It’s one of the oldest tricks in the book: Take a lightweight chassis, slip in an engine that’s physically the same size as the original but with more displacement, then reap the rewards offered by a superior power-to-weight ratio. This is essentially what Husqvarna has done to come up with the TE310, a bored-and-stroked version of the TE250 we tested in our March, 2010, issue. The result is a street-legal enduro/dual-purpose bike that’s an attractive compromise between too big and too little.
Bumping the compact TC250-motocrosser-derived, dohc engine up to 302cc required increasing its bore and stroke from 79.0 x 50.9mm to 82.0 x 57.3mm. Like the TE250, fueling is handled by a Mikuni EFI system, but the 310 gets a 45mm throttle body in place of the 250’s 42mm unit.
As you might expect, the 310’s power output is impressive compared to its smaller TE sibling. Top-end performance from the 302cc mill feels a lot like that of a Japanese 250cc motocrosser, but with the added bottom-end grunt afforded by the additional displacement.
One of our complaints about the 2010 TE250 was a lean spot and subsequent bog right off idle due to poor fuel mapping. The 310’s throttle response is much better but still has a slight burble in the top of the rev range. Nevertheless, the TE will blow bigger Japanese dual-sport bikes like the Suzuki DR-Z400S and Honda XR650L into the tumbleweeds, despite its smaller displacement.
“The TE will blow bigger Japanese dual-sport bikes like the Suzuki DR-Z400S and Honda XR650L into the tumbleweeds, despite its smaller displacement.”
What really makes the TE310 so rewarding is its light weight. At a claimed 234 pounds dry, it is significantly lighter than any 450 dual-sport enduro and not much heavier than a Lites-class MXer. The result of this low mass, combined with a very good chassis and excellent steering, is flickable handling and instant response to rider input. And the 48mm Kayaba fork and Sachs shock are well-balanced front to rear—except that when the bike was pushed very hard on a rock-strewn grass track or landed from bigger jumps, both the fork and shock were too soft. For typical enduro riding, however, the suspension should be in the ballpark.
Off the dirt and on tight, twisty asphalt roads, the TE310 is really fun—think supermoto on knobbies. But if commuting is a requirement for your dual-sport bike, you may want to look elsewhere. Stock gearing isn’t intended for extended on-road cruising, so you end up buzzing along in sixth either looking for “seventh” or for another dirt trail to appear.
Another of our gripes about the TE line has been a lack of fuel range, and Husky has addressed it on the new 310. Fuel capacity has been increased from 1.9 to 2.2 gallons, which is better but still may be insufficient for unsupported forays into remote areas.
Thankfully, the Husky’s few drawbacks can be solved through the aftermarket. Its excellent power-to-weight ratio, flickable handling and extra low-rpm grunt make for an appealing package—especially to anyone in the market for a lightweight, street-legal enduro who intends to spend more time in the dirt than on the road.