The two-stroke enduro bike can feel almost like magic. The mechanical simplicity means two-strokes are generally quite light, and the manic urgency of twice as many power pulses at any given rpm versus a four-stroke hurtles the bike forward.

But as emissions tightened and four-strokes got better, fewer and fewer people got to experience this. The 2018 Husqvarna TE 250i changed that. Along with its not-so-distant relative, the KTM 250 XC-W TPI, these are the first mass-produced fuel-injected two-stroke dirt bikes to hit the market.

What makes the TE 250i so special? On our in-house Dynojet dynamometer, it produced 41 hp at 8,230 rpm and 27 pound-feet of torque at 7,580 rpm. Impressive numbers, sure. But couple this with a 248-pound ready-to-ride weight, and the TE 250i feels incredibly light. Its nimble handling enables it to change directions instantly with very little rider effort. The Magura hydraulic clutch has good actuation and a light lever pull, and the Magura brakes are strong enough to handle any necessary sudden stop, but are also progressive to allow for easy modulation.

Husqvarna TE 250i
The Husqvarna TE 250i is Cycle World's 2018 Best Dual-Sport/Enduro bike.Jeff Allen

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Husqvarna TE 250i
The Husqvarna TE 250i, along with its not-so-distant relative—the KTM 250 XC-W TPI—are the first mass-produced fuel-injected two-stroke dirt bikes to hit the market.Jeff Allen

The TE 250i is most at home on tight and technical single-track. It can be lugged low in the rpm range, which makes it easy to maintain traction, and the midrange and top-end are predictable, yet plentiful. Two of the most inconvenient tasks that are normally a necessity when riding a two-stroke is jetting the carburetor and mixing gas, and the TE 250i requires neither of those.

single-track trails
The TE 250i is most at home on tight and technical single-track trails. The engine’s ability to lug low in the rpm is remarkable.Jeff Allen

In fact, we rode the TE 250i from 3,700 to 7,700 feet and came away impressed with how consistently it ran, despite the drastic change in elevation. Premixing oil is not required—top off oil and fuel tanks and both are injected automatically, a feature that any two-stroke fan can appreciate.

Xplor fork and linkage-assisted shock
WP’s Xplor fork and linkage-assisted shock do a superb job of absorbing small and large impacts, a testament to the progressiveness of the WP components.Jeff Allen

The WP Xplor fork and WP linkage-assisted shock have fairly soft spring rates and compliant damping, which is one of the reasons the TE 250i is a single-track slayer. The suspension does a superb job of absorbing small impacts such as rocks, logs, tree roots, and bumps. On bigger impacts, both ends hold up surprisingly well, a testament to the progressiveness of the WP components.

TE 250i
Weighing in at 248 pounds filled with fuel and oil, the TE 250i feels incredibly light on the trail.Jeff Allen

The Husqvarna TE 250i deserves recognition as the Best Enduro of 2018 not only for its innovation, but as a excellent off-road machine overall. The fuel-injected engine offers all of the fun of riding a two-stroke, but with no need for jetting adjustments or premixing gas, and with very clean tail-pipe emissions. Best of all worlds in our book.