WHY DID IT FINISH FIFTH?
The more appropriate question is,
why did the Husqvarna FC250 finish
in front of the KTM 250SXF? The
bikes are identical in nearly every
conceivable way, save for the
plastics, airbox and subframe. Not
only that, the FC250 airbox is a
horrible design that does the engine
no favors. However, testers preferred
the feel of the plastic subframe when
cornering and liked the broader feel
of the FC250 powerband (once we
figured out how to gear the FC250
properly). Coincidentally, the muffled
airbox provides a more subtle
transition when the power kicks in,
which was a welcome feeling.
WHAT’S GOOD ABOUT THE
2015 HUSQVARNA FC250?
(1) KTM benefits. It’s hard to
beat the hydraulic clutch, mighty
front brake, electric starter and
in-mold graphics that wear like iron.
( 2) Handling. We figured that
the FC250 and KTM 250SXF would
handle identically. Guess again. The
polyamide subframe provided more
flex, leading to a more comfortable
riding experience. As a result, the
Husky handled better. There was
less impact transferred to the operator, because the plastic subframe
soaked up some of the brutality
caused by the WP shock.
( 3) Map switch. Husqvarna
includes a two-position map switch
on the handlebars. Map one is the
standard setting, while the second
map is for more aggressive hit. We
preferred the second map.
WHAT’S BAD ABOUT THE 2015
(1) KTM downfalls. The KTM
250SXF’s problems are the Husky
FC250’s problems. The powerband
is too top-end reliant. It is hard for
Novices and Vets to get the most
out of any engine that makes max
power at max rpm. Eclipsing 43
horsepower may sound great, but it
is of no value if a rider isn’t talented
enough to milk every rpm out of the
engine before shifting. The stock
gearing is a mess, and excessive
engine braking can be a hassle.
( 2) Suspension. We went all the
way out on fork compression but
didn’t make much headway in
eradicating front-end stiffness.
Draining 10cc of oil out of the 4CS
fork helped, but we think that the
FC250 could benefit from a
( 3) Airbox. The FC250 airbox is
like the Berlin Wall. Mr. Gorbachev,
tear down this wall! Several testers
resorted to racing the FC250 without the left-side panel/airbox cover.
Without the restrictive airbox cover,
the throttle response picked up
noticeably. Your best bet is to drill
holes into the airbox cover and then
clean your air filter regularly.
WHICH SKILL LEVEL BEST
SUITS THE FC250?
Just as with the KTM 250SXF,
the Husqvarna FC250 is best suited
for faster riders or slow riders who
refuse to shift out of second gear.
WHAT ARE OUR FINAL
THOUGHTS ON THE FC250?
The Husky FC250 placed in front
of the KTM 250SXF because every
MXA test rider liked the way it
felt—both in power delivery and
handling. Other than that, it’s a bike
that bleeds orange but is cloaked in