and Titanium 2 muffler on it and boy was that thing a blast. It was stronger with more grunt than the stock bike and is probably the first injected two-stroke that I’ve ridden that had similar vibes to a carby bike. Plus, it sounded epic too.
For 2024, the four-stroke range has also undergone a total transformation with new engines for the 250 and 350 as well as upgrades for the bigger 450 and 501. The smaller engines have been totally rebuilt and are now positioned two degrees backwards in the frame compared to the 2023 bikes, giving a more centralized mass which aids the new anti-squat chassis.
The new Quickshift sensor has been brought over from the motocross models and offers riders a seamless up shift under load. The four-strokes also have a new map switch that is more slimline and offers aggressive and mellow power as well as traction control and access to the Quickshift feature. Finally, much like the two-strokes, the four-stroke exhaust systems are tighter to the motor giving the bike a slimmer feel while still producing great power.
On the two loops that we had at our disposal, the FE350 was the pick for me. I could not fault it. The bike was so easy to ride and I could just ride and ride and ride. I had so much fun.
The 250F was also a great bit of gear but I just wanted a little more bottom end. The 450 and 501 were too much bike for the tighter loop but the endless amount of bottom end grunt brings a smile to even the grumpiest moto rider.
XACTLY WHAT WE WANTED?
So, I guess the biggest question left the answer is how do the new bikes handle? Well, I’m more than happy to say that these 2024 Husky Enduros are by far the best handling stock bikes from the Austrian brand that I can remember. Finally, you can hop on these bikes and just ride. Sure, they are a little softer than I would like but that’s just me being picky but overall, I never found myself battling with the bike and that is a first for me with stock WP stuff in the offroad world.
It’s well balanced in just about every situation and the whole feel of the bike is more confidence inspiring than ever. Even when I decided to really push the bikes along at pace, the new XACT forks held up nicely and I was able to charge into braking bumps and launch off rock ledges without worrying if my wrists were going to buckle. It was a really nice change of pace compared to the older XPLOR forks.
The new rear shock with its anti-squat characteristics offers great traction and drive out of the corners and the bikes stay straight under acceleration even through the gnarly stuff. And when you decide you want to tackle a crazy uphill or extreme section, the traction that the XACT shock offers is second to none.
2024 is shaping up to be an awesome year for the Austrian brand and these 2024 Husky Enduros have taken the step forward that we were all asking for. The new chassis is as solid as a rock and is very comfortable to be on. The bikes are slimmer, more user-friendly and the new XACT suspension is the star of the show. These bikes are now more than ever as ready to ride out of the crate as they’ve ever been. Keep as eye out in the upcoming months for my individual reports on each of the 2024 Offroad range.