2019 Husqvarna FC 450 Rockstar Edition Review: Tested At Fox Raceway
The 2019 Husqvarna FC 450 Rockstar Edition is a limited production motocross motorcycle based on the works bikes raced by the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team, including Jason Anderson, Zach Osborne, and Dean Wilson. It has many of the same aftermarket parts the team uses along with other vital parts from factory Husqvarna. We tested it at Fox Raceway in Pala, California, the site of round 2 of the 2019 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross AMA National Championship Series.1. The 2019 Husqvarna FC 450 Rockstar Edition’s mods start with the motor. The internal differences between the standard FC 450 and the Rockstar Edition include the Pankl connecting rod and a CP-Carrillo forged piston. These changes give the bike a more revving feel and reduce engine braking. Also, the five-speed transmission is now produced by Pankl. It’s worth noting that Pankl Racing Systems in Austria is the parent company of Irvine-based CP-Carrillo.
2. The WP fork is now called Xact instead of AER 48, and it has new settings for the 2019 FC 450 Rockstar Edition. It is still a 48mm air fork with shim-free Cone Valve damping on one side and the dual air-chambers on the other. Air pressure replaces fork springs to save over three pounds.3. The blue-anodized 2019 Husqvarna FC 450 Rockstar Edition triple clamps look much like the Neken clamps used by the factory race team. The CNC-machined triple clamps have an expansive clamping area and the ability to adjust the offset from 20mm to 22mm. While we were testing with Rockstar Edition, a Husqvarna tech demonstrated how over-tightening the clamps puts a large amount of friction into the fork tubes—use a torque wrench.4. The 2019 Husqvarna FC 450 Rockstar Edition is full of many other aftermarket parts. The most notable is the FMF Factory 4.1 RCT blue-anodized titanium muffler. Other key features are the new DID DirtStar rims laced to lightweight blue-anodized CNC-machined hubs, ProTaper bars, a Guts Racing seat, a holeshot device, plus a carbon fiber skidplate and front rotor guard. To finish off the motorcycle is topped off the bike with a full set of Rockstar Energy graphics.5. With the big jumps, fast flowing corners, and prime dirt, Fox Raceway was the perfect location to test a top of the line 450cc race bike. As the test day went on, the track went from smooth in the morning, to rutted and choppy in the afternoon. This gave us a perfect opportunity to evaluate the motorcycle in a wide variety of conditions.6. For an exclusive race model, the 2019 Husqvarna FC 450 Rockstar Edition is easy to ride. The free-revving nature and lack of engine braking, combined with a linear power delivery, makes the Rockstar Edition the easiest 450 to ride we have ridden. That in no way means it’s slow—quite the opposite, it’s fast. The best part is that the FC 450 Rockstar Edition is easy to ride fast!7. The handling is awesome. The Rockstar Edition is exceptionally lightweight for 450 motocrosser, weighs in at a claimed 232 pounds with the 1.85-gallon fuel tank topped off. The lack of poundage is apparent at every part of the track, and especially in the corners. The FC 450 Rockstar Edition simply corners better than any other 450 on the market. In spite of that, the Husqvarna has no bad characteristics in the high-speed sections. We experienced no head shake, even as the Fox Raceway track got rough.8. The WP suspension is top notch and easily adjusted. Husqvarna set the sag and sent us out. When the track was smooth, and the only hits were from the jump landings, the bottoming action spot-on. When the track got rougher as the day wore on, the Husqvarna tech made small adjustments on the rebound. The motorcycle responded nicely soaking up everything Fox Raceway could throw at it.9. The Guts seat and ProTaper bars make a difference. The ProTaper bars have a lower bend than standard FC—we prefer that bend, even for our 6′ 1″ test rider. The Guts gripper seat cover is also more comfortable than the standard model, along with holding our butt in place better.10. The 2019 Husqvarna FC 450 Rockstar Edition styling is awesome. Looking just like the Husqvarna Factory Racing motorcycles, this is one of the best-looking motocross machines on the market. While we tell ourselves, performance is the most important aspect of a racing machine, we all know we want a great-looking motorcycle.11. The 2019 Husqvarna FC 450 Rockstar Editionis our favorite motorcycle in its class. We said it about last year’s Rockstar Edition, and we feel the same this year. The main reason is the FC 450 Rockstar Edition is just so easy to ride hard and fast. You can push it harder than most other 450s without the ill effects of being overpowered by the motor or chassis that isn’t as precise.Photography by Don WilliamsRiding Style
Hello everyone and welcome once again to Ultimate Motorcycling’s weekly Podcast—Motos and Friends.
My name is Arthur Coldwells.
This week’s Podcast is brought to you by Yamaha motorcycles. Discover how the YZF-R7 provides the perfect balance of rider comfort and true supersport performance by checking it out at YamahaMotorsports.com, or see it for yourself at your local dealer.
This week’s episode features Senior Editor Nic de Sena’s impressions of the beautiful new Harley-Davidson Low Rider ST that is loosely based around the original FXRT Sport Glide from the 1980s. Hailing from The Golden State, these cult-status performance machines became known as West Coast style, with sportier suspension, increased horsepower, and niceties including creature comforts such as a tidy fairing and sporty luggage.
In past episodes you might have heard us mention my best friend, Daniel Schoenewald, and in the second segment I chat with him about some of the really special machines in his 170 or so—and growing—motorcycle collection. He’s always said to me that he doesn’t consider himself the owner, merely the curator of the motorcycles for the next generation.
Yet Daniel is not just a collector, but I can attest a really skilled rider. His bikes are not trailer queens, they’re ridden, and they’re ridden pretty hard. Actually, we have had many, many memorable rides on pretty much all of the machines in the collection at one time or another.
From all of us here at Ultimate Motorcycling, we hope you enjoy this episode!