Q: FIRST AND FOREMOST, IS THE 2016
HUSQVARNA FC450 BETTER THAN THE
A: Yes. Leaps and bounds better. No contest.
Q: HOW DOES THE 2016 HUSQVARNA FC450
DIFFER FROM THE 2016 KTM 450SXF?
A: There are 10 distinct differences between a
Husqvarna FC450 and a KTM 450SXF. Please memorize
them, because there will be a pop quiz later.
(1) Price. The Husqvarna retails for $100 more than the
KTM ($9399 versus $9299). This price variation can only
be explained by the smaller production run of Husqvarnas
( 16,000 units) versus the economy of scale of KTM’s massive
production run ( 50,000 units). It should be noted that at the
dealership level, the price difference may well evaporate
during the negotiating phase.
( 2) Weight. The Husky FC450 weighs more than the
comparable KTM 450SXF. The Husky’s extra baggage (229
pounds versus 227 pounds) is a function of the plastic
subframe, brake rotors, swingarm and muffler more than
( 3) Subframe. Husqvarna claims that its three-piece,
carbon fiber-infused plastic subframe is 2. 2 pounds lighter
than last year’s subframe. On paper, this sounds very good,
but don’t get too misty over either the weight savings or
the words “carbon fiber.” The weight savings come from
the simple fact that the 2016 subframe is much smaller and
shorter than last year’s version, thus it weighs less because
there is less of it. As for the carbon fiber aspect of the
subframe, it is technically true, but this is a far cry from
a carbon fiber subframe. In actuality, carbon particles are
mixed into the plastic formula. Since the carbon is lighter
than the oil-based plastic, there is a weight savings. How
much carbon fiber is mixed in? The 2016 Husqvarna
subframe is 30 percent carbon and 70 percent plastic.
( 4) Swingarm. Although Husqvarna’s engineers never
mentioned a swingarm change in their tech information, it is
obvious that the swingarm is different from KTM’s.
( 5) Muffler. Back in 2013, KTM 350SXFs and 450SXFs
had mufflers with ice-cream-cone-shaped restrictors inside
them. Made out of rolled perf core, the cones cut down on
the sound and throttle response. In 2014 KTM dropped the
ice-cream-cone muffler inserts in favor of straight-through
perf cores with light-gauge wire screens. Guess what,
the ice cream cones are back. Not on KTMs, but on the
Husqvarna FC450. We don’t like this design (and obviously
KTM didn’t either), but for sound reasons it is on the
( 6) Tires/rims/brakes. Husqvarna spec’ed MX52
tires. These are decent all-around tires and popular as OEM
equipment because they are passable in a wide variety of
terrain. KTM spec’ed the much more race-specific Dunlop