whatever map you choose at the junction box under the
seat. The choices are stock (which Map 1 remains at
all times), mellow or aggressive. KTM owners can only
access their maps by buying an optional map switch
from their friendly local KTM dealer.
( 6) Controls. The Husqvarna uses a taller Neken handlebar than the KTM’s Renthal FatBars. Neken makes all
of KTM’s and Husqvarna’s triple clamps. The motocross
bikes do not get hand guards this year, although the
offroad bikes do. The FC350 grips are slightly firmer than
what is found on the KTM 350SXF, and they also have
“Husqvarna” inscribed in the rubber.
( 7) Rims. The Husqvarna line comes standard with
black-anodized D.I.D. DirtStar rims, while KTMs come
equipped with black-anodized Excel rims.
( 8) Muffler. Don’t be confused by the different
exhaust part numbers between the FC350 and 350SXF.
Both bikes use the exact same muffler, and they are
interchangeable—although the Husqvarna muffler has a
thicker mesh screen inside for sound deadening.
Q: IS THE 2015 KTM 350SXF ENGINE IN THE
HUSKY FC350 ANY DIFFERENT FROM WHAT IT
WAS IN 2014?
A: No. Apart from a more durable oil-pump suction
screen, the 2015 engine is the 2014 engine.
Q: HOW DOES THE HUSKY VERSION OF THE
A: We forgive you if you think that the two engines
should perform identically. Logic would lead one to
believe that since the two powerplants are mechanically
identical, their performance would be identical. But, it isn’t
Because motorcycle engines are essentially air pumps
that draw air in, combust it and then blow it out, an
engine’s ability to breathe is a big factor in its
performance. Remember what we said about the
restrictive nature of Husqvarna’s plastic subframe? Its
molded shape and fully sealed side panel cut down on
the amount of air that the Husky FC350 can get. Less air
means less throttle response at low rpm.
How do we know this is true? That’s simple. We
removed the left-side airbox cover and raced the bike
without the left-side panel. Guess what? It came to life
without the cover.
In back-to-back tests against the KTM 350SXF, which is
the only bike with the same displacement, the KTM was
livelier, snappier and more responsive from low to mid.
There was a noticeable difference. Once the rpm climbed
and the airflow evened out, the Husqvarna produced
the same peak horsepower as the KTM, albeit a couple
hundred rpm later (caused by its need to take deeper
breaths to get to peak).
Every test rider favored the KTM engine over the Husky
version, but on paper they look the same.
Attention-getter: Apart from the white plastic, the biggest
difference between a KTM 350SXF and an FC350 is the plastic
subframe. It does good and bad things.