Test and previews Tue 17 September 2019

Husqvarna TE150i 2020 - An unusual displacement with a benchmark weight for its lightness

APPEARANCE
Beautiful, gorgeous! I was expecting it, it inherited the style of the 2019 cross so it couldn’t be otherwise... I like it very much, especially the shape of the front conveyors where the 100-plus-year logo of Husqvarna stands out; the rear side panels with the gray piece that seems almost added later don’t convince me much, but in the end if engineering decided this look, it means that it will be trendy. The handguards don't have the most racing shape in the world, but they work really well so in the end they are ok.
Livery with a white base, very minimal: no stickers or writing on the back part. Beautiful colors, on the whole I like them and that touch of fluorescent yellow here and there gives them that racing and youthful look that never hurts! The real "gems" are the black silencer with the logo and the saddle with a slight two-tone touch ... two details that really make the difference!

COMPONENTS
As we know very well the real novelty is the injection! It’s outfitted like the previous models, there are no real changes or special modifications. The suspensions obviously remain entrusted to WP even if with small updates, the rear sub-frame is still made of polycarbonate but has been completely redesigned, steering plates obtained from a solid black block, Magura clutch and brakes. It comes with hand guards and engine guard as standard.

ON THE ROAD
It really is as I expected it! Record agility, light, brilliant and with a lightning-fast curve entry as expected from any 125 even if here we are actually talking about a 150 displacement. It gives its very best on narrow off-road and downhill since it takes advantage of its chassis even more compact and streamlined than last year’s. It's a lot of fun in the forest: you look where you want to go and then, as if by magic, you're there! The only flaw I found is stability when speeding: when the pace increases, a bit of feeling is lost especially with the front fork that isn’t completely up to the task while the rear does its job well and always grants an excellent traction.
For amateur riding this is fine but let's say that if you want to tackle a few races, calibration and some adjustments to the suspensions are advisable. All solvable with a few clicks, since the parameters are easily adjustable without using tools. The riding position is really good, I was comfortable both sitting and standing on the footrests and was able to hug the bike with my legs and knees, the work done to make the structure leaner is paying off.

ENGINE
The basic idea of riding remains that of a 125 but the displacement differences and injection can be felt. From the start I felt the thrust and fluidity of the engine and was really surprised, the output was linear, rpms easily increased, the transition from low to medium rpms is hardly felt. On mule tracks you don't necessarily have to travel at full throttle with the clutch in your hand since the 150 displacement push helps making it easier even in the hardest situations.
The advantages given by the injection can be felt immediately: it doesn’t get flooded not even after long descents, the carburetion remains optimal even when altitude and temperature change (and we know how much it counts with small displacements) and gas consumption is drastically reduced to the advantage of both the rider and the environment. I was expecting something more from the power in an absolute sense, at high rpm some horses are missing and it tends to wall up forcing you to immediately upshift... I hope in future updates for the control unit able to make it peppier when pushing it to the maximum to make it super competitive.

TESTER’S OPINION
It made me sixteen again, being entertaining like only a few others before ...
Taking it to the limit in a race is not an easy thing, the forks need “customization” and the engine at high rpm lacks a bit of push but it’s a real pleasure to feel it come out of a bend in overdrive! Woods and mule tracks within everyone's reach thanks to engine push, lightness and ease of use. Personally, I’m very sorry that you can't legally ride it at 16, it will remain a dream for many teens.

The bike in one sentence The 2-stroke doesn’t give up and looks to the future!

Tester: Marsili Massimiliano "Sgassgarage"
Text: Lorenzo Neri
Foto: MBfotopress
Helmet: Troy Lee Design SE4
Riding gear: Troy Lee Design GP
Boots: Gaerne SG12