This is how we set up our 2016 Husqvarna FC250
for racing. We offer it as a guide to help you find your
own sweet spot.
4CS FORK SETTINGS
“Plush” is the best word to describe the WP 4CS
forks. They are geared towards light riders who don’t
put too much energy into the front end. We cranked in
on the clickers until they stopped bottoming and used
the rebound to slow down the ramping-up effect. For
hard-core racing, we recommend this fork setup on
the 2016 Husqvarna FC250 (stock specs are in
Spring rate: 0.46 N/m
Compression: 10 clicks out ( 15 clicks out)
Rebound: 10 clicks out ( 15 clicks out)
Fork-leg height: 5mm up
Notes: We love that WP uses no-tools adjusters to
make clicker changes a breeze. There’s no need to
drop the oil height this year; in fact, we stiffened up
the compression in order to keep the forks from
bottoming under fast riders. Fast riders might even
have to add 10cc of oil. Slower and older riders turned
the compression out all the way (and some might take
WP SHOCK SETTINGS
It’s nice that Husqvarna embossed a sag-scale line
on the rear fender to ensure that riders are measuring
their race sag in the proper location. For hard-core
racing, we recommend this shock setup for the 2016
Husqvarna FC250 (stock specs are in parentheses):
Spring rate: 4. 5 N/m
Race sag: 105mm
Hi-compression: 1-1/2 turns out ( 2 turns out)
Lo-compression: 8 clicks out ( 15 clicks out)
Rebound: 8 clicks out ( 15 clicks out)
Notes: We turned the high-speed compression
damping in to help hold the shock higher in its stroke,
especially under a load. Depending on rider preference,
we ran around 105mm of race sag to balance out the
WHAT DID WE HATE?
A: The hate list:
(1) Exhaust. You can’t take the pipe off the bike with-
out removing the shock. Set aside an hour and a swear jar,
then make yourself rich trying to get the pipe off the bike.
( 2) Sprocket bolts. Watch the sprocket bolts closely.
They loosen up easily.
( 3) Shift lever. We broke two shift-lever tip springs on
our KTM, and since the shifter is the same on the Husky,
we would expect to break it also.
( 4) Rear fender. Who wears short-shorts? It needs
about 2 inches more.
( 5) Airbox. We know that Husqvarna has heard this
complaint before, so why would they build a totally new
airbox for 2016 that still doesn’t breathe.
( 6) Spacers. There are metal spacers in the seat bolt
hole and right side panel that fall out when you remove
either of these two bolts. Shouldered bolts or tolerance-fit
spacers would have solved this problem.
( 7) Front tire. There is a place in the world for the
Dunlop MX52 front tire, but in a direct comparison against
KTM’s MX32 front tire, it’s no contest.
( 8) Brake pedal spring. Husqvarna puts the brake
pedal spring on with the bottom tang aimed outward. In
this position, the rider’s boot can nudge it out of the pedal.
We turn the spring around so that the tang on the brake
pedal aims inward. Then we crimp the tangs so they
can’t fall off.
Q: WHAT DID WE LIKE?
A: The like list:
(1) Handling. We love this chassis. With the right front
tire you could put the FC250 wherever you wanted it. It
steered with minimal handlebar input and was incredibly
( 2) Weight. Even though the Husqvarna FC250 weighs
2 pounds more than the KTM 250SXF, it is still 2 pounds
lighter than the RM-Z250, KX250F and CRF250. And that
is with an electric starter and a battery.
( 3) Air filter. The Twin Air filter in the Husqvarna
FC250 is light years ahead of the other brands’ cramped,
bank vault-style designs. It is so easy to remove that you
are almost tempted to do it regularly.
( 4) Maps. The 2016 Husqvarna FC250 comes with three
different maps. Every MXA test rider ran the aggressive
map, but there is no actual horsepower difference between
the stock map and the aggressive map. It’s more a matter
of throttle response than ponies.
( 5) Clutch. The self-adjusting hydraulic clutch is the
best on the market. It feels different from a cable clutch
but is easy to adapt to. We like the smoother modulation
of the Magura master cylinder compared to the KTM’s
( 6) Brakes. Hands down the best brakes in the class
(other than the KTM 250SXF’s brakes, of course).
( 7) Shifting. The transmission shifts with ease under
a load. It is very impressive when rated against the
competition; however, it doesn’t like to go into neutral
when the engine is running.
( 8) Electric start. Once you own an electric-start
motocross bike, you’ll wonder why they don’t put this on
cars, boats, airplanes and golf carts.
( 9) Aesthetics. The bike looks great with its yellow,
blue and white color scheme. Plus, the left-side panel can
be removed without any tools. We wish the right-side
panel didn’t have its one odd-sized Torx bolt, because it
ruins what was a great idea.
( 10) Muffler. Unlike the 2016 Husky FC450, which had
an ice-cream-cone-shaped restrictor in the muffler’s perf
core, the Husky FC250 doesn’t have any restrictors save
for a wire screen that lasts less than one hour before it
blows out. We aren’t complaining, because it saved us
the trouble of taking it out.
Q: WHAT DO WE REALLY THINK?
A: Amazingly, even the MXA test riders, who were
well aware of the remarkable similarities between the
Husqvarna and KTM, were drawn to the differences. We
want Husqvarna to chart its own course in the future,
but as for now we aren’t turning our noses up at a
44-horsepower 250 four-stroke.