Halt: Kawasaki and Honda may have joined the oversize front
rotor bandwagon, but Husky and KTM are still the best.
Pony power: The FC250 has the most power in its class, but it
is high up in the range and requires a full throttle attack.
long time to ramp up to where the engine produced its
best power. Once in the sweet spot, the FC250 took off
like a rocket ship and revved until the cows came home,
yet the power profile was hard for all our test riders
to manage. There was a lot of “hurry up and wait” in
the FC250 power profile. Plus, there was a considerable
amount of decompression braking when downshifting.
The chassis didn’t work as well when the engine was
off as when it was on. The stiff suspension setup really
responded to being pressed into the ground, but when
you chopped the throttle, the suspension loaded up.
Q: WHAT CAN YOU DO TO FIX THE 2015
A: Surprisingly, the fixes are easy and inexpensive,
but you will have to channel your inner Macgyver to
maximize the potential of the FC250.
(1) Airbox cover. The Husky airbox is sealed off
tighter than a drum. Air only gets in by mistake. No
air means no power. You can prove this by taking the
airbox cover off of your 2014–2015 Husky FC250 and
riding without it. It’s a different bike. The stock Husky
airbox cover costs one full horsepower. The solution?
Drill holes in the side panel until your bike runs as well
with the side cover on as it did with it off.
( 2) Mesh screening. The FC250 has mesh screen
dividers in the muffler and the airbox. We removed both
of them (and switched to a fire-retardant air filter just to
be safe). The reward is improved throttle response, an
area where the FC250 is desperately lacking.
( 3) Gearing. Husky’s and KTM’s five-speed gearboxes
have big gaps between the gears, particularly the sec-
ond- to third-gear transition. For 2015, we spent consid-
erable time trying to find the ultimate gearing. Guess what?
Faster test riders actually preferred gearing the FC250 up by
running fewer teeth on the stock 50-tooth rear sprocket. With
taller gearing, the test riders were able to stay in second gear
longer, and downshifting into corners was much more pleas-
ant thanks to a decrease in decompression braking (and the
There is, however, a break-even point where the talent
required to carry the upshift to third or not having to down-shift to first in tight corners exceeded the rider’s speed. In
these cases, we had test riders who geared the Husky FC250
down by adding one tooth to the rear sprocket.
Q: WHAT DID WE HATE?
A: The hate list:
(1) Airbox. An engine needs to breathe, but the FC250
asphyxiates the powerband.
( 2) Spokes. For some reason the spoke at the rear rim lock
always came loose.
( 3) Rear fender. You will break the rear fender. How? Just
like us, you’ll forget to use the grab handles and instead pick
the FC250 by the rear fender. As a result, the plastic will snap
and the fender will stand at attention.
( 4) Shift knob. The spring-loaded shift knob would get
bent backwards in deep berms and refuse to snap back out.
Without the shift knob, there is no shifting.
( 5) Subframe. The polyamide rear subframe is a neat
idea, but it bulges out in certain areas, causing the test rider’s
boots to get hooked on the subframe. It needs a smoother
( 6) Gearing. You have the choice of gearing it up or down,
but you don’t have the choice of running the stock gearing.