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The Fall Guy

2014 Husqvarna Fe350 Vs Te300 Vs Modified Ag Bike (Baaah Hahaha)

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Before I get into it I should say I've only been on 6 trail rides, and have only owned one trail bike, really it's a fraction better than a Ag bike. So this is a noobs perspective of these bikes.

I thought I would add some history.

10 minutes on a mate's yz80, 24 years ago (never again hahaha)

1 hour on a mate's XR200R 22 years ago

20 minutes on a mate's XL250 22 years ago (heavy pos)

Half a day on a Honda Chaly in Vietnam 3 years ago (this is the bike that made me decide to get a licence and take up bike riding, lol)

1.5 years on a CB400 (currently gathering dust in the garrage)

1 year on a CRF250L - 6 trail rides and a few adventure touring rides.

20 minutes on a KTM250SXF about a month ago.

45 minutes on a Husqvarna FE350

45 minutes on a Husqvarna TE300

On with the show.

Don't have a trailer so there was a slight change in plan.

The day started at 7:30 am, got ready and on the bike by 8:30am, and on my way to paddy's swamp, filled the bike up at the BP near Avalon.

So bloody cold on the freeway, felt like my fingers were going to fall off, glad I wasn't riding to Enfield this morning or would have lost all my bloody fingers.

Got to Paddy's Swamp right on 10:00am and the bikes were there waiting for me. First time at Paddy's Swamp so thought it better to let the Road and River guy to lead me around on a good selection of tracks.

First bike up was the FE350.

The first impression was, hay this ain't as tall as I thought it would be (bonus, no lowering required) the next thing was, the seat is awesome, which is nothing special for most of you guys but on my bike the seat is like a banana so it's impossible to slide forward in the seat like you can on the Husqy.

The things that really stood out for me compared to my bike, was:

1)The brakes, so much stopping power, but also so much feel, and nice light pull. Seriously great brakes.

2) So much more traction at the front end. The bike feels perfectly balanced front to rear with lots of feed back. No scary front tyre wash outs. The bike just feels more planted initiating turns. Sliding into wet clay ruts never felt scary, never came anywhere near falling off. First time I completed a ride without falling off hahahaha.

3) The suspension is great so much better than my bike it's not funny. It's also much better than the 250sxf I rode about a month ago ie for trail riding (no surprises there)

4) The motor and throttle is nice and smooth, not snappy like the 250 sxf. This was an area I was a little worried about. I wasn't sure whether it would be as good as my bike with getting power to the ground but it was just as smooth off the bottom with easy to manage throttle sensitivity, plenty of torque and a bloody nice mid range and top end.

5) Love the seat, but nothing special for most of you guys.

6) Nice light clutch pull

7) Ergonomics. Standing felt great, Seated felt great. Seated was significantly better than on my bike.

TE300

First impression of the bike outside of the similarities with the 350, was the 2t sound. I don't know if a 2 stroke sounds different when you are seated on it, but that bike is the best sounding bike I have ever heard and I am not much of a fan of the 2 stroke sound (forgive me father). It sounded something like a cross between a rotary motor with a 2.25 inch exhaust system, a Northern Territory wild boar on steroids, and a 300hp Mercury Outboard. I could buy the bike purely for the sound, bloody awesome.

Outside of the sound, below are the things that stood out the most.

1) The motor was amazing, not as easy to control as the 350exc but not hard either. The thing would virtually pull in any gear, even tight slow stuff it would pull in 3rd and 4th gear amazing. It almost seemed like the bike had a rekluse clutch in it, it just seemed to pull no matter what gear you had it in. On the down side the bike didn't seem to like being much above 95km/h, it just seemed twitchy and like the motor wasn't happy being there. I kept looking for another gear or two but was surprised to find I was already in 6th. Initially this was a let down but on the way home I was thinking given the fact the bike pulled in third at any speed you could easily change the sprocket combos by 15 to 20% and increasing the happy region of the motor by 15 to 20km/h without affecting slow speed stuff, just use second on the new gearing.

2) Amazed at how good a carburettor fed bike can be. Absolutely no hesitation or lag with throttle inputs feels essentially identicle to fuel injection.

3) Even though the 300 is a bit lighter than the 350, the difference wasn't really that noticeable.

4) Every other comment that applies to the 350 also applies to the 300

I'm celebrating at McDonalds with a Grand Angus burger at the moment. I'll be back to update this when I get home.

