2017 Husqvarna FX 350 First Ride Review
We took the new 2017 Husqvarna FX 350 on the motocross track, off-road race circuit, and single-track trails at Cahuilla Creek Motocross in Anza, Calif. and we were impressed the new Husky’s performance. The mid-sized GNCC-ready race bike, part of the new 2017 FX line from Husqvarna, comes with several unique features that make the FX 350 stand out from the other bikes designed for off-road riding and racing.
- The 2017 Husqvarna FX 350 features a 350cc DOHC engine, which is the perfect size displacement for a four stroke off road bike. The powerband is tuned equally well, for off-road racing with a strong, yet tractable, bottom end while the mid-range and top end remain smooth and linear.
- WP’s new AER 48 forks are stock, and are a big change from last year’s WP 4CS forks. The AER forks are a 48mm split air fork with preload settings on the left hand side and damping on the right hand side. The AER forks weigh 3.6 pounds less than the 4CS forks and can still be adjusted by hand. Adjusting the air pressure requires the use of WP’s air gauge, and should be checked and set before each ride.
- The AER forks work great on both the motocross track and single-track trails. The fork is a little on the soft side for motocross—and many GNCC courses include a trip around an MX track. Increasing the air pressure and/or stiffening the clicker improves the bottoming resistance significantly, if needed. For off-road GNCC-style racing, the forks absorb every bump and have a nice, plush feel to them.
- The 2017 Husqvarna FX 350 comes with a six-speed transmission—an extra cog than the FC 350 motocross model. First gear is slow enough to handle tight trails, while sixth gear is great for passing your buddies when hauling down a fire road. Everything in between is spaced well, matching the wide powerband, and this minimizes the amount of shifting required.
- The rear wheel is 18 inches in diameter—one inch smaller than the standard 19-inch hoop found on the FC 350 motocrosser. Dunlop Geomax AT81 tires are mounted in the front and rear, which are effective in everything from the soft sand to the granite boulders.
- The Magura clutch offers an effortless pull, and practically eliminates clutch fade at the lever. This is an ideal combination on a competitive off-road machine that sees a lot of clutch use on tight single-track trails and highly technical sections.
- A lithium ion battery powers the electric starter on the FX 350. The Husky fires to life with the push of a button. This is not a new feature, but it is always great not having to kickstart a bike, especially a four-stroke if you’ve stalled it late in the race when you’re highly fatigued. Nothing beats pushing the button and getting back on track. Also, when you’re between a rock and hard place, which occasionally happens while riding off road, you don’t need clearance to kick.
- Handguards are OEM equipment on the FX 350, which are an essential item for off-road riders. Overhanging branches can not only injure your hands, but they can also grab a front brake or clutch lever when navigating through shrubbery and trees. These won’t absorb impact, but they do keep many irritants at bay.
- The 2.2-gallon gas tank is clear so you can see the amount of fuel you have. The extra capacity compared to an MX bike is carried low, so it doesn’t negatively impact the handling.
- The FX 350’s engine is versatile for both motocross and off-road racing. The suspension handles both disciplines well, and can be easily adjusted to accommodate rider preference. The bike is also nimble and easy to move around. Whether you’re looking to race GNCC or simply trail ride aggressively, the FX 350 is a versatile mount that can do both.
Photography by Don Williams
- Helmet: 6D ATR-1 FLO Red/Yellow
- Goggles: Oakley Airbrake MX
- Neck Brace: Leatt Brace GPX 5.5
- Jersey, pants + gloves: Moose Racing Sahara Racewear
- Boots: TXC Comp Evo Michelin
Andrew Oldar is sponsored by Moose Racing.
2017 Husqvarna FX 350 Test Gallery