2016 KTM 250 SX-F & 2016 Husqvarna FC 250 Comparison

Adam Booth | January 4, 2016
2016 KTM 250 SX-F Husqvarna FC 250

The 2016 KTM 250 SX-F and Husqvarna FC 250 come out of the same factory and are essentially the same dirt bike, with the only items differentiating them being the subframe, airbox, hydraulic clutch, brake rotors, tires, plastic and the color of the paint. The differences between the two bikes are even fewer than the KTM 450 SX-F and Husky FC 450, which for arguments sake are near identical. The 250s even share the same muffler, unlike the 450s. We spent separate days testing only the KTM 250 SX-F and Husqvarna FC 250 against each other to determine if one was better and why. 2016 KTM 250 SX-F engine

The most notable difference was that most riders preferred the Dunlop MX32 front tire on the KTM 250 SX-F over the Dunlop MX52 on the Husqvarna FC 250. Also the Husqvarna weighs about 1.5 pounds more, partly due to the composite subframe and the MX52 tires are heavier than the MX32 tires on the KTM 250 SX-F. One test rider noted the Magura hydraulic clutch on the FC 250 felt slightly smoother, but in the end the bikes were so close we had to place them in the same finishing position in the shootout. You guessed it, a tie.

2016 Husqvarna FC 250 engineThe all-new KTM/Husky engine produces smooth power that is deceptively strong. The defining trait of the motor is how gnarly it is at upper rpm, and some riders may never experience max horsepower if they are afraid to let the engine rev. It flat out rips all the way to the 14,000 rpm rev limiter. The KTM and Husqvarna engines mirror each other on the MotoUSA dyno until right before the rev limiter, where the Husqvarna FC 250 squeaks out one more horsepower over the KTM. The slightly different airbox inside the composite subframe on the FC 250 provides a different airflow to the engine, giving the Husky an edge right near the rev limiter.

Out on the track the engine power feels virtually identical. Only a couple testers said the Husky didn’t rev out as quite as quickly as the KTM. To make use of the two most powerful engines in the 250F class you have to keep the KTM and Husky higher in the rpm range than the other 250s. The bonus of an engine that revs to the moon is that you don’t have to shift as much, you can just let it rev instead of grabbing the next gear.

2016 Husqvarna FC 250

Overall handling of the all-new KTM/Husky 250s is excellent, bordering on amazing. Their light weight and slim feel helps them lean over easily in corners and change direction on short notice. Suzuki used to be the undisputed king of the corners, but the KTM and Husky are now right in the mix when it comes to cornering supremacy. Testers love the action of new WP suspension on the all-new chassis and the WP 4CS fork is the best it’s ever been, especially for the general consumer and lighter riders. Fast experts and aggressive riders over 170 pounds will probably find the bikes a bit on the plush side, but on a rough track that plushness translates into a comfortable, controlled ride. Most riders buying 250s are smaller and lighter than 450 riders, so manufacturers develop 250F suspension accordingly. If you’re a 200-pound rider, chances are good you’re riding a 450.

2016 Honda CRF250R

The KTM and Husky are light, handle great, corner amazingly, have powerful brakes, use hydraulic clutches, source easy-access air filters and, of course, fire to life via their magic electric start buttons. These features helped the 2016 KTM 250 SX-F and Husqvarna FC 250 tie for second position in the 250F MotoUSA shootout, not far off from first!

 

 

2016 250F shootout KTM250SX-F dynoHighs
• Hydraulic clutch
• Excellent power delivery
• Best WP 4CS fork yet
• Electric start!
• Most powerful engines

Lows
• Big price tag
• A tad soft for very fast riders

KTM 250 SX-F and Husqvarna FC 250 Suspension Settings

Fork
Compression: 15
Rebound: 15
Shock2016 250F shootout Husky FC 250
Sag: 106mm
Low-Speed Compression: 15
High-Speed Compression: 2 out
Rebound: 15

 

PreviousNext
2016 250 Motocross Shootout
2016 Suzuki RM-Z250 Comparison
2016 Kawasaki KX250F Comparison
2016 Honda CRF250R Comparison
2016 Husqvarna FC 250 Comparison
2016 KTM 250 SX-F Comparison
2016 Yamaha YZ250F Comparison
2016 250 Motocross Shootout Conclusion

 

2016 250F shootout Group Static

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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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