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2013 Husqvarna TXC310R First Ride
2013 Husqvarna TXC310R First Ride
Danny La Porte blasts another berm on the TXC310
Last week Husky invited us out to spin some laps on the new bikes. They specifically brought out the newest “Red Head” 250/310 models, for us to see the improvements from the previous year bikes.
The TXC310 is the US inspired model that debuted last year specifically as a cross country race platform. For 2013 it gets the newest cylinder head design and Keihin EFI system.
2013 Husqvarna TXC310R
2013 TXC310 R Features
• NEW DOHC “Red Head” design inspired by BMW’s F1 race program.
• NEW Kayaba suspension upgraded with stiffer springs and revised damping.
• NEW Revised, more compact handlebar switches with waterproof connectors.
• NEW WP radiator units are stronger and improve cooling capacity.
• NEW Added bearing inside ignition cover fine-tunes crank balance.
• NEW EFI indicator light on dash.
• NEW Magnetic oil sump plug allows oil change without filter removal.
• NEW Handlebar protection pad with graphic design.
• NEW Domino all-black handgrips with softer compound.
• NEW IPD (in-mold plastic design) shroud graphics updated with sleek new look.
• NEW Improved sticker quality on side plate graphics.
• Magura aluminum tapered handlebar, mounts offer two positions.
• Brembo brake hydraulics and Braking rotors.
• Aluminum alloy Excel rims.
• Electric start with kick-start backup.
• Brembo hydraulic clutch
The ride plan was to start with a quick spin on the 2012 model to get a good side by side comparison of the improvements. We were riding on the vet motocross track at Lake Elsinore. This track is completely revamped. The vet track is relatively smooth and has a new loam base that is much improved over the old clay lakebed surface.
My first few laps on the ’12 model were a little challenging. I was surprised at how critical it was to hit the shift points just right. In some corners I was down shifting twice to keep the power happy. Even at that, I was having difficulty. At times I would find myself overreving the motor and not making much headway. I was certainly hoping for better performance when I switched to the new model.
Instantly I could feel that the 2013 was a very different motorcycle. With far more torque down low, I was able to ride much of the track in one gear. I cut the number of shifts per lap in half from the 2012 model. This bike was plenty of fun to ride. With the power now working to help me, I was able to focus more on my riding and the other aspects of the Husky.
One nice part about the 250/310 line up, is that everything feels in the right location. The controls and positioning are all very natural, nothing out of place. Feeling comfortable, I started to focus on carrying more speed through the corners and my lap times improved.
Overall, the chassis felt very neutral and responded well to aggressive riding. The Kayaba fork was smooth, yet stiff enough to handle my weight. A few times I got a little over zealous and flat landed some of the jumps, but no problem for the suspension, it just took it all in stride.
One smaller jump had been heavily watered on the backside, so the landing was a little slick. I found that I could overjump the landing, come down on the slick part and let the bike drift broadside to the far outside line in the next corner. Then I would just hit the berm and go. I did this maneuver a number of times, all with exactly the same predictable result. I guess I would have to be very comfortable with the chassis to do that repeatedly.
The only motor characteristic that I could find fault with, was that I felt the TXC motor shut off a little early. I was wishing for a little more over rev on some of the short straights. Where I found that was on the 2013 TC250. It revved much more freely and seemed a little more at home on the tight track.
Husqvarna North America also brought a 2013 TE310 out for us to ride. I was anxious to ride this bike because we are currently testing the similar dual sport KTM 350EXC. I was somewhat disappointed to find that the test bike we had was significantly modified to a closed course specification. Never the less, it too was a blast to ride. It was essentially set up like a TXC model with lights. I felt that it had just a tad more bottom end power than the TXC, but other than that, it felt nearly identical.
I have to say that our first ride on the 2013 310’s was a success. The bikes were very enjoyable to ride. Everyone who turned out for the event seemed to have a great time. I had intended to focus this ride report more on the TE310, but as it was not very representative of the showroom model, we will have to wait for another day for that one.
I have one caveat to add. Keeping in mind, as a first ride, this was all in a very controlled situation. Husky brought out the models that they figured moto journalists would like best. We rode on a very smooth and relatively flat track. This was not a venue that would bring out many shortcomings; most any bike would work well here. This is not a knock against anything, just to emphasize, as is often the case, the “first ride” this was a very limited scope of testing.
I certainly hope that we get the opportunity to spend many more hours with a 2013 310 Husky so I can bring you a more in depth perspective.