Pucker up: Husqvarna didn’t have to reinvent the wheel or the
thing that stops it. Husky’s Brembo brake is awesome.
Single-speed: Thanks to an engine that revs to 13,400 rpm,
the need to shift is reduced. Plus, that’s where the power is.
Q: WHAT’S THE TRICK TO RACING A
A: Boiled down to one phrase: “Never shift!”
The FC350 revs to 13,400 rpm, and it makes its peak
horsepower way up in the stratosphere. If you shift
before the engine has revved all the way out, you will
not be getting max power. Thus, never shift. Hold it,
wait, wait, hold it, wait, then shift.
Q: WHICH HANDLES BETTER; THE HUSKY
FC350 OR KTM 350SXF?
A: Handling is a very complex index to decipher.
Both the KTM and Husky are very good-handling bikes
(when the suspension allows them to work to their
fullest). They track straight, respond to rider input with
precision and can carve through sweepers with just a
flick of your knees. Neither one will turn as sharply as
a Suzuki, but they don’t shake at speed like the Suzuki
The key to getting the chassis dialed in is to spend
extra time getting the rear sag and front fork height
balanced for your weight and style. Once you find the
sweet spot, you can make the FC350 and 350SXF turn
just by thinking about it.
When we pushed the MXA test riders to pick the
handling package that they liked best, they all chose the
Husqvarna FC350. They claimed it was more absorbent,
felt better during weight transitions and was more resil-
ient in the rough. The source of all this goodness? The
plastic subframe. Husqvarna’s polyamide subframe soft-
ens the overall feel, especially when it interacts with the
rider in berms, tight corners and jumps. We have no
empirical data to support this contention, but we have the
test reports of seven different test riders to confirm it.
Q: HOW GOOD ARE THE 4CS FORKS?
A: They aren’t perfect, but “not perfect” is much
better than what we said about WP’s previous fork designs.
Most test riders find themselves turning the compression
clicker on the WP 4CS forks all the way out to soften the
compression. This seems odd, because on virtually every
other brand of bike, our AMA Pro test riders always turn
the compression in, while the Vets turn the compression
out. With both groups going the same direction, we
realized that we had a harshness problem.
Our solution? We lowered the fork oil height in 5cc
increments. The Pro test riders stopped at 5cc, while the
slower test riders went to 10cc. The limit on how low you
can go depends on your weight, speed and track layout. If
you take out 10cc and the forks start bottoming, you will
have to put some oil back in. Let bottoming be your guide.
Q: WHAT CAN YOU DO TO FIX THE 2015
A: Given its known limitations, there are things you
can do to make the 2015 Husqvarna FC350 better. Break
out your Swiss army knife and get started.
(1) Airbox cover. The Husky airbox could be used
as a diving bell by Jacques Cousteau. It is that air- and
watertight. On the dyno, the stock Husky airbox cover
costs one full horsepower. The solution? Drill holes in the
side panel until your bike runs as well with the side cover
on as it did with it off.