2018 Husqvarna FC 450 Rockstar Edition Review |
We spent the day at Milestone MX in Riverside, Calif., shredding the new 2018 Husqvarna FC 450 Rockstar Edition. We did a detailed explanation of the changes that make a standard FC 450 into a Rockstar Edition in earlier this month, and it is much more than simply a cosmetic makeover with Jason Anderson’s #21 on the number plates.
Now it’s time to see how well the 2018 Husqvarna FC 450 Rockstar Edition works. We didn’t race it or ride it on more than one track, so consider this our first taste of a production motocross motorcycle that is as close to factory as you can get on the showroom floor.
1. The 2018 Husqvarna FC 450 Rockstar Edition’s new chassis is much slimmer through the midsection. Compared to the standard 2018 FC 450 released earlier this year, the Rockstar Edition is more compact through the middle of the bike where you sit, as well as grip when standing. This gives the bike an even lighter feel, especially when moving around.
2. Contact points are new and improved. The ProTaper bars have a lower bend which I liked on this Husky. The seat has a slightly different shape and a ribbed seat cover, which is much preferred over the standard model’s saddle.
3. Turning is improved. We’re not sure if its frame geometry and material changes, or the fact that its easier to get your weight forward, that gives the FC RE has a more planted feel in the corners than the standard model. Whether railing the outside of berms or cutting the inside lines, I felt more comfortable pushing it than the standard FC.
4. The FC 450 Rockstar Edition remains stable at speed. With a bike that turns this well, you often have to compromise high-speed stability—not so with the FC RE. This motorcycle never gave us any indication of head shake or instability on the faster portions of Milestone.
5. It’s very rideable. With the changes to the motor and mapping the Rockstar Edition, is is the easiest 450 MX bike I have ever ridden. Amazingly, it does this while still being one of the fastest 450 motocross motorcycles out there. We really liked the motor!
6. The Rockstar Edition easy to jump on and ride. It took me while to adapt to riding the standard 2018 Husqvarna FC 450 and get comfortable enough to feel like I could push it. That was not the case with the Rockstar Edition. Both Brandon Krause (Ultimate Motorcycling’s new staff photographer and test rider) and I where able to jump on the FC RE and feel confident from the beginning.
7. We found nothing to complain about on the 2018 Husqvarna FC 450 Rockstar Edition. We only got a short amount of time on the bike at one track—Milestone MX. After living with it and racing it we might be able to find flaws—competition is the toughest condition for testing—but we couldn’t uncover anything to criticize after Day One.
8. The 2018 Husqvarna FC 450 Rockstar Edition is our favorite motocross bike this year, so far. We have already ridden most of the other 2018 450s—though not the closely related KTM 450 SX-F 450 Factory Edition—and this is the best 450 MX bike we have ridden. It is very fast, handles great, and is extremely easy to ride.
Photography by Brandon Krause
- Helmet: Bell Moto-9 Carbon Flex
- Goggles: 100% Moto
- Pants + Jersey: Fly Racing 2017.5 Kinetic Mesh
- Gloves: Fly Racing Media
- Boots: Fly Racing Sector
2018 Husqvarna FC 450 Rockstar Edition Specs
Type: Single cylinder four-stroke
Bore x stroke: 94 x 63.4mm
Compression ratio: 12.75:1
Valve train: SOHC; four valves
Fueling: 44mm Keihin throttle body
Ignition: Keihin EMS
Starting: Electric w/ 12V, 2 Ah lithium-ion battery
Lubrication: Pressurized w/ two pumps
Clutch: Web multi-disc DDS w/ Magura hydraulics
Frame: Central double-cradle chromoly
Subframe: Carbon-fiber reinforced polyamide
Front suspension: Fully adjustable inverted WP AER 48 fork; 12.2 inches
Rear suspension: Linkage-assisted fully adjustable WP shock; 11.8 inches
Front wheel: 1.60 x 21″; D.I.D. DirtStar
Rear wheel: 2.15 x 19″; D.I.D. DirtStar
Front tire: 80/100 x 21; Dunlop Geomax MX3S
Rear tire: 120/90 x 19; Dunlop Geomax MX3S
Front brake: 260mm floating disc w/ Brembo hydraulics
Rear brake: 220mm fixed disc w/ Brembo hydraulics
DIMENSIONS and CAPACITIES
Wheelbase: 58.5 inches
Rake: 26.1 degrees
Seat height: 37.4 inches
Ground clearance: 14.8 inches
Fuel capacity: 1.85 gallons
Wet weight (no fuel): 222 pounds
2018 Husqvarna FC 450 Factory Edition Price:
- $TBA MSRP