This is how we set up our 2017 Husqvarna FC250 for
racing. We offer it as a guide to help you find your own
WP AER FORK SETTINGS
The trick to getting the most from your AER air forks
is to find the proper air pressure for your weight, speed
and track. In the case of the 2017 Husqvarna FC250, we
think that the stock 154-psi air pressure is at the top of
the scale and that most riders should work down from
there. How far down? We’ve gone as low as 130 pounds,
but we typically start testing at the OEM-recommended
air pressure, and then lower it in 2-psi increments until
the forks don’t feel like they are dropping into their
stroke. Typically, AER forks ride high in their stroke
with the stock pressure. It’s important to note that any
recommended air-fork setting is totally dependent on
the weight and speed of the rider. As a rule of thumb,
MXA doesn’t choose its settings for Pro riders; Pros
favor jackhammer settings that can’t be used by the
vast majority of motorcycle riders. For hardcore racing,
we recommend this fork setup on the 2017 Husqvarna
FC250 (stock specs are in parentheses):
Spring rate: 140 psi ( 154 psi)
20 clicks out ( 12 clicks out)
15 clicks out ( 12 clicks out)
Fork-leg height: Third line
Notes: It is possible that some racers won’t get full
travel no matter how low they set the air pressure.
In that case, we suggest lowering the oil height in
the damping leg by 10mm or more to get full travel.
Additionally, MXA test riders pay very close attention to
how the forks ride on the track, avoiding having the fork
ride too low or too high in its stroke. We bleed the outer
chamber on the air side constantly, which is accessed
via a 10mm hex head or #20 Torx. Even if you own a
#20 Torx, don’t use it, because the bleed screw strips
out easily. On the damping side, we change the bleed
screw from a Torx to the previous Phillips-head design.
WP SHOCK SETTINGS
Last year the Husqvarna FC250 came with a stiff 45
N/m shock spring. This really wasn’t the best spring
rate for the typical 140-pound 250 four-stroke racer,
especially given that most MXA test riders ran a 45
N/m spring on their 2016 450SXFs—and that is what
Husqvarna spec’ed for the FC450 for 2017. For 2017,
Husqvarna lowered the shock spring rate to a 42 N/m.
This is a big improvement for the FC250’s target audience. For hardcore racing, we recommend this shock
setup for the 2017 Husqvarna FC250 (stock specs are
Spring rate: 42 N/m
Race sag: 105mm (110mm)
Hi-compression: 2 turns out
15 clicks out
10 clicks out ( 15 clicks out)
Notes: As a rule of thumb, we use the high-speed
compression to iron out the balance of the rear suspension, typically varying by a 1/4 turn in either
direction. Our biggest change is to the rebound damping, which we think is too fast in consecutive bumps.
Additionally, we set the sag at 105mm instead of the
WP-recommended 110mm. ❏
The heart of the Husqvarna’s on-track prowess is the result
of its 14,000 rpm, 44-horse, lightweight engine.
( 7) Heat shield. We had to double up the heat shield
on the side panel to stop the pipe from melting through it.
( 8) Airbox. Why do Husqvarna’s engineers keep building
airboxes that don’t breathe.
( 9) Gearing. Exchange the tall 14-tooth countershaft
sprocket for a lower 13.
Q: WHAT DID WE LIKE?
A: The like list:
(1) Weight. It’s not the lightest 250 four-stroke, but it is
the second lightest at 220 pounds.
( 2) Tires. Last year the Husqvarna FC250 came with
Dunlop MX52 tires. This year it has MX3S tires. They’re
very good sneakers.
( 3) Electronics package. The new multi-switch gives
the rider a choice between two maps (we always ran the
aggressive map), launch control (which we only used on
concrete or hardpack), and traction control (which we used
in place of last year’s mellow map).
( 4) Air filter. The world’s greatest air-filter design.
( 5) Hydraulic clutch. This clutch is durable enough to
last in the hands of a clutch abuser.
( 6) Power. A few years ago works bikes made 40 horses.
The stock 2017 Husqvarna FC250 makes 44 horses.
( 7) Hour meter. The best thing about the showroom-stock Husqvarna hour meter is that they put it on for
( 8) AER forks. We would have been happy just to get
forks that worked better than the 4CS forks, but the AER
forks are the best air forks on the track.
Q: WHAT DO WE REALLY THINK?
A: We would be remiss if we didn’t say that the 2017
Husqvarna FC250 is basically for people who don’t like