Grab handles: One of the Husky’s best traits is its spot-on handling. It doesn’t take a lot of input to track the perfect line.
bolts are hidden away inside the hand holds where you
have to fish them out when removing the seat.
( 8) Color choices. The Husky comes with a black,
52-tooth rear sprocket instead of KTM’s silver. To give
its version of the KTM 450SXF engine more pizzazz,
Husqvarna powder-coated the valve cover yellow. The
( 9) Map switch. The Husqvarna has a switch on the
handlebars that allows the rider to toggle between two
different ignition maps.
( 10) Muffler. The 2014 Husqvarna FC450 is outfitted
with the Euro-spec muffler. It is slightly longer and has
two perf-core baffles inside to keep the noise level down.
Q: WHAT CHANGES WOULD THE MXA
WRECKING CREW LIKE HUSKY TO MAKE?
A: One of the inherent problems of believing in
the “power of the press” is that if you flex it and nothing
happens, you don’t have any power. The MXA test crew
has cajoled, harangued and harassed KTM to make
specific changes. When we didn’t get our way, we shifted
our attention to annoying the factory engineers with our
complaints. Here is a list of things we would like them to
change in the future.
Preload ring. Who would make a shock preload ring
that deforms when you use it, seizes when the nylon
threads deform under pressure, and looks like hammered
dog meat after a season of preload adjusting? The
answer is KTM and Husqvarna. Metal rings work better.
Shift lever. In the stock position, the shift lever is too
low. When you move it up one notch, it is too high. MXA
places Husqvarna and KTM shift levers in a bench press
and bows the middle of the shift lever to raise the tip.
Air filter. There has to be a better way to secure an
air-filter cage inside an airbox. We would like a more
distinctive shape to the air-filter cage so that it locks into
the air boot more securely. Until then, we will keep
double-checking to make sure that the filter’s back edge
is sealed against the intake tract.
Shift shaft. Unlike the shift lever on a Japanese-built
bike, an Austrian shift lever slips onto a tapered spline
with a bolt holding it at the end of the shaft. Since the
tapered shift shaft gets smaller as it moves outward, the
shift lever can slide off if the bolt comes loose. Plus, the
bolt that holds the shift lever to the tapered shaft doesn’t
insert into a notch to help keep the shift lever on like a
Japanese-designed shift lever.
Rear sprocket bolts. They come loose with alarming
regularity. It could be that the taper on the bolt head and
the taper on the sprocket hole are mismatched or that
the bolts are stretching, but never ride your Husqvarna
or KTM without checking the rear sprocket bolts (and the
spoke next to the rim lock).
Q: WHAT ARE THE MOST SIGNIFICANT
FEATURES OF THE 2014 HUSQVARNA FC450?
A: Let’s make a Hall of Fame list—electric starter,
powerband, handling, brakes, hydraulic clutch, shifting,
no-tools airbox, horsepower and levers.
Q: WHAT ARE THE LEAST SIGNIFICANT