The TE310 is exactly what I was looking for: light, nimble, and plenty of low-to-mid power compared to a 250. Husqvarna developed the 310 in 2011 off of the 250cc platform rather than downsizing the 450 as they'd done before. This lightened up the bike a little which is always a good thing. The extra torque you get with the 310 over a 250 also allows you to be a little lazier with your gear selection since there's plenty of power to pull you through. I've never owned a 250cc four-stroke for that very reason. I had previously opted for the 450cc motocross platform for my off-road riding until now. I'm a medium sized rider at 5'8", 162lbs, so a 450 had the tendency to throw me around if I wasn't careful.
The Rowher Flats Breakfast Club was in full effect in the weeks after I bought the 310 so I picked a day and raced out to Canyon Country at the crack of dawn. I met up with the usual suspects and we took off towards the hills into the best single track the area had to offer. I was having fun as soon as the tires hit the trail! The trails were tight, and at times quite steep with difficult step-ups hiding around blind 180-degree turns. I hadn't ridden like this in years! The TE was amazing, of course, but so were the guys I was riding with so the pace for the day was perfect.
We followed the tight switchbacks all the way up and rested in the shade under the low hanging tree branches at the top of the hill. It felt more like a mountain. After a brief intermission we proceeded to ride down the other side of the range to rest once again in the shade under the trees at the bottom. I was starting to see a pattern by this point. There was a nice cool running stream in the bush nearby so I washed my face and talked with the fellas before mounting up and heading back up the way we came. After a brisk ride back to the staging area I called it a day. I'll be back for sure.
So far, the TE310 fits the bill for what I wanted. I'll post up with some of the upgrades I've been making at a later date...