1970 Husqvarna 250 Cross 8-Speed
Frame no. MH3969
Engine no. 260147-8M
Before the era of big celebrity endorsements, Husqvarna Motorcycles had two heavy hitters already in its corner. Malcolm Smith, arguably the best-ever all-around rider, and Steve McQueen, actor and uncontested arbiter of what was hip and cool, both rode Huskies. A shirtless McQueen could be seen bounding across the cover of Sports Illustrated on his 400 Cross, and Smith's exploits aboard a 250 Cross were featured in everyone's all-time favorite motorcycle movie, On Any Sunday.
Perhaps more than any other model, Husqvarna two-strokes spelled doom for big hulking four-strokes that once held sway in scrambles and desert racing. In the 1960s and '70s the Swedish company would win 14 world motocross championships, countless medals in ISDT and enduro competition, and 11 Baja 1000 victories, three of the latter coming on Huskies ridden by Smith.
The 250 Cross on offer here is one of the favored 8-Speeds, so-named for its dual-range four-speed transmission, which gave a gear for every occasion. At some point in the bike's history, its cylinder was ported and a 400 Cross expansion chamber fitted, evidence perhaps of being rigged for serious high-speed desert work. This bike has benefited from a recent full restoration and wears its original aluminum fenders.