Real deal: Unlike the 2014 KTM’s that come with willy-nilly
Excel rims, Husqvarna spec’ed D.I.D. Dirt Stars.
Skid row: The Husqvarna FC450’s Brembo brakes come with a
260mm front rotor and beaucoup pucker power.
2014 HUSKY FC450
FEATURES OF THE 2014 HUSQVARNA FC450?
A: Let’s make a Hall of Shame list—fork valving,
shift-lever shape, 13mm bolts (this is a European thing),
Torx bolts, air-filter cage shape, rear sprocket bolts and
Q: HOW DOES THE 2014 FC450 RUN ON
A: This bike makes 56. 95 horsepower, but Husky
spec’ed KTM’s twin-baffle European muffler, which
doesn’t hurt the overall horsepower, but it mellows out
the throttle response.
Q: WHAT WOULD WE CHANGE ON THE
A: Although we often hear complaints about how
brutal the power is off the bottom, it’s not true. The
Husqvarna FC450 starts out mellow as a flute and builds
power like a kettledrum solo. By the time it reaches the
midrange, the FC450 is romping. For the average rider,
this is a great combination of sweet vibes and powerful
percussion. And, you’d think that the MXA wrecking
crew would be happy with that—but we aren’t.
We want more power down low. We want the FC450
to hit harder sooner. We want more oomph at low rpm.
We want the low-to-mid transition to feel more alive. We
could get this with an aftermarekt pipe or slip-on.
Q: HOW DOES THE 2014 FC450 HANDLE?
A: This is one of the better-handling motocross bikes
when set up right. It has an effortless flow that doesn’t
oversteer at tip-in, as the RM-Z and CRF sometimes do. It
doesn’t stand up in the center of the corner like a KX or
push on the entrance like a YZ. Instead, it tracks the line
the rider chooses and is very responsive to lean angles
and weight shifts.
Yes, the Suzuki turns sharper, but it can’t match the
FC450’s stability at speed. The key ingredient to taking
advantage of this perfection is to play with the fork
height and race sag to find the best head angle for the
Q: WHAT IS THE TRUTH ABOUT THE
A: Platform sharing lowers manufacturing costs,
reduces R&D time, and decreases the number of parts.
All of this is well and good if you are sharing good parts,
but what about the bad stuff?
Husqvarna is owned by KTM. WP is owned by
KTM. The result is a shotgun wedding. The MXA
prognosticators don’t expect the current generation of
WP forks to be spec’ed on the 2015 KTM 450SXF or
Husqvarna FC450. That is the good news. The bad news
is that they are on the 2014 Husqvarna FC450. So, we
have to live with them.
The WP forks aren’t the worst forks sold in 2014—that
dubious honor goes to the Suzuki RM-Z450 SFF forks;
however, if your greatest accolade is that you’re not the
worst, we don’t see an effective company slogan coming
from that factoid.