Just like the Red Bull KTM team, Osborne prefers to run a
Honda steering stabilizer to lessen headshake.
Zach’s WP Cone Valve forks were very plush at the top of the
stroke and worked best in the middle of the stroke.
WHAT PERFORMANCE MODS WERE MADE
TO OSBORNE’S BIKE THAT YOU CAN MAKE
TO YOUR FC250? For several years we’ve harped on
Husqvarna for designing an airbox that fails to promote
airflow to the engine. The complaint has fallen on deaf
ears, so to remedy the problem we drill holes into the
airbox cover. That’s exactly what Dave Feeney did with
Osborne’s FC250. He drilled five quarter-sized holes near
the top of the left-side airbox cover using a Uni-bit and
template. The holes allow the engine to breathe better for
more power and throttle response. It should be noted
that Osborne’s teammate, Zach Bell, doesn’t run the
Swiss-cheese configuration, preferring stock.
HOW FAST IS OSBORNE’S HUSQVARNA FC250?
The engine is so fast that it seems unfair. Through the
years the MXA wrecking crew has tested every top 250
four-stroke in the paddock. We say with boastful pride
that Zach Osborne’s Husqvarna FC250 is among the
power elite. The RER staff didn’t change the engine’s
personality altogether; rather they super-sized every facet
of the powerband. Bottom-end hit was magnified. The
midrange kicked like a mule, and the top end bit like a
crocodile. And over-rev? Any normal rider wouldn’t come
close to touching the 15,000 rpm rev limiter, but when our
Pro-level testers did, they were handsomely rewarded. The
FC250 belched high-grade ETS fuel vapor out of the FMF
Factory 4.1 exhaust at a rapid pace. We achieved our best
results by leaving the bike in a lower gear and winding
out the engine until it begged to be shifted. Not surprisingly, this is exactly how Zach Osborne rides. In fact, the
team joked that Osborne only knows one gear—second.
WHO MADE ZACH OSBORNE’S FC250 COME TO
LIFE? While Husqvarna and Rockstar Energy Racing are
the major players, this magnificent FC250 wouldn’t be
possible without the help of the team’s sponsors. That
list includes FMF, Raptor, Dunlop, Pro Taper, Matrix, RK,
Talon, Bel-Ray, Brembo, Dubya, Galfer, Excel, Neken, UFO
plastic, Mechanix Wear, WP suspension, Factory Services,
Husqvarna PowerParts, Akrapovic, Fly, Gaerne, Airoh,
Dragon, Motorcycle Superstore, Rockwell, Guts, DT-1,
Hinson, and ETS fuels.
WHAT WAS OSBORNE’S SUSPENSION LIKE?
Osborne’s RER Husky FC250 has beefy, 52mm WP Cone
Valve forks with a Trax shock, although Zach prefers
not to run the dropout feature in the shock. It’s a bit
surprising that he uses a standard-length shock, given the
plethora of other modifications made to accommodate his
stature; however, we know that Osborne is a good test
rider who knows what he likes. How do we know that?
The suspension was our favorite part of the bike. Most
Pro riders run ultra-stiff forks and a soft shock, but not
Zach Osborne. His forks were super plush at the top of
the stroke, with good hold-up in the middle and plenty
of bottoming resistance. MXA’s Pro-level testers stated
that the suspension was well balanced; it didn’t ride
too high or too deep in the stroke. We attribute these
real-world settings to Osborne’s time on the Grand
Prix circuit, where having insanely stiff suspension is
counter-productive (exhibit A: Ryan Villopoto). Bravo to
Zach for his suspension setup.
WHAT DO WE REALLY THINK? The MXA
wrecking crew gushed over Zach Osborne’s Rockstar
Energy Racing Husqvarna FC250 four-stroke. It did
everything well. It was a bit high-strung, but that’s
typical of any top racer’s bike. We’ve come to accept
that harnessing the power of a factory bike is like
roping a bull with dental floss. Having said that, Zach
Osborne’s FC250 opened our eyes. It was the very
definition of superb (the low handlebars and cut
subframe notwithstanding). ❏