Husqvarna will build 14 new models for 2014 – the US will get 10 of them.
When KTM announced in March that it was purchasing Husqvarna from BMW, many questions were quickly raised: Would KTM, a long-time rival of the Swedish brand, simply kill off the “gun-sight” marque? Or would KTM move Husky back to its Swedish roots and continue building bikes at its original home in Sweden, or would KTM move the Husky operation to Austria, where KTM calls home? What will happen to KTM-owned Husaberg, the brand that was formed by a few of the former Husky employees when Husky was purchased by the Italian Cagiva/MV Agusta Group in 1987? Well, all of those questions and more were recently answered when Husqvarna announced its full line of 2014 off-road and motocross motorcycles.
Yes, the Husqvarna brand will remain and appears to be as strong as ever, maybe more so now that is owned by a company that actually has a passion for the dirt. Husqvarnas will now be built at the KTM plant in Mattighoffen, Austria, and will be essentially the same machines as KTMs but wearing Husky clothing. The bikes aren’t exactly the same but they are very similar.
There will be 14 Husky models in all, but the US will get just 10 – five motocrossers (designated FC and TC – “C” stands for “cross” as in motocross) and five off-roaders (designated FE and TE – “E” stands for enduro). For motocross, the Husky will import three two-strokes - TC 85, TC 125 and TC 250 (“T” stands for two-stroke) – and two four-strokes – FC 250 and FC 450 (“F” stands for four-stroke). For off-road, we will see two two-strokes – TE 250 and TE 300 – and three four-strokes – FE 250, FE 350 and FE 501. (There will be an FE 450 but it’s not coming to the US.)
KTM, which also owns Husaberg, will continue to offer 2014 Husaberg models but will drop the brand after the 2014 model year. The last of the Italian-built Husqvarnas are also available for the 2014 model year. There will be no more Husabergs or Italian-built Huskys in 2015.
Pictured here is the 2014 Husqvarna TE 300 two-stroke. All of the Husky off-roaders get linkage suspension and WP suspension components, including the highly rated 4CS closed-cartridge fork that is also used on the current Husabergs. The Husky frames are similar to KTM’s XC line and are fitted with polyamide rear subframes. All of the TE models (except for Europe’s TE 125) feature electric starting.
Husqvarna will be offering a full line of motocrossers, which will include both two-stroke and four-stroke models. Again, the bikes are similar to KTM’s SX range. Don’t be surprised to see Tyla Rattray racing an FC 450 in the US a few times before heading back to Europe full-time for the GP series. The US will not get the FC 350, which will be offered in Europe.
When was the last time you saw an 85cc Husqvarna motocrosser? Never? Well, you will now. The TC 85 is very similar to KTM’s 85 SX, which is considered by many as the top dog in small-bore racing, especially in the horsepower department. It’s fitted with WP suspension, which includes KTM’s non-linkage PDS rear suspension system, and 14-inch (rear) and 17-inch (front) wheels. All of the new Austrian-built Husqvarnas will be available by Spring 2014. The first Austrian-built Husky rolled off the Mattighoffen assembly line on October 7.