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Modified Honda Ag Bike - CRF250L (50% more power and torque over stock)

Brakes: 4/10

Clutch: 6/10 (while nice and light and easy to use, the clutch is very weak and doesn't hold up well to trail abuse)

Suspension: 3/10 (what can I say it's way under sprung with no adjustments and no easy way to improve it)

Ergonomics: 4/10 (comfortable to ride all day but the seat makes it impossible to get adequate weight over the front wheel)

Motor: 7/10 (the motor has enough torque and power to tackle any obstacle and keep up with anyone of similar ability)

Handling: 6/10 (for how heavy it is, it surprisingly changes directions not too bad, front end traction is not great)

Weight distribution: 4/10 (feels like you can never get enough wait on the front wheel to inspire confidence)

Fuel Economy: 10/10 (does between 250km and 300k on the 11.4 litre IMS tank)

High Speed Stability: 8/10 (easily hit speeds over 100km/h on fire trails, 4wd tracks are a different story)

Hill Climbing: 8/10 (gets power to the ground reasonably easy, I've never done any crazy hill climbs though)

Single Track: 6/10 (the bike is too heavy and takes it toll on you in fatigue)

Fun: 7/10 (even though it's crap in many areas it's hard to rate a motorbike less than 6 in the fun factor)

Versatility: 8/10 (this bike has done just about everything including a 5 day 3000km road ride)

Maintenance: 10/10 (parts on this bike are extremely cheap. I bought a new cylinder head including valves, springs, stem seals etc for $130)

Value for money: 9/10 ( extremely cheap but wish they had of put on better suspension, and the choice of an aluminium subframe and charged a $1000 more)

2014 Husqvarna FE350

Brakes: 10/10 (Bloody awesome)

Clutch: 10/10

Suspension: 8/10 (Suspension can always be better than stock)

Ergonomics: 10/10 (Very easy to move forward on the bike)

Motor: 9/10

Handling: 9/10

Weight distribution: 10/10 (front to rear)

Fuel Economy: 9/10 (Based on countless testimonies of guys getting around 150km on a tank ie 350EXC)

High Speed Stability: 8/10 (Only cause I didn't go any higher than a 100 to test it out)

Hill Climbing: 9/10

Single Track: 8/10

Fun: 8/10

Versatility: 9/10

2015 Husqvarna TE300

Brakes: 10/10

Suspension: 8/10

Ergonomics: 10/10

Motor: 9/10

Handling: 9/10

Weight distribution: 10/10 (front to rear)

Fuel Economy: NA

High Speed Stability: 7/10 (Mostly motor related)

Hill Climbing: 8/10

Single Track 9/10

Fun: 9/10 (The only reason it didn't get 10/10 was I have a suspicion a 200 2T might be even more fun)

Versatility: 7/10

Notes on grading:

Brakes were marked highly if they had both very good stopping power and were easy to use for a noob.

Suspension was marked highly if it helped increase, traction, stability, and confidence to hit things at higher speed.

Motor was marked highly if it had both adequate power and ease of getting the power to the ground. No point having 70hp if it comes on so gnarly you can't use any of it.

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Wanna buy my '12 TE250?? Done 1100klm, 6 months reg and Rwc. 8k. Save lotsa dollars over new!

I'm fairly interested, need to off load my road bike to free up cash. It's currently for sale.

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Just want to say these are bloody great bikes that are easy to ride, the 350 being the easier of the two and also being more versatile but the 300 wins for fun. I didn't find the 300 as intimidating or fatiguing as some people have mentioned.

It's not an easy choice. If you lived near the trails with plenty of opportunity to get on the trails the 300 is a no brainier, if you lived further from the trails and don't get to ride as often the 350 is probably the better choice just because it is easier to ride when your feeling a bit rusty.

When I say easy, I probably wouldn't recommend these bikes to someone with no riding experience, they probably have a little bit too much power for a very first bike, but for someone that has a year of riding on the road and wants to get into riding trail they are an easy bike to adjust to and have fun on.

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ya not gonna ride this new bike on the road as an every day commuter are you,i really hope not!!

No I still have the crf250l, so I'll use that for commuting duties.

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No I still have the crf250l, so I'll use that for commuting duties.

 

 

so ya gonna strap the husky on the back of the honda....................LOL

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Before you get a new bike I'd recommend getting some way of transporting it to a ride. Your Honda is fine, it's just your too rooted to ride it after transporting to a ride.

Just a friendly suggestion.

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Before you get a new bike I'd recommend getting some way of transporting it to a ride. Your Honda is fine, it's just your too rooted to ride it after transporting to a ride.

Just a friendly suggestion.

Ive found im no where near as rooted as before, less nervousness, less adrenalin, less dropping the bike, improved riding knowledge experience and ability have made a massive difference.

If it wasn't for my car I would have already purchased a trailer.

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Good write up. Can't compare the 350 and 300 to your bike though. I still don't know how you can ride trails after bloody riding to them!

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I still don't know how you can ride trails after bloody riding to them!

I once did an adventure touring ride starting at 7am and finishing at 9pm after that experience I am a changed man.

Hahaha

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Good write up. Can't compare the 350 and 300 to your bike though!

Not sure what you mean. I still haven't finished it with my comments. I will be adding more when I get time.

I can only rate it against my peception and experience with bikes which is limited. Do you want me to add or change anything?

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