2016 Husqvarna FC 450 Comparison

Adam Booth | November 24, 2015
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The 2016 Husqvarna FC 450 underwent a radical change, dropping nine pounds while increasing horsepower. The completely new 2016 FC 450 and all-new 2016 KTM 450 SX-F are virtually identical dirt bikes, after all they come out of the same factory. The differences? Husky uses a restrictive FIM-compliant muffler, composite subframe, slightly different airbox, Magura hydraulic clutch, different rims and Dunlop MX52 tires instead of MX32 tires. The Husky takes a little longer to get to its peak horsepower due to the muffler and more restrictive airbox, but essentially, one 450 is white, and one is orange.

2016_Husky-FC450The FC 450 is very easy to ride thanks to a smooth power delivery, even though it is the most powerful engine (all the way at the top of the rpm curve) in the 450 class. Because of its more restrictive world spec the muffler, the Husqvarna engine is a slightly mellower version of the already user-friendly KTM 450 SX-F engine. Simply install a KTM muffler or an aftermarket slip-on and you have a virtual clone of the KTM power. On the MotoUSA dyno, the FC 450 and 450 SX-F mimic each other until the very end of the rpm range when the Husky squeaks out one extra horsepower right before the rev limiter to hit its 55.54 hp peak.

The all-new Husqvarna, like its KTM cousin, handles awesomely. The 2016 WP 4CS fork and shock work much better than they did in 2015, creating a plush, balanced ride that appeals to a wider range of riders. The rougher the track, the more the Husky shines. Overall the suspension is rated a bit soft for pro level riders, but then again very few pros ever run stock suspension. This year’s suspension settings are the best they’ve been for the widest range of riders.

Cornering on the Husky FC 450 is a highlight of the handling package, with the powerful yet smooth engine helping maintain traction throughout the corner, especially on corner exit. The Husky doesn’t stand up mid corner thanks, in part, to the predictable power delivery, which helps keep the FC laid over and going in the direction you want. Only weighing in two pounds heavier than the KTM 450 (mainly due to heavier tires), the 241-pound Husky feels ultra-light out on the track and in the air.

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The minimal differences between the KTM and the Husky do create a slightly different feel on the track. It is difficult to say one bike is better than the other – they are just a little different, but very much the same (makes perfect sense, right?). The Husky FC 450 and the KTM 450 SX-F become even more closely matched when running identical tires. The Husqvarna comes stock with the heavier Dunlop MX52s while the KTM comes with the much more versatile and better performing Dunlop MX32, improving overall performance slightly for the KTM 450 SX-F.

With only minor differences, the choice between the Husky FC 450 and the KTM 450 SX-F boils down to a choice between white or orange. If riders are trying to buy a KTM and can’t find one, the Husky is a muffler and set of tires from being a 2016 KTM 450 SX-F. After the ratings were tabulated, the 2016 Husqvarna claimed third overall, the KTM’s white shadow.

2016 450 Shootout Dyno FC450

Highs
• Nine pounds lighter than last year
• Great overall handling
• Easy to use power
• Electric start!

Lows
• Suspension soft for pro level riders
• Plastic looks hammered after a couple rides

Husqvarna FC450 Suspension Settings
Fork
Compression: 15
Rebound: 15
Shock
Sag: 106mm
Low-Speed Compression: 15
High-Speed Compression: 2 out
Rebound: 15

Previous | Next
2016 450 Motocross Shootout Intro
2016 Suzuki RM-Z450 Comparison
2016 Honda CRF450R Comparison
2016 KTM 350 SX-F Comparison
2016 Kawasaki KX450F Comparison
2016 Husqvarna FC 450 Comparison
2016 KTM 450 SX-F Comparison
2016 Yamaha YZ450F Comparison
2016 450 Motocross Shootout Conclusion

MotoUSA 2016 450 Motocross Shootout

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Adam Booth

Off-road Editor | Articles | Enjoying single track in the mountains, hitting the motocross track or battling an EnduroCross track, if it's on two wheels Boothy will have a smile on his face. Adam has served a mega ton of years in the off-road industry as a photographer, writer and popper of wheelies.

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