2016 Husqvarna FC 450 Review
The 2016 Husqvarna FC 450 represents the flagship of Husqvarna’s motocross machines. Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Christophe Pourcel and Jason Anderson piloted Husky’s FC 450 machines to several podium performances this season in both the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross series, finishing the year in fifth and sixth overall, respectively. Anderson finished seventh in the Monster Energy AMA Supercross series, taking two podium finishes along the way.
I really enjoyed spinning as many laps as I could on the AMA National track at Budds Creek Motocross Park in Mechanicsville, Md. Pourcel finished second overall with two podium finishes at Budds Creek this year, so it certainly is a track well suited to the Husqvarna FC 450.
Drawing from that success, Husqvarna implemented several changes to the 2016 FC 450 model, including a new frame, new carbon-fiber subframe, updated WP 4CS front fork, new WP rear shock, rubber dampened triple clamps, a more rigid swingarm, new crankcases, a new transmission, a repositioned crankshaft, redesigned cylinder head, bridge-boxed piston, and a new DDS clutch.
The engine is about an inch shorter and narrower, as well as a third-of-an-inch lower than the previous generation. Every internal component on the claimed 63-horsepower DOHC engine was revised and repositioned, cutting the engine weight by four pounds bringing the engine to an overall weight of 61 pounds.
The new Husqvarna motor produces an incredible amount of power on the track. That power became evident when I first got on the bike, as I hardly had to give it any throttle when I let the clutch out from a dead stop.
The bottom end power is strong, but not so aggressive to cause the rear tire to spin easily. The power was easy to modulate in order to maintain traction in both the hard packed areas of the track as well as the muddier areas.
The mid-range and top end power on the FC 450 are where the engine really comes to life. With a controllable amount of bottom end grunt combined with a great mid-range and top end, I found that the bike is very easy to ride and I did not have to shift a lot thanks to the broad powerband. Shifting on the FC 450 is buttery smooth dues to the new low-friction coating on the shift fork and the redesigned shift drum.
The WP 4CS front fork and WP rear shock are a bit stiff for me, as I only weigh 130 pounds. However, both the front and rear end soaked up all of the hard hits, while still remaining soft enough in the beginning of the stroke to absorb the braking bumps as well. I will certainly adjust the clickers to a softer setting as I put more time on the bike.
The 2016 Husqvarna FC 450’s handling is a well-rounded package. The bike reacts quickly when cornering or changing lines, yet stays planted when navigating ruts and in high-speed situations. The 260mm front disc and four-piston Brembo brake caliper offers strong stopping power and is easily modulated. The 220mm rear Brembo two-piston caliper works wonderfully as well.
The new ODI lock-on grip on the left side does not require gluing, while on the right, the vulcanized grip features an innovative integrated throttle mechanism. However, the grip compound is a bit on the stiff side. Handguards come stock on the 2016 FC 450, which is nice for those who ride in muddy terrain and/or rocky tracks.
The plethora of changes made to the 2016 Husqvarna 450 result in a lighter and more powerful overall package. With more time on this bike testing at different tracks and getting the suspension closer to where I like it, I am confident that the positive attributes of the FC 450 will shine that much brighter.
2016 Husqvarna FC 450 Review – Riding Style
- Helmet: 6D ATR-1 Flo Graphic
- Goggles: Oakley Airbrake MX
- Neck Brace: Leatt-Brace GPX 5.5
- Pants, jersey, and gloves: Moose Racing Sahara Raceware
- Boots: Sidi Crossfire 2 SR
Andrew Oldar is sponsored by Moose Racing
2016 Husqvarna FC 450 Specs:
- Engine type: Liquid-cooled SOHC four-valve w/ rocker arms
- Displacement: 449.9cc
- Bore x stroke: 95 x 63.4mm
- Compression Ratio: 12.6:1
- Clutch: Wet multi-disc DDS-clutch, Magura hydraulics
- Transmission: 5 gears
- Starter/battery: Electric Starter/Lithium Ion 12V 2.2Ah
- Fuel system: Keihin EFI, throttle body 44 mm
- Lubrication: Pressure lubrication with 2 oil pumps
- Ignition/Engine Management: Keihin EMS
- Frame: Central double-cradle-type 25CrMo4 steel
- Subframe: Carbon fiber reinforced polyamide
- Handlebar: Pro Taper aluminum
- Front suspension: WP USD, 4CS, 48mm
- Rear suspension: WP Monoshock with linkage
- Travel front/rear: 11.8 inches/11.8 inches
- Brakes front/rear: 260/220 mm rotors
- Front/rear rims: D.I.D. Dirtstar 1.60 x 21″; D.I.D. Dirtstar 2.15 x 19″
- Front/rear tires: 80/100-21″; 120/90-19″
- Silencer: Aluminum
- Rake: 26.1 degrees
- Triple clamp offset: 22 mm
- Wheelbase: 58.5 inches ± 0.4 inches
- Ground clearance: 14.6 inches
- Seat height: 37.8 inches
- Tank capacity: 1.85 gallons
- Weight, w/ full tank: 237 pounds