The Husqvarna WR300 is the bike of choice for Sebastien Guillaume. A choice that might seem daring, but the French champion – surrounded by big, powerful 500 cc four-stroke machines – has for years taken his place on the podium of the E3 class at the International Six Days Enduro Championship.
Because Guillaume likes his enduro tough, for real men, and that means the Husqvarna WR300, designed specially on the basis of his experience at the WEC. Indeed for a long time the Husqvarna “300” was simply a suped-up version of the WR250. When in 2008 it entered the Husqvarna price list as a model, the WR300 was immediately taken to heart by professionals and fans alike.
Mechanical design in common with the 250
The WR300 and WR250 share the same mechanical design: same steel tubing chassis, same swingarm and linkage, same suspension. The Kayaba forks are hydraulically adjustable for both compression and rebound, the monoshock is a Sachs. The 2012 version benefits from the same updates common to the range: chassis painted black, anodised silver Excel hubs and redesigned graphics.
A new look for a bike that remains essentially the same and technically unchanged, which says a lot about how much work has already gone into fine tuning, testing and finishing in the past. The WR300 and WR250 also share a common layout and all component parts: Brembo brakes – large diameter (260 mm) front daisy wheel Braking with twin piston floating calipers – while the rear disc (220 mm) is floating and has no apertures, as preferred by Guillaume and other riders, to ensure maximum control on muddy terrain.
Maximum two-stroke power
The new WR300 is the largest engine capacity 2-stroke in the Husqvarna range, yet it has a surprisingly linear and progressive power delivery. The engine is powerful, always ready and responsive to minimum throttle changes, but not so explosive as to be demanding to the point that only a pro can handle it. In fact it immediately became an alternative – light, manageable, and – let’s face it, money is a factor too – more economic, for E3 class pro bikers, or fans of extreme enduro.
The engine is closely based on the crankcase of the WR250, which houses a larger bore cylinder (72 mm, giving an engine capacity of 293.1 cc). All component parts are top of the range: Ducati Energy digital ignition, Mikuni TMX38 carburettor and V-Force reed valve are just the more obvious examples.
The five speed gearbox performs well across the range of power supplied by the engine.