We test the all-new 2024 Husqvarna FE 250 and thanks to the new motor, we reckon it could be their best 250 yet!
It’s been quite a while since I have thrown a leg over a 250F enduro machine and I was pretty excited to get out and see what the all-new 2024 Husqvarna FE 250 was all about. Boasting a whole host of changes for 2024, the smallest four-stroke in the Husky range is set to be the best 250F enduro weapon that has ever been produced by the brand. The Austrian’s have gone all out for the ’24 models and given every bike a full revamp.
There is a totally new frame, new suspension and in particular, 2024 Husqvarna FE 250 has received a fresh engine which is lighter and faster then ever before.
The main focus of the new frames is improving the reliability and rideability of the bikes and to be more stable at high speeds. To do this, the engineers have tweaked the mounting of the rear shock to the frame so that improves the anti-squat behaviour especially under load. They have also updated the subframes on the Husky’s which are still a bit of a hybrid mix of 60/40 polyamide and alloy. They’re incredibly light subframes and thankfully, the super quick and easy air filter access is unaffected by the new changes.
The new 2024 Husqvarna FE 250 motor that sits inside the new frame has been tested and tweaked ever so slightly to give the bike a better centre of gravity. It’s tilted two degrees back in the frame, is slightly shorter in overall height and is also 100g lighter than before. Inside the motor, they’ve updated the head, cylinder, piston and exhaust system and they all seem to be made stronger and lighter than the previous model.
If the bike is going to have more power, then hopefully, it has the suspension to match right? Well, thankfully, for 2024, we have some brilliant news that the bikes come with the newest WP XACT closed cartridge fork and XACT rear shock. This is probably the most anticipated part of the new ’24 range and I know myself and just about every die-hard Austrian bike fan are excited about the new XACT components on the bikes.
How’s it ride?
I forgot how fun 250F’s are to ride. Even with the shorter muffler, the bike still is very quiet when first fired up. It’s got that kind of quiet achiever vibe going about it and I was pretty impressed right away with how light this bike feels between my legs. Riding up across the access roads to the loops that Husky had set up, I found this bike to be super easy to ride at a slower pace. With the mellow power at low revs, it would be quite a good bike for a young rider to step up onto or even for someone who is learning.
Once out on the loop, I was pleasantly surprised with the capability of the small-bore machine. The new motor is strong off the bottom and has a meaty midrange. It also has a pretty solid over rev up top which is great because on the smaller bikes, you need to rev it a lot more than the bigger capacities. It obviously takes a bit more rider input to get up to higher speeds on the smaller bike too but at a trail pace, the FE 250 is settled and the power delivery is pretty solid.
It tracks along well even in the snotty rocks and when you give it a good ol’ flick of the clutch, it fires up quickly and gives you a reason to smile. The new motor is fast revving but not in an intimidating way. It’s quite linear and very manageable which gave me a lot of confidence to push hard along the sections of trail that weren’t covered in boulders.
FYI, Norway seemed like one big rock plateau with other smaller rocks scattered everywhere, so the open, clean sections were rare. Nevertheless, on the few occasions that I could flow along the trail, the FE 250 was easy to keep in the meat of the power and the gearbox was super smooth which was awesome because you definitely change gears more on a 250F. I liked that I could ride this bike in both a cruisey manner or really hammer down and rev the crap of it. I do feel like that the FE 250 would benefit from a motocross muffler though especially on a loamy, faster pace track to really free up what the new motor has to offer. It seems like it wants to be let out of the cage.
As far as the handling goes, I have not been the biggest fan of the recent WP options that the Austrian brands have bought out. The old XPLOR forks were too soft for my liking so I had high hopes for the new XACT closed cartridge forks and XACT shock to eliminate that feeling. Well, thankfully, they’ve achieved that, and some more. The whole package sits higher up in the stroke at both ends and it felt nice to be able to hit stuff and not worry about bottoming out.
The fork has a much firmer action and seems to work best when being ridden with a bit of pace behind you. Much the same for the shock, it gets extremely good drive out of corners and gets every once of the 250F to the ground.
The bike feels taller to ride as well now because of the firmer suspension and updated anti-squat characteristics as mentioned at the start. Some riders might find the new setup to be a bit too aggressive and firm for their liking but for me, I much prefer it this way. I didn’t really have any issues with the fork being too firm or harsh over rocks and roots but there is definitely more feedback coming through the bars on the ’24 models which, personally, I like. Overall, the new XACT closed cartridge fork is exactly what these bikes have needed for a very long time and now, I feel that the Husky FE 250 is a much safer package to ride and it doesn’t have the handling side of things holding it back.
Other notable features on the 2024 FE 250 are the updated Braketec brakes and hydraulic clutch which are much better than the previous versions. I have had a few experiences in the past with the Braketec units fading but that wasn’t an issue for the ’24 250F. The new ergos are slimmer and the seat is flatter so that it’s even easier than before to move around on the bike. The new 8L clear fuel tank has the fuel line routed in a safer spot behind the tank to protect it from those unwanted sticks. And finally, it’s great to see the FE range come standard again with a bash plate and handguards.
Overall, I believe the new 2024 Husqvarna FE 250 is the best version of this model that they’re released in quite some time, maybe ever. The new frame and chassis looks cool and while it seems to have a more aggressive feel than before, I like it. The motor is strong and torquey and the nature of the power delivery caters to a wide array of riders.
I thoroughly enjoyed this bike and I believe that being so rider friendly, it is a fantastic platform for younger riders to jump onto a full-size bike as well. The new XACT suspension gives the bike a firmer feel overall but it is just what the doctor ordered from the folks at WP and now, the 2024 bikes are more race ready than ever before. You can hop on this bike and you don’t have to spend any money, just go and enjoy the ride.