Always pick the Husky FC450 up by the handhold, not by the
rear fender. Why? Just take our word for it.
The throttle response is muted by the bank vault-style airbox
and sound and flame screens.
Q: HOW DOES THE 2015 HUSQVARNA FC450
A: The obvious answer would be, “Like a KTM
450SXF.” But, that gives short shrift to the Husqvarna.
Why? Because for some unknown reason, MXA test
riders prefer the way the Husqvarna feels in motion
over its fraternal twin. We attribute this sensation to the
more resilient subframe and the muffled feel of the
powerband from low to mid. The combination of more
give in the chassis and less loading on the drivetrain
gives the Husky more pleasant ride characteristics.
But, from a numbers point of view, the KTM 450SXF
and Husqvarna FC450 roll down the same assembly line
and share identical geometry, wheelbase, weight bias
Overall, the Husqvarna is a very good-handling bike,
with the caveat that you have to set the front/rear
balance up properly. Just like its orange brethren, the
Husky requires very little input to get it to do what you
want. It rails corners with nary a hint of oversteer or
Q: IS THE HUSKY FC450 FASTER THAN THE
A: Given that there is not one iota of difference
between the two engines and that they make the same
peak horsepower, you might be surprised to discover
that the FC450 is slower than the 450SXF. How can that
be? Well, peak horsepower is measured when the engine
is at full song. And when the Husqvarna FC450 is
running wide open, it produces solid horsepower. The
problem isn’t at peak; the problem is below peak.
Compared to the KTM 450SXF powerband, the Husky
feels choked up. It is definitely slower on throttle
response than it should be. This is where Sherlock
Holmes was called in to crack the case.
If they are identical engines, where did the low-to-mid
transition go? Elementary, my dear Watson. It didn’t go
anywhere; it is just gasping for air. Husky’s innovative
plastic subframe and full-length side panels are choking
the engine to death.
Unlike a KTM, which has vents on both sides of the
airbox, the Husqvarna airbox is sealed up tighter than
the drum that Jimmy Hoffa is buried in. We are shocked
to see that this problem wasn’t fixed for the second
model year of Husky production, because it is an obvious
Once the MXA wrecking crew felt the powerband
difference, we went looking for the culprit, and we found
it on the first try. We sent two test riders out on the
bike with the airbox cover in place, then we sent them
back out with the airbox cover off the bike. Night-and-day difference.
The solution? Drill holes in the Husqvarna FC450
airbox cover, and keep drilling until the bike runs as well
with the holes as it does with the cover off.
Q: HOW DOES THE 2015 FC450 RUN ON THE
A: At 56. 95 horsepower, the Husky FC450 has nothing to be ashamed of. Of course, it should be ashamed of
its low-to-mid transition; however, on the plus side, even
when clogged up, the Husky makes more peak power
than the Honda, Suzuki or Kawasaki, but less than the