While there are a few street-legal supermoto motorcycles available, pure supermoto racebikes are few and far between. Even a lack of competition doesn’t stop Husqvarna from upping the ante on its dirt-bike-based pavement racer, and the 2023 Husqvarna FS 450 arrives with significant changes from last year’s racer. We don’t have all the details we’d like, including a spec sheet. However, that doesn’t stop us from sharing what we do know.
The 2023 Husqvarna FS 450 gets a new frame. The hydro-formed frame is still made of chromoly steel. The ’23 gets new geometry designed to reduce squat on acceleration. The subframe is a new aluminum-polyamide hybrid, which replaces the carbon-fiber/polyamide subframe used for years. Husqvarna tells us that the new subframe is more durable and has specific rigidity properties that enhance the main frame.
Expect more acceleration from the new motor. The basic SOHC architecture remains, but Husqvarna claims “class-leading performance and low weight” from the mill. The exact engine placement has also changed in the new frame.
The quickshifter gets a new sensor. According to the Husky, the change is intended to improve upshifts—more acceleration, again.
Your left thumb is now the master of electronics. The new switch, mounted on a ProTaper handlebar, controls traction control, launch control, and the quickshifter setting.
The WP Xact suspension on the 2023 Husqvarna FS 450 gets major changes. The 48mm fork is new, with a focus on increasing the progressivity of the damping to prevent bottoming. The air function remains, supplanting a spring. The shock now requires no tools for damping adjustments, and the main piston is updated.
Moving around the motorcycle should be easier, thanks to new bodywork.
You won’t have to wait long for a 2023 Husqvarna FS 450—they’re supposed to be in dealers without delay. We don’t have an MSRP yet for the new supermoto racer.
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This week, in the first segment Editor Don Williams talks to us about the new Kawasaki Versys 650 LT. It’s the middleweight ADV style machine that uses the same 650 parallel twin motor as the Ninja 650, so it’s an excellent performer in a user-friendly, good looking package.
In the second segment, I chat with one of my dearest industry friends—now retired Honda PR executive, Jon Seidel. Jon’s fascinating career spans some 30 years with Big Red, and gave him some great experiences with some incredible machines. I was fortunate enough to be invited on many of the press launches that he organized. His new project is documenting and saving many of the old archives from years gone by—and incidentally, if you have anything that may be of value to the project, please contact us by email at email@example.com and we’ll pass it all on to Jon.
So on that note, from all of us here at Ultimate Motorcycling, we hope you enjoy this episode!