Less is better: We tested the bike with and without the left
side panel. Why? It produces more power sans cover.
Silk: The FC250 transmission shifts without issue. It will shift
at wide open throttle and is buttery smooth.
A: That’s easy. The forks are a big step up. Why do
we think that 4CS forks are better? Mainly because we
have a long history of disappointment with WP’s bladder
fork setup. So, for us, any change is a good change. The
4CS forks are more progressive. They don’t blow through
the stroke. Although the stock settings are stiff and
geared toward faster and heavier riders, the 4CS forks
are in the ballpark compared to the previous WP bladder
fork, which was incredibly harsh in the mid-stroke.
Are the 4CS forks better than the typical Showa or
Kayaba setup? No. It’s obvious that the 4CS fork still has
some catching up to do, but Husqvarna has gained more
ground in one model year than with the WP bladder fork
over 10 years.
Q: DO THE NEW 4CS FORKS COMPLEMENT
THE WP 5018 SHOCK AND LINKAGE CHANGE?
A: The FC250’s WP rear shock features new valving
and a 4mm increase in stroke. The slightly longer stroke
complements the new link geometry, which is 2.5mm
longer without changing rear-wheel travel. With a few
adjustments, we had the rear working in unison with the
front. The bike has a great balance between the front
and rear when you apply our settings, which are found
at the end of this test.
Oddly enough, the FC250 suspension feels different
from what is found on the KTM 250SXF. The KTM
suspension has a softer overall feel. On the KTM, the rear
end blew through the stroke with faster riders, so we
opted to go up a spring rate. Initially we plugged in our
250SXF settings but kept on going out on the clickers
until eventually we ran out of compression adjustment.
Why does identical suspension have a different feel?
Here are a few explanations.
(1) Spring-rate tolerances. We had an issue with
our KTM 450SXF shock spring feeling softer than last
year’s 5. 7 spring. When we checked the 2015 spring,
it was considerably lighter than the 2014 spring, even
though they were both labeled 5. 7 Nm. We believe that
there are tolerance variances in the WP shock springs.
( 2) Polyamide subframe. The Husqvarna polyamide
subframe is a softer compound than the KTM aluminum
subframe, which results in more flex and less rigidity. It’s
possible that the increased flex allows the shock to stay
further up in the stroke when under a load.
Q: WHICH BIKE HANDLES BETTER
BETWEEN THE HUSQVARNA FC250 AND KTM
A: This answer all depends on whom you ask.
Novices. Lighter, less-skilled riders preferred the KTM
250SXF because the suspension felt softer.
Pros and Vets. Faster and heavier riders chose the
FC250 because the rear end stayed up in the stroke
and bottoming resistance was excellent. We did have
reservations when our advanced test riders kept going
softer on the compression clickers, but they swore that it
was the correct way to go.
Q: HOW DID THE 2015 HUSKY FC250
PERFORM IN STOCK TRIM?
A: In terms of engine performance, the MXA wrecking crew wasn’t over the moon about the 2015 FC250.
Why? The bike was sluggish off the bottom and took a