Q: FIRST AND FOREMOST, IS THE 2017 HUSQVARNA
FC350 BETTER THAN THE 2016 FC350?
A: It is important to note that 90 percent of the 2017 Husqvarna
FC350 is the same as last year, but the 10 percent that is different is a
big deal. The swap from WP 4CS forks to WP AER air forks is a massive step up the evolutionary ladder. Not only do Husqvarna’s new air
forks work very well, they are simple to adjust, easier to live with than
the complicated Showa SFF TAC forks and Kayaba PSF- 2 forks, and
they are 3. 6 pounds lighter, which means that the 2017 Husqvarna is
also significantly lighter. How light? It weighs 221 pounds, which is 12
pounds lighter than a 2017 Honda CRF450 and 19 pounds lighter than
the Suzuki RM-Z450.
Q: WHAT OTHER 2017 CHANGES CONTRIBUTED TO THE
FC350 BEING A BETTER BIKE?
A: Husqvarna has not stood pat with the FC350. Its engineers have
applied all the lessons they learned from the 2016 FC350—at least the
lessons they could afford to apply. Here is a quick list of the changes
that make a difference.
(1) Spring rates. We had issues with WP’s choice of rear shock
spring in 2016. The stock 2016 spring was a 48 N/m unit that was too
stiff for anyone under 180 pounds. For 2017, the FC350 gets a 42 N/m
spring. This spring rate is more in line with the target weight of the
potential buyer. One caveat: If you are over 180 pounds, consider going
to a 45 N/m spring. If you are over 200 pounds, look into a 48.
( 2) Rear brake. Husqvarna made two changes to the rear brake
system for 2017. First, the rear brake pedal is 10mm longer than the
2016 pedal. Every test rider liked this mod. Second, the rear brake pads
have a less aggressive compound and thus are less grabby or prone to
( 3) Triple clamps. Husqvarna’s engineers stiffened up the top triple
clamp to work better with the AER air forks. To a man, the MXA test
riders feel that the steering input on the 2017 is more accurate than on
Q: WHAT 2017 CHANGES TO THE FC350 WERE A PUSH?
A: Not every change is a home run; some are bunts, Texas
Leaguers or walks. Husqvarna’s list of changes included some features
that the MXA test riders could take or leave. Here is a quick list of the
mods that were a push on the tech scale.
MXA RACE TEST
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