I’ve spent a good deal of time on my mental end of things with my racing. I figure it’s about time for some info on my weapon of choice. I hopped all around the board in years prior. My buddies ride KTM’s and get all giddy just thinking of orange things; just not me. I thought my KTM was good, but honestly, they pull an extra $1000 premium right now, and there were plenty of other options out there, and I’ll add in a bit of spite as my final reason for not going pumpkin. I knew that I had to go 2-stroke. Granted I loved the power of my 450, I knew that I could get similar power out of a 2-stroke & not have to think about valves, yadda yadda yadda.
Much consideration went into the possibility of sorting out a Japanese 250. I liked this idea, as there are plenty of bikes around, for extremely cheap. I know how to revalve suspension, so that wasn’t a huge thing, but in the back of my mind, I knew I’d still have to get some lights (even if “not working”), some Enduro parts, and all that nonsense. My brother, the wise man that he is, asked me a simple question: “Why not buy a bike that is built for what you want to use it for?” It was at this point I knew I had 1 of 2 choices. Husqvarna or GasGas.
I’d read mixed reviews on the GasGas bikes, and finding one that appeared in decent condition around me was a bit of a stretch. The Husky was about the same situation, though I knew that I’d seen plenty at the races, and they sold a 300cc 2Stroke which is really what I wanted to get. I had a line on a nice 2007 Husky, though a WR250. It needed some standard items (hand guards, protection, bigger tank for longer rides, etc). It was then that I recalled a friend had a 2006 Husky WR250. I had seen it on some rides we did, but hadn’t thought too much about it at the time. This led to that, which led me to buying the bike off of him. Mint condition bike, I was in heaven.
Like I said, the bike was\is mint and ready to rock. I posted earlier what was my first ride on the bike. I knew after that first outing, that I needed to scoop up the 1 item that I will refer to as the “ultimate cheater”. The Rekluse EXP 2.0. I had an auto clutch on my YZ144 and really enjoyed it, but nothing existed for my G450X. I’ve found this to be one of the best $ I’ve spent on this bike (almost). The auto clutch saves me when I miss the clutch going into a turn, or have a bobble somewhere that would normally stall the engine (which really sucked due to the bike having such a goofy kickstarter).
I opted to not spend a dollar on any sort of engine upgrades. The bike rips pretty well, and had an all around good feeling (slight carb tweaks required, but a given with any carb’d bike). I decided that despite looking new, I had very little to no confidence in the front. Before I would dive into suspension valving, I figured a fresh tire would help things out, and I was quite right. The next time out on the bike, I felt very confident in the front end, and felt I could push the bike much better. I didn’t have 100% confidence, but that is coming along with the more I get to ride & know the machine.
After my last trip to the UP, I felt the bike could handle a little loving’ to the fork valving. Not much, but a bit. Thankfully this isn’t the first set of forks I’ve massaged into better handling units. I revalved my YZ144 & G450X, both with awesome results. On the Husky, I focused on the base valves, and found that the OEM valving was a bit on the wonky side. It’s damping curve, despite appearing linear, was far from it. I added in some shims, smoothed things out, and got fresh oil in there. I’m ready to ride!
So now I sit and wait for the weekend to arrive. I’ve got the bike dialed in how I want. I’m stoked on the machine, and itching to improve my feeling and abilities on the bike. I’ll have more practice footage. Any questions, feel free to ask.