WHY SHOULD THE FC450 WIN THE
Given that the 2016 Husqvarna FC450 shares its
major components with the 2016 KTM 450SXF, you
might assume that it would tie for first place with
its orange brother. After all, it has the same brakes,
handling, electric starter, diaphragm clutch and
light weight. Those are good reasons to choose
the Husqvarna FC450 as the co-winner, but not
WHY SHOULD THE FC450 LOSE THE
Husqvarna’s engineers could easily have given
the Husky the same power output as the 2016
KTM 450SXF, but they choked down their muffler
and designed an asthmatic plastic airbox. These
two choices cost the FC450 1.0 to 1.25 horsepower
at 5000, 6000, 7000, 8000, 9000, 10,000 and 11,000
rpm. It’s one thing to give up 1 horsepower at
peak, but a completely different thing to give up 1
horsepower at every step on the curve from bottom
to top. Also, the airbox and muffler add 2 pounds
to the bike, making it the second-lightest bike in
HOW MUCH HORSEPOWER DOES THE
57. 14 horsepower at 9300 rpm. It makes 35. 86
foot-pounds of torque.
WHAT IS THE POWER LIKE?
The Husky has a lap-time engine, not a sprint
engine. Test riders could push the FC450 without
fear of being bucked off by a sudden burp of
testosterone from the powerplant. This style of
power has pluses and minuses. The powerband
was long, broad and pulled forever, but it didn’t
have the quick rev and lively throttle response
of its KTM sibling, which made the Husky easier
to ride. And, just to be perfectly clear, the Husky
makes more peak horsepower than the 2016
Honda, Suzuki, Kawasaki or Yamaha.
WHAT DOES THE FC450 WEIGH?
229 pounds. The 2-pound weight penalty comes
from the molded airbox and restrictive muffler.
WHERE DID IT PLACE IN LAST YEAR’S MXA
Second place. Just like last year, the 2016 Husky
FC450 piggybacked into second place—for the
HOW DOES THE FC450 RATE IN THE
Power output: Excellent. The FC450’s power
is broad and ultra usable. It revs slower than the
KTM but is more manageable.
Forks: The Husqvarna uses different valving
from KTM’s 4CS forks, and most MXA test riders
preferred the Husky setup. It should be noted that
these forks are valved for their target audience,
which isn’t Pro riders or Supercross tracks.
Shock: Since Husqvarna uses the same 48 N/m
spring as the 2016 KTM 450SXF, we think anyone
under 190 pounds would be better served by a
45 N/m spring.
Overall handling: In a Bermuda Triangle
mystery, MXA test riders liked the feel of the
Husky better than the KTM, even though the
geometry is the same.
Cornering: This bike is on rails. You can turn
it with your knees. Handlebar input is not as
sensitive as on the RM-Z450, YZ450F, CRF450 or
Shifting: It shifts as well as the KTM, which is
better than every other brand.
Brakes: Pucker up. Brembo has built the best
brakes in motocross for the last 10 years. Over
the course of that decade Brembo has refined the
interplay between the rotor, caliper and master
cylinder. The Husky/KTM brakes are awesome.
Clutch: Bulletproof. Husky broke away from its
KTM benefactor by spec’ing a Magura hydraulic
clutch master cylinder. Maybe it’s just us, but we
think the Magura unit has a silkier feel and more
progressive release point than KTM’s Brembo
WHAT WOULD WE CHANGE ON THE FC450?
We would drop the molded plastic airbox con-
cept on Husky’s motocross bikes; it’s best suited to
enduro bikes. It costs horsepower and adds weight.
We’d also get rid of the restrictor in the perf core.
Plus, if we weighed under 190 pounds, we’d swap
the stock shock spring for a lighter rate.
WHAT’S NEWSWORTHY ON THE FC450?
Although Husqvarna tried to carve out a niche of
its own with its molded airbox and quiet muffler,
we didn’t like the side effects of these changes.
But, we did love the no-bolt side panels and
THE FINAL WORD?
Nepotism. It’s hard to ignore the coefficient of
inbreeding exhibited by the consanguine marriage
of KTM and Husky. But, even without the big
words, the FC450 leapfrogs over the “Big Four”