2018 Husqvarna FC 450 Rockstar Edition Debuts
To give the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team a better starting mount for modifying for the Monster Energy AMA Supercross series, Husqvarna has introduced the 2018 Husqvarna FC 450 Rockstar Edition less than a month before the series opener in Anaheim.
Riding for the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team are Jason Anderson, who finished 2017 in fourth place, and Dean Wilson, who had a pair of top five finishes.
Anderson and Wilson were at the introduction of the 2018 Husqvarna FC 450 Rockstar Edition at the OUE Skyspace in downtown Los Angeles, with Anderson saying he expects more wins in 2018 (he had one win in 2017) and Wilson looking for consistent top five positions along with podium finishes.
1. The 2018 Husqvarna FC 450 Rockstar Edition’s WP Performance Systems frame has new rigidity characteristics. Longitudinal rigidity is increased, which Husqvarna says improves feedback and energy absorption, while increasing stability. The fame is hydro-formed, laser-cut, and robot-welded.
2. The polyamide/carbon-fiber subframe is a half-pound lighter. The new subframe is a two-piece design that, in addition to saving weight, improves handling and comfort due to rigidity tuning.
3. The 2018 Husqvarna FC 450 Rockstar Edition gets a new SOHC cylinder head that is shorter and lighter. In addition to saving one pound and shortening the motor for improved mass centralization, the new cylinder head houses a more durable camshaft and DLC-coating for the chain guides.
4. There’s a Keihin 44mm throttle body on the Rockstar Edition. It gets a direct shot into the combustion chamber, and it is actuated directly by the throttle cable, which is designed to be more precise than a linkage unit.
5. Cam timing has been changed for more bottom end power. Shorter timing for the four titanium valves should give the 2018 Husqvarna FC 450 Rockstar Edition more punch at low rpm.
6. The exhaust system is more compact, and the resonance chamber in the header is new. Sound volume remains unchanged on the Rockstar Edition, and the new design means the header pipe can be removed without pulling the shock.
7. Pankl Racing Systems built the gearbox. The five-speed transmission has an integrated gear sensor and there are different engine maps for each cog. The gear lever is also new and designed to resist dirt accumulation.
8. The 2018 Husqvarna FC 450 Rockstar Edition gets a DDS (Damped Diaphragm Steel) clutch. Rather than an array of coil springs, the clutch uses a single steel diaphragm. The clutch basket is a one-piece steel design with a Rekluse clutch cover, as found on the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team bikes. Magura makes the hydraulic actuation system.
9. The Rockstar Edition radiators are WP Performance Systems units with improved cooling. The air moves through the radiators in a smoother manner, while a larger center tube that runs through the frame keeps coolant flow consistent.
10. The WP DCC shock has a new main system. The pressure-balanced shock design means consistent pressure and performance throughout the stroke. The linkage and shock settings have been optimized for responsiveness and improved traction.
11. The WP AER 48 fork uses an air spring. Only the left leg has an air-pressure valve for setting the preload. The fork also has a two-position mechanical holeshot device.
12. New triple clamps are stiffer to match the longitudinal rigidity of the Rockstar Edition’s frame. They have a 22mm offset and an integrated rubber damping system to reduce vibration transmitted through the handlebar to the rider. For durability, there’s a protector for the triple clamp so it does not suffer wear from the number plate.
13. The ProTaper handlebar is new, with a new bend. The bars are a bit lower with rider hand comfort and endurance in mind. There are three handlebar-mounting positions.
14. The new lithium-ion battery saves 2.2 pounds compared to a lead-acid battery. The 2.0 Ah battery is enough to fire up the FC 450 motor when needed.
15. With a Brembo caliper and lever combo, the front disc is now floating. Husqvarna says this increases performance from the 260mm disc. The 220mm rear disc is solid mounted.
16. The fuel tank has an increased capacity. It is up to seven liters for longer, tougher motos. Also, the fuel line has been re-routed to protect it from damage.
17. The skidplate is reinforced carbon fiber.
18. The 2018 Husqvarna FC 450 Rockstar Edition has exclusive graphics on new bodywork. The graphics speak for themselves, while the bodywork means the riders can move around more easily while having increased control on the bike.
Photography Simon Cudby, Don Williams, et al