Husqvarna WR250

I bought a second hand Husky 250 2-stroke in June 2009 after some scrotes stole my GasGas EC200.

The Gasser was a sinch to ride, i.e. flattered a carp rider such as myself, with hydraulic clutch, brembo brakes, ohlins shock and user-friendly power band which could let rip when you wanted to. The Husky has been a bit more of a handful to put it politely! Bought (as usual) on ebay for just over a grand, it’s a 1998 model, with Brembo brakes again, standard clutch, Marzocchi 50mm Shiver forks and a bitch of a power delivery (for a novice like me anyway). So another brand of bike to acquaint myself with now.

Enduro bike ToP tIp… a second hand dirtbike will have had at least one genius DIY mechanic in it’s lifetime, who decided the factory guidelines are to be ignored! (as I was soon to discover…)

Week 1: Fork Oil and Seals
First problem on buying it I realised the fork seals had gone, and both legs were weeping quite badly. So I searched about to find some Husky dealers to discover getting parts for this bike, was not going to be as easy as if I owned a Honmahawasuki bike! Still, I found a set of seals for my model (however I’d initially been told the bike I had bought was a 1999 WR). Only when I opened the fork seals found they were much too small for my particular bike. Also, the fork oil quantity (if you could call the grey slop that fell out of the legs, oil) for each leg was a different amount. Cue lots of head scratching, web searching, forum pillaging, and shop phone calls to work out what was happening. Eventually after some communications with Husky Sport did I find out my bike was the 1998 version with the bigger 50mm forks. Husky reverted to the 40mm versions the following year, duh! New seals ordered then. The oil level was the next fudging process, as there was a shorter spring inside each fork leg than standard, along with an additional stanchion to reduce the compression!? Therefore oil ‘quantity’ was ignored and enough oil was poured in up to the recommended levels. The oil and dust seals fitted nicely now and after putting the front end back together on the bike, I was finally able to take it for a test ride up the road six days after buying it!

First impressions? Bloody hell!! Using the same throttle action I’d employed with the Gasser EC200, the front end would hop off the ground through the first 3 gears! 🙂 The exhaust note is extremely anti-rambler, seat height is fairly high but the seat itself is quite plush. The clutch was a bit fo a handful though, feeling very stiff compared to my previous Gasgas and XR250. Some hand/arm exercises required methinks! Quite happy all in all.

I happened to have a couple of mates with me on the day I finally got the bike up and running, who are both keen bikers. Although Woz hasn’t ridden a bike for a few years and was always a bit on the ‘gentle’ side of riding style, shall we say. Dee (a GSXR1000 K5 owning hooligan) decided against the risk of up ending himself on a main road by refusing a go (might have been the several bottles of beer he’d swigged by then that swung his decision). More worryingly, Woz wanted a go and promptly grabbed the helmet, jumped on the bike and made for a quick getaway….except he couldn’t kick start it. At this point I noticed the bike has a fair compression on it and gives a pretty backlash on the kick start…not good in trainers. So, I got my boots on and got the bike started for the little fella, before he scooted up the road and a ‘concerning’ speed and disappeared over the horizon. It’s fair to say I got a bit worried for a few minutes, until the bike reappeared a few minutes later, with Woz grinning like a cheshire cat and tears streaming down his face.

So…the bike was working at last…on a Friday…followed by lots of drinking…and my second Hare & Hounds race with the CEC on Sunday…ulp!


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