Every test rider liked the resilient feel of the Husky over the KTM. We
think the subrame is the reason why.
built in Sweden in decades), it is tastefully clean-looking.
( 9) Rear axle. For 2015, the KTM gets a 25mm rear axle.
Last year it had the small rear axle that KTM dropped in 2013.
Q: WHAT DO WE REALLY THINK?
A: We doubt that anyone is going to walk into a
Husqvarna dealership and plunk down $9149 without already
knowing that the Husky FC450 is really just a KTM 450SXF.
And, because of a few miscues by Husqvarna, the KTM is more
race-ready than the FC450. But, when a rider understands the
differences and buys the Husky, that makes him special. He
has two virtually identical choices, and his choice is to take the
road less traveled. Maybe he prefers white to orange. Maybe he
is an old-school racer from the Kent Howerton days. Maybe he
wants to reward the revival of a grand old marque. Maybe, just
maybe, Husqvarna offers a package that suits him better than
the KTM, Yamaha, Honda, Kawasaki or Suzuki.
FC450 SETUP SPECS
This is how we set up our 2015 Husqvarna
FC450 for racing. We offer it as a guide to help
you find your own sweet spot.
4CS FORK SETTINGS
If you never owned a KTM or Husky during
their WP bladder fork days, you probably won’t
be as impressed by the 4CS forks as the loyal
Tifosi who feel that a weight has been lifted
from the front of their bikes. The 4CS fork
doesn’t just offer better damping, a plusher
feel and easier adjustment; it is an answer to a
fork problem that looked like it would never be
solved back in Mattighofen. The 4CS forks are
more progressive, and they don’t blow through
their stroke. Yes, we do think that they are a
little too firm in stock trim, but this is easily
fixed with a slight adjustment to the oil height.
For hardcore racing, we recommend this fork
setup on the 2015 Husqvarna FC450 (stock
specs are in parentheses):
Spring rate: 0.48 Nm
Oil height: 95mm (100mm)
Compression: 17 clicks out ( 15 clicks out)
Rebound: 17 clicks out ( 15 clicks out)
Fork-leg height: 5mm up
Notes: For the first time in long time, our
AMA National test riders did not want the
suspension stiffer than the Vet and Novice test
riders. The 4CS forks were stiff enough. For Vets
and Novices, the easiest way to make the forks
more supple was to drain 5mm out of the forks
through the air-bleed holes. Since oil height on
the 4CS forks is measured in millimeters instead
of cubic centimeters, you can use 5cc to
WP SHOCK SETTINGS
The rear suspension on the Husqvarna FC450
is totally new for 2015. The shock is 4mm
longer. The link arm is 2.5mm longer, and the
rising rate is more progressive in the first part
of the stroke and less progressive at the end
of the travel. All of this adds up to less wallow
and a plusher feel. Most MXA test riders
complained about a tendency to G-out under
heavy loads, but were able to use the high-speed compression adjuster to iron this out—
although not all the way out.
For hardcore racing, we recommend this
shock setup for the 2015 Husqvarna FC450
(stock specs are in parentheses):
Spring rate: 5. 7 Nm
Race sag: 100mm
Hi-compression: 1-3/4 turns out
( 2 turns out)
Lo-compression: 15 clicks out
Rebound: 10 clicks out ( 15 clicks out)
Notes: Heavier and faster riders needed
a stiffer shock spring to help with the G-out
issues. Most Vet riders can handle it by going
in on the high-speed compression. We kept the
compression clicker in the stock position but
slowed the rebound damping way down. ❏