( 10) Look. None of the plastic pieces are shared with
KTM. The truncated rear fender and platypus-bill front
fender are acquired tastes, but the navy blue/white/yellow
plastic is all new, along with color-coded ignition, clutch
and valve covers.
Q: WHAT’S UNIQUE TO THE 2016 HUSQVARNA
A: The most visible innovation is the plastic subframe,
a heritage part carried over from Husaberg. Look closely at
the plastic bodywork. See any bolts holding it on? There
aren’t any. The one-piece airbox cover/rear number plate
plugs into nylon grommets. No tools required. Plus, the seat
is held on by one bolt. There is nothing unusual about this.
Husky used one bolt for years with a Dzus fastener through
the top of the seat, and KTM did it up until last year with
a single bolt from under the rear fender, but the 2016
Husky uses one bolt on one side of the frame (accessed
through the airbox). The 2016 FC450 also has the hand-holds moved rearward by 1 inch to allow more leverage
for lifting the bike up. Thankfully, Husky also reinforced
the rear fender so that it doesn’t rip off if someone tries to
grab it to pick up the FC450.
Q: HOW FAST IS THE 2016 HUSQVARNA FC450?
A: In the hierarchy of 450cc powermongers, the 2016
MX32 intermediate. For racing on prepped tracks, the
MX52 can’t touch the MX32. Husqvarna specs D.I.D.
DirtStar rims, while KTM uses Takasago Excel rims.
Additionally, KTM uses very lightweight Galfer rotors,
while Husqvarna uses GFK brake rotors. The GFK discs
have a different vent pattern and the rear rotor is
thicker ( 24.5mm to 24.0mm).
( 7) Clutch. The most noticeable change for 2016 is the
use of a Magura clutch lever, master cylinder and slave
unit (instead of KTM’s Brembo components). There might
be some purchasing benefit to Husqvarna for making
this change, but for the consumer the big plus is that the
Magura system operates on much more readily available
brake fluid instead of mineral oil.
( 8) Handlebars. The 2016 Husky FC450 is outfitted
with Pro Taper bars in a proprietary Husqvarna bend.
KTM uses Neken bars.
( 9) Seat cover. Last year’s ice-skating-rink seat cover
has been replaced by a monochromatic gripper cover that
is more aggressive than KTM’s rough-surface cover.
2016 Husqvarna FC450: Forget
all you knew about last year’s
Husky because the 2016
FC450 is new from the ground
up. The only parts that are
unchanged are the wheels.