2014 HUSKY FC450 MXA HUSQVARNA
This is how we set up our Husqvarna
FC450 for racing. We offer it as a guide
to help you find your own sweet spot.
WP FORK SETTINGS
The 2014 Husqvarna FC450
suspension works best at Vet speed—
any faster than that and it is quickly
over-stressed. We have lived with these
forks for many years without seeing
any significant improvement in their
damping. We originally blamed it on
the Dutch, but a few years ago the WP
facility moved to Austria (and got the
Dutch off the hook). It is true that WP
upped the compression damping for
2014, but that was just a baby step in
the direction they need to go. If it were
us, we would bite the bullet and send
these forks to MX-Tech, MX1 or Pro
For hardcore racing, we recommend
this fork setup on the 2014 Husqvarna
FC450 (stock specs are in parentheses):
Spring rate: 0.50 kg/mm
Oil height: 390cc
Compression: 9 clicks out
( 12 clicks out)
Rebound: 12 clicks out
Fork-leg height: 5mm up
Notes: If you are looking for plusher
forks, lower the oil height by 10cc to
380cc. If you are faster and looking for
firmer forks, raise the oil height by 10cc
or 20cc (400cc or 410cc). The clickers
cannot iron out the issues that Pro
riders will have with these forks.
WP SHOCK SETTINGS
The WP shock is considerably better
than the forks, but when one end of
a bike doesn’t work, it transfers the
bulk of the load to the other end. Until
you get the forks to absorb everything
thrown at them, the shock will continue
For hardcore racing, we
recommend this shock setup for the
2014 Husqvarna FC450 (stock specs
are in parentheses):
Spring rate: 5. 7 kg/mm
Race sag: 100mm (105mm)
Hi-compression: 1-1/2 turns out
( 2 turns out)
Lo-compression: 12 clicks out
Rebound: 15 clicks out
Notes: We don’t think that the
average FC450 rider will need a stiffer
shock spring (unless he is over 200
pounds). Smaller riders can live with
the stock spring by turning the
compression clicker out.
Q: WHAT DID WE HATE?
A: The hate list:
(1) Shock preload ring. We hate it, but for riders who never adjust
their race sag, it’s perfect.
( 2) Weight. Although not the heaviest 450 on the showroom floor, it
(and its green, red, yellow and blue compatriots) would be so much
better if Jenny Craig knocked 10 pounds off.
( 3) Shift lever. It’s either too low or too high.
( 4) Suspension. The WP forks are the biggest negative to the
Husqvarna and KTM packages.
Q: WHAT DID WE LIKE?
A: The like list:
(1) Electric starting. Yes, we know that it adds 5 pounds to the
overall weight of the bike, but never having to kick your bike again is
worth 5 pounds.
( 2) Plain bearings. Much like the old-school bronze bushings used on
road racers, Husqvarna’s plain bearings are good engineering.
( 3) Hydraulic clutch. This is the longest-lasting clutch in motocross.
( 4) Brakes. KTM and Husqvarna should be proud of their brakes.
Kawasaki, Honda, Yamaha and Suzuki should be ashamed.
Q: WHAT DO WE REALLY THINK?
A: There are four types of buyers for the Husqvarna FC450:
(1) Loyal Husky customers. You may think that there aren’t that many,
but Husqvarna sold 6000 motorcycles last year. ( 2) Rebels. As a rule,
motocross racers are sheep. They buy what everyone else buys, which
in 2014 means a KTM. But, there are rebels who want to be different.
They are the black sheep of motocross, and a white Husqvarna suits
their psyche perfectly. ( 3) Orange-phobes. Over the decades, the fan boys
have built up a lot of venom against KTM, thus they could never buy an
orange motorcycle; however, a Husqvarna is a way for them to buy a
KTM without having to eat their words. ( 4) Motocross racers. Without the
injection of KTM money, Husqvarna’s 111-year history would have come
to an end in 2014. So, thanks to KTM, motocross racers have another
brand to put on their wish list. And it’s a good bike. ❏
Attack: Although mellower off the bottom than its KTM brethren, it still rocks.