and more rigid than the steel stays of 2016. They look
nicer and are 2 ounces lighter.
( 6) Torx mania. If you buy a 2017 KTM or Husqvarna,
you will need a #15 and #20 Torx wrench. The fork
air-bleeder caps are held on with the #20, while the ODI
grips are held on with a #15. So, without these two special
wrenches, you can’t bleed the forks or change your grips.
Last year we could use a Phillips screwdriver on the fork
air bleeders and an Allen wrench on the grips.
Q: WHAT 15 CHANGES TO THE FC350 WOULD
WE LIKE TO SEE IN 2018?
A: On every motocross bike there are irritating little
glitches that grind your gears every time you run into
them. Here is a quick list of things that push our buttons
on the 2017 Husqvarna FC350.
(1) Exhaust pipe. On the Husqvarna assembly line,
they must put the exhaust pipe on the conveyor belt first
and then build the bike around it, because you can’t take
the pipe off without taking the shock off—and you can’t
take the shock off without loosening the shock linkage,
and you can’t loosen the linkage without removing the left-side chain-slider pad. A three-piece exhaust system would
solve this problem.
( 2) Gas cap. It sticks so tight that sometimes you have
to ask strangers to help you remove it.
( 3) Sprocket bolts. As tight as the gas cap can get,
the sprocket bolts are the exact opposite. We think that
the taper on the bolts is different than the taper on the
sprocket holes, but even if we are wrong, we have to
check the sprocket bolts every race. Unlike the gas cap,
they come loose constantly. Never trust that they are tight
and you will never have any trouble.
( 4) Spokes. The spoke next to the rim lock has a mind
(1) One-piece bar mount. Husky says that the new
one-piece top bar mount will prevent the twisting that we
suffered with last year’s one-piece lower bar mount. Guess
what? The bar mounts still twist in a crash.
( 2) Map switch. For 2017 the map switch is located
on a fancy electronic multi-switch on the left side of the
handlebars. The 2017 multi-switch offers two maps (stock
and aggressive). Last year’s map switch was a flick-style
lever that offered two maps (stock and one option), but the
optional map could be changed to aggressive or mellow by
moving a dial in the airbox. The electronic switch is cool,
because it has lights on it, but it’s not a game-changer.
( 3) Launch Control. The launch control mode on
the 2017 bike is activated by pressing two buttons on
the multi-switch at the same time. This is no mean feat
when sitting on the starting line wearing gloves. The old
launch control system was activated by flicking the flick-style launch control button back and forth twice. Neither
system, 2017 or 2016, allows the rider to blip the throttle
while waiting for the gate to drop.
( 4) Traction control. The 2017 Husqvarna FC350 has
a traction control button on the multi-switch. In truth, we
rarely use it. It is too aggressive to use on tracks with
loamy dirt, so we only use it on hard-pack tracks—and
then we only use it as a replacement for 2016’s mellow
map option. Husky’s traction control worked best on hard-packed, rock-hard, muddy or slippery track surfaces.
( 5) Head stays. The 2017 head stays are cast aluminum
Unlike the Husky FC450 muffler,
which has ice cream cone-shaped
restrictors in it, the FC350 muffler is