White knight: Although the basic platform is 100 percent KTM, the look of the white plastic makes the FC450 stand out.
So, to produce bikes in time for the 2014 selling
season—although just barely—KTM elected to engage in
the time-honored tradition of platform sharing.
Q: WHAT IS PLATFORM SHARING?
A: Platform sharing is when a manufacturer uses
major components from one brand as the basis for
another. This can include engines, frames, suspension
components, wheels and brakes. Platform sharing saves
money because the manufacturer gets the benefit of
economy of scale. Instead of having to build new frames
and engines for each of its vehicles, a company can make
separate and inexpensive production runs of each. It can
enjoy the benefits of sharing the same parts across
several different models or brands.
The automotive industry is rife with platform sharing.
The 2014 Cadillac XTS and the Chevrolet Impala are the
same under the sheet metal. At Volkswagen, the Audi A4,
Volkswagen Passat, Seat Exeo and Skoda Superb share
the same underpinnings. Additionally, the Volkswagen
Tiguan, Toureg, Scirocco, Jetta, Eos and Golf are all
built on the same modular platform. And, you might
be shocked to discover that Ford platforms have been
used by Jaguar, Land Rover, Mazda, Lincoln, Volvo and
Mercury at one time or another.
In Husqvarna’s case, platform sharing allowed them
to have products available in 2014 that consumers could
buy, dealers could stock and KTM could support. Without
platform sharing, there would probably not have been any
new Husqvarnas until the 2016 model year—at the
Q: WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN
A HUSKY FC450 AND KTM 450SXF?
A: Although the Husky FC450 is built on the KTM
450SXF platform, there are 10 major differences.
(1) Plastic. The plastic parts are unique to the brand.
The Austrians went with white plastic adorned with
blue and yellow graphics (and yellow fork guards). Even
the gas tank has a different shape.
( 2) Subframe. Husqvarna’s injection-molded
polyamide composite subframe (it’s okay to call it
“plastic” or “nylon”) is completely different from KTM’s
aluminum subframe or Husaberg’s polyamide version.
( 3) Side panels. Because of the plastic subframe,
the airbox cover on the FC450 had to be reconfigured
to fit. Instead of a separate airbox cover, the left-side
panel incorporates both the airbox cover and number
plate in one slab.
( 4) Rims. The 2014 Husqvarna FC450 is equipped
with black-anodized D.I.D. Dirt Star rims instead of the
fake Excels that come on the KTM 450SXF. Additionally,
the Husky uses silver spokes, whereas the KTM has
( 5) Rear axle. The 2014 Husqvarna FC450 has a
20mm axle; the KTM uses a 25mm axle. This means
that the swingarm and axle blocks are also configured
to accept the smaller rear axle.
( 6) Hand guards. Every 2014 Husky comes with
( 7) Seat bolts. The 2014 Husky FC450 uses two seat
bolts instead of the single bolt of the KTM. The two
2014 HUSKY FC